The incomparable Henry Rollins summed it up more eloquently than we could:
I think musick is alive and well: doing really great for a lot of reasons, one of which is the internet. So many bands who do not hold up FM radio, ClearChannel, or MTV or MusicPlus or whatever you all have going here: they hold none of that in any esteem whatsoever. I buy records from bands on a regular basis [that] only make CDRs. They can’t be bothered. They’re like, “We’re only making 25 of this one.”
“What happens when those 25’s over?”
“Borrow it and copy it. Put it on the internet. Give it away, we’re making another record.” A lot of those noise bands they’re like, “You know, we made a cassette. You have to borrow it from him.”
“That’s the new album?”
“That’s the new album. It’s at his house. We’re doing a tour of basements. We’re playing basement parties. That’s our whole national tour.”
We’re like, “Hey, don’t you want to be in this magazine?”
“No! Are you kidding? Be in Rolling Stone? How lame!”
They’re running away from that. Which is giving the major labels worry, iTunes worry, FM worry. And let them be stuck with their Nickelbacks and their Rascal Flatts. Fuck, you can have them. And, uh, …to see greasy stoners crawling amidst ruined equipment making for a show, making all this savage noise when there’s like 8 people watching.
This to me is kind of the future of musick because the stadiums and your U2s and all of that, that to me is the death knell of musick. That is musick that is now packaged in a can: it comes shrink-wrapped behind bulletproof plastic like an Oscar Mayer weiner and it has that much impact. And so a lot of musick now sounds like it was made in a computer, it’s all solid state, digitally enhanced midrange. It doesn’t… no one sweated, no one love it enough— the musick is unloved. And that’s what a lot of musick sounds like to me, it’s like unloved corporate musick.
And so, musick is going to be fine. Right now, the rubber has met the road and the fat is off the land. These are people dealing with rudimentary gear, next to no budget. So it’s only the innovative ones who kind of really made a statement. Like you want to put posters of these people up on your wall like you’ve got Hendrix up there.