I’ll be honest, I’m snobby when it comes to my music choices; I have no shame about this fact, especially since I believe it’s my job as a music journalist and reviewer to be a filter for you, beloved readers, to weed through the noise that’s prevalent in today’s sonic landscape. Like a persistent mollusk in a sea of music. Just go with it.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that part of me bristles when bands I hold near and dear succumb to the enticement of the commercial apparatus, signing with major-esque labels, and hiring expensive publicists that drive and perpetrate the promotional machine. Frequently, the process causes us as listeners to become lazy, and we allow ourselves to be spoon-fed by the corporate movement which tells us what we should enjoy. On the other hand, some of the bands I hold near and dear I would not have discovered had it not been for labels and publicists reaching out to me to place those artists in my atmosphere. While the jury is still out regarding my opinions on this issue, there is one soul out there who has thrust his flag into the ground and has decided to stake his claim: the pioneer is a Toronto-based writer who goes by the name Lonely Vagabond, and he calls his movement No Pop.
No Pop is short for Not Popular—meaning anti-commercial and non-chart-friendly, inferring there is no expiration date on music, nor is it limited by geographic or regional boundaries. “Basically it’s rooted in the attitude that people should search for the music that moves them, away from the corporate machine and towards artists who haven’t lost their capacity to be creative, experimental or boundary-pushing,” explains Lonely Vagabond. “Music genres are no longer the dividing line…it’s now commercially-driven and non commercially-driven. But we must redefine what non-mainstream is as it relates to today’s social media age. It’s not just regional scenes and independent artists, it’s also music from the past. Everyone wants instant gratification…music from the past has been forgotten,” he continues. “This is what No Pop is all about, the general aim is to focus on regional artists and bands, artists who remain on the periphery of the mainstream, and the archive of music that is readily available.”
“It’s time for a radical re-think,” he adds. “To win the war against bad music, you have to start one.” Are you ready for it?
[Check out Lonely Vagabond at twitter.com/LonelyVagabond]