If EDM is on a Death Watch, Stupid Americans Are to Blame

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As of late, both CNN and The Guardian have contemplated the idea that Americans are an inherently dumb nation of people. On October 1, 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released results of a two-year study in which thousands of adults in 23 countries were tested for competency in literacy, basic math, and technology. At or near the bottom in all three categories, the failings of the United States were placed on display for the world to see. However, at a recent Zedd-headlined show in Chicago, ignorant (and possibly boorish) EDM fanatics showcased America’s apparently rampant issue with ignorance in a far less intellectual display. In Americans knowing nothing, and apparently showing no desire to learn, could our nation’s willful display of ignorance be the first (of many) death knells for EDM?

The night of partying in Chicago attempted to build energy through a classic notion of what a proper night of dance should embody. Classixx’s funky disco grooves setting the tone for Zedd‘s own pop-dance explosiveness makes sense. However, Classixx were booed offstage. In these EDM fanatics in the middle of America not being receptive to an established global tradition of what makes a quality night of dance a quality night of dance, it may not just speak to an aberrant night at the #PLURNT party.

Facts and figures clearly show that this is an era of tremendous flux in the music industry. Beyonce puts out 17 videos and 14 tracks without warning, rap and rock are on a commercial death watch, and cheap to produce and (in being singles-driven) easy to spread EDM has taken control. Because of factors that are, at present, out of anyone’s control, we’re turning music fans into hungry cannibals. More music is being given away than is being sold, and thus free access to music is at an all-time high. From these facts, its possible to extrapolate the idea that maybe Zedd and his management team) was wrong to present a traditional night of dance for his crowd. This crowd, remember, cannibalizes music, and if given mounds of metaphorical chaff with the promise of wheat to come, should be expected to grow hungry and impatient. However, aside from playing “Clarity” on repeat for three hours (tremendous “fuck you” ideas, actually), there are very few ways to satiate a crowd in this environment.

As well, this situation makes me ask the question of what exactly I (and others) are doing here writing these columns, obsessively pouring through hours upon hours of the history of dance music, and generally attempting to create the foundation for a new generation of dance fanatics to understand the history of dance music culture? By booing Classixx (who, if by using traditional dance definitions, and understanding the natures of what Zedd create, are probably the best of all possible openers) people are literally throwing their own feces at the house that many would ideally love to build, and, well, that’s not okay.

If you’re going to throw feces at this house then it’s only right that as an inhabitant of this house, that I fire back with some facts of where this is likely headed. Two times in the past forty years dance music culture made significant gains in the global mainstream and came to America to die at the hands of our own inherent stupidity. Our desire as Americans to actively want to know nothing, yet demand everything turned dance’s expansive notions into insipid three minute and 30 second pop moments. A life-affirming culture able to supersede all intellectual and social barriers turned into sch ridiculous things as a radio DJ singing with a duck, the Village People making tons of money off thinly veiled gay innuendos, and later songs about Barbie dolls and square-dancing. If that’s where you want all of this to go, then that’s okay. All I ask is that you stop reading, go pre-game hard, and show up at the club just in time for the headliner’s biggest hit song.

However, if you don’t want this fun you’re clearly having with EDM to end, then take a second and do something clearly totally un-American: get educated. George Clinton once said, “free your mind and your ass will follow.” In accepting the depth and breadth of what constitutes dance, I assure you, the party will NEVER stop. As long as the music industry can’t turn giant profits, thus leading to pushing singles and (relatively) cheap to produce EDM, dance’s run on top could last FOREVER. Sadly though, it seems as though Americans have absolutely no intention whatsoever of listening to me (or anyone else). Booing Classixx sounds like the beginning of the end. Cue the square-dancing ducks and Barbie dolls. If this party’s going to end, it needs to be as absurd as possible. EDM really doesn’t need to end like that, and there’s no reason why I have to write a column like this, too. America is so dumb. That is unfortunate.

  • controlla

    Classixx = really good music, “edm” is something different

  • Matthew Almont

    Why is every article I read on this site the most pretentious, pompous thing I can imagine?

    • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

      Hey bro, if you don’t share this author’s subjective musical tastes, you’re an idiot. Can’t argue with that.

  • simplyzac

    classixx bff wrote this ..

  • jon

    The only people who would go to a Zedd show are people ignorant enough to boo off a performer they know nothing about. Classixx shouldn’t have toured with Zedd in the first place. Also whoever wrote this is like dumb and high. How are you going to call and entire country stupid? Fucking asshole.

    • D.A.

      I’m American, and we are fucking idiots when it comes to knowing what quality is. There is still light at the end of the tunnel though, Jon Bon Jovi can still sell out every single concert on his current tour (sidenote: I don’t listen to JBJ, but I know good talent when I hear/see it)

  • Dat Dude

    Horrendous article… Saying hip hop/ rock music is dying? What are people listening to then? Silence?… FOH! Obviously the majority of America doesn’t want EDM, just like soccer. The world can have it.
    The root of hip hop is rock n roll, and the root of dance music is hip hop. Maybe Americans are purist. Maybe we shun it because it’s different. Maybe EDM sucks and it has met its terminus. Hopefully.
    And stop calling them “Djs!” Grand Master Flash is a DJ! Jam Master Jay was a dj. Dj Jazzy Jeff is a dj. Even Dj Clue!!! Fuck off. The world is still biting the American talent and can’t get it right.

    • Xavier Mafe

      “The root of dance music is hip hop.” I should have stopped reading once you said that but I kept going. Your comment about DJs made my eyes hurt also.

    • Tony

      This post… smh…
      wash your hands before you go pointing your fingers. You’re ignorantly pointing out the ignorance of others. Yes, the article was not great, but it does make good points. But mostly the problem here is saying a music professional who mixes together tracks for an audience is in some way not a DJ. You’re gonna have to acknowledge that Bassnectar is every bit as much of a DJ as Grand Master Flash

  • nico

    “Our desire as Americans to actively want to know nothing, yet demand everything”

    THIS times a million. This is exactly what that term ‘EDM’ is – a lazy coined buzzword for the American market who want it all but have never understood the difference between techno, house, dnb, garage, trance, etc – not to mention the hundreds of sub-genres and crossovers spawned from that – that have been flourishing in europe and elsewhere for well over 20 years. Electronic music ‘s past and current development elsewhere has been whitewashed in the US by a marketing boardroom, and it’s proved successful, but what you’re left with is flash-in-the-pan, generic, and going no where.

  • nico

    “Our desire as Americans to actively want to know nothing, yet demand everything”

    THIS times a million. This is exactly what that term ‘EDM’ is – a lazy coined buzzword for the American market who want it all but have never understood the difference between techno, house, dnb, garage, trance, etc – not to mention the hundreds of sub-genres and crossovers spawned from that – that have been flourishing in europe and elsewhere for well over 20 years. Electronic music ‘s past and current development elsewhere has been whitewashed in the US by a marketing boardroom, and it’s proved successful, but what you’re left with is flash-in-the-pan, generic, and going no where.

    • jeffmabi

      Well said.

  • Mike252

    mainstream “EDM” fans are stupid and ignorant. Young America is growing increasingly a movement of popular culture. no one thinks for themselves and forms their own opinions.

  • ellove

    I’m not sure if death watch is the right word but I understand where your coming from and love the George Clinton quote he is one of the best performers I have ever had the pleassure of seeing :)

  • Casey

    EDM is the product not of a nation, but of the Internet.

    Americans being stupid at a EDM show will have zero effect on either EDM or America. Traditional recorded music (rock and roll) will continue to sell tens of thousands of copies – and exist within its ageing television bubble – and EDM will continue to be pioneered by visionaries living in their mother’s basements.

    Because their music will always be free. Because it will have to be. And people who listen to great music will find it. Hoping, with all hope, to be a DJ name that people in several cities may actually recognize, and perhaps have the audacity to stick around longer than the brief sub-genre that propelled them to fame, producers under the law of EDM supply and demand are so much more humble than the cantankerous folk-singer millionaires that proceeded them.

    So, if millions of Americans wants to keep falling in love with its 4:4 rock ‘n’ roll odes of love, rebellion, and boring – it’s more than welcome to. There will be millions of Americans downloading amazing EDM, and helping spread the word to listeners that would actually appreciate the sound. America itself, as a nation, has nothing to add to this conversation. It’s sloppy education and zero-valuing of its own population hurts itself in everything; not just at night when those blow-hards turn up at an EDM show.

    This is a non-conversation. There is nothing to discuss here. This entire article is full of hot-air. And written terribly to boot. Funny, for a piece that repeatedly lambastes American short-comings, it certainly shares many similarities with them.

  • Toast

    This is the kind of article that brings out the worst in the writer and everyone one reading it, myself included. “Americans are dumb for booing off Classixx from a Zedd concert”. Let’s just clump all Americans into a cesspool of ignorance and hope that explains it all because obviously that was the best thing we could come up with when we hear about that. This article is dumber than the nation of people it calls out.

  • Rud Bwoy

    So let me get this straight, people booed Classixx (a sound akin to disco/funk, you know stuff you can actually groove to) but were raving made over a 90′s Max Miller repeat (That’s what Zedd sounds like, sanitized tweeny-pop…… getting nauseous just thinking about it). Geez, I’m nervous to know how they would treat Rudimental if they came to town. But not all is lost, facts are facts and the fact is that Jon Bon Jovi has sold out every single show of his current tour. I have no worries.

  • Inspector Norse

    EDM is not a genre of music, it’s a marketing term akin kind of like “Alternative” was before: a catch-all used to pool a bunch of disparate genres together into one demographic. Why bother having to distinguish between House and Dubstep when all you care about is getting impressionable youth to spend their parents’ money?

    As a big fan of Classixx I share your disgust at the way they were treated by that crowd, but frankly this is nothing new. The same thing happened when Sonic Youth opened for Neil Young, or when Pavement played the main stage at Lollipalooza.

    Also, I don’t know a ton about global music tastes, but I’m told that the Black Eyed Pees are one of the highest selling acts in Asia. Is anyone really naive enough to think that this kind of shit doesn’t happen in other countries?

  • Jyur

    Total nonsense to put Classixx in the same line up as Zedd. Totally different kinds of electronic music. Totally different kind of fans……

    Boo to this electronic noise below. Half an year later, and he’s probably still plays many of the same tracks….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X79BObKw9z8

    • Jyur

      And I wonder if he’s really mixing…………