For Doucette, the problem arises when music isn't the point.
"It does seem like there's a little bit of, I want to become famous, then have a perfume line, make a record, be on a reality show. It's more about being famous than it is about wanting to do music because that's what you do, and then that opening you up to other possibilities. It depends on what your intention is."
But, he acknowledges, these are strange times for music.
"We're still in the Wild West of all this," he says. "People are still trying to figure out, how do people experience music now? There are so many different ways to do it, and how do you make that work? All these things fall into that -- the branding, the image, the importance of radio -- they're all connected."
In the meantime, when it comes to public tastes and media coverage, the pendulum swings forward and the pendulum swings back.
Perhaps the most successful musician of the past year is the pianist Adele, whose performing and songwriting are equally personal and unadorned -- a throwback to the early '70s singer-songwriters, or perhaps Norah Jones and Alicia Keys. Sure, there's been some celebrity chatter surrounding her -- she's famously had to deal with weight issues -- but, in general, her authenticity (a word used advisedly) has worked to her advantage.
"There's still a market for that," says Yahoo's Parker. "People say rock is dead, but things always are cyclical. I do feel it will take another Nirvana, another watershed rock band, and then all these technopop artists will get scared."
Besides, adds Doucette, if the music lasts, so will the artist who makes it.
"Eventually Lady Gaga's not going to be able to wear the meat dress," he says. "But she's not going to have a problem, because she's been, like, I can do this. And when (she) gives you a regular song, that's going to be as shocking as the meat dress, with her sitting there at the piano with no crazy hat on."