EDM's Five Greatest Delusions
Photo by George Martinez
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, playing the legendary rock journalist Lester Bangs in the film Almost Famous, once said the most brilliant thing about modern music.
"They're trying to buy respectability for a form that is gloriously and righteously dumb. The day it ceases to be dumb is the day it ceases to be real, and then it just becomes an industry of cool."
He then posited that the war is over; they won. The sad thing is, he's right, and if we update this to modern times, we need only replace "rock 'n' roll" with "EDM."
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Photo by George Martinez
Dance music in America has become so bloated and commercial, it's ceased to be the silly backbeat for drug use and underground escape that we all knew and loved.
It's mostly just silly noises and garbage lyrics strung together to resemble a feeling, but some would have you buy into the idea that EDM is a lofty enterprise that's greater than us all. To the people peddling this crap, though, it's not about making good music; it's about making money. And the poor kids who buy into their racket are straight delusional.
"We're Changing the World With This Music"
People seem to think there's a great togetherness unifying the human race because of the overwhelming commercial success of dance music. Last time we checked, "EDM" hadn't brought politicians any closer to shaking hands over the Great Aisle of America. The new Tiësto record won't #BringOurGirlsBack. All those plastic beads are destined (at best) for a landfill, never to biodegrade and certainly not to help fight against this recent national report on climate change. Y'all realize the world isn't just everyone on your college campus, but actually a collection of seven billion bumbling consciousnesses trying to eat, right? Things are bleak out there, and heading to TomorrowWorld is doing literally nothing to help your fellow man.
"EDM" doesn't even unify people within EDM. We hear lots of talk about how people who prefer other genres of music are "basic" or "pretentious" or "on drugs" or "boring" or "only like it because it's cool." Music blogs are quick to point out that "EDM" is a catchall term used by marketers to lure 15- to 23-year-old kids into spending hundreds of dollars on paint-by-numbers tunes "produced" by carefully manufactured personalities. Dance music has no political or social agenda beyond making you dance, so why all the self-importance?
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