Electronic Dance Music & Garbage Review

Jim and Greg explore the growing genre of Electronic Dance Music and the new rave generation with writer Philip Sherburne.

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Last week Justin Bieber’s fans sold out his entire North American tour in under an hour (that’s an average of 1,000 tix a second). Beliebers indeed. If you’re asking how this is even possible, you aren’t alone. NPR talked to concert industry expert Gary Bongiovanni, who said, as Jim puts it, the game is rigged. Once the scalpers, fans clubs, credit card companies and radio stations have gotten their cut of the tickets (whether through pre-sale or, in the case of scalpers, by using bot programs to cut the line), less than half of the stated number of tickets actually go on sale to the public. If you’re wondering why you can’t get tickets to your favorite act, this is why.

Electronic Dance Music

Robert F.X. Sillerman’s favorite artists are Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, but lately the entertainment mogul’s been in a dancing mood. The man who helped create Clear Channel by buying up radio stations and concert venues is investing in electronic dance music in a big way. Starting with Louisiana’s Disco Productions, Sillerman has started buying up regional dance music promoters, with the intention, Jim supposes, of selling the genre’s collective neon-tinted audience to advertisers. He says it’s just the latest example of the corporatization of this booming corner of the music industry. Speaking of which...

Philip Sherburne

EDM - or Electronic Dance Music - has exploded over the past decade in Europe and the United States. But if names like Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, and David Guetta mean nothing to you, never fear. Jim and Greg have brought in Spin’s Philip Sherburne, author of the Control Voltage blog, to offer a primer for the un-initiated. They kick off the conversation with a discussion of the genre’s recent evolution: from the short-lived nineties rave scene with its anonymous DJs spinning in dark rooms, to the audio/visual spectacles presided over by celebrity DJs that we see today. A new emphasis on showmanship, and the adoption of dub step’s aggressive, bass-heavy beats have won superstar producers like Skrillex, Tiesto, and Rusko a huge, youthful following says Sherburne, effectively making EDM the new stadium rock. But he’d also suggest keeping your eye on the up-and-comers, artists like SBTRKT, Four Tet, and Caribou.

Wrapping things up, Jim and Greg put the new artists we’ve heard in historical context. After all, as Jim says, covering dance music can give you deja vu. Greg reminds us that todays EDM producers are following in the footsteps of disco artists like Giorgio Moroder, Chicago house and techno musicians, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Fatboy Slim, and - dare we say it - Brian Eno.

Not Your Kind of People Garbage

Not Your Kind of People (Deluxe)

It’s been awhile since we heard from Garbage - seven years in fact. Now the alt-rockers are back with a new studio album, Not Your Kind of People. At this point, Jim points out, Garbage is a nostalgia act. They first made a splash in the mid-nineties, convincing grunge kids to don Goth makeup and get out on the dance floor with singles like Stupid Girl, and Only Happy When It Rains. Some might say Garbage was also a cash-in project, with lead singer Shirley Manson and alt-era producers Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker content to ride the grunge wave. But even Jim admits, you couldn’t help tapping your foot to those singles. What has Garbage got for us in 2012? According to Greg, Not Your Kind of People offers singles just as good as any Garbage recorded back in the day. But after a seven-year hiatus, that’s not enough. He never was much of a fan of Garbage albums, and that, along with the band’s sound, hasn’t changed. Jim agrees. Shirley Manson is still a compelling front woman, and who couldn’t use a little goth dance music in their life? But ultimately, this is a Burn it album.

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