Jewish Journal

Taylor Swift, Moms and the Future of the Music Industry

by Mihal Levy

February 1, 2010 | 2:45 pm

As the wife of a professional musician, the future of the music industry is pretty important, as you can imagine.  For creative reasons…and for our family’s livelihood, of course.  But, after the Grammy Awards last night, I think we may both have to pick up a couple of day jobs or my husband will have to write songs with lyrics that are profound to a fourteen year old, like:
(“You Belong With Me”, by Taylor Swift):
You’re on the phone with your girlfriend, she’s upset
She’s going off about something that you said
She doesn’t get your humor like I do

I’m in the room, its a typical Tuesday night
I’m listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like
And she’ll never know your story like I do

But she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts
She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you’ll wake up and find
That what you’re lookin’ for has been here the whole time.

In other words, we are probably doomed.

Just to clarify - congratulations to Taylor Swift on her win (four, actually).  From a mom’s perspective, there is nothing wrong with a wholesome pop icon whose lyrics are clean and messages are simple: you don’t have to wear short skirts or be a “team captain,” just be yourself.  (Haven’t heard that before.)  I guess she can be compared to Debbie Gibson or Tiffany back in my day, the late 80’s.  I can see why fourteen year old girls wold be drawn to her type of music: girl power and inspiring messages having to do with teen angst, popularity contests and boys.  But what about the rest of us? 

What happened to the good old days (I know, I sound like old folk), when popular music could be enjoyed by ages fifteen and above?  Are we all fourteen year old girls?  And album of the year?  Does it really have much to do with the album, or more about who is the most popular singer among teens?  But I must be getting old, because I am more interested in the “earlier this evening” awards that are not televised.

So where is the future of the music industry headed?  Good question.  Ask the CEOs and business moguls.  As far as the artists are concerned, I’m not quite sure.  For my husband’s sake, I say he focus more on selling out than selling art.  After all, isn’t that what pays the bills?

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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