“electro rock bands” on The Current last night

December 27, 2010

Last night, one of my Nyteowl songs was chosen by Jeff (Mojo) Marshall from Switchblade Comb blog as a “best of local music” from Minnesota music in 2010. He was a guest on MPR 89.3 The Current’s “The Local Show”, along with music critics from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, City Pages, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and “Cake in 15” blog. I didn’t even realize the song was chosen that way so it was pretty cool – especially because as far as I know, it was the first radio play for Nyteowl.

Even better, Mojo was saying he was hoping the electronic music scene would grow stronger here and that it was something I was trying to accomplish with my productions and record label. He’s right and I thank him.

I was in Detroit for Christmas and was streaming The Current through the internet, and after they played my track amongst a mostly non-electronic music list (I think a Lookbook remix of Zoo Animal was in there), a topic came up regarding “What would you like to see less of/more of in Minnesota music in 2011?”.

After a few comments, Ross from the St. Paul Pioneer Press said one thing he would like to see less of was so many “electro dance rock” bands that are “into the clothes” and many aren’t good, or they need to get better. Who is he talking about? Is he talking about live music? Recordings?

He went on to say he really likes “that style” (what style is that?), and that’s why hates to see it done mediocre or bad. After deleting my comments on Twitter (red wine and twitter are bad for posi-vibes), I wanted to follow up here with my thoughts on the whole thing.

First, overall the scene in the twin cities is still small. It takes a long time to build things up and his kind of comments are in poor form because they are telling people they shouldn’t be experimenting and trying things. It’s telling kids who might want to get into it to “AVOID THIS TREND IN 2011″… it’s a “bad trend if you are mediocre”. A healthy scene has people of all different skill levels experimenting and trying new music. Some “mediocre” electronic music to him may be the best out there to others.

Second, electronic music is NOT A TREND. It’s been going on for years -non stop. Everywhere. Doesn’t anyone think it’s unfair that “bad electronic music” is a “trend” this guy is tired of? Minneapolis music critics don’t respect electronic music – that’s proof. What about “bad guitar music”?

Another thing that bothered me – only 15 minutes earlier Mojo (Jeff) mentioned his dream of more electronic music in the twin cities, and shortly after that my track was played. Next thing you know, Ross is pretty much dissing the scene (except Lookbook). Poor form, poor timing.

2010 was a pretty big year for Minneapolis electronic music. There are different people doing different kinds of electronic music (very well). I am friends with many people who took huge steps in their arts/ music careers this year. 2011 we need to grow with that- not detract. Not every type of music is “album based”. Not every album “tells a story of life or death”. Not every type of music is “Song based”. Not every type of music involves a guitar or is socially conscious. Finally, not every genre of music is at the same growth cycle in Minnesota. I don’t like when critics who don’t really understand something tell people what they’re “tired of”. Don’t music critics get paid for critical thinking?

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