Lariat Letter: Some modern artists make good music

By Blake Victor Kent

The editorial on contemporary music on Oct. 31 posed an important question. What musicians of our generation will be remembered for pushing the creativity, integrity and beauty of their art, inspiring our generation along the way?

I agree with the editors’ sentiment that much of today’s top 100 music — while at times catchy — is, however, basically soulless. Of course the editors avoid reference to popular groups that may challenge their theory, like Macklemore or Mumford & Sons, but the point is still well taken. What should we do about it?

I’m regularly shocked that in the age of the Internet, with access to thousands and thousands of bands at our fingertips, many Baylor students still let popular radio, MTV and other consumer driven media sources largely dictate the type music they listen to. I know this because, as a graduate assistant in the sociology department, I look at various compilations from intro classes on the types of music students are into.

I often play music in class and usually students have no idea about who I’m playing, even artists as brilliant and iconic as Sufjan Stevens. It’s all about the source: whose voice will you listen to in order to find music for your iPod? My most trusted source? To find the music that will inspire our generation, don’t look to the top 100. Look for artists who haven’t sold out to the big labels, and support media sources that bring them to our attention.

Blake Victor Kent
Bellingham, Wash., doctoral student