I came across an interesting old word: An-o-dyne
adjective - Not likely to provoke Dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.
noun – pain killing drug or medicine.
The example in the definition was, “anodyne modern music.”
This is right on the heels of a conversation I had with Ben Napier, a friend and fellow studio owner/music producer. He watched a documentary about the big radio chains. You would think with all the research they do it would be to find the songs people like the most. Instead, they focus on what songs are the least offensive… to keep people passively listening longer. It’s not just the radio chains. Movies and TV do the same.
This has been going on for some time and the result is music and entertainment that’s boring on purpose.
This is not new. Big business can’t afford mistakes. To produce a show or movie or music act at the highest levels is expensive. You won’t see real creativity from them. They just won’t take the risk.
Smaller companies and start-up bands will be the innovators to bring back interesting entertainment.
We’re small enough to fall flat on our faces and keep trying. So what if you play a show and everyone hates it. It’s just one show. Or what if you put out a song that doesn’t go anywhere? You can just do another one.
But here is the best part of all this: What if you try something new and everyone likes it, or you put a song up and everyone wants it. What if they tell everyone they know and you can’t even keep up with the demand to do shows!!!
Take advantage of not being famous. Try new things. Play for new audiences. Don’t set out to offend anyone, but if you have something important to say, don’t let anything stand in your way. It could be your break-out song.
When you reach that higher level of success, don’t start playing it safe and become anodyne.