what happened to the guitar?

Whatever happened to the guitar?  It used to be an instrument that indie bands played – loudly – on just about every record.  Aggressive, dissonant tones; lots of feedback; twin-guitar harmonies; indie rock was driven by guitars.

In a lot of cases, the guitars seem to have disappeared.

What was always great about indie rock was that it was able to exist – and thrive – outside the musical mainstream.  Bands could find a home – even if they were noisy, even if they were too aggressive for the radio, even if their music was slightly out of tune or just a bit out of step with what was going on to the right side of the radio dial – with an indie label.

This week I’ve had a couple of phone conversations and emails with people involved with indie music who have suggested that indie music fans want lighter fare these days.  And in a lot of ways, I get it – in my very last entry I wrote about seeing the Sharp Things play some absolutely fantastic soul, and then hearing the New Standards play jazz covers of rock songs.  We had a great time.  Both bands were fantastic.

But don’t you want to hear a guitar once in a while?  A screaming, noisy guitar, clashing against a rhythm section, fighting to be heard, maybe dipping down in the mix for a quiet passage but then storming back for an aggressive finish?

We have a Friends, Romans, Countrymen record coming out on Tuesday.  Lots of guitar there.

A pretty quiet week, otherwise.  Had some interesting discussions with a few people about the state of physical CD distribution, as it relates to manufacturing and distributing select Dromedary titles.  Anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time understands that it’s the distribution piece of the equation that was so frustrating to us back in the day; consignment-based distribution was costly and slow.  Today, it seems there are other challenges, and the key is going to be to find a retail distributor that takes an interest in our music and supports what we’re doing, while not requiring a huge upfront financial investment in each title.  If such an animal does not exist, there’s the internet.  It works fine.

Speaking of which, download the new EP from We Were Promised Jetpacks.

More info is coming soon – the dayjob has been a little (okay, a lot) hectic lately, and getting over this broken leg has been way more taxing than I could have imagined.  But stick around – and give a listen to that FRC record.

~ by Al on April 4, 2010.

One Response to “what happened to the guitar?”

  1. You know I love the guitar. I’ve been playing since I was in high school. There are huge differences between the guitar music I fell in love with when I was younger and what sells today. One thing that HASN’T changed, though, is interesting rhythm playing.

    Solos have died. Getting the perfect Les Paul tone has died. Guitar heroes have died. But the stuff I’m enjoying today has great rhythm work – intertwining lines, cool syncopations, creative use of dissonance, leaving some space between the cracks – That’s where I’m seeing a lot of the innovation when it comes to guitar playing. And it’s probably the only thing that I can see that’s shared between guitar music from the 80s and early 90s and today.

    Just my $0.02…

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