What Guitar Hero Hath Brought

24Feb10

One of the things about the working world is that you get up early enough to see MTV and VH1 play videos. I’ve been caught this one for the second time today, and it does leave an impression; mostly that this video was made almost for kids who have grown up with Guitar Hero–notice the how the neck of the guitar.

I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. Music has been marketed as long as there has been a music business. But I do admit, recent trends in pop have blown my mind.  My generation came of age seeing Britney and N*Sync. Choreography, hair gel, Lou Pearlman, forgettable music. I remember the disingenuous arguments on TRL from Limp Bizkit fans, that Fred Durst was talented and the music stood for something. Other than date rape. And of course, Limp Bizkit played their own instruments, so they had to be better, right?

Anyway, when the internet became a vehicle for music, the business side started losing money. You couldn’t just throw together a boy band and expect a gold record and heavy rotation. Increasingly, the labels started taking chances–they marketed r&b and hip-hop to pop markets, retooled what the expectations of what rock music is, and in general started taking chances. They handed artists their own record labels to expand their brand.

Here we see another example of taking a chance on an artist. Yes, Avril was successful before her, but she was a response to the success of power pop groups like Simple Plan and New Found Glory. This sound seems to not follow a trend. Yes, it’s pop-sounding, but where the hell did the guitar come from?

I think the answer lies in the video. The label noticed how Guitar Hero and Rock Band were making a lot of money on guitar based music, and they took a chance on Orianthi. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the song; for one, the guy she’s talking about sounds terribly unbalanced, perhaps an alcoholic that grew up in an abusive home?  Anyway, Steve Vai apparently has her back:

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