A Parallel Universe

So I’m riding the Eagle Bahn gondola and the twentysomethings are talking about Pandora and I ask them if they’ve tried Spotify radio yet.

Silence. They were dumbfounded. They pegged me for an old fart.

But after I did a bit of explaining we started talking music, what they listened to.

And it all came down to the electronic stuff.

But what impressed me most was they were on the cutting edge, stuff I’d only heard about days before from Strasburg in Aspen, like Avicii.

Oh, don’t get your bonafides in a twist. Don’t tell me you’ve been listening to Avicii for years…you’re a hipster, you get a badge, now fuck off.

My point is there’s an underground, an alternative universe, this is what the Internet has wrought.

Used to be word spread from the top down. The gatekeepers agreed and dropped the latest bomb upon us. And there was a limited amount of music and it was a controlled universe but now that’s all been blown to hell.

Credit e-mail, IM, BBM, Facebook, everybody’s networked now and the signal loses nothing as it passes from person to person, everybody’s in the know, everybody knows what’s hot.

Now everybody doesn’t know everything.

But music is the underlying pulse of the late teens and twentysomethings. To know what’s happening is equivalent to the boomers knowing the hot new restaurant. Even more so. THEY NEED TO KNOW!

Notice I’m leaving out the little girls and boys. The Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus taught us there’s no graduation. Those acts are here for a minute and gone, like comets. Those who eat up these Top Forty wonders are playing by the old rules and are diminishing in size.

But once you hit fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, like that old Beatles song, you start to think for yourself. Music isn’t an afterthought, but the main thought. And just like you don’t want to take advice from your dad, you don’t want to find music from the usual suspects. Terrestrial radio is taboo, you’re on your own adventure, with your like-minded brethren, there’s a generation gap.

We see this in so many walks of life, the Internet has created an alternative culture that the mainstream just cannot fathom. This is the story of Occupy Wall Street. The politicians thought people were ignorant, that they were happy with the ruling class. But this is untrue.

People are unhappy with mainstream, Top Forty music.

And you can no longer shove something down people’s throats and have it stick.

The public is in control.

People might pay attention for a minute, but if you want them to keep on paying attention, then you must be really damn good.

This is anathema to the old system.

It’s not about TV exposure. Late night TV plays give you nothing other than an online video, no one cares, kind of like the ratings-challenged programs themselves.

It’s not about fashion. The deejays are not fashion plates, nor do you have to be attractive, it’s a return to yore, to music.

These youngsters need to know what’s hip and go to the show. And in order to go to the show, for the scene to thrive, tickets must be cheap. Yes, electronic music is getting people to go again and again. This is not Live Nation getting its customers to overpay once a year to see classic rock bands or Rihanna, it’s a whole new scene.

1. The music.

2. The experience.

3. The price.

And it’s all spread by the users, the users are in control.

And when dealing with the users you must employ respect. You must apologize when you rip someone off and make it right. Today’s generation expects to tweet and get an instant response. Do you have a full time employee managing your Twitter feed? Is your CEO on Twitter? In the new world, everyone’s accessible. If you’re not accessible, you’re losing steam, getting stuck in the ice.

Accessibility. That’s how the word is spread. Through the hand-held. The wired world has given control to the proletariat.

Not only is it a whole new generation, it’s a whole new paradigm.

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