I listen to music because I like it. There are many components to a song that can make or break it. The overall tone and feel, the lyrics, the vocalists (or lack thereof), and the instruments used. Often put together, these elements are put together to form an opinion, to laugh or cry, to tell a story or for any reason that someone decided to sing on that given day.
This is what makes music enjoyable. Oftentimes, while I read over a number of music blogs around the internet, I'd read a lot about music and from there, I could get a sense of what a reviewer was like, how they approached music. Through this entire community that has come online, I came to despise the indie crowd.
There's no one reviewer or blog that I can really point to, and this certainly isn't a universal trait, but as a collective group, the entire group is shallow, vain and superficial, and while their tastes in music are generally good, the arrogance here is palpable.
This community is characterized in popular culture with movies such as Juno and albums like ; products that utilize overly quirky characters and mannerisms, big words out of the normal vocabulary in an attempt to seem far more intelligent than they really are.
There's a hypocritical nature to this. Through my time blogging music, I came across some of the most ridiculous arguments against various artists. Band X sucks because they've signed onto a major record label. They've turned their back on their fans by changing their sound. These guys sold out because they sold their song to a television show, commercial or film. The people who make these arguments miss the entire reason for why musicians go before audiences. Before the love of music or the art of the craft, musicians work. This is their livelihood.
The notion of a community where the art flows free, and the artists are able to pursue their art through any means is a nice one, but it is both misguided and simplistic. The art world is a business world, and while the album market has taken a hit with something like 40 billion illegal downloads in the past year, it still is, and will continue to be, a profitable one because they have a product that is universal: Music.
The internet is becoming an increasingly important element of the music industry. Music distribution through online vendors has become a huge market, giving people an unprecedented new way to listen to, distribute and enjoy an ever increasing number singers and songwriters. But, after all that is said and done, it is still essentially the same thing, a product.
So, listen to music because you enjoy it. Not because it's cool to be seen listening to.