Daily Archives: September 16, 2010

Character in a Sea of Characters

In many ways, I can understand why some don’t think pop music is the way for David to grow musically.  If you paid any attention to MTV’s VMA Awards on Sunday (which I didn’t because, unlike the rest of the mainstream media, I know that it’s no longer relevant and that the core audience that made MTV what it once was – myself included in that generation – is now too old to be considered “youth culture”) you might get a glimpse of what is wrong with today’s pop music scene. Since I only tuned in after the fact (via You Tube) I can say I’m not impressed by the “watercooler” moments.

Now, there are some cool tunes that I’ve downloaded from some of our current pop stars (including Rhianna, Eminem, Lady Gaga, absolutely will not touch the Bieber – not when I still have the Archuleta to represent his generation), but the point, it seems, is not about music at all. It’s all about “character.”

By character, I certainly don’t mean the type that David represents: his old-school version of character is all about staying true to himself, maintaining his integrity, and representing his musical identity as sincerely as he can.

No.  The “character” that was reported on by the press had everything to do with performance and facade.  As in: who can make the biggest spectacle of themselves.  Is it Rhianna, donning a new red-haired weave, or Lady Gaga, dominating the music video scene with some real cutting-edge music video concepts, but all anyone can seem to talk about is her “meat” dress?

And let’s not forget that pathetic attempt by Taylor Swift to cast herself as an “innocent,” what with her replaying the Kanye moment from last year (YAWN!). 

Meanwhile, I actually dug her new song “Innocent,” but why spoil it by distracting us with hoopla instead of the music itself? 

If this is what pop music is mainly about (gimmicks and not how flat and insipid the electronic droning that passes itself off as “music” sounds), no wonder David is struggling for a place in it.  As much as I’m liking the new songs leaking from his upcoming album, I’m not overly thrilled by them.  I’m still waiting for The Voice to reassert itself admidst the din that is this autotuned, electronic sound nightmare. 

When can we get back to the triumphant domination of the vocal masters?  Because this current climate doesn’t give someone like David a chance.  I think it’s great that he’s trying out some pop music songs and dabbling in songwriting, but to me, David’s true character doesn’t seem to outshine this sea of “characters” overpopulating the pop music scene.

With all the noise, how can David quietly maintain his own sense of character?

Sometimes, when there is such a collection of junk, an appreciative audience emerges to herald the one authentic act that eschews pastiche for sincerity.  In a climate where a gifted pianist like Lady Gaga has to wear literal bra-burners (it isn’t that I don’t appreciate her over-the-top performances, but sometimes she tends to overplay her hand), must David adapt an over-the-top persona as well just to get a little attention?

I hope his quiet and understated ways will find its own niche.  Maybe it’s in pop music, but more likely, it would be nice if David took his marbles elsewhere and show us the way to a new, uncluttered playground.