Music Geek #11: Post-rock: reproducing in the back seat since the ’90s

From From the chart attached — from, a wonderful little site of charts and graphics and things by Dorothy Gambrell, creator of my favorite web comic, Cat and Girl — it’s clear that instrumental music is not very popular right now. If that wasn’t painfully obvious, though, I’m not sure what was. Sadly, not much post-rock hits the #1 spot on the charts, much to my bemusement. I’d rather like the music I enjoy to be enjoyed by many, many people!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – “Dead Flag Blues (Intro)” | download (via official site)

I suppose I recognize that people are generally interested in music that’s catchy, especially lyrically and vocally. It’s rather hard to sing along with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, let alone Tortoise — this, I admit. And, if I’ve learned anything from people, it’s that they really, really like to sing along to things, for better or worse.

Okay, I don’t expect everybody to find joy in the things I find joy in, but come on, people! Have a little heart for the instrumental song. The last number-one hit instrumental was, of all things, Jan Hammer’s “Miami Vice Theme.” Lovely. All respect to the talented, quality songwriter Jan Hammer is, but the last hit instrumental? It’s been 23 years since it peaked, and still, there have been no further instrumental tracks to hit number one. I suppose that’s par for the course.

Looking through the charts is depressing, no two ways about it — the 1990s were not a good time for music, I guess. I can’t complain about what came out of the decade, actually: post-rock didn’t even come around until the 1990s, when instrumental music, popularly, had hit its lowest. You probably won’t see a post-rock track ever charting at No. 1, unless we end up in some infinitely cool dystopian (or utopian, for that matter) future. Still, it’s gained massively in popularity since its sort-of inception, latched on to by indie kids and college students alike.

So, while not everything I love will be loved by everyone, I can at least take solace in the fact that at least some love it enough to keep creating it, supplying my musical addiction daily.

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