What goes up

What goes up... is an entertaining (but oh so cynical) Guardian article about the rise and fall of "Firework bands" (aka one hit wonder indie bands) complete with a timeline and a PDF of the career trajectory of The Thrillers, a fictional firework band. This paragraph on music fans is amusingly brutal:

Anyone who does manage to become genuinely successful faces stratospheric expectations for their next record. Consider the Music, the Vines or the Polyphonic Spree, all of whom delivered more-of-the-same follow-ups to a withering lack of interest. Music-making has become a kind of gladiatorial combat, in which bands battle for attention while record-buyers casually tilt their thumbs up or down, forever craning their necks to examine the next contestant hovering at the arena entrance.

It's true that there's an awful lot of this going on -- the turnover rate for new exciting bands appears to be accelerating. Though at the same time it seems like most of those bands and labels over-spend to achieve something that was never meant to last, so what did they expect?