M83 – We Own the Sky
I sort of cheated today by posting this song. I’ve been listening to this song for about 4 years now, although I think most people still have never heard it. It came out in 2008 when M83 released their 5th studio album Saturdays = Youth which is somewhat of a tribute to certain musical themes that emerged in the 80’s. Most of the songs on the album feel like a soundtrack to a series of dream-like memories of someone’s child-hood. M83 is the only song on the album that I can still come back to again and again and enjoy the whole way through.
The video for this song was the winner of a contest that the band apparently held sometime recently. So if you go on YouTube you can find a couple other videos with the same name. I thought it was pretty well done, although sometimes when you know a song first and then see the music video it can be a blend of amusing disappointment as the video doesn’t live up to the expectations of your imagination. Like seeing any movie after reading the book.
In any case, I love this song and hope you do too! So far most of the songs I’ve posted here on Song of the Day have been pretty gentle. And with that cherubic girl at the top of every page of this site listening to her headphones with a look on her face like she’s listening to her favorite Celine Dion track, I hope I’m not giving the impression that I’m only going to be posting soft alternative and eclectic electronic tracks on here. Also, to clarify, the thing about the music industry and the mediums that we use to hear new songs that really bugs me is that amazing music can come out, and if it doesn’t fit just right into the massively produced Pop or macho dramatic love-scarred rugged male rock genres the music doesn’t get played on the radio or on TV. If you follow this blog and see how many good songs and artists you find on here that you wish you’d heard about earlier, please ask yourself this question, “Why do I never hear this stuff on the radio”. That’s my point. And the reason is, because radio stations and TV don’t care about spreading good music or supporting new and upcoming music artists that are amazing. Instead they care about money. And a lot of the radio stations you hear are either owned or supported by giant media conglomerated like ClearChannel, that have very specific criteria for what can and can’t be played on air. And those criteria that they use are designed to support only those artists that are being promoted by specific major record labels so that the majority of people go out and buy that music so the giant media conglomerates can make their profit.
There is nothing inherently wrong with this picture besides the fact that most people IMHO believe that if there was good music out there, the radio stations will play it, and that they can rely on large radio stations to play all of the new music that comes out and give them a good idea of what is out there and available. That’s the problem, and as a result, many musical artists who don’t fit the major media labels’ mold never reach your ears.
This same exact thing happens in the film industry these days. Most major action movies that come out these days all have a bunch of things in common and are extremely predictable and just about as original in thought and execution as a soggy bowl of Rice Krispies. The reason is again the same. Money.
Major film production companies could give a damn about making a good movie, what they care about is how to sell the most tickets possible, and the way to do that is to try to appeal to the widest audience possible. What this means is they add a romance story to make young women who like romance want to go see it. They make it violent enough for action fans to feel like they need to go see it, but make the violence soft enough to keep it rated PG-13 so everyone can still come and see it with their kids. They add comedic asides amidst the action so people who love humor come to see it, they add some theme about saving the world so people who want to see the world get saved or who like to see “global disasters getting averted” will like it, and they throw in a super sexy girl, a male lead role that college guys can relate to, and a really easy to understand plot with enough exposition so that Americans who have been trained by the media to not think critically or use abstract logic won’t tell their friends not to watch it because it was too confusing. So what you end up with in the end is this genetically engineered Monsanto corn seed that will never yield new seeds of creativity and that is marketed in a way to keep you dependent on it and forgetting that you ever knew any other variations, and the word variety slowly fades from your memory.
Again, it’s not necessarily the fault of these large companies that this happens, they are just doing what is necessary to maximize profit. The two issues that concern me are, first, that the public trusts in these major media outlets to present to them a decent variety of things so that we as consumers can make the right decisions about what we want, but instead of seeing all the variety that’s on the market the only thing that’s blasted at us everyday is the white spongy artificial wonderbread variety. And secondly that the public is so uninformed that this is even happening that they don’t have the knowledge to speak up and say, “Hey, you’re not telling me the whole story, you’re not telling me about everything else that’s out there, and maybe if you gave me the chance to make a decision, I wouldn’t buy your wonderbread, but instead would buy creative and original melodies like this song by M83 here, or it’s filmatic equivalents.”
I hope you understand what I mean, and it’s the whole reason why I think it’s so important to speak up and share with the people you know, the really amazing things in this world that don’t have multi-million dollar advertising budgets. Because, how else are we going to find out about this stuff?