I'm not suggesting that there are no new innovations in rock and hip-hop, or any other category of music being produced these days. And one of the things I find exciting and refreshing about a lot of new music now being produced is the trend towards a willingness to explore all aspects of musical expression and a distinct lack of concern as to how the music will be categorized.
But there has not been a new style of music which can be considered "game changing" since those early rap records in the 70's. Now I'm wondering whether that's even possible in the context of current culture. Consumption is so accelerated, and attention spans are so contracted. Honestly, it's hard to imagine a new music style coming along that can ignite a mass market and have a long term (30+ years) arch. Is that no longer even possible?
Now it's all about short-term trends. Maybe that's just fine. If there's one trend that I hope will continue to blossom, it's one I touched upon in my previous post: using video to produce a long-form narrative in music, ideally in a performance setting. Most of my favorite Cedar concerts so far this season have had this element, the most recent being last Tuesday's great show by The Books. When this clip was posted on Pitchfork a few weeks back, I didn't realized that it represented how their entire performance was presented. It was a delightful set, leaving me wanting more of this kind of thing:
Maybe there will be no Next Big Thing in music, and we'll just have to settle for a series of Next Big Trends...