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As years pass, the alternative music culture and community changes gradually—as one would expect—particularly in the way they consume, embrace and respond to the music and artists of the day. The baby boomers (born sometime between 1946-1964) went through the free love and peace-type protests against traditional values. Generation X (1965-1980) went through a fast spurt of technological growth and a pattern of marrying late. And millennials (1981-2000) went through the rise of internet usage for socializing, along with great pressure from the older generations to commit to education rather than their drive of individualism. As for Gen Z and the 2010s? It’s no different. Below are some of our observations.
Accountability for actions
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Abusers, who are not worthy of being mentioned by name, are being held accountable more than ever. Musicians seem to be under a new microscope and, if they fall out of line, can be called out on what they’ve done. A quick Google search can yield a plethora of instances where people have stood up for their fellow human to make a difference. When an acoustic act sends explicit images to minors, they get called out on it; when a YouTuber wants sexual videos from fans to prove their worth to him, people come forth to save others; when a singer sees a fan getting groped, they mention it to authorities or address the whole crowd. At the very least, the immoral people are being set as an example because the digital age has given us faster avenues of communication that can build a safer security net. Young music fans are learning the most, prone to mistakes, the most vulnerable, and the group that needs the most protection.
What should and shouldn’t be said
On another moral note, “political correctness” is a term that quickly breeds diverging viewpoints. At the head of the topic, we have a band like MAKEOUT, a group that deliberately went for a shock factor to get a point across about a breakup. Lyrics for the track “Secrets” consist of lines like “You blew it with your bullshit, you fucking whore,” “I stayed awake watching porn on my iPhone” and “Go choke on a hotdog from 7-11.” Unapologetically crossing lines, “Secrets” prides itself on creating a purposeful over-the-top atmosphere. The mastermind idea falls short in its overarching point, though, and comes off as a random spat of backward instability. For example, the track uses the word “whore” in a negative connotation, referencing someone who has sex often, yet watches porn a few lines later.
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Crude-humored punk group the Dickies ran into controversy at the Denver Warped Tour date a few months ago. When an advocate from Safer Scenes held up a sign reading, “Teen girls deserve respect, not gross jokes from disgusting old men! Punk shouldn’t be predatory,” Dickies Leonard Grave Phillips went on a tirade. The frontman from the four-decade old band didn’t take the criticism lightly, saying some pretty nasty things to the woman in the crowd. Offspring guitarist Noodles tweeted about misogyny being possibly worse than ever in reference to the scenario, while Jesse Hughes of Eagles Of Death Metal supported the right to offend.
— Netflix Origanal (@thechubbywubby) June 26, 2017
Who would've thought that, in 2017, The Dickies would become “The Most Dangerous Band In America?” I'd like to congratulate The Dickies on finally achieving this great honor and distinction. Though they've long been one of my favorite bands I never thought of them as dangerous. Sure they play loud and fast but they're also so goddamn melodic and fun. I honestly don't see how anyone could seriously take offense from anything they do or say. Perhaps that just makes this achievement all the more important, so congratulations to The Dickies, and thank you for your years of service to the punk rock cause. I'd also like to thank the passive-aggressive idiot, or idiots, who precipitated this event by protesting a joke, from the side of the slam pit, at a punk rock show. It takes some real guts (or is it idiocy?) to demand a “safe space” where nobody really wants or expects one to be, even though it really is a pretty goddamn safe place to begin with. I am also looking forward to seeing The Dickies tomorrow night with @vandalsofficial , @wellhungheart and @guttermouthofficial because fuck you, kiss my ass, blow me, blow me, blow me, you fat fucking cunts and assholes. Sincerely, Noodles
The Dickies forever !!!!the Dickies for all time!!!! long live freedom of speech and long live the notion that rock 'n' roll is about saying whatever the fuck you want!!!!!! Especially if it's offensive to people Who are weak cowardly and can't stand for anyone else to be free !!!!sticks and stones, my friends,sticks and stones!!!….., and PS a safe zone is a place that exists in your home not at the place you voluntarily drive to and walk into and sit in an audience of that exists in a public place….. maybe the people that don't like the Dickies can start a Gofundme for a good old fashioned “offensive” book bonfire!!!! Or maybe the enemies of free speech can start a Gofuckyourselffund campaign !!!I think we could raise money for that!!!! The enemies of free speech must be stopped at all costs!!!! Does anyone remember Lenny Bruce….. if Jim Morrison's obscenity arrest in Florida had taken place today I wonder how many members of the crowd would've cheered for the police…. and I don't know if anyone knows this about rock 'n' roll but it's been sexualized from the get go i.e. the words rock and roll…. or maybe the fact that every fucking rock 'n' roll song is either about butt fucking or having sex with a 16 or 17-year-old. allow me to quote the Beatles “she was just 17″….. or l”Ringo Starr “she 16 she's beautiful and she's mine”,…. or how about Willie Dixon “I'm your back door man The men don't know but the little girls they understand”. Or Bill Haley and the comets “I'm like a one eyed cat peeping in the seafood store”..,or Beyoncé's “naughty girl”….. and for anyone who is curious as to whether or not Rock'n'Roll has got something to do with penises in general just listen to grace Jones's “pull up to the bumper” or open up the cover to the Steppenwolf album entitled ” for ladies only” or listen to basically any of the fucking lyrics to any PJ Harvey song….(but if you talk to your psychiatrist he'll tell you that everything has to do with penises from skyscrapers to the cover of Disney's “little mermaid”) what would happen if we tried to remake Fast Times at Ridgemont High today. we could call it “Safe times or else”!! #thedickies
On a similar wavelength, Trevor Wentworth of Our Last Night recently got flak for tweeting a Twitter poll on whether or not he, a white male from New Hampshire, could say the N-word in a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.”—and then was quick to call out people's “insensitive” responses. Other musicians in the scene and fans were quickly split on which side of the argument they were on. Skyler Acord from Issues and Cameron Boucher from Sorority Noise were quick to condemn the post, whereas Telle Smith from the Word Alive debated and defended his own use of the word in his cover of Kanye West’s “Mercy.” The Kendrick YouTube cover ended up opting out of the usage of the word from Wentworth, but the scenario begged the question: Is this a sign of the state of the current political climate of offensiveness not mattering at first?
Relentless social media and how we use it
Any sharp-eyed person who has used social media for years can see the ebb and flow of how people react to any posts they view. As overall numbers of social media users increase, there has been a cutthroat trend of people being more critical. According to the companies Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are 3 billion users throughout the world, a staggering amount given that the population of Earth was 7.5 billion at the time of the estimate. Major response sections of sites like Facebook or Twitter are riddled with arguments. People will listen to a whole song, read a whole article, watch a whole video, or even pre-judge an article based on a headline and point out only a negative subjective thought for seemingly no reason. There’s a reason for everything, though, so maybe this tackles the idea of someone having the internal fear of not being important or heard. Empathy is both a way to see why someone said the thing they said, and a way to see why the content-provider/sharer provided the thing they did in the manner they chose.
The music itself: Evolve or die
The music itself is seeing its own set of challenges. For a music scene to survive, it has to adapt and stay relevant. It has to constantly sound fresher, catchier, cleaner and better, or listeners won't buy into it and just go somewhere else. In the boundaries of a saturated field of bands, you usually see groups going for sonic nostalgia or attempting to be come off as a personality that younger demographics would like. A band like Neck Deep is successful because they go for that clear-cut Blink-182, summer vibe. At the same time, we have bands like Paramore changing and going down the road less traveled when it comes to their genre categorization but still remaining colorfully playful. Our niche of the music industry prides itself on who it is, and that probably won't ever change. People still take pride in listening to bands most people have never heard of, being able to express bottled up feelings and creating friendships where everybody can have a good time. At the heart of it all, music is something we are passionate about and can create positive change with, so let’s all focus on the bigger picture when we can.