What did the internet ever do for music?
What did the internet ever do for music?

What did the internet ever do for music?
What did the internet ever do for music?

What exactly has the internet done for music or doing for new music now in
2012. Is some thing that was, not long ago, new and fresh starting to have a
negative effect on how we react too music, has it gone to far in a virtual
sense or is it just sewing the seeds of a new era in music?

Maybe the best person to ask is some one who’s been banging away in a band,
many bands, for many years since the early 90’s to the present who
can remember when phone boxes and plans drawn on the backs of fag packets
were part of the mechanics, a person who has seen the change from vinyl to uploads and MP3
players and more importantly remembering the days when if you wanted to
check that particular band or artist out, you actually had to go for your
self and see rather than click on to some web site or FB page.

It’s not that using a piss stinking BT phone box rather than tweeting some
one will actually make the music sound better- it’s more the physicality of
it all that seems to have vanished or changed into something too easy
and watered down.

I’m not a musician nor in a band so I can only comment as a run of the mill
music fan but it’s like picking up bad habits that seem to have become the
norm now. I click on band’s pages sometimes and do it quite passively-
Marshall McLuhan said ‘ the medium is the message’ that it is how
you receive your news that determines how you’ll react to i. If you see it
on TV you’ll relate to it more than just reading it in the paper goes the
theory but it seems to have swung the other way resulting in too
much information and all of it far to easy to attain. That’s if you have a
PC though!

Which brings up another question…could you actually be
a successful artist or band without the aid of the internet and all
its worldly connections?

But it’s either ‘all or nothing’ now which results in
you automatically sieving through the overload of info for the bits that
you ‘think’ your looking for and when you find it what do you do? buy their
download! Maybe you might go watch them, or maybe you might just click on
to the next semi meaningless group page.

More than ever we hark back to days that are long gone like punk and the
whole scene around it. Why? for a start it wasn’t a record company movement
so straight away it got your attention but again the physicality and the
‘doing’ side of it, putting in footwork, the DIY ethic, seems to strike
polar opposites with today’s ways of ‘virtually’ doing things.

Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto once read a small NME review on a band that
played some Uni down south that had ‘put on a night of chaos
and blistering rock’roll’, it was enough
to spark their imagination and find out where the band’s next gig was and make the
long drive to watch them, ending up with them asking The Sex Pistols to
play in their native Manchester’s Lesser Free Trade Hall. That’s the roots
of the Manchester music scene right there that spawned Buzzcocks and
all those other life changing bands that came after like New Order, The
Smiths and Oasis.

All this from 2 guys getting just enough info to act on and act on they
did, the results of that trip were enormous. I’m not naive enough to think
The Grundy show didn’t catapult the Sex Pistols and that the media didn’t play
its part but the show itself was only a snap shot of
what the Pistols were about, it drew people in on some thing quite
small…has the web took much of the imagination away from music?

Maybe there will be a band or artist that’ll come along possessing the sound,
tunes and look that will totally ignore the web and demand ‘people
participation’ more than just asking you to push the ‘like’ button. Having
those qualities and not playing the internet game could be enough to get
people moving again- power to the people rather than the PC.

All I’ve done is ask questions you’ve probably asked yourself and no
doubt the net will take its next exciting turn into some new era of music
format in the coming year, but it also brings us back to the question

Previous articleGardens ‘Gardens’ – album review
Next articleAmerican Pie: Reunion’ Watching Vacuous Hollywood Landfill So You Don’t Have To
drive careful cos I'm walkin...


  1. The internet is an incredible communication tool which has enabled me to connect with many great people whom I would have been unlikely to ever meet but I think for music it has diluted it’s perceived relevance in peoples lives. This is due, as pointed out, to the lack of personal; physical & mental investment we have to make to obtain new music these days. problem is there is no going back, the system is an eel trap, one way in with no easy way out. It would take a very brave band & a whole lot of money to bypass it effectively if it was at all possible. I’d love to see it happen but doubt that it will.

  2. Whilst I agree with much of what this piece is saying it omits the fact that the internet has massively broadened peoples musical horizons – there are tons of bands from across the world – the Lake Street Dive are a good example for me – who are only known in their home country or even region, but through the net can get their sound out to people thousands of miles away. We just have to remember to, in the words of Ali G, keep it real, use the internet as a tool for discovery but then go and get involved with the real thing.

    Maybe bands should start doing “physical only” releases, or something to tempt people back into the real world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here