Are today’s bands easily exhausted or are we the ones to blame?

It’s always a bummer (and sometimes more than that) to hear that one of your favourite bands spilt up. Lately, it seems that more and more bands decide to call it quits and follow the “solo path”. This is of course a very usual phenomenon in the history of music. The problem is that today’s bands don’t seem to last at all.

Is it overexposure that would lead to a band’s break-up? The internet has totally made it possible for every single artist to put their music out there and let the world know everything about their career and sometimes their personal life, too. However, this exhausting set of interviews and special appearances in TV shows or extensive touring so as to promote a new album (sometimes even just a single) might be draining the creativity off the artist.

My Chemical Romance decided to stop making music almost seven months ago, through a very sudden announcement which led fans to a total despair. For the band, as I imagine, it wasn’t sudden at all. Sometimes, it’s not disagreements within a band that lead to the end. It’s just things piling up. The need to always meet the demands of fans, of music companies and finally of themselves as artists, can turn out to be pretty hopeless.

But is this all necessary? People keep expecting too much of musicians, sometimes pushing them to the edge. More performances, more albums, more autographs. They are building this monster of them, which gradually devours the artists themselves.

Starsailor is in extended hiatus, Good Charlotte seems to be taking a break, while 30 Seconds to Mars had thought about quitting a year ago, being overexhausted by almost three consecutive years of touring! (Eventually they came back with a new album, but that’s due to Jared Leto’s perfectionism I guess – he always comes back for more!) Now, The Killers’ guitarist Dave Keuning admitted to NME that “he is sick of touring”, and who knows what follows?

The truth is I’m tired of short-lived bands… I’m not the one to judge, but it’s so frustrating to “lose” one… And I can’t help but wonder, when everything is all out in the open, are we the ones who push the curtains down?

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Throwback Thursday!

Such a sad but beautiful song by Starsailor, off their debut album Love is Here 12 years ago.

I love these guys and it’s a shame they’re not making music as a band anymore. We still enjoy James Walsh’s divine voice through his solo work, though.

Guess who’s back… Back again!

I swear Eminem’s new tracks give me the chills. The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is due November 5th but the rapper has already given us a pretty good taste of what to expect.  After setting the bar really high with lead single Berzerk , there comes Survival.

The video is clearly inspired by Em’s troubled years in Detroit. It’s one of those fortunate times though, when music speaks even louder than the clip. Classic old school Eminem rhyming angrily at the mike is what makes Survival so special.

(That and the fact that it keeps us wondering how a 40 year old man can look like 25. If you’ve found the elixir, man, don’t keep it to yourself.)

As with Berzerk, but in a more serious tone, hints of guitar and drum beats surround successfully the rhymes, which is something we hadn’t heard before from the rapper. Marshall Mathers is experimenting and this time it’s not with catchy pop-like tunes but with straight hip hop and just a touch of rock.

Eminem goes back to his roots and somehow manages to redefine them. Innovative and familiar at the same time… What’s not to like?

“Let’s take it back to straight hip hop and start it from scratch”, because Shady’s back.

Is Spotify more legal than free downloading?

I’ve never been an online-music-streaming kind of person. I am one of those geeks who would prefer to spend most of their money on an album rather than clothes, just because I sincerely believe that an artist’s work should somehow get recognised. Free downloading is obviously illegal and though some might find it conveniently useful to just obtain music without paying for it, actual people with actual jobs and actual tremendous effort put on every piece of music, are undervalued with just a click of a button. But what happens when downloading is not free?

Spotify is one of the biggest online music streaming services, which allows people to have access to a wide range of albums with the maximum subscription of ten pounds. In return, it promises to compensate artists for using their rights of intellectual property. However, as it turns out, a great number of artists is dissatisfied with the (under)payment and with the way this system works. One of them is Radiohead and Atoms for Peace front man Thom Yorke.

The singer has attacked Spotify several times in the past through his twitter account or in interviews and lately decided to remove all of his music from the service. This time he got really angry and stated that artists don’t need Spotify to get their work promoted, since they can do everything by themselves. In an interview with Mexican website Sopitas he stated: “I feel like as musicians we need to fight the Spotify thing.” And then, he addressed Spotify saying “We don’t need you to do it. No artist needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off”.

I couldn’t agree more. Sure, albums can be expensive, but music is not only art. It is also a job, just like many others and these artists are professionals who need to get paid in order to continue entertaining their audience. Besides that, what happened to being excited with a new release? What happened to communicating with the artist not only in concerts but through the cover of their album?

Music diffusion has changed in so many ways since Internet appeared in our lives. But to me, some things can and should stay traditional. No one has the right to undermine a person’s work by selling it for the lowest price possible; especially if they have no intention of paying the artist. If Spotify does not pay for copyright, then in what way does it differ from illegal free downloading? I know. In the way that Spotify somehow manages to make money out of it! Get some perspective, people. If you’re planning to be illegal, do it the old fashioned way, don’t pay these guys! Just saying…

When Justin Timberlake met Jimmy Fallon

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon - Season 4

J.T. and Fallon’s friendship dates back to 2002, when the comedian and T.V. host met the singer during the MTV VMAs. Just a year later, the duo started a very exciting professional collaboration. During Saturday Night Live, then hosted by Jimmy Fallon, they presented their first sketch, which was called The Barry Gibb Talk Show.

But the fun didn’t stop there. In 2009, Timberlake appeared in the premiere of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and keeps coming back ever since for all kinds of stand-up comedy stunts, a lot of singing tributes, as well as sarcastic sketches with lots of social media references. The History of Rap, The Ragtime Gals and the most recent Evolution of End Zone Dancing are some of my favourites.

Fallon’s comedian and vocal skills combined with Timberlake’s endless talent in any task that he decides to carry out, turn this pairing into an ingenious partnership!

Who’s up for some J.T. – Fallon moments?

Image property of hollywoodreporter.com

Throwback Thursday!

It’s still this day of the week when we are technically allowed to use our time machines!

Do you remember this one? Madonna performing live one of my favourite songs, for the MTV Europe Music Awards in 1998. So ’90s!!

Hanson’s Mmmhops beer sounds kind of ridiculous

mmmhops-hanson-beer

Gone are the days when pop was all over the radio and cheesy love songs found their way into teenagers’ hearts. Now Hanson has probably been replaced by Justin Bieber and the Backstreet Boys by One Direction.

But the brothers from Oklahoma have actually very much evolved their music since that very first MMMBop single. Their songs have become more meaningful and mature, in spite of the fact that they’re not that popular any more.

I’ve always admired Hanson for their low-key lifestyles – they’ve started their own families very young – and the fact that showbiz never “corrupted” them, even though they were only kids when they became famous.

However, I have to admit. Producing their own beer? And naming it Mmmhops? Ok, first things first. It’s already strange when celebrities produce food and it’s not like they are Brad and Angelina (whose wine idea I also found weird, by the way). But, on top of it, Mmmhops? It’s kind of funny really, but it definitely sits on the fence between funny-catchy and funny-ridiculous.

Maybe we should taste it in order to have a more established opinion, though. What do you think?