The Fact that the new Childish Gambino song has a Donkey Kong Country music sample in it is almost too much awesome for me to process at the moment.
I was initially joking, but my subconscious is probably telling me otherwise.
A Year or two ago, I was told what as "good" music and what was "bad" music, and bands like Wolves in the Throne Room are shoved into my mind, forcing me to like them.
Now, not only do I not respect Wolves in the Throne Room, I ****ing hate them and I don't respect almost everything that associates with it, which really forces me to belch out my through opinions. Here's how popular music works whether it's on the radio or if it's underground; there's the innovator, and there's the trend-hopper.
Right now in session, the metal of choice is atmospheric black metal. Because everyone is "so impressed" with the status of Wolves in the Throne Room, they need to perform their own atmospheric black metal, and there are so many countless imitators for in bunching up within one region alone. This is where the "trend" word comes in to play. The unintentional goal of trends is to replicate and flood the genre field with crap after crap, eventually drowning out the very few artists that show promise and actually try to transcend the genre in a way. Trends are to be found today commonly and obviously on the radio with post-grunge and the painful Lady Gaga bandwagoning but other less see-through cases like indie rock, post-rock, dubstep and even thrash metal back in the 80s or hell, I'll even do my tastes in a bit and say the new wave of EBM in the late 90s/early 2000s.
And what better way to describe modern-day trends better than the hipster. Yeah, they think they're non-conforming, but oh how so sad it's just about the opposite. Most hipsters are sheep, the music, the lifestyle, the fashion, the utter need to feel like they're of sophistication. It only fits the direction in where "sophisticated" black metal is going today, hence my usage for hipster black metal.
I guess this is all to express my utter hatred in where certain music stands today and I'm sorry to all who feel insulted but I really needed to say this. Especially when not too long ago I've fully introduced myself to traditional/regional music of countries and continents alike, my profound interests in Ethnomusicology. I guess in a way this all ignited my new-found disdain in "indie" music or atmospheric black metal, which is probably my fault but at this stage, I refuse to betray my best interests much like the time where I was force-fed into liking most of this music. It kind of also disappoints me how I feel like I have no stance in sharing traditional music.
Scenes always develop, and particularly in geographic regions - if that's what you're surrounded by, that's what a large number of people will gravitate toward (hence why, where I grew up, it's hard to find anybody in music who isn't either doing folk or country). It's an acculturation effect.
What your revulsion to "scenes" seems to lack, however, is the ability to parse out what elements from a scene actually have merit versus simply discrediting the entire scene on the basis that it is a scene. Yes, there's a lot of "me too"-ism in music scenes... but there tends to be at least something resembling legitimate talent in those areas.
Then again, even taking an outsider stance toward scenes can end up becoming its own scene... I'm not even going to pretend that, for instance, the progressive music community isn't a scene, and that there isn't a lot of iterative derivation occurring within (in particular with the legion of King Crimson disciples in the last 15-20 years).
"Trend-hoppers" have their role, too; they popularize a scene and make it known to a person who may come to be an innovator, but may have never been exposed to the scene without the trend-hoppers. It's extremely rare to find a scene that sounds entirely the same, too; I'd argue that artists in even the most derivative scenes do not sound exactly the same (though it is still not enjoyable music), so trend-hoppers rarely sound exactly like other trend-hoppers, even.
In short, you've probably got a point that popular music is built around innovators and trend-hoppers, though I might term the two differently. I just don't think it's a bad thing, by any means, nor is it exclusive to popular music.
RO: Parents found my copy of Octavarium. They decided to listen to it, much to my chagrin. Fortunately, they liked it. Not bad for a couple of 50-somethings listening to DT and liking it.