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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"Music Can't Change World": Comment of the Moment

Here's a Comment of the Moment on Neil Young's recent observation that "Music Can't Change World" by Antony:
" Music, like books has never been able to change the world alone. A mass reaction and the unity of that in the celebration of music can and did.

At a time when the masses are for many reasons at their most politically indifferent, it is hard to disagree with Neil's comments.

There are few protest songs or politically motivated artists in these times. Why? My take is the absolute consumerism that consumes us as a force.

The majority of people are so wrapped up in their own desires to really care about others. That sounds like a very general statement to make, but only such thoughts provoke.

In terms of artists, the irony is that in an age when the distribution of ideology and music is at its most open; it is not being used for political or spiritual communication in the main.

This is in my belief proof that apathy and selfishness and greed and ego have replaced the desire to create art as a political statement.

In the consumerist and uber-capitalist world we now live in, the corporate machine governs, and the successive generations have fallen for it, hook line and sinker.

Musically, most new bands or artists I see today are a reflection of that society; one that desires fame, riches and worst of all 'celebrity' before artistic satisfaction.

The decline of the independent labels that Punk spawned has left us in a musical vacuum. As an internet pioneer, I have always believed that a new wave of music would spread the world, and once more music with a message would inspire people for change.

I still believe that, and have not lost hope that people via music, will create new communities with political agendas that will drive change.

Watch this space. Apathy is our worst enemy.

Love and Peace
Tony Meehan

More on the reaction to Neil's comment that "Music Can't Change World".


At 4/09/2008 12:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I the 1860's Charles Dickens saw his community and wrote a little book called "A Christmas Carol" and did indeed change his world.....children were saved, and folks who did not give the poor a second look, looked inside and saw the common connection between us can happen again, and words, sung or written, can lead us there..........imho!


At 4/09/2008 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats the biggest load of BS i've read in a long long time.

As a songwriter myself of a british band i believe that that statement is utter rubbish!

Funnily enough the majority of artists/musicians do what they do because of the art/music. Why does a musician have to be some kind of speaker for the people. If someone wants to make political statements then get into politics or is it essential to have this link between art and politics? Just because in the 60's there was a crossover doesn't mean we must have it now to be a relevant musician, time has proven that the 60's hippy movement did nothing to change the world because strangely enough there have been a few quarrles since!! Get over it!

At 4/09/2008 04:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude they stopped a war and got the civil rights movement into the nat'l consciousness. I dont call that nothing.

At 4/11/2008 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this is uber-pretentiousness at it's finest. Apathy is apathy, and there was always apathy. (Remember the "silent majority"?) Apathy dissolved with the draft -- young men sent off to fight for a war that they did not believe in. Nothing better as an incumbator of unrest than blatant social upheaval -- and 59,000 deaths. Should we be fired up about torture? You bet. Should we care about this misguided war? Absolutely. However, the puppeteers have carefully refrained from inciting the general population beyond mild discomfort (tax breaks during war time!) So, music can make us reflect, for a minute or two, then we can switch to American Idol and get on with the banalities of life. We have afforded such juxtapositions. But we ain't getting off cheap - the true upheaval is yet to occur - payments will be due in a larger societal way and when it does, the levee's gonna break and music like Neil's will seem more prescient than ever. (Does anyone else feel that the songs Mideast Vacation and Long Walk Home were slightly aahead of their time??) Stay tuned.

At 8/09/2008 07:47:00 PM, Blogger UPSearch said...

Music has been the driving force behind popular culture for most of recent history.

Popular culture is a reflection of, and speaks for its society in that time.

The music of a time at a general level, clearly reflects the consciousness of a society at that given moment.

Im interested to hear what anyone thinks todays music says about this time, and its popular culture.


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