January 4, 2022

Collapse of new pop music: Year-end charts dominated by previous years, as American empire enters decline geopolitically as well as culturally

A post from April last year noted that the "contemporary hit" radio stations were not playing much music from the current year, despite that being the sole raison d'etre of that radio format. If you wanted oldies, you would tune in to an oldies station -- not contemporary hits radio. In the comments, I left updates every few months noting the same pattern throughout the year.

As of 2021, there is no such thing as "contemporary" hits -- it's just 2020 and before, with only a handful of current-year songs that are quickly retired for good after a few weeks in rotation. If you listen to the music played in public spaces, it is also from 2020 at the latest, and generally the 2010s or earlier.

Even the libtards who control the music distribution industry are desperate to pretend that the entire Biden usurper interregnum is simply not happening, and we'll just make believe that, culturally at least, it's no later than the Trump era, whether you liked or hated it politically. That's why one of the few songs from 2021 that was allowed to go into heavy play throughout all of last year was "Driver's License" -- *the* breakout song of the year -- since it was released in early January, before the Biden usurper admin took office, and therefore technically a Trump-era song.

As teetering-on-the-brink as the climate and the culture were during Trump's term, it had not yet plunged into full-on irreparable collapse. That switch was only triggered once Biden took office, as most clearly signaled by the soaring inflation.

Aside from monitoring the contempo hit radio station playlists, now we have further confirmation of the collapse of the music industry in 2021 -- the Billboard year-end charts. Of the entries in the Hot 100 chart, merely 42 were released in 2021, a clear minority. Meanwhile, 51 were released in 2020, along with 4 from 2019, 1 way back in 2017, plus 2 Christmas revivals (from '94 and '58 originally).

It is normal for a handful of songs to carry over from the previous year, especially if they were released at the end of the previous year. But not a solid majority. And these were not just released at the tail-end of 2020, but all throughout 2020.

The only other year I know of where a majority of the year-end chart was songs from the previous year is 1985, whose charts were dominated by songs from 1984, as discussed here. I haven't done a fine-grained study of other years, but I've looked over these charts for over a decade, and no other year really jumps out as having been dominated by last year's songs.

At any rate, is the 2021 chart explainable like the 1985 chart is? No. First of all, there was a phase-change in the 15-year cultural excitement cycle in 1985, as the cycle switched from the manic phase of '80-'84 to the vulnerable phase of '85-'89. This is not just any old gear-shifting, but shifting from an invincible high to a crashing hangover. This was the difference between the New Wave half of the '80s and the slow & soft half of the '80s -- no contest.

But during the move from 2020 to '21, there was no phase-change, as both years are part of the restless warm-up phase of the cycle. And unlike the New Wave '80s, nobody is going to point to the songs from 2020 as some kind of recent peak in musical awesomeness, inevitably bound to overshadow whatever followed after them.

Also, in 1985 the contempo hit radio stations were in fact playing lots of that year's new releases, throughout the year, whereas in 2021 those stations play a few recent releases and then retire them immediately. The new releases of '85 lasted into the rest of the late '80s zeitgeist, whereas the new releases from '21 do not even last through '21, let alone the rest of the early 2020s.

* * *


There will be a few exceptions, like "Driver's License" and perhaps Olivia Rodrigo in general, but that is it. She is the very last dying breath of the moribund American empire's musical culture. The kind of wild and enduring cultural innovation that we saw in previous decades only comes from a people who are high in national cohesion (asabiya, or collective action potential), as they are fashioning their own group identity (ethnogenesis). The kind that could propel them into an expanding empire.

Now that the American empire is in clear terminal decline, the other things that stem from our formerly high levels of asabiya will also enter terminal decline. And nowhere is that more obvious than in music. The movie industry has been reduced to remakes and reboots, but at least those unoriginal new entries do something at the box office. New songs are not getting played and listened to, if they are getting made at all.

This dovetails with the national fragmentation and people not wanting to be part of a single, shared national culture. The days when Katy Perry and Taylor Swift united fans from both political parties are long gone, though it was only less than a decade ago. That's just another aspect of our asabiya stagnating for awhile, and has now begun plummeting off a cliff.

When was the last you ever heard of Babylonian scientific and artistic accomplishments? Don't get too smug -- that's going to be America's story in a few hundred years.

By the way, this is also why our national culture is more influenced by foreign peoples, who happen to lie within our geopolitical sphere of influence -- especially South Korea (K-Pop, and BTS specifically on the Billboard charts), and Japan (anime, video games, VTubers, e-girl fashion, etc.). We're running on fumes here in the imperial core -- anyone else out there in the Pentagon-occupied sphere got anything we can borrow for a quick fix of novelty?

Not to get all sacrilegious by comparing Christianity to anime and Nintendo, but it's not terribly different from the cultural influence of the Levant on Western Europe, as Jesus-following missionaries from the Roman-occupied Near East spread the gospel to the Roman-occupied regions of Europe, including the imperial core around Rome itself (but not the pagan north Germanic or Baltic tribes, who were unoccupied by Rome).

Of course, that extra-national cultural influence only began once the Roman Empire had entered terminal decline, during its Crisis of the Third Century. Hardly anyone in Roman Europe became a Jesus-follower during the Empire's peak and later stagnation periods of the 1st and 2nd centuries. However, once Roman literature began collapsing, at the same time the empire itself did, well, anyone out there on the periphery got anything we can borrow to fill the void?

* * *


Last year I showed that the popularity of rap music is a mirage, and that someone somewhere is cooking the books, tweaking formulas, or playing / downloading songs that no one is actually listening to from that genre. This was done over the course of the woke 2010s to boost representation of African-American culture in the national-level statistics and metrics -- but not the actual culture that actual Americans actually consume, just a bunch of white lies in a data spreadsheet. This was a symbolic fig-leaf to a neglected Democrat coalition group, rather than do anything for them materially.

"Digital song sales" is a far more reliable Billboard chart now, since it only measures the number of paid downloads for a song. The "faux representation" book-cookers have an infinite number of ways to tweak the formulas for the Hot 100 chart (which takes into account paid downloads, radio airplay, and streaming of various types).

And yet, even this illusory genre's hits in the 2021 year-end charts fit the same overall pattern, with loads of them having been released in 2020, including two of the highest entries -- "Go Crazy" by Chris Brown & Young Thug, and "What You Know Bout Love" by Pop Smoke. These songs reached #19 and #22 on the Hot 100 chart, despite not breaking into the top 75 Digital Song Sales chart, and neither hit #1 on the weekly Hot 100 chart.

Meanwhile, "Easy on Me" by superstar Adele, a new release in 2021, did not make it onto the Hot 100 year-end chart at all, despite being #1 on the weekly Hot 100 chart for fully 7 weeks (not to mention dominating multiple other weekly charts), and landing in the top 30 of the Digital Song Sales year-end chart, and her YouTube videos alone having reached into the hundreds of millions of views.

This kind of flagrant fakeness is the result of transforming the Hot 100 chart into the NYU admissions office of the music industry, where objective merit counts for little, and it's all about woke representation and reflection of Democrat party demographics (*not* the demographics of "society" as a whole, or else there would be a fake boost to country songs as well as rap). If you want to see how the songs scored on the music industry's SAT, go to the Digital Song Sales chart, or consult the contempo hit stations' "recently played" lists.

39 comments:

  1. The collapse of the symbolic sectors shows this isn't purely material, as though related to COVID or its shutdowns, supply chain crippling, etc.

    The shutdowns and panic were WAY worse in '20, and opened up relatively more in '21. Yet it's '20 rather than '21 that has all these songs still on the airwaves, on the charts, and so on.

    Mass media / entertainment are not labor-intensive -- a few people make it, and it gets copied and distributed without much labor (automated disc-printing presses in the old days, digital streaming these days). So they wouldn't be subject to COVID clampdowns anyway.

    Similar to the collapse of original works in the movie industry -- that began after the 2008 depression. But it has nothing to do with labor woes, since they are also not labor-intensive. And as symbolic Democrat sectors, they got bailed out all decade long with QE. So it wasn't for lack of funding that they couldn't do good creative work.

    American culture-creators are simply out of juice, and it never comes back once imperial decline gets going. Generations of culture-creators, interacting with their mass audiences who adopted or rejected what was offered to them, shaped American ethnogenesis, and that process is now complete.

    We may not be an empire for much longer, but we will still have a feeling of being Americans, and that won't change. It just won't be getting any updates to the checklist of qualifying as American.

    You never felt like playing the specific song "I Want You To Want Me" at some point in your life when you had a crush on someone? Sorry, ur not an American. In some other culture, it's some other song from their culture. Or maybe it's an old folksong. But here in America? You have to check that box, or you de facto aren't one of us citizens.

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  2. Not to get all sacrilegious by comparing the New Testament to American rock music, but think about the parallels to the construction of the Christian identity. At one point early on, there was no New Testament, no canon, no agreed-upon series of creeds. It wasn't formless or random -- just that the wrinkles hadn't been worked out.

    So, were those early followers of Jesus "actual" Christians, if they didn't adhere to the principles that only later on came to define actual Christianity? Depending on how far they departed, they may have been treated as part of a proto-Christianity, like Peter and James (Jesus' brother) and their crew in Jerusalem insisting on Jesus for the Jews, against Paul from Damascus insisting on Jesus for the Gentiles. Further departures, like Marcion, would've gotten branded as heretics and expelled from the Jesus-followers.

    Were our pilgrims "actual" Americans -- most / all of the early generation weren't born here. They had yet to face off against the Indians, let alone expand westward, let alone face the Soviet Union, etc. They were British colonists in America, not Americans -- but the start of American ethnogenesis, so maybe proto-Americans.

    Over the next several hundred years, and you can see it already, our music will be used to identify who does and does not belong to the group called Americans. Well, what about FDR? He died before rock music was even born. We'll probably settle on him being a 95% American, albeit as American as he could've been for his time, as American ethnogenesis was not complete by the time he died.

    As future cultural creation grinds to a halt, there will be no more "as American as he could've been for his time period" qualifiers, since the process of innovation and refinement of American identity will have ended. You were born decades after Cheap Trick was all over the radio, defining (in some small way) life for Americans ever after. So what's *your* excuse for never playing "I Want You To Want Me" at some point in your life?

    Just as we are going into terminal collapse, as the Romans did during the Third Century, we will also come back together partially later on, albeit not on an imperial scale, and in fragmented states held over from the earlier empire.

    We will someday get back to a shared, single American culture, and it may even enjoy a brief revival, as Roman identity did under Diocletian and Constantine, after the Crisis of the 3rd C. was over. But it will fragment along sub-imperial lines after that, and we won't be adding a whole lot new to our membership checklist after 2020.

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  3. This explains the popularity of the "black guy reacts to white content" format on YouTube. E.g., black guy reacts to hearing the Beatles for the first time, or Beethoven, or Clueless, or whatever it is.

    The dumb right-wing take is that white liberals worship blacks, and due to looking up to them as superiors, long for their validation of the lowly base white culture that the liberal whites consume (Taylor Swift, Twilight, whatever).

    So then when the black guy reacts like, "Y'know, I can see why you white folx like that song "Creep" by Radiohead -- pretty good stuff!" it's supposed to be white liberals breathing a sigh of relief that their moral / cultural superiors have given their stamp of approval to white-folx culture.

    I see it the other way around: white liberals are highly aware that blacks are more prone to crime, more homophobic (based, but not for white libs, of course), more religious and superstitious, and listen to a genre of music that white libs can at best pretend to enjoy (rap). So they don't actually look to blacks for validation -- they see blacks as a lower group, albeit one who is still deserving of equal civil rights, protection, patronage through the Democrat party, and so on and so forth.

    It's no secret that white libs are just patronizing toward blacks, at this point, whether or not blacks themselves care as long as they're securing the bag through white lib sponsorship.

    So, I see it more as white libs rejoicing after "I genuinely do not know" levels of uncertainty, about whether blacks and their descendants will be viewed and treated as actual Americans in the coming decades and centuries. How many blacks will play "I Want You To Want Me" at some point in their lives? Oh no! No, wait! We just *have* to instill in blacks an appreciation for that song, and the rest of the canon, or else they'll be treated as foreigners!

    That's where the white lib Boomer gets their messianic fervor about passing on American pop culture to blacks. It's not because they think whites are less deserving -- they know white kids are already going to belong to American culture in virtue of growing up listening to classic rock, etc. But blacks? They grew up listening to rap -- not gonna make it, if it stays that way.

    Maybe meet them half-way and get them into jazz and classic R&B? That's still pretty all-American. Just not rap!

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  4. It's like everyone's going to be tested at some point in the future, when American ethnogenesis is complete, and if the white lib Boomers haven't dedicated their lives and resources to putting blacks through test-prep, they're going to fail because they don't naturally absorb a lot of this stuff growing up.

    The English language (in an American accent), yes. Local knowledge, yes. Ancestors who were born here, yes. But not being acquainted with any of canonical movies, TV, and music, because they were taught it was white-folks' culture? Uh-oh, now they're only partly American according to the checklist of 2100 or 2200. Before that happens, the Boomers must enculturate blacks in these distinctly and necessary American cultural works and ways.

    So when the white lib sees a black guy digging Cheap Trick, or Clueless, or the Simpsons, after experiencing it the first time, it's such a relief -- "that one's gonna make it! And if he can, the other blacks can, too!"

    I really think it's a mistake to see white lib Boomers, and perhaps gatekeeping Gen X-ers after them, as being invested in passing along American pop culture to blacks purely for its own sake, as though it were the height of all human artistic accomplishment. "Lighten up, Boomer, it's just rock music".

    Only half-true -- it's also an item on the checklist of counting and being treated as an actual American, and not some varying degree of outsider who happens to reside here among the rock-listening people (AKA Americans).

    Boomers are worried about blacks digging rock music in the same way that French nationalists are obsessed with making any and all foreigners speak French while in France. Otherwise they will be marked as The Other, treated accordingly, and that just sets the stage for ethnic conflict within a nation -- terrible, not even an engine that could juice up ethnogenesis and imperial expansion, if it were ethnic conflict between nations.

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  5. Remember to compliment your local alt-girl thrift store workers when they change their hair color. (On a totally unrelated note.)

    I know among older and libtarded PMCs, "weird hair color" is a middle finger to the general public, antagonistic.

    But among working-class Zoomers, blue / green / pink / emo-black hair is just a fashion statement, wanting to get noticed for looking noticeable, not an anti-social visual assault.

    If it were anti-social, when you complimented them, they would just glare or tell you they don't need your validation or whatever else.

    But they're going to smile, giggle, thank you, and feel all warm and tingly inside because a random hot guy noticed that they changed their hair, and are dying of anxiety over whether it looks good or not. Let them know that it looks good, and they'll breathe a sigh of relief!

    The days of unnatural hair colors being anti-social misfit behavior are long gone. These days, it's as normal (which is not to say, in the majority) as having big feathered hair or a big perm was in the '80s. Shocking to their grandparents who remember modest hairstyles from the '40s or '50s. But we look back now, and it was just a fashion statement, nothing more.

    If you complimented a girl on getting big '80s hair back in the '80s, compliment the cute alt-girl at the cash register when she changes her hair from green to emo-black.

    Lighten up, it's just fashion.

    A sleeve of ironic tattoos, face-full of piercings, having an OnlyFans is still not normal, and should only make you want to save her if she has them, not indulge her. But green hair dye that you can pick up from any Walgreens? Today it's normal, and we have to adjust, just as our counterparts in the '90s had to adjust to flannel shirts around the waist as just a fashion statement, not an anti-social middle finger to society writ large. Dude, we're just listening to alternative, not burning down our homes or our families...

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  6. The only context demanding condemnation of hair dye is when dark exotic babes bleach their hair -- ABSOLUTELY HARAM.

    The worst are the Albanians, aside from based sapphic singer Dua Lipa. I've noticed a lesser degree, although still offensive, among Armenians, Turks, and Persians -- is this some kind of Indo-European signifier, to distinguish themselves from the Saharo-Arabians to their south?

    You just don't see Levantines or Egyptians or Moroccans lightening their hair like crazy, as there is among a substantial minority of those southern Indo-European groups.

    Fortunately, this means I will never have to worry about Aimee Terese draining the lush color from her rich raven tresses. "Excuse me, I'm Lebanese, proud of my hair color -- not an insecure Albanian begging for a 'seat at the table' with the blondies!"

    Rawr!!! (in the most frenly tone possible, hehe)

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  7. "When was the last you ever heard of Babylonian scientific and artistic accomplishments?"

    Day before yesterday, but I suspect I'm not typical in that regard.

    "Digital song sales"

    Don't trust anybody who buys downloads, they're over thirty.

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  8. Similar pattern in nosejobs? Indo-Europeans rather than Saharo-Arabians, even though both have fairly high-relief facial features (due to pastoralist history -- compare Tutsis to Hutus).

    But AFAICT, it's Turks, Armos, Persians, Indo-Aryans, and even NW Euros who get surgery to smash their distinguished, regal noses against their face. For shame!

    I don't see anywhere near that level among Levantines, Egyptians, Moroccans, or Arabians. Not insecure about it.

    And when they're immigrants, they're acculturating to the same host country, so it's not pressure to look like their hosts, otherwise both sides would do it. And anyway, their hosts have prominent noses anyway! They're not immigrating to Moscow or Beijing, where noses are flat.

    Another example of not having to worry about Aimee or Leila disfiguring their exotic looks out of insecurity.

    But Anna Khachiyan, on the other hand -- she's openly talked about the temptation to do it, multiple times on her podcast. We need to have moles inside each plastic surgery clinic, to tip us off if she schedules an appointment on the sly -- then we show up IRL and barricade the entrance. Your distinguished nose was a gift from your ancestors -- it's not yours to destroy! It's a public good, anytime you go out of the house, and everyone gets to enjoy striking, rather than boring, features.

    BTW, these comparisons would suggest that Ashkenazi Jews -- but not Sephardic / Mizrahi Jews -- have been outside their Saharo-Arabian homeland for so long that they are behaving like Indo-Europeans. Lightening their hair, getting nosejobs, etc. Palestinians would never.

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  9. Bad Poast Man1/5/22, 9:37 PM

    "But they're going to smile, giggle, thank you, and feel all warm and tingly inside because a random hot guy noticed that they changed their hair, and are dying of anxiety over whether it looks good or not. Let them know that it looks good, and they'll breathe a sigh of relief!

    ...

    If you complimented a girl on getting big '80s hair back in the '80s, compliment the cute alt-girl at the cash register when she changes her hair from green to emo-black."

    Had this exact situation happen a few weeks ago. I just HAD to break my autismo shell a moment and let my local pizza parlor alt cutie know that her new black (NUMBER 1) hair was a welcome change in at least one man's eyes. And, of course, she responded just like you said she would. Give it a try fellas.

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  10. If you want to Consider American culture to the Roman Empire We haven't actually reached the third century yet. Right Now we seem to be equivalent to the Roman Empire circa 180s AD just after Commodus' Ascension. The War on terror Seems to be a good match for the Marcomannic wars except that the Pandemic of the day happened near the closing phase of the war rather than occuring at the start of the war. Biden withdrawing and cutting losses in the mideast appears to be equivalent to commodus' treaty with the Germanic kingdoms.

    We haven't really entered our equivalent of the third century crisis yet and have only just entered the start of the prologue to that crisis. Biden Dem governance appears to be the last gasp (in a very corrupt for like Commodus was) of the original imperial ruling familial ethos. I disagree with the notion of Kamala becoming president, More likely she will be discarded like praetorian prefects Perennis and later Cleander were due to their sheer unpopularity.

    Regarding Minorities, Blacks/Latinos/etc. Their/our (I'm of minority descent) time hasn't arrived yet. Most self-respecting Minorities reject people like Harris/Castro/Maya Wiley. Obama is a partial exception, but he had biological and adoptive descent connection with the "Old American" Traditional elites (his mother was of colonial descent) therefore Obama was probably our equivalent to Hadrian and/or Antoninius Pius.

    We have yet to have our equivalent of the Severan dynasty which consisted of ancestrally non-roman emperors who we allied with the Military and security segments of the state and implemented populist-type policies in opposition to the senate and against the traditional imperial political elites and cultural elites. Basically this would be a Donald Trump style politician on steroids but who is also obsessed with the military and is curiously also non-whites and popular with non-whites who is also able to win the loyalty of pro-trump Americans well against the coastal elites.

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  11. Broke: scolding Anna for being unvaxxed. Woke: scolding Anna for nosejob ideation.

    Anna, just remember that whenever there's that many commenters on Reddit, they're all media haters and intel agency flunkies / wannabe jannies from Twitter, pouring in on a special occasion.

    They're just bitter because their mass vaxx program has backfired, and they need a scapegoat.

    So no one on the RSP reddit mentioned that Bob Saget recently got a booster shot before dropping dead at 65 w/ no drugs or foul play or obesity etc. involved. (I had to read Genie, @nineeleven, on Gab for that info).

    Relieved to hear you persevered through the autoimmune illness. :Russian voice: Strong nose, mean strong heart. Flat-nose, surrender-nose.

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  12. I'm biracial (African/white with standard American accent) and am seen as a quintessential American, but only abroad. Schrodinger's American...an immigrant here, and immigrant there. I will say that there is no country I've found to be more gradually soul-sucking for blacks than America by virtue of the fact that the one drop rule is analogous to cooties, with the race debate usually going along the lines of "you hate us!" "No we don't- fuck you!" Despite dealing in this weird pseudo-apartheid space for many years, "African-American" has over time become its own subculture that's just as relevant to many (young?) white people in terms of fashion, slang, memes, smooth crooners, and party hits as your Total Eclipse of the Heart kind of stuff. I tend to analyze people in terms of psychologies and "natural kinds" rather than genetic groupings but it is plain to see that there are times when one does yield the other, trendwise. Unfortunately I think that monoracial people aren't given direct first-person evidence that other races are conscious (though they infer it), and as such, something more or less equal to superstition forms. The same thing happens between men and women. Consciousness that "counts" can be thought to require any number of traits such as emotional nuance, distilled logic, high sentience, good taste/finesse, temperance/responsibility, high productivity, strong substance/heart, spiritual contact, understanding of types of suffering, understanding of types of power/legacy, ability to enjoy oneself in certain ways or get swept up into certain states of experience, etc. All of the identity groups that are typically talked about appear to on average be more conscious in some those ways and less conscious in others, and this is what allows for the semiotic struggles. There may be an objective IQ difference between average American blacks and whites (I won't say that on tape...) that leads to collective productivity deficits and tax-based resentment, but African Americans are literally so fucking vibey that they always get saved and people are annoyed until they talk to a guy. I grew up on psychedelic, classic rock, and soundtracks but was very attuned to the weekly machinations of the pop, rap, and emo on the charts while developing a spin-the-wheel sort of personal taste that involves a lot of selectively-placed classic country, spy movie music, and y2k slappers. I had a scene phase, but I also can feel all 40 trillion of my cells tingling within half a millisecond of Hypnotize starting. There's little to nothing from the culture that seems like it would be cringy, validation-seeking, forced, or offensive for me to appropriate, but that's actually a rare position to occupy. Being American is in a way characterized by having to make a compromise or be uncomfortable about something. I can wear a pink cheetah print cowboy hat with a holographic belt and starry tights, or a star-stud leather jacket with frayed hem jeans and dark brown lipstick, then play Flashing Lights after Folsom Prison Blues and Henry Mancini. The sensibility that develops is one of dusky flamboyance or acontextual mischief. A mixture of white cultural staple grains and black gratuitous excess/irreverence that always makes for pocket aces. In terms of sensibilities, dispositions, appearance, fashion, music, and so on I can spin the best from what are arguably the two biggest cultural contributor groups while not feeling like the dumb stuff isn't dumb because it reminds me of my upbringing. I would say that it's just as important for sheltered whites to be exposed to the heyday of Motown and disco if not turn of the century rap, but as concerns current rap, I myself ask who is listening. I've started cocooning into 2 Unlimited and other late 90s interdimensional slop bc I don't want the nwo to sterilize and kill us but you can't always get what you want...

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  13. Almost no one doesn't use music streaming services exclusively, so couldn't your fakery conclusion just be to older people who prefer different music?

    Also, have you ever heard of the idea that fluorescent hair colors are functionally aposematic lol

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  14. Read the linked post on the mirage of rap (impossible challenge for a social-media dum-dum). Streaming stats don't distinguish between 1 person playing the song 1,000 times vs. 1,000 people playing the song 1 time each.

    Niche genres with hardcore devoted fans will bias the streaming stats toward their genre. Mass-appeal songs, where lots of people listen, but not hundreds of times every day, lose out in streaming stats.

    That's why we ignore streaming, and focus on song sales and radio airplay. You don't buy the same song 1,000 times when you listen to it 1,000 times -- you buy it once, no matter how many times you listen to it. Lots of sales means lots of listeners.

    Ditto for radio airplay -- the more times a song is played on the station, the more listeners it gets, crucially the less-than-hardcore non-fans.

    Back in the heyday of rap -- the '90s and 2000s -- Billboard didn't need to bias their formulas in order for rap songs to appear all over their Hot 100 charts.

    Were you even alive in 1993? Every suburban teenager was into rap -- which is why the year-end Hot 100 for '93 had "Whoomp! (There It Is)" as the #2 hit, only beaten by the ubiquitous "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. "Rump Shaker" was #9, "Informer" #10, "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" #11, etc.

    These days, nobody in the suburbs listens to rap, and only a few pretentious urbanites pretend to enjoy it. Nobody dresses like their favorite rappers, unlike '93 when every suburban teenager went to Spencer's Gifts to buy a black hat with a marijuana leaf on it, along with a Cypress Hill t-shirt.

    You literally never hear rap played in any public space, whether a restaurant, Starbucks, retail of any kind, just totally invisible.

    Aside from a few hits, rap as an entire genre does not exist anymore.

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    1. I read it, and I understand your point, but the fact remains that almost everyone who listens to contemporary rap streams it. We can't compare song sales and radio plays because those people literally don't use or listen to either of those at all, ever.

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  15. Attention-getting hair colors are for... getting attention. They're pretty, lush, rich, perceptual overdoses. Jewels, flowers, fruits -- only those things can rival unnatural human hair colors.

    Partly it's to compete against other girls in the contest to look prettier than each other. Partly it's to attract male attention.

    Steve Sailer used to (still does?) explain women bleaching their hair as attracting male attention -- it's brighter, shinier, etc., like a jewel or whatever. It's just his Boomer bias, as blonde hair was all the rage during the '60s, '70s, and '80s, but has fallen out of fashion during the '90s through today.

    Still, why didn't any of the cultural conservatives make the same argument for blue, green, rich-red, and purple hair? Talk about perceptual overloads, shiny / bright / attention-getting / etc. It's obviously more so than mere blonde, even if it's platinum blonde.

    They just didn't like the implication that bleaching hair was an earlier, muted stage of the contests over prettiness that are still raging today. No, blonde and blue hair are qualitatively different, not just early vs. later stages of the same trend.

    Enter this nonsense about aposematism. If you hate-read Tumblr and cherry-pick your colored-hair girls from there, sure, they appear off-putting.

    But if you look at all colored-hair girls, that silly view all falls apart. Who were the most visible "girls with unnatural colors in the hair" during the current century? Not spergs from Tumblr -- the scene girls!

    If your first impression of scene girls is that they're like an insect trying to warn of toxic chemicals, in order to be left unbothered -- you're just straight-up retarded! And also, a clueless loner shut-in (but then, you're a social-media dum-dum, so that goes with the territory).

    Aposematism is between species, BTW (not that the dum-dums ever bother to learn the biology they pretend to employ). Like predators and prey. It's not one sex warning the other, within the same species. Sex is necessary -- there's no Darwinian point to warning against it.

    ...Seriously, these dorky libtards who live near lots of black people and are angry about it ("the online cultural right"), are so out of touch they never saw a scene girl IRL! But how could they not have seen them online back then??? They're cluelessly out-of-touch, even in the domain that they primarily exist in -- online!

    It's not the '70s, '80s, or '90s -- vivid hair colors are not punk, they're just what some cute girls do to attract even more attention to their hair, one of the main regions that guys are going to zoom in on when they get horny.

    If they were truly aposematic, these girls would chop off all their hair, or buzz off random patches or whatever. Not grow it out all thick, long, and luscious, in a perceptually bursting color! Duh!

    Sorry, but you guys are too dumb to even post on social media anymore. Hang it up, and just vibe in some VTuber's chat for the rest of your would-be posting career instead. Leave the actual thinking to us bloggers.

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    1. Appropriately chastened! My apologies. Not my theory, but I am definitely embarrassed to not have verified that aposematism is never intra-species before posting a facile comment.

      What's a social media dum-dum? I ditched all of it several years ago. What made you think I didn't take the time to read your linked essay on rap before asking a question? No antagonism intended! Huge fan of your analyses.

      Delete
  16. Still LOLing at that one online-right libtard who thought r/K theory meant liberals were r and conservatives were K... the main difference is their fertility rates, and in case libtards-who-live-near-lots-of-blacks didn't notice, liberals have lower fertility than conservatives. Libs have small families, conservatives have big families.

    Libs live in crowded dense shitholes that are at, or above, their saturation level for supporting a decent standard of living. Conservatives live further out, where the niche has not been close to saturated yet. Maybe it's some boring newly developed Sunbelt exurb, but that's still a r-environment, not a K-environment like Brooklyn.

    No matter how badly I beat that guy's brains in, he just wouldn't give it up. And it all boiled down to his racial obsession, as a libtard-who-lives-near-lots-of-blacks and is angry about it. Namely that blacks have higher fertility than whites. No shit, but that has nothing to do with lib vs. con.

    It all had to point back to the racial differences in fertility, though. Those damn blacks are gonna out-breed us whites who have few children but invest more in each one. Those damn blacks are just savages pumping out babies, while we whites are at carrying capacity in our mature civilizations, having few but well-invested-in children.

    Sorry, libtard -- conservatives are r, and liberals (like you) are K, all day long!

    So glad you black-encircled libtards all migrated to social media platforms during the Trump years. There may be less activity remaining in the blogosphere, but there's WAAAY less retardation and pseudery.

    You guys were just wannabe talk radio chumps, but there was no outlet for it before 2015. Now you can dribble all the retarded shit out of your lips on Twitter or wherever, and not bother the blogosphere.

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  17. Nova, here's an old post I wrote when Prince died, and was struck by how Afro-ized the media had made him, when he was always racially ambiguous.

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-afro-ization-of-prince.html

    That was smack-dab in the middle of the woke 2010s, but I didn't know it at the time. I really could not believe how they were turning the guy who did the 2007 Super Bowl Halftime Special into Malcolm X or Tupac Shakur. Insane.

    He was not "a black guy who played guitar / rock" like Jimmy Hendrix. He was racially ambiguous, on purpose, not identifiably black. And he didn't only do guitar rock, he did pop, R&B, synth dance, you name it. Just as musically ambiguous as he was racially. One of the last great All-American musical artists.

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  18. I definitely agree the popularity of rap is overstated (and that its no where near as popular with suburban whites as it was back in the 90s and early 2000s), but what about something like Tik Tok? You'd probably know better than me, but from what I've seen a lot of suburban whites have been using it in their vids...

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  19. Yeah, TikTok trends may have a brief excerpt from a rap song in the background, but that doesn't mean they're listening to the whole song outside of viewing / participating in that trend. And yet Billboard counts those excerpts in its streaming stats.

    For example, one of the biggest trends of 2021 was set to the song "Buss It" by Erica Banks. The videos are only about 15 seconds, though. And yet that was enough to propel the song to #47 on the weekly Hot 100 chart (not just the rap chart), because the trend went so viral on TikTok.

    But the song is not even the main reason it went viral, it's the set-up and pay-off, where the girl starts looking scruffy, then transitions abruptly to looking all made-up and dressed for the club, bouncing her ass up and down while squatting in high heels.

    Any ol' song could've been playing in the background for 15 seconds while this brief sight-gag / dance trend was going on in the visual part of the video.

    I've never heard that song played anywhere in public or on the radio -- only when watching those TikTok videos themselves.

    In order to judge them as having "crossed over" from TikTok to broader mainstream popularity, they should be streamed in full from YouTube or Spotify, played on the radio, downloaded from iTunes, etc.

    I actually did hear a few songs cross over like that in 2020 (*the* year of TikTok's popularity), when I heard "Make You Mine" and "Death Bed" over a Goodwill sound system. The first is not rap, but the second one is partly rap.

    The best example of that was "Electric Love" by Borns -- I just heard that in the supermarket the other night, it's still coasting off of its "kissing my best friend" trend popularity from 2020.

    So clearly some of these are being listened to in full, by a lot of people, after appearing in the background of a TikTok trend. But not really the rap ones, unless they were already mega-hits (like "WAP").

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  20. Think I may be crushing on that cute alt-girl who ran up to compliment me on my drip over a month ago. We could be friends, at the least. This one:

    https://akinokure.blogspot.com/2021/12/girls-are-restless-to-compliment-you-on.html

    In the meantime I've said Hi a few times, and then last week she turned into my aisle and waved her hand, asking how I'm doing, etc., and then hanging around that area afterward. And not in a vampy, coming-on-hard kind of way. Very cute and wholesome and friendly, like a daughter who's happy to see her daddy get home, or a student who's dropping by office hours of a teacher she's got a crush on.

    So later I decided to -- DUNN DUNN DUNN -- ask her what her name is. Don't think I've done that for a worker at a retail haunt for quite some time. It's pretty. Now she knows mine, too, and we chit-chat now and then, always calling each other by name.

    Tonight I must've missed her on the way in, but she found me in one of the aisles later, waving again, saying "Hi Agnostic," asking how I'm doing, etc. Was in a bit of a caffeine withdrawal today, unforch, so I didn't talk too much. Hope she didn't take that the wrong way. I really appreciate girls who are that thoughtful and attentive.

    I'll make sure to drop by tomorrow, hopefully she'll be there, and I can talk to her more than today. And mention that I was going through a caffeine withdrawal after forgetting my tea earlier.

    Social dynamics are changing now that it's the restless warm-up phase of the excitement cycle. Have not experienced this in a public store setting since the late 2000s / early 2010s.

    Who knows where it will go? It goes wherever it goes, and we just have to go along for the ride, can't force things one way or another. But I'm glad to go wherever this goes with her.

    And yes, she has colored hair -- dark red. Cute and friendly, not aposematic!

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  21. I really think she's a late '90s birth, she just does not give off sad-girl early 2000s vibes, or provocative instigator early '90s vibes. She's meant to be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

    Not that I'm a sad sack who needs his spirits picked up, but it's so strange interacting with these late '90s girls who remind me of my own mini-generation born in the early '80s.

    I've interacted with plenty of vulnerable-phase births before -- the late '80s Millennials, and somewhat the early 2000s Zoomers. And loads of restless-phase births -- the late '70s kids just above me in school, and the early '90s Millennials.

    But the manic phase before my own was the late '60s, and they're too old for me to have gone to school with. And the one after mine was the late '90s, and they're only just starting to put themselves out there in public, after having been helicopter-parented their whole lives.

    It just gives me such a pleasantly disorienting blast-from-the-past feeling, it's as though we all went to school and grew up together, aside from a handful of pop culture idiosyncrasies. But it's really that we were both born during and were shaped by a manic phase in the excitement cycle. Convergent evolution.

    Maybe she'll turn out to be an exception among the sad-girl early 2000s cohort, we'll see. But my overall impression of the late '90s kids still stands.

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  22. What's the manic-phase births' defining characteristics, btw? I'd say we're resilient, happy-go-lucky, and easy to talk to. Not as sad and chill and dark as the vulnerable-phase births, not as chaotic and instigating and taboo-bending as the restless-phase births.

    Same impression I have of the late '60s births, and the early '50s births (the prototypical happy-go-lucky but not wild-child Boomer cohort, which my dad belongs to).

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  23. Hmmm, she may be an early 2000s birth after all. Referred to "class" and happy to have a 3-day weekend due to MLK Day. So probably in college (not high school -- they call it "school" rather than "class").

    Or she was born in '99 and took time off / classes were canceled during the lockdowns?

    I can't quite tell. She has an aura of mystery...

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  24. She mentioned making sourdough pretzels with a friend once, after I was telling her about waking up in the middle of the night and making a pizza from scratch. She said how many steps there were, and how careful they had to be, but it was so worth it in the end.

    I don't think most girls her age, at any time in post-New Deal history, are baking sourdough anything, let alone in a social context. Very heartwarming to see in a neolib Uber Eats pod-world.

    Once again we see that the real enemy is not the colored-hair girl who was on Tumblr in 2013, but the blonde Starbucks / Maxxinista crowd who destroyed their former haunts, which they clearly were not attached to, by switching to the food-slave-ordering apps. And who can't / won't cook for shit.

    I like Starbucks and TJ Maxx, btw. But I'm one of the few remaining people who would be regulars there (if SB had not closed down their interior "due to COVID"). It was just a status-striving affectation for most of my fellow customers of 10 years ago. Ordering slaves around with an app, lavishing an order of magnitude more of your fake QE bux on conspicuous consumption -- way better for status contests than lounging around a cafe with cozy furniture and attractive people.

    Fuck yuppies, of whatever generation.

    RETVRN to homespun frenliness.

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  25. I wanted to get her a wool coat so bad after I passed by her as she was waiting outside for her ride after work, and I think she was wearing just a hoodie or similar coat. No hat or ear muffs or scarf or even gloves. No wool sweater. Jeans and sneakers, I think.

    Partly out of paternal protective instinct (it was freezing-rain weather), but also somewhat out of a Pygmalion instinct. I want her to look all cute and cozy, and WARM, when it's freezing and windy / rainy / snowy outside.

    Anna & Dasha just said they'd never want a man dressing them up, but I think they mean more in a "styling them" way. That would feel like your gay bff, not your bf.

    But if it's utilitarian and functional, like showing the right kinds of things for the weather, they'd feel that more like their dad or grandpa making sure they didn't freeze to death while walking around during winter.

    The girl would already know what her sense of style is, you would simply be encouraging them about the material, length / coverage, layers, etc., to make sure their style is also maximally cozy for the season.

    I'm really going to have to resist the urge to straight-up gift her some of my scarves that I've accumulated over years of thrifting. That would be coming on too strong, too fast, I think, even if we're only going to end up as frens.

    But I may not be able to help myself here. Probably would have to make it seem like a joint adventure, like browsing around to help her pick something out, rather than donating an item to her, which some might interpret as being treated like a charity case.

    Then maybe later, say "Well, I was going to donate these to your store anyway, why don't you take them instead?" Some little but meaningful item, like those vintage Icelandic wool mittens that I bought thinking some female family member might want them, but have just been sitting in a drawer for a few years now. Snazzy '70s two-tone colors and patterns, too!

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  26. I don't think most guys appreciate how close of a bonding experience it is for a girl to take you along on a clothes-shopping trip. Assuming she's young, and you aren't already married or used to each other.

    She's not taking you along in order to soothe her ego about not looking fat, or to serve as her personal ATM. She wants to do whatever will get a positive, affectionate reaction from YOU, and she's just trying things on randomly until one of them works.

    And even for those items that don't work, she isn't taking it as "this makes me look ugly, and he made me feel ugly by not resonating with it". She's just thinking, "Hmmm, guess that didn't work for him, let's try this one instead!"

    It's her way of putting herself out there and making herself vulnerable, trusting that you're not goign to sperg out and nitpick her choices like some autistic faggot. It's her time to be a fashion model, and a pretty pretty princess, and she wants -- not just any old adulation -- but *your* specific validation. She's trying to be a crowd-pleaser, to the only crowd that matters to her -- YOU, dummy.

    Just show your appreciation back, and send those good vibes back, and it's fun for everyone, and a closer bond forms as a result.

    Plus, there's an impossible to replicate taboo-bending hotness to being invited back into the women's dressing room area, where she keeps reminding you that in between her little displays, she's taking off her clothes (out of sight, though, in a wholesome way).

    And this experience leaves such a pleasant mark on your relationship, even if you end up only being frens. If they like you, girls are willing to do so much to please you and form a closer bond, "even if" it's "only as frens". Don't take that for granted, it's special and irreplaceable and soul-sustaining!

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  27. If it's so logical then why are the LISTENERS still looking up for manic phase period songs?

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  28. Marlo "That Girl" Thomas is half-Maronite Lebanese, and half-Sicilian? How did I not know??? So that's where she gets that fiery independent streak from! Another hall-of-famer for Eastern Med Americans (of which I am not one).

    More relevant to recurring themes here, though, she's a manic-phase birth (late '30s), along with a bunch of other MPDG types from the '60s and '70s -- Mary Tyler Moore (and Rhoda), Jane Fonda, Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. Free-spirited, resilient, independent in that specific way, earthly guardian angels to pick up others' spirits.

    Not the vampy instigator wild-child types born in the early '30s restless phase (Samantha from Bewitched, Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie, Ginger from Gilligan's Island, etc.).

    Not the dark / brooding sad-girl types from the early '40s vulnerable phase (Streisand, Carole King, Faye Dunaway, etc.).

    My elderly neighbor who I help out is also a late '30s birth, and she must've been an MPDG back in her day. She still has a basically happy-go-lucky, resilient, free-spirited disposition.

    And one of the pioneering 2nd-wave feminist types -- one of their few cringe aspects, but at least it was mostly in a "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" free-spirited way (made by another manic-phase birth, Cyndi Lauper who was born in the early '50s). Not the hectoring, moody, bitter, angry stripe of feminist.

    Fascinating mini-generation...

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  29. "How did I not know???"

    The most obvious answer is that you weren't a fan of her dad.

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  30. Wore an Australian-made merino wool turtleneck today. Felt like getting a warm cozy hug from a certain special fren all day long.

    Miss u, and still luv u, always

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ooh, look what The Atlantic wrote about yesterday:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/old-music-killing-new-music/621339/

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  32. He can recognize the death of new music, but he's a managerial consultant, so his conclusion is, "But here's how you can resurrect the patient, or communicate with the dead, etc., so the situation is not *quite* as dire as it appears."

    American-led culture is OVER, and it is never coming back to life. It never does. It rises with imperial expansion, it falls with imperial contraction. Both are tied to ethnogenesis and asabiya.

    He says the next big thing could be around the corner and we just don't know it, akin to rock music erupting out of nowhere in the late '50s.

    Except that in 1955, they had not stopped playing new music altogether. Rock was a change in what genre was contemporary. It was not a resumption of new music, after a lull / death of new music. Radio stations in '55 were playing new songs, albeit in a well-worn genre. The Billboard charts of '55 were not dominated by songs released in '54 or earlier. Audiences in '55 were not bored by '50s music, and relying more on "the good ol' days" of the '20s, '30, and '40s instead.

    This is the first time in American history that new culture has utterly ceased being produced, distributed, and consumed. There is no parallel. So there is no hope for our near or medium or long term cultural future, based on previous times of cultural revolution -- because the run-up to those revolutions were not marked by a total and complete shutdown of the "new cultural production" system, on both the supply and demand sides.

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  33. We're going into an initially painful transition between cultural innovation, during our ethnogenesis, and cultural maintenance or stewardship or conservation, after our ethnogenesis has been completed and we are mature as an ethnic group (Americans).

    Now it's not about making & adopting new stuff, it's about choosing the best from our roots as a people, to preserve and set as the standards for all future generations of our cultural descendants.

    That is not LARP-ing, or cosplaying for those "born in le wrong generation". It's simply an acknowledgement that our cultural maturation has been completed, and *draws big circle in the air* this is the stuff we have to choose from to show that we're Americans.

    Greeks doing circle dances in 2022 are not LARP-ing, they're maintaining cultural continuity with their ancient roots. Americans are a far younger ethnic group, so we can't maintain such deep roots. But that process has to start somewhere, and that's what our task is now.

    You can see that in the popularity of karaoke among Gawr Gura's streaming content (the most popular VTuber worldwide). She's not just singing songs, she's channeling the American spirit to keep our culture alive, now that it's creation has been largely completed. She goes back to the '40s or so, with Disney and Christmas standards, Midcentury jazz / bossa nova, classic rock, disco, all the way up through early 2010s pop (and not so much of recent music, since it's more or less all over).

    In 1000 years, this will all be described as "American folk music," like circle dances are "Greek folk dance" by now.

    In the meantime, cultural / creative types will focus more on refining the canon of American folk culture, and less on trying to add new elements to the list of entrants in that contest. That goes just as much on the audience / demand side, as on the supply / production side.

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  34. Sidebar: Gura is obsessed with preserving cowboy / Western culture, sincerely not ironically, even though she's a WASP from southern New England. "Big Iron" is a standard in her karaoke catalog. I'm sure she'd be up for singing 19th-C folk tunes like "Home, Home on the Range" if the mood were right. It's not just nostalgia for a specific time period she wished she was born into. It's about cultural continuity and rootedness.

    And our ethnogenesis is dominated by our westward expansion and the contrast between us and the Indians and Mexicans who we went to war against.

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  35. Innovation is like a great big long brainstorming session. That stage is over. It's time to pick and choose what was worth preserving from that earlier stage. Far later on, the "shaping the canon" stage will be over, and it will be about maintaining that canon by regular experiences with it.

    That's mostly what sharing playlists is about these days. It's the same as Gura choosing a playlist to sing karaoke to, only you're not going to sing the list before an audience. But if you could sing or play instruments well, what would you choose to perform? That's what the list is. What's worth preserving. Not so much how to discover new songs or artists.

    If it is new, it has to be "new to you," but actually released in the past, i.e. a deep cut or hidden gem. You like new wave and Italo disco, but have you heard "Paris Latino"? Wow, I hadn't, but thanks for unearthing that hidden gem from a canonical period!

    Same with all domains of culture, so we can exclude all "explanations" that are unique to the recorded music industry. Nobody cares about new movies, they're binging giallos or '70s disaster movies, or dark '80s children's fantasy movies, or classic noir, or whatever else.

    Or clothing / fashion. Are you going to hop on the '70s turtleneck revival, the '90s oversized trend, the y2k revival, maybe you're a diehard for the '80s revival of the 2000s and 2010s -- or care about the latest new trends? Innovation there is over, too. In 1000 years, these revivals will be seen as the codification of "American folk costume".

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  36. Maybe you're reading too much into no new popular songs. Possibly the reason there's not a lot of new stuff on the radio is that the people who make this stuff are not making as much money due to everything being pirated so they can't afford to bribe the radio stations and DJs near as much as they used to.

    Since they are not getting paid, the DJs go with the well known songs instead of new stuff.

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  37. Pirating has been huge since Napster in 1999, did not affect contempo hit radio stations at all for the 2000s and 2010s -- only starting in 2021.

    Radio stations don't get bribed by producers of new music, they have to pay to license the rights to broadcast the music produced by the studios / labels. The contempo hit format's raison d'etre is broadcasting new music, not old music. They managed to pay licensing fees forever, and suddenly not in 2021 or '22?

    There not making new music, period.

    ReplyDelete

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