Viva! The Blog
Years ago it took an eternity for any publication to write about a band or write a live review. There is a place for those magazine relics, but for current up to date coverage the online community is the destination. Bloggers are now a very relevant part of the mix giving exposure to varying genres that are neglected by the mainstream press. Google has taken note and is offering new ways to find Blog content. There are music Blogs that have established a level of trust and a point of view. Matt and Mike at Ear Farm come to mind as one of the standouts. Ear Farm is honest, personable, informative and very entertaining. So Viva the Blog!
Romance of the DIY Movement
Another thought I've been pondering is the romance of the DIY movement. Doing music for the love of it. I think that all musicians agree that music will be apart of their lives no matter what happens to their future plans. The romance is perpetrated by the young and kept alive in houses, garages and alternative venues all across the country.
Talented and spirited bands embrace the ethic of non-commercialism. I understand this is a point of view but here is where I part company. Things start to sour, when they get older and have to find viable financial alternatives to live. Someone at twenty-one has different concerns then at twenty-seven. As many of their peers graduate from college, they find themselves financially lost. There is nothing wrong with music being a life long endeavor, without monetary compensation. If music is a career choice, money should be an important factor.
Commercialism, Strange Bedfellows
It is a sad state of affairs when bands have to choose strange bedfellows like commercials and TV spots to gain exposure. I welcome it but it does leave me with a bad taste. I realize it now is a staple in exposing new music. I also understand the reasoning behind using new music for such spots. The music is good and has had no radio play.
I work with young people whose musical taste is driven by pop culture and whose only exposure to music is what they hear on the radio or TV commercials. So it was quite interesting when I played the Feist tune, "Mushaboom" from her 2004 release Let It Die and watched their ears suddenly stand at attention. The voice recognition was powerful. Last year I played it with very different results. So exposure obviously works. Unfortunately, they are not open to new things they have never heard.
A Declaration of Independence
Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned forwarded the Declaration of independence via a myspace bulletin. It is from a site called 001 Collective. It is a very impassioned document, one I feel was written with the utmost sincerity. My only complaint is their assumption that creating and performing and doing what you love is not work. I beg to differ. Bands work hard! Their life on the road is grueling and the tenuous nature of the music business is stressful as well. Yes they are doing what they love but at a cost. Many have other jobs they do between gigs. That is called dedication and hard work.
The 001 Collective premise of offering music for free will ultimately be good for some bands. The concept is one that is being explored by bands like Beat Radio and labels like Team Love. This is a collective concept with one person being the arbiter of whose music is included. I guess the success of this collective all depends on his taste in music. I wish them luck.
Firstly, thank you for a wonderful year of blogging. I found drink up butter cup through your myspace and they are one of my favorite new bands. In anycase as someone running my own sort of record label, at least doing all my own promotion and booking for my band I completely agree with your points about the Romance of the DIY movement. There so far isn't sustainable money in it for us (the band pays for itself but it doesn't pay salaries) and the question is how do we catch a break.
As for the declaration of independence thing and music being work or not, the music isn't work, playing shows isn't work, at least not to me, not yet but promotion is work. At least in this day and age a small band has ways to promote which is an improvement that is where all the work lies in having a band.
but whatever about all that I am going to go play my guitar.
I think the amount of artists who have been turned town from being a part of the 001 collective is fairly close to zero. It's not quite so taste-oriented so much as participation oriented. Those who help out with the collective get their own artist page and a link on the front, those who don't, don't.
Russ aka Tinyfolk of the 001 Collective.
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