Music Now:
What's Hot and What Snot




Music Now: What's Hot and What Snot
by Sue Basko
Popular music has trends. Some are good for a while, get played out, and disappear. Other trends were never good. Some trends are good while being done by the originators, but are silly when watered down and on their 6th or 7th level down the chain. Everything old is new again. Rudy Vallee sang through a megaphone in the 1930s; Tom Waits has been known in recent years to do the same. I thought Tiny Tim would be the last one to play a ukulele, now it's de rigueur. It seems everyone has a little ukulele up their sleeve, or at least in their backpack. So what's hot and what snot? Keep in mind that if you are so not-hot, you might be really white hot, but ahead of your time. Wait a few years and you might be the chit.
What’s Hot:
Singing really well. Getting a voice coach. Doing vocal exercises.
What Snot:
Auto-tune.
What’s Hot:
Lots of percussion, of all kinds. Native drums, cajons, shakers, triangles.
What Snot:
Drum replacement machines.
What’s Hot:
Bands touring like a group of hippie vagabonds in a converted school bus.
What Snot:
Having a corporation pay (and having to repay) for a fancy entourage bus.
What’s Hot:
Leading the audience in dance and movement rituals. Think: Dan Deacon.
What Snot:
Anything mosh pit.
What’s Hot:
Lyrics that powerfully take on important subjects, such as war, homophobia, sex trafficking. Think: Rise Against.
What Snot:
Lyrics that whine about the woes of being a rich kid in the suburbs.
What’s Hot:
Large musical ensembles with members and visiting players. Lots of instruments that add to the mix: Cello, violin, piano, accordion, flute, bassoon, horns, harp, banjo, sitar, ukulele.
What Snot:
Lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, drums.
What’s Hot:
Intelligent lyrics.
What Snot:
wtf wot wit choo. Dis iz hott.
What’s Hot:
Funny rap. Think: Wax and Herbal T.
What Snot:
Cop-killer rap.
What’s Hot:
Musicians and singers staying healthy and looking great. Getting older and still looking and sounding great. Think: Paul McCartney.
What Snot:
Rock star death by heroin or depression. So passé.
What’s Hot:
Street performing, busking, whatever you want to call it.
What Snot:
Musicians going hungry and homeless.
What’s Hot:
Music festivals.
What Snot:
Music festivals that feature tribute bands.
What’s Hot:
Screaming.
What Snot:
Racist screaming.
What’s Hot:
Recording and mixing at home. Having total creative control. Taking your time.
What Snot:
Spending $100,000 to record an album. Having to repay that.
What’s Hot:
Listening rooms. House concerts. Concerts in church spaces.
What Snot:
Promoters that book 6 bands a night in a cramped bar.
What’s Hot:
Hats, shades, vests, Steampunk.
What Snot:
Matching haircuts.
What’s Hot:
Balcony TV.
What Snot:
American Idol.
What’s Hot:
Schools having music education.
What Snot:
Supposed child prodigies playing the only song they know well on “Ellen.”
What’s Hot:
Making a music video with your camera phone.
What Snot:
Spending a fortune to make a bloated, silly music video.