The other day when I was talking about how I got really sad watching the VMAs, I said it was because it started making me feel like pop music is disposable, which may be true to some people, but what I think I meant to say is not that pop music is disposable but that in pop music the music seems secondary. On the list of things that are important to a pop stars career, "songwriting" is probably a few rungs down. That being said, I think there's a big difference between a songwriter who happens to be highly marketable, like Taylor Swift, and someone like Miley Cyrus. Miley has no identity as an artist. She has an image, and that image can be changed and rearranged into whatever shape the label or whoever needs it to be, depending on what the kids watching the Disney Channel are into that week. That's why she can put out a song like "The Climb" and then just a few months later put out a song like "Party in the USA." Not that either of those are necessarily bad songs but if Quiet Company put out "The Climb" and then a few months later put out "Party in the USA," well, first people would wonder what the hell had happened to me, and then they would see it as some kind of selling out or betrayal of our identity. But that's not a problem for a pop star because no one expects them to have any kind of identity to be true to, and frankly, we'd be shocked if they did, we'd see it as something special.
Britney Spears doesn't need to have any good songs (though "Toxic" kicks ass), as long as she's either dancing provocatively, kissing Madonna, or losing her shit in public.
Maybe I should stop wasting my time trying to craft interesting melodies and lyrics, and just start working on a pilot for Disney where me and my zany band mates are already famous and travel the world solving mysteries. I can over-act if I need to.
When I lived in Nashville, there was a lot of buzz for a local band called The Features. I went to see them once when they played a free show on the Belmont campus with Spoon, but I missed their show and I've always thought Spoon was a little boring so I left. On the way out I decided to pick up The Features' EP to see what all the hubbub was about and I'm so glad I did. I've been following them pretty closely ever since. They were briefly signed to Universal and toured with the Kings of Leon shortly after but then they just seemed to disappear. I heard that Universal had wanted their first single to be a cover and the band had no desire to do that so they were dropped. A while back they released a new record called "Some Kind Of Salvation" and I just got around to getting it last week. Its one of the best records I've heard all year. So, if you've got a taste for some incredibly original rock & roll, you should find a way to get your hands on a copy.