The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

The British (music) Monarchy

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A recent Pitchfork rant/soapbox ministry tried to highlight the centralization of British music journalism. NME has crossed over from a bastion for independent music critique to mainstream press and overall tastemakers for British rock. Similar to a Chicago blog that is often quoted by artists to increase their “indie cred” which may also help them get signed? Maybe. However, British rock still has BBC Radio One that has reversed their fan base – going from a Top 40 mainstream audience to focus specifically on pushing the envelope and developing the overall British tolerance for new music. A strange business proposal (estrange your fan base for a niche audience that is fical) and most likely only possible through the federal sponsorship of the BBC. Although NPR has done well to represent diverse music in their broadcasts.

Even with the suggested influence of NME as the end all for making bands, the UK still seems much more open to fostering a less machine-like progression of new music. The fact of a band like The Gossip that would hardly be marketable in the US – a three person punk band led by a large lesbian that makes many references to her size and sexuality – becoming a huge success in the UK is true testament to the culture of live performance. The clubs still rule the roost and it is virtually impossible to break on a larger scale without having a strong live performance background. Regardless of the British press, you still have the asset of word of mouth to drive your career. In many ways, it simplifies the formula, if only to place a slightly larger reward for bands that can survive live. Something the US can and should learn.

Pitchfork Poptimist – English Settlement

Written by TopDrop

October 29th, 2007 at 2:19 pm

Posted in Drop Kick

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses to 'The British (music) Monarchy'

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  1. But we have Myspace.

    gomattolson

    30 Oct 07 at 8:36 pm

  2. Hmm…myspace did help democratize the way bands could advertise. But there are few bands that have really “made it” just from myspace word of mouth. Usually its myspace buzz, then pitchfork or someone else picks them up, then they get big.

    Plus, myspace is dieing. Rick Rubin even said so.

    Addie O

    4 Nov 07 at 1:11 pm

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