Genre Study - 6.5.2010

I wasn't going to put two of these so close together but I have been enraged anew by Gracenote's tomfoolery/cockfuckery.

Queried Album: David Bryne And Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Gracenote Genre: General Adult Alternative Rock
Wikipedia Genre: Folktronica, Gospel
My Genre: Electropop, New Wave
Fucking hell, will you just look at this shit? At least with Tom Waits the genre name suggested a general sound, vague and unrevealing as it was. Ignoring the baffling 'General' that got thrown in there we still have the 'Adult', which is meaningless even when used in its usual context of 'Adult Alternative'. The whole thing is some bullshit holdover of the concept that older people only listen to vapid easy listening tunes. We therefore label artists like Sarah McLaughlin or latter-day Alanis Morissette as 'adult alternative', ignoring the perfectly serviceable singer-songwriter label in the process.

It's pathetic! Are we still mired in this idea that our parents are listening to shit like Perry Como when that generation is the same one that saw rock & roll climb the charts? I think half the problem is this generation's collective ego in believing that the new trends of twee and contemporary R&B are somehow original, even though the former got kicked off in the 60s and the latter started in the early-70s. Even the current hipster fad can be traced back to the days when folk rock seemed new and exciting. Think carefully here; hipsters buy their clothes at VINTAGE/SECOND-HAND stores. Man, I wonder what that means!?

Besides, the synth-laden Everything That Happens is as far from 'Rock' as it is from 'Adult Alternative'. It's pretty clearly in the same domain as the electropop of Depeche Mode or the Pet Shop Boys. You could call it New Wave just as easily.

And why Wikipedia has chosen to call this album 'Gospel' is beyond me. Bryne and Eno may have taken gospel music as an inspiration for this album, but they did the same thing back on "Once In A Lifetime" and I don't see anyone calling that gospel music. And 'Folktronica'? The fuck does that even mean?

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