Friday, November 23, 2018

Microstory 980: Disco

I just have one question for you: why does everyone seem to hate disco so much? It’s not like everyone who listened to it when it was first popular is dead, so why is disco itself dead? We still listen to all kinds of music that isn’t trending right now; wasn’t created just a year or two ago, so why is this one genre so largely despised? Well, I’ve done a bit of research on the matter, and learned that it all stems from people’s hatred of it back when it was first being created. Or rather it comes from people being convinced that there was something wrong with it. Evidently, radio station personalities began a national campaign to combat the genre; a coordinated strike against what they perceived to be a threat to real music. Disco was catchy, but often overproduced. It gave rise to discotheques, which replaced live bands, souring people’s perception of it. Basically, all the complaints we had about disco are the same ones we’re seeing today with pop. There is a markèd difference between a band who writes and performs their own music—who believes in what they’re making, and has something to say—and a pop singer who hires a lyricist and composer to make something for them, and essentially absorb all the credit. But not all art is the same, and performers and audience members don’t all get the same thing out of that art. It’s okay that Miley Cyrus doesn’t have any strong feelings about Jay-Z or Britney Spears, yet they were both included in her song Party in the USA, because her fans like the sound, and that’s really all that matters. While art is always in competition with other art for your attention, it’s not designed to be better than anything else. I love disco, and I won’t apologize for that, just like I don’t expect you to apologize for listening to crap, like The 1975, or The Lumineers.

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