Dance music is fighting for its soul. The charts are filled with tracks (Rihanna, Flo Rida) that borrow from the ecstatic trance and pulsing grooves of electronic dance music. The last time pop was so infatuated with the dance floor was 1979, the year disco died.
This time around fans are more savvy about what's real and what's just radio. But the flood of new fans and industry cash has pushed the scene to a new level of soul searching. There's so much demand for EDM that pop stars are now DJing. Consider ...
... Will.i.am and Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas are now performing DJ sets, not to mention the likes of Calvin Harris, the British dance-prop crooner whose music is genuine and sublime.
And yet, why do we need a star like Harris to DJ at Electric Daisy Carnival, as he did Saturday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway? He evolved as a singer, not a spinner. And his set last night -- before it was cut off by organizers concerned about high winds -- was of the press-play variety.
Sure, Harris sneaked in a few outside tunes, such as Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At," but his session was mostly a showcase of his own songs, including call-and-response moments.
Here's a guy who can sing, and he wasn't singing! He was playing CDs of himself singing!
Does anyone else find that wrong?
It's bad enough that Kaskade, Deadmau5, David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia play predictable "sets" of their own tunes for giddy followers....