I'm stoked that my earlier post garnered as much attention as it did, simply because this is exactly the kind of thing that I let occupy my thoughts for days on end. In the first post of this series, which it has become, I said that I think the underground is dead. Now, without getting to existential on all of you lovely people, I don't really know if that is true.
I mean, the bigger the tectonic plate, the bigger the cavern beneath it, right? I think the underground in it's traditional sense is for all intents and purposes, dead. It has instead transformed, like some hideous moth, to a fat worm with more heads than Medusa's do.
There are more genres than ever before, many of them complete crap in my opinion, which if you remember cannot be wrong. But I think once one delves into the "World of a Thousand Genres" there is some gold to be found. However, the underground isn't a single room full of music. The underground is a host of small caves scattered along the way, each room offering listeners something new, something exciting and sometimes it may even be terrifying.
This is where it gets a little more tricky. Exploring these caves has also become easier than wondering Cape Town's streets on Street View. So all of a sudden, is the "mainstream" in the minority? It could be possible, especially when I look at something like The Arcade Fire's splendid, Rococo sporting, album The Suburbs. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Albums Chart in the USA. Vampire Weekend's album, Contra was the first independently released album to top the charts upon release and that in itself is quite a fucking feat.
Think about it, no other indie bands have been able to do that. I love the Arcade Fire, I unfortunately - for them - dislike Vampire Weekend a lot. But the fact that these two could beat out Radiohead in the first week of album sales, tells me that the tide is turning. The time for thoughtless, mass produced music will continue, but fear not, we're winning. The good stuff is making it into the bigger picture.
The underground as one entity frightened me, but it's much easier to deal with in these little caverns. Maybe you'll find some gems, quite often you won't, either way, half the fun is the search anyway. But more on that next time. Feel free to use the below forum (comments section) to tell me what you think...