Soooooo... BIG NEWS EVERYBODY. Skrillex got a billion Grammy nominations! (Ok, not a billion, but like, 5. Which is like 80 hundred thousand in the electronic music world). This of course has spawned a bunch of hilarious reactionary shizzle and many many blogs wondering WHY and IF this dude should get nominated. Clearly I need to participate. Puhlayse. Like I could resist.
So I get online and there is already a healthy facebook thread started by supreme sass FunkHunter Nick Middleton, and among many yay! or boo! comments (Nick was a yay, fyi) this one stood out for me by Timothy Wisdom:
"I think people hate on Skrillex because of this: Dubstep started as a "cool" niche genre of music that had only a small number of fans. Let's call them "heads", however the dubstep they listened to isn't very much like Skrillex's music at all. The "heads" like being part of an exclusive group as it makes them feel special and unique - something that most of us enjoy feeling. Then dubstep became a mainstream genre and the "heads" lost a part of their exclusive identity. It's natural for people to instinctively reach for exterior blame and Skrillex (and Rusko prior to this) has become the scapegoat. I believe this has happened with loads of other types of music as well. I recall being angry at the Red Hot Chillies for making "Blood Sugar" and selling out their punk roots - and Nirvana for the same reason. Really, I was just upset at loosing my "I'm more punk than you" vibe. The same applies here."
So here's what I have to think about this, because honestly I've seen a lot of the same mentality that Tim is talking about in the burlesque community over the years. To be honest, I think a lot of “heads” don't really have much investment anymore in being part of a super-cool, elusive extra punk group. I think now they'd much rather get flown around & make a ton of money (and not at the expense of their musical integrity), especially after struggling for the last dozen years. I think the general frustration comes from realizing that the type of music that Skrillex makes has a mass appeal in a way that the headier music might never. As sensitive artist types, we have a reaction - because what does that say about the masses? It's not unlike pop music in that way. And the frustrating reality is that not everyone gives a fuck about the nuances of music the same way that artists do. NOT EVERYONE IS AN ARTIST. My sister is a good example of this. She doesn't give a fuck. She just wants to dance, and rage. Also – she won't go out LOOKING for specific music the same way artists & DJs do, and so most people who just want to rage will do so to the best thing they can find THAT IS HANDED TO THEM. This is also frustrating because it The Hand looks for mass appeal for an entirely different reason: capitalism.
Personally, I'm stoked for the Skrillex dude because it seems that coincidentally he genuinely enjoys making music that has mass appeal. It seems at least like he rose to fame the old-school way, instead of being “made” by the industry. I'd MUCH rather see his face on TV than a boyband. I think the masses love his music for a reason and need it. I don't listen to it, but apparently I am not the only person that matters. (If I was, Rupaul would be president and I would be writing this from a pink helicopter).
Now. As to how it will affect our community, I think that has more to do with what Tim's saying. Skillex's success (and the success of the mainstream-ish dubstep acts in general) has definitely cracked open the "secret" door to our underground, non-corporate event world like Shambhala. Ummm... that shit is selling out 9 months in advance now??? SERIOUSLY. WHAT the FUCK?? I really feel that it's so important to not lose sight of the fact that this is AMAZING FOR US. Puhlayse. I don't know a DJ who doesn't fucking love performing at Shambs. Don't even fucking try to tell me that you know someone who doesn't love bangin' out on those systems, or playing to the massive crowds of people LOSING THEIR SHIT. And so what if the crowd contains a whole wack of new kids who heard about it through Skillex? Who cares? That's fine, and great. I didn't become a burlesque dancer so I could perform only to other burlesque dancers & their friends for my whole life. That's the whole reason WHY I dance at Shambs, or at Keefer, or in the Yukon, or even at a frickin' retirement home (I seriously did that with Lola last year. It was fancy. And awesome. And they FUCKING LOVED it). Because I want to bring what I'm doing to new audiences. Because I'll never forget that moment, at 15, when I heard my first hard-core DJ. Or when, at 21, I saw my first burlesque dancer. And trust me, I was FAR from super cool or in the exclusive group or knew anything about anything back then. All I can say is, thank god that happened. Can you imagine if it hadn't!?? OMG. I shudder at the thought.
At the end of the day, we will always still have our more exclusive, artist-oriented events. They will always be there, they will always materialize (Basscoast comes to mind). And there we can feel all super cool and listen to "future music" or whatever the fuck we are calling it that week and spend the money we made performing for AWESOME new kids who just want to be inspired. Yay. EVERYBODY WINS.
SO. Good for you, Skrillex. From what I hear you are a super nice dude and I couldn't be happier for you. And if any of the shit talk gets you down, just buy some louder fucking speakers. GO FORTH VALIANT BROSTEPPER!!!
PS: Oh yeah, valiance. In case you haven't heard... the whole Dollhouse crew is getting together to throw a giant party on NYE... underground... and let me tell you, it is REALLY REALLY NOT going to suck.
All the detes are here. It is going to be SEVERE. Seriously. SERIOUSLY.
ok for real now.