There's been a lot of discussion over at the TPM Café Book Club about what the Internet is doing to the music scene — not just to the industry, which we can all see is crumbling, but to music itself. Bill Wasik (whose new book And Then There's This was this week's topic) declares himself depressed about "the ecstatic surf from new band to new band, from track to track, from style to style, that serves as the predominant mode of indie-rock fandom today." In the past, Wasik maintains, overnight sensations had "almost always been manufactured by radio, or by big record labels, or by the interplay between the two"; now it's fans on the Web who are responsible. Amanda Marcotte observes that there's nothing new about flash-in-the-pans. She's right on that one: Blues Magoos, anybody? And Nicholas Carr points out that the goal of the major labels "was not to encourage one hit wonders but rather to sustain elephantine franchises like, say, ELO, Yes, and the Eagles."
Having endured one too many ELO concerts in my rock-critic years, I can vouch for that as well. But then he goes on: