So You Are a Star? Okay.

Why Hasn’t the Portland Music Scene Embraced Its Original Hitmakers?



"The artistic dogmas that fueled rock music in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s are all equally meaningless to me. This is great, because it means my generation can enjoy everything."

And here we go. The most loathsome element of pop and rock music criticism is the signaling: The statement from the writer that they inhabit the moral high ground and differing opinions are held by plebes. This ignores, however, the fact that the writer's generation has written more rigid rules for music consumption than the generations before. Grunge, the golden age of hip and the emergence of electronic dance music all occurred in the '90s, with tremendous overlap between the genres. Go back to the '80s and rock, pop, hip-hop , and Latin freestyle all influence one another and shared common traits.

The current generation has subdivided hip hop against itself, turned EDM from a pop influence to a Vegas pool niche, and relegated any music made with a guitar to the outskirts. "My generation can enjoy everything" ... in stations and playlists neatly curated by Spotify and streaming algorithms. You can enjoy anything in its silo, so long as it isn't in contact with other silos. You've created a giant silent disco that purports to be incredibly open, but definitely stays it its lane when it comes to which shows at the fest to attend, which playlists and stations to follow, which podcasts to listen to, and which genres to follow. People dropped downloadable music and the MP3 format relatively quickly, but at least that was a broad, honest consumption of music.

The writer espouses the virtues of this particular generation and decries the "dogmas" of those that came before, but those "dogmas" weren't all that solid and crumbled at every jukebox and block-party record crate in the country. It isn't those generations' fault that the current lot posts one ideology in public, but agrees to a completely different terms of service once the Airpods are in.


So... the Mercury is sad because none of these bands gets talked about --by the Mercury?


I really enjoyed this well-written, well-researched article. It was especially nice to see local authorities like Currier and Sten included. I'm used to contrarian Millennial hot-takes from this writer and outlet, so I want to give credit where it's due, to both Troper and his editor. Nice work.