I was watching a television special the other night called “For The Love Of Music: The Story of Nashville” all about the history of music in Nashville (it was pretty good, you should check it out). Country artist Eric Church was interviewed, and he made this statement:
“I think genres are dead. There’s good music, and there’s bad music.”
Whoa Eric Church. Pump the brakes. Genres aren’t dead! But then I started really thinking about it.
Genres are categories of forms of art based on form, style, or subject matter; some examples of musical genres are blues, jazz, hip hop, and of course, rock. There are about twenty popular music genres; in each genre there are five or ten subcategories, and then in those subcategories there are even more categories. I looked at the “electronic” genre on Wikipedia, and there were twenty subcategories, and so many sub-sub-categories (I think I might have just created a new word) in the subcategories that my eyes began to cross.
I find myself describing songs using all kinds of these categories…”synth/dream pop-infused indie folk/rock” or “retro-inspired rock” or “new wave/post-punk revival”…good grief. When I went to see the Killers at the Grand Ole Opry back in May, country music superstar Brad Paisley came out on stage and joined them for a song or two. Cheryl Crow and Kid Rock have started showing up on country radio. I’ve heard indie rock on easy-listening and mix stations, and indie-rock ensemble Bastille doing Miley Cyrus covers. Maybe Eric Church is onto something….maybe there is just good music and bad music these days. What do you think?