|A big, rocky sell-out|
As anyone closely following the news emanating from the enormous intersection spanning the world of popular music and the realm of the scientific studies of celestial bodies well knows,
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has just released new music, prompting an insane amount of buzz in the press. Rosetta Blog, Discovery News, Smithsonian.com, and a host of other hip, pop-culture websites are treating 67P's latest like its the greatest thing to happen to recorded music since the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper.
Unfortunately, this is a tune that all true music fans have heard before. Its the classic opus: the formerly unknown artist, the starving musician toiling in obscurity, making meaningful and creative music suddenly gets a little mainstream success and bam!, all the substance leaks out like so many ionized particles through a pseudo-atmosphere of electrically conductive plasma.
It would be unfair to say that 67P's new music is "unlistenable" or "a complete pile of steaming space-garbage", but the terms "derivative" and "uninspired" come to mind. Clearly, this is an attempt to capitalize on the sudden attention from a massive new market. We've seen this kind of thing countless times in the past when an artist suddenly explodes in, say, Japan or Europe. The comet is now clearly pandering to its new demographic: the population of Earth. Of course, the bandwagon will rush to defend the artistic integrity of 67P (thereby justifying their own shameless frontrunning) by saying "Oh, if the comet were really pandering to mankind, it wouldn't have released its music at a frequency 10,000 times below the limit of human hearing." However, such arguments are barely defensible these days, and, frankly, becoming somewhat tiresome. Mp3s vs CDs, vinyl vs cassettes, Pandora vs Spotify, within range of the audible spectrum vs 10,000 times lower than the lowest sound detectible by the human ear... isn't the music supposed to matter more than the format in which its released?
Nevertheless, this latest effort from 67P will doubtlessly shape up to be the comet's "Nevermind", its Black Album, its "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". The comet will surely reach the height of its popularity thanks in part to its producer/sound engineer team of the Rosetta spacecraft and the Philae Science lab, bought and paid for with the deep pockets and fat wallets of the European Space Agency. With these huge tech-dollars now funding its efforts, the comet will get a taste of the sweet, sweet nectar of an audience with the ability to interpret and enjoy sonic vibrations, and once that fame train gets a-rollin', it'll be on the fast track to mediocrity.