Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Everyone Thinks Your Music Stinks

 I still buy the occasional album, but it has to be GOOD.

I’m at the point now where if someone wants to share my music these days, or even talk about it, I take it as a huge compliment.  I’ve read several of these “Blame the Fans” (DMN, FORBES, GENE SIMMONS, QUIETUS) arguments now, and they're usually from a view that doesn’t quite grasp, let alone embrace, the last decade’s revenue shift or perhaps the value of a quality original production.  The assumption is that signed artists (i.e. those that “made it”) were making their heyday fortunes from recordings and touring.  Fact is, up until the late ‘90s album profits subsidized their tours.  Still true for mega-artists, perhaps, but I suspect that touring still creates the lion’s share.  Back in the day, ticket prices were generally cheaper (inflation-adjusted), productions more lavish and entertaining, and those concerts tested/teased upcoming material.  Oh, and the obligatory swag you sported in high school the next morning...

Good times.

But where are we today, exactly?  Generally speaking (because there IS some great new music out there), what we have now is factory-driven, formulaic, homogenized silt.  What musician gets out of bed in the morning and says, "Today I want to create something completely different.  Something never heard before."  Don’t take my word for it; people like Ian Anderson have been spouting this for quite some time.  No, it’s not the typical elder complaints ala Tony Bennett or Time (although I agree with parts of their reports concerning corporate influence).  Apparently, very few artists and producers strive for a well-conceived, sonically-excellent original work of ART these days.  Because of this, upcoming generations are all well and good with low-cost, massively-engineered, low-fi digital…and lots of it.  Who can blame them?  And concerts?  There’s not much out there special enough to justify $200 for a date night...or fan’s geek-on…or whatever the motive.  Us “older” folks aren’t much for shelling the money, or more importantly the time, to see their favorites simply stand on a prosaic stage, running a pacifying song list that took merely a week to rehearse.  Asking a kid to blow that kind of coin for couple hours away from their X-Box, or—how much Smirnoff Ice is that?—yeah, well, you see the economics. 

My takeaway from all this is:

Stop whining and UP YOUR GAME.
Be ORIGINAL, Make ART, give them a SHOW.
The public will decide if you’re worth their gonk.


Still pounding away at the keys whenever a free moment arises, but the missus and I are in the beginning process of changing neighborhoods…so there’s that distraction.



T. Nelson Taylor | Official Site | DusT | Bolita