Has this ever happened to you? You are trying to get in touch with a friend, which, these days, doesn’t involve a phone call or a letter. Maybe you are going to go old school and send an email, instead of a text.
“Hey man, we are heading out to 151 for a few nights—the usual place. We will be BBQin, playing horseshoes, the whole bit. Do you think you can make it?”
They reply, “cool.”
As Chuck Noise recently pointed out, our communication window is quickly shrinking. We all know this, but that is not what I am here to discuss. What I am wondering is how far will the spill off from this cultural shift towards brevity go? In particular, how might it affect music in its various forms?
But in most respects it was merely a mobile stereo, other than the fact that I was now isolating myself from the rest of the world. But, then again, it did help “the voices.”
In recent times, our options have increased. Music videos in some respects mixed our stereos with live performances. Now online services, such as U-tube, put a myriad of options at our fingertips 24/7, and as Tony Ballz is so happy to point out, it’s free! Still, this begs the question as to how, or if, this current trend of ADD-driven sound bites will effect music. How many times has someone posted a music video link in your email or Facebook page? Do you look at it, and if you do, do you bother to watch the whole thing?
“Come on man, that video was almost three minutes long, I don’t have time for that.”
Thanks to the punk movement, the eighties saw the invention of the incredibly shrinking song. Where the rock dinosaurs thought bigger was better, punkers could get a whole song belted out before Keith Moon could dig his drumsticks out of the woofer. In 1983 Poison Idea put out the album, Pick Your King. It has thirteen songs and is less than sixteen minutes long. Now, it seems the current trend in punk is for longer dirge songs, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Will some of the newer modern bands, which have members that grew up on text messages and My Space, create a new style of mini-music? Five years from now, will we be hearing mega short sound bite songs? Just like the little twenty second diddies that I can check out on my cell phone or blast from my Face Book page and then quickly move on.org. In an age where no one has the attention span to even bother to call a friend, when text messages will do, will music also tread down this Twittered path? On a related example, this post was originally the length of War and Peace, until Winslow got a hold of it.
I could be way off on this, but if you are listening to your middle school daughter hum some half minute tune, a few years from now, remember you heard it hear first.
- Problems on the double,
- Try to burst my bubble
- Chaos all around
- Feet never touch the ground
- (4 second guitar solo)
- I don’t know why
- Fingers to the sky
- I might as well try
- Before I flippin die.
“Sorry Mr. Bone, but that song is a little longer than what we are looking for. If you can trim it down to half that size, maybe we could work out a deal.”