36vultures Presents Inside Voices: Luke Granered of Better Off
We’re very excited to be premiering a new feature here on 36vultures today. This is going to be the first of an ongoing series of entries from Luke Granered of Better Off called Inside Voices. We’re going to be hearing from Granered in regards to his thoughts on music and the effects it has, both as a musician and as a fan. Below is the first of what will hopefully be many more called “LUV THAT. “
Preface: The following is opinion built upon my experiences up until this point. I will do my best to keep things open ended, because opinion is subject to change, but will also be critical where I believe I need to be critical. Nothing is meant to be personal or attacking here. These are thoughts on the most fluid form of creativity.
I love the internet. I (usually) love the mean sense of humor it seems to have helped develop in my peers. The piercing sarcasm and black hole of irony is endlessly entertaining. I also love that the internet is instantly gratifying, although I believe that it’s very selfish to appreciate such a shallow development. I can type in a URL, click twice, and find something new. Not necessarily good, but at least something new. The best part is that everyone I know can do the same, as long as they do in fact have access to the void of computers.
But I have seen a change in the flow of everything as I grow up in the middle of this madness. The ideas that we find becoming popular are becoming less and less original, and unbelievably short-lived. It seems like the lifespan of a band is currently 2 years, and thats the ride up the ladder of success to a complete drop off. Few bands seem to be able to recover from the damage of a boring record. The attention span of the consumer is 30 seconds. THIRTY SECONDS. If you can’t get someones attention within 30 seconds, they most likely won’t listen to your band again. This seems mindblowing, when 40 years ago Led Zeppelin was massive and playing songs that could be 20 minutes long after they add their 15 minute jam session. It was a display of skill and ingenuity that doesn’t seem to exist in much art anymore. If it does exist, it seems to happen only in the circles of underground art school students that are getting together in dorm rooms to perform spoken word poetry while pissing all over themselves in an effort to shock. Shock value is our generation’s ingenuity, it seems, unfortunately.
I don’t want to take away from the possible quality in something shocking. Art has been shocking for it’s entirety. But making an audience say “ewww” or “I can’t believe she’s wearing that” isn’t shocking in the way that Pete Townshend smashing his guitar was. The difference is the emotion, I suppose. The Who would play songs that said something meaningful (even if it was only meaningful to them) and then express emotion physically. Miley Cyrus getting weirdly skinny and doing molly on the reg seems to be more of a desperate grab at attention. Again, not to take away from the possible quality of anything Cyrus does, but it is necessary to analyze the intentions of an artist in order to appreciate the final product of their work.
Even so, if we traveled back in time to the 60s/70s and found a Cyrus-like pop artist from that time period and placed him/her next to The Who, who would people watch more? Obviously, if we did the opposite and took a band from today that sounded/acted like The Who and put them next to Miley – more people would watch Miley. Why? I would say because our attention spans are filed down to nothing. We can’t (all) watch a performance and enjoy the flaws. Perfection is a pretty, shiney, unbelievable thing, even when we all know it’s fake. I’ve never seen The Who though. Maybe they’re perfect. I HAVE seen Roger Daltrey play with Eric Clapton, and that was painfully boring.
The point I am getting at is this: making an effort to sit down and really focus on not just listening, but HEARING, could be life changing to someone that has never really tried to do that. Seek out the personality in music and art, because that is what makes something legendary. Not necessarily the shock value. My suggestion to every person/any person is to find an album that is historically classic that you did not enjoy the first time and listen to it from beginning to end. Really hear it. Find something to appreciate about it, and then critique it based on what you personally enjoy as opposed to how it fits into what the world currently enjoys as a whole.