Cant stop listening to this song. That’s all.
Sometimes when I am in the midst of doing my taxes and accounting, signing contracts, writing PR copy, creating a grant calendar, figuring out the numbers for a final report, or any other such business, I ponder what I thought it meant to be a musician before I became one. I thought it had something to do with practicing every day, playing shows, writing songs, thinking about sound. Later on, once I actually BECAME a singer (and that process of BECOMING is another story), I realized that music was the juice. Yeah, the good stuff. But there was a lot more to it than that.
I thought about those times, historically speaking, when being a musician meant that all you did was make music. What made it possible? Waaaaaay back, we had those eras of personal patronage, of religious and state affiliations. And then there was that last century of ours, the 20th… when maybe someone would discover you and take care of everything. Maybe they would rip you off, and leave you broke, or maybe it wouldnt be so bad.
Nowadays it’s different. You do everything, or at least have a hand in everything. I cant really lament that fact. Thanks to reading Bob Lefsetz, you will never find me wishing the past was present. We’re here and we gotta deal with it. At the same time, I wonder what our current state of music prevents and what it makes possible.
Sometimes I think about a musician like Jimi Hendrix, who probably would not have had the patience to do that nitty gritty self promotion, business running, or strategic planning that every artist who wants to make it work in 2013 has to do. Would we have found him if he was out there playing music now? Probably not.
So what does it all mean? Well, for me it means finding ways to value music above the other jumble. Above the promotion machines, above the top 40, above the niche marketing…. You gotta find what moves you, and support it. That doesnt mean buying a CD necessarily, but it might mean spreading the word….. Or maybe for me it means taking a night off from doing my taxes and going out to see a show of some band that my friends told me I cant miss.