Jan 3, 2007

Miss American Pie


About 25 years ago, I went to the top floor of a club in new york called danceteria. Set up behind the bar was about 25 television sets. They were all connected to different VCR players. They were randomly playing old movies on the different screens. As the music of the club blared, people stood transfixed to the images on the screen. It's the first time I'd ever seen anything like it before. Music playing over top of hip imagery for endless hours was a whole new concept. I’m sure the creators of MTV were there and witnessed the phenomenon. Images to rock music playing all day long, seemed like a good idea at the time. Now a quarter of a century later, music is dead as a doornail. Unless you LOOK right and are very good at aerobics and jazzercize, don’t even thing of trying to be a musician because you’ll never make it. I passed by Tower records on broadway in manhattan and it was closed, dead as a doornail. Just like music is today.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

...there still are some talented, original musicians out there, they're just getting harder and harder to find...and most of them are having to go with small, even sometimes local independent labels...so they're not getting the exposure the Jessica Simpson's and the Justin Timberfake's of the world are....I understand what you're saying, but great musicians are still out there, they're just a bitch to find... s. vorhaben

yun said...

the difficulty in finding anything good is that much tougher because of all the overexposed junk out there -- this extends to all industries. it's sad that there was a need to have oprah tell people which books are good to read.

Tommy Kane said...

Growing up in the 60's I would walk into a record store and there were literally thousands of albums I wanted to buy. I know there are great musicians out there today but it gets harder to find them.

Ana Banana said...

Yep, know what you mean. There used to be a time that I could actually find some good music on the radio. I thought maybe the lack of "good" music was more a generational thing. But I have to say that the more I hear the stuff kids are listening to today, the more I would agree that it's mostly crappola and reeks of mass production and capitalism.

By the way, we can thank the internet for the now extinct Tower Records. Who actually goes to "record" shops these days when it's so easy to download favorites onto a computer or ipod? The internet seems to be both a blessing and a curse. I'm still debating whether or not to support my local "video" store or switch to Netflix...

Ana Banana said...

Oh, by the way, nice sketch...

I'm wondering, Tommy, given that you're so talented and in the center of it all (NYC), if you are finding plenty of work as an illustrator?

Illustration, at least from my perspective, seems to be a dying field.

Jacqueline Hudon said...

I'm an illustrator and I have a huge appreciation for album art. I still listen to CD's and I still buy them because I love the art and design in the packaging. However, most of my friends have gone to digital music. I think it's sad that as time goes on, album art will be a thing of the past because music will be sold on-line. Getting rid of packaging and waste is great. But I do think it's sad to loose the art work that goes with it.

Anonymous said...

..hey ana banana...errr, and tommy, I just read in How, or maybe it was artForum magazine, that the trend is going back to "hand" crafted illustrations, because everyone is getting tired of the overslick digital look....so maybe we're in for a revival as far as illustrations/illustrators go..hopefully..s.v

Tommy Kane said...

That would be great. No I don't get a lot of illustration work. That is why I am able to post so much stuff. I need to work harder at promotion.

Bruce said...

I don't know if MTV killed music, but they definitely played a part in what they've become. Do they even play music videos anymore? But, i do agree with you about music being dead and I think that that is because we have a music scene mired with entertainers only and not artists, per se. That's why these acts are pushed through the mill so quickly; you can't even get used to them (in most cases, that's a good thing). Remember when Boston and Kansas were called "corporate rock?" What music act isn't corporate now? At least those guys played the bar scene and matured and payed their dues.

I still buy CDs and hope that everything won't go the digital way, even though my iPOD is my favorite toy. What if you lose your downloads, somehow? What will you put them back with? I like having the product in my hands, the entire package: the music, the art, if any and the lyrics. So, hopefully it won't die out entirely.

Your sketch captures this conversation perfectly, with her distorted face and distant stare. Sorry for the ramble, but you started this, ha, ha....

~Bradley said...

The Golden Age of Illustration or of anything may have had a peak and now seem in the darkest parts of the valley mines, but none of it is lost on the public.
Arts and crafts shows still exist just because of the need to have something more personal than 'Made in {country of your choice}' stamped on it.
When those in the public and media and big company management, who pick the newest trend or technology and poo-poo the rest as outdated, get tired of slick, they will be looking for something 'handmade'.
The more good illustration and/or music is brought out into the open using the tools of yesterday and today, the more it is kept in the public eye and the more the good illustrators and musicians will be ready to fill the empty eyes and ears.
Keep up with the though-provoking illustrations, Tommy et al! As McLuhan said 'The medium is the message'.

Anonymous said...

There's a lot of good music out there these days, radio is not in the business of caring about it. Radio wants you to listen to the ads - not the music. When you first got into music, you had a ton of friends in school with siblings and new recommendations poured in from all over, now, as an adult you have to try and cultivate a similar network to get new recommendations. It's not that hard - but you have to want to find new music. The business of music is just like Hollywood - how many Hollywood movies have you liked in the past decade? It doesn't mean that the art form is dead, just that you have to look for alternative producers to make the art that you like. Ah, I can go on for pages talking about this, but I'll refrain. Nice doodle, Kane ; )

-Keith Haluska

Tommy Kane said...

Point taken Keith. You owe Yun and I a dinner my friend.