Most Popular Act In 2010s

Radio Potatoe came up with a great post.

What is YOUR definitive artist for each decade?

My selection was :

Here’s my list :
60’s : beatles
70’s Led Zepp & P. Floyd
80’s : Bon Jovi & Prince
90’s : Nirvana
00’s : Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.

I have to add to the 00’s the band White Stripes. I have no idea why I left them out of the equation. But the authour of the post also asked who would shine in 2010’s and that has been at the back of mind for a few days now. What will be the definitive band of the 2010’s?

The problem stems from the fact that popular bands in today’s music scene are not necessarily ”good” bands. Honestly, I have never been so out of touch the US or UK top 10 because the music on these charts is just bad. I am sorry there is no other word for it. The music being pumped out by the millions is hard to digest and with the focus on singles rather than albums, it is more or less guaranteed that the rest of the songs in the album are going to suck.

It is fair to say that since the music industry is pushing bands that have a shelf life of 10 weeks, there is going to be no big and a famous band in the 2010’s. The established ones will continue to shine but I think the era of big bands coming out of nowhere and storming the hearts of the audiences and critics alike is over. We the avid music listeners will have to contend with the theory of The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.

The Long Tail or long tail is a retailing concept describing the niche strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities – usually in addition to selling fewer popular items in large quantities.

My theory is based on The Long Tail where by the popular bands will continue to sell big for a few months or years and then disappear but there will always be bands which would be supported by a smaller but an avid following.

Bands like Sonic Youth has a small but a passionate following that ensures that this 25 year old band continues to perform and make records, bands like Tokyo Police Club have sold out shows regularly in Toronto even though they do not feature prominently on popular music scene outside alternative music. Bands like Blue Rodeo which is unknown outside Canada but are treated as gods in their home land and thousands of other bands.

The idea that music industry controls what we listen to is over. It’s us the audience that decides which band to listen to and support. Since we the audience have discerning tastes, we will never ever settle for one band as THE BAND of the decade. That is downright impossible.

Update : And as far as I know these small time bands do pretty good for themselves through shows and merchandising and are passionate about their music and their fans. As long as they keep making excellent music, we will continue supporting them. And some of them will end up on our Band Of The Decade Lists!

2 thoughts on “Most Popular Act In 2010s

  1. Allison Rizk February 26, 2010 / 10:47 pm

    Hey Desi,

    I gratuitously thank you for being inspired by my article. While I agree that the music industry has changed sooo much that there’s almost a deluge of music to have one stand out, I still think the mainstream culture will continue.

    For instance, even though Kings of Leon has been around forever and has/had a legion of loyal followers, to the mainstream, they truly exploded out of nowhere. KOL was refreshing to see the underground have more of a mainstream ear…but I also think that people like you and me will always gravitate towards the talented artist that is just coming up. Our ears crave fresh sounds.

    As for what will come in the 10’s? No idea. But I bet it will be distinctively ours come 2020. And that’s worth waiting for. ;-)

    Thanks again!

  2. agsharma March 1, 2010 / 8:55 pm

    ok…we will resume this conversation in 2020!!! Who do you have your eyes on these days? I mean, musically speaking, of course!!

    Me, I am keeping my hopes on Canadian super star in the making, if only a few more people would listen to them!! – The pink Mountaintops!! Best band of 2009.

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