> I would say you most likely have seen it become more
> accepteable and mainstream, which is fair enough. I still
> feel its very stagnant at the moment.
> Strange thing a point of view, its quite difficult to step
> back and view it at a distance i suppose.
> The music I listen to know and is being played seems very
> similar to underground, rap and techno that had its birth in
> the late 80's and yes it does seem more mainstream also.
I don't know whether these trends are applicable to the culture as a whole, I think though that by the late 80's period you cite, the music scenes were already quite fragmented. This fragmentation has only increased since that time to where it's almost become pointilistic. Mainstreaming, in the sense of the shock of the new wearing off, happens to everything, the riotous reception to Dada and modernist art and music back in the day just puzzles us today. A mainstream culture however no longer exists so far as I can see. In the 60's and into the 70's there was a center around which trends revolved and a common shared culture existed among youth that allowed for an openness to the fringes. By the mid 70's there was a retreat into various opposing camps, folk rock, country rock, progressive, pub, etc.; all of them relatively meaningless terms. Punk, Hip Hop, Disco, Dub, what have you, just accelerated the process. What happened in the 90's though was that people of your generation blurred all the earlier categories and were listening to everything from the 60's, or even earlier, on. There were plenty of obscure bands who were selling more and were better known in '97 than they'd been in '72. Now it seems once again that the culture is revolving around a center, small autonomous zones freely intermixing with each other and with music history, except that the center it seems, is populated only by a vacuum reserved for whatever faceless flavor of the month is vorticised by the industry. The reason it seems stagnant is that there are no dominant forces, everything is happening at once, and many artists are no longer content to stay in their place. I subscribe to The Wire, which is emblematic of the trends. DJs name check Stockhausen and Xennakis as well as Grandmaster Flash, laptop improvisers and Japanese noise artists are obsessed with English folk music, remixers and dub artists draw on Bollywood, ie Indian, film music and Appalachian murder ballads, jazz musicians are interpreting Wagner and Mahler. For awhile it seemed like there was a new sub-genre every issue, which was okay except I got the uncomfortable feeling some of their writers thought the terms actually meant something. There's a lot of brilliance and a lot of dross and it's coming at us in mind numbing quantities.