i really dislike when people say this and generalize, there is good music, but its not mainstream, i say you don't bother yourself to look.
Considering there are far better songs made in the past I just don't really bother after being exposed to so much current shit. I believe it has been pop music that has led me to this thinking. Pop music used to not bother me so much back while I was growing up in the 80s/90s (considering I didn't even hear or listen to most of it) but now after being forced to listen to some of it at previous jobs it makes my head want to explode. Also, the entire auto-tune phase is very annoying.
That's just pure opinion. I know tons of people who will disagree with you, myself included. While I don't think any era of music is significantly better than the other, I happen to enjoy alot of the music played now a days. For example, LMFAO's Party Rock and Sexy and I know it. Pretty mainstream songs, kinda shallow in content/lyrics, but to me, it's pretty good. I listen to these songs and I just jam. I don't care how mainstream it is or underground or all the bullshit people tend to label music now a days. Dubstep for the most part, I don't like it, but I heard a few songs from which are actually pretty cool and I'm not ashamed to say "Yeah, I listen to a bit of dubstep." Don't generalize all of today's music as garbage. There's a lot of good bands still playing quality music, Foo Fighters, Linkin Park (flame shield on), RHCP and so on. Too many people get stuck on the oldies and newer stuff, like it's impossible to like both. I simply don't understand it
I will agreed with you that it's become to easy to become an artist. It's like you said, it's all about the image first, talent second.
For the record, I grew up listening to black sabbath, deep purple, a little bit of pink floyd and the likes cause my dad was a hardcore rock fan and still is. I like some of their work but I don't consider myself a fan, other than liking a few of their songs.