Friday, 18 November 2011

Music, television and hyper-capitalism



"Viacom's property MTV has led this charge since inception in the 1980s, an identity-making machine which, although providing plenty of sounds and images offensive to the older generation, never operated as an organ for social upheaval as much as it acted as a non-stop advertising engine. Even during the 1990s wave of 'alternative' music led by Nirvana et al. the more activist, subversive opinions and statements of the musicians were reduced to clever asides, making the musicians seem like one-dimensional eccentrics with no real cohesive message or plan: 1990s 'alternative' music was, in many ways, as much of media distraction and pre-fabrication as The Monkees and other 'made-for-TV-hippies' were in the 1960s. More recently, MTV began offering its viewers a more brazen image of conspicuous consumption as the royal road to happiness. The 21st century's cast of MTV music stars have doubled as 'one-man brands' promoting hyper-capitalism – were once these artists existed solely to sell recorded music, they now exist to sell any item which can comfortably acommodate a logo."

Microbionic: Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st Century
Thomas Bey William Bailey

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