For those operating in the world of tabloid journalism, the last few weeks in the world of music have been manna from heaven. Seldom have so many pop stars slide into the world of disaster at the same time – from Amy and her drug dabbling, Cheryl and her errant husband (pop and football – result) and Britney and, well, everything. It’s been a field day of salacious headlines, sneaky videos, paparazzi pics and bullshit moralising from editors who condemn on one hand while counting watching their readership figures tick over. Should we care? Surely this is just the pop publicity machine getting its just desserts?
Well possibly, but the basic human angle aside – and the shots of Spears slumped desolately on the kerb are heartbreaking, pure and simple – so what if it is just only -pop music’? Pop has been what has made music so essential for fifty years now, has been the lifeblood of the art form. Yes it can be disposable, manufactured and often rubbish but at its best it is beautiful, inspiring and timeless.
Take a step back and everything merges into one anyway – the Beatles, the Stones, Sex Pistols, Human League, Blur, Spice Girls and Arctic Monkeys; all just a (pop) band. If ‘Umbrella‘, ‘Call The Shots‘, ‘Wannabe‘ and the rest haven’t made your life better then you’re either a liar, a fool or a Pitchfork reader.
Music matters and it deserves better than to be relegated to nothing more than cheap titillation and a way to sell papers and magazines. Luckily the Irish media don’t really have any proper pop stars to get excited about (one of today’s papers has a front page story about some girl off –You’re A Star‘ and her “club catfight”) but it doesn’t stop them jumping on the bandwagon with the international stars.
You can write about this kind of music without checking your brain cells in at the door and the readers can demonstrate that they are capable of thinking about things in a different way. It’s up to all of us to make stand.