...but rock bands looping their recordings secretly in the studio...that's really dull
Of course, because its often used to hide bad-musicianship (theres the pot calling the kettle black) but theres till alot of looping in a band context that kinda works BECAUSE the loopy-ness of the track is important, Tell me that Ministry didnt loop all their rock stuff.
Nowadays I think of looping on a DAW as not being looping at all, but "recording". But thats cos I primarily make music solo. I still like it when I can hear that the band were playing together, in the same room, all at once. And that sound is rare nowadays, even if the band IS playing live, it often gets so over polished in post, that they maybe could have just looped the shit.
I still maintain that the reason that I love looping is because it sounds looped, I love the simple guitar 4 bars where theres a little string scrape or accidental, that comes around and and around. (but now Im veering back into the topic of another thread.)
I think the simple answer as to why pop music is not represented here too often is simply that pop music is rarely live. SO live looping is kinda out of the picture. However Im sure there must be many "pop" musicians buying loopers now top acheive in live shows, what they put together in the studio. But you wont find them there because looping is not at the core of their work.