Category Archives: Observation

A Rare Parenting Post …

17191499_10155129297615802_693229583783904952_nEpiphanies do seem to come suddenly and from the strangest places … I suppose that’s why they call them epiphanies instead of “thoughts you just have because they make sense.”  Case in point, I have this kid — or small proto-adult — living in my home.  We call her “Lil’ Q.”  She’s six … soon to be seven.  Her hobbies are, for the most part, drawing and writing.  I mean, seriously writing.  Most little girls this age, based on my observation, like to play with dolls or Barbie’s or whatever and play-act scenarios.  Not mine.  We were at the store the other day, and like any completely pwned father, I took her through the toy aisle, thinking I might let her pick out something, seeing as how she was being very well behaved for a six-year-old who had been dragged to at least four stores by her father who was attempting to run weekly errands and such.  So, half-expecting we’d be picking up our forty-fifth or forty-sixth Barbie doll to complete the small army she’s attempting to assemble, I was completely taken aback when she declared, “Actually, I need a new secret journal for my stories and a new song lyric notebook.  I filled up all the pages in my old ones.”

Ummm … those were 100-page composition books your grandmother gave you for Christmas.  That was only, like, two months ago.  Come on, kid, we’ve got a whole toy department.  Are you sure those are full?  Did you write on the backs of the pages and everything, because that comes to something like fifteen pages a day on the days you’re with me?  (She insisted she had, and I later confirmed she was mostly correct.) Sure, whatever. I can buy ten new notebooks for the price of a Barbie doll.  Heck, kid, take four.

Now, it’s not like this was a TOTAL surprise.  She’s got stacks of papers with little poems, song lyrics, and stories she’s written.  I will admit, at one point she shocked me by presenting three pages of a story, complete with punctuation, spelling, and a vocabulary well in advance of a first-grader – that was until I realized she’d spent an entire afternoon diligently copying pages out of a Robert Ludlum novel I was reading.  Not to mention, I’d already been called to a conference with the teacher about Lil’ Q’s … prolificacy.  Apparently, when you give her a writing assignment like “write two lines about what you did last weekend,” MY kid takes two lines PLUS the entire back of the page to craft some weird, semi-surrealistic Madeline L’Engle short story that mashes up Nickelodeon sitcoms, DC comics, and Disney Princesses.  Her teacher admits she has never seen anything like it, and unfortunately, there is no real curriculum in the first grade for encouraging and developing future Kerouacs (who I’m sure she has never read, though she can imitate his prose style with surprising fidelity).

As with most of the things our kids do, this got me thinking back to my childhood.  Sure, at her age, I suppose I too was a budding storyteller.  I had just discovered the joys of the Hardy Boys and Star Trek, and my earliest creative tendencies probably did involve the same odd mash-up storylines acted out by various completely unrelated action figures.  I just don’t remember the driving urge to write them down.  Of course, I had other distractions – piano lessons, little league, friends constantly knocking on the door wanting to go ride bikes.  Hell, it was Mississippi.  We didn’t have that three or four-month stretch where it was too cold to go outside, and kids back then didn’t tend to sit around in isolation playing video games or watching 200 channels of television the way HER friends seem to.  So perhaps this is, in a way, a strange evolution for a 21st-century kid whose dad doesn’t watch or encourage the watching of television.  I’m starting to think we might need to have mandatory TV time.

So, this much sussed out, the next question is, what the hell do you do about it?  Instinctively, I know encouragement is key, and assuming her personality is like mine in most of the other ways, formal instruction or correction is guaranteed to put her off faster than anything.  It took me a while to figure out that this was a key underlying motivation that drove me to computer science (which my parents know NOTHING about) and turned me off of any kind of organized instruction in music or sports (which they were experts in and ALWAYS had a critique of).  Sure, at her teacher’s recommendation, I will offer constructive challenges like making sure stories have beginnings, middles, and ends.  As for spelling and general trivia, I simply direct her to the non-judgmental tutelage of Amazon’s Alexa, although the latter is notoriously bad with homonyms, resulting in a disturbing story last weekend about “meating friends,” which I can only hope was an honest mistake.

As for the rest, I have no idea.  I can very clearly remember my creative bursts as a third or fourth-grader, recording various and sundry “radio plays” on a shoebox cassette recorder, constructing epic D&D modules as a fifth and sixth grader, or attempting to write a sprawling sci-fi novel as a teenager.  Back then, inspiration came from everywhere.  I remember when the briefest glimpse down an alleyway or throwaway line of conversation in a crowd could explode into a million ideas for stories – half the time already played out in my head before I got home to commit them to a more permanent medium.  I also remember the cruel wall of self-awareness that came in high school, when the post-puberty version of me began to ask that most-defeating of questions, “Wait … is this any good?!”  By the end of high school, creativity was quite literally shut down.  Practically overnight, I went from editing fanzines in my bedroom with my buddies to pretty much hating every book, record album, or movie I consumed thinking, “I could have done THAT, and BETTER even.”

Yeah … but, you didn’t.  You were — and by the way, decades later, STILL ARE — too busy worrying about whether it’s any good instead of just producing something you can call “Draft 1.”

So, what’s a proud father to do? Go all “Leopold Mozart/Billy Ray Cyrus” on her? I’ve read/seen/experienced enough to know that you can’t push, discourage, or otherwise interfere with someone else’s creative process. Heck, she’s already given up on ballet lessons and decided she’s going to get her black belt next.  Who am I to stop her?  (Yeah, never finished karate lessons either.)  I could warn her about the Hemingway-esque self-doubt and creative bankruptcy that looms with impending adulthood, though who in the heck ever listens to signs and portents of doom? Hell, if that worked, pretty much every novel ever written would be a LOT shorter … and more boring.  I could just clear her path and let her go, hoping she gets enough momentum to break through or steer around the wall she’s on a collision course with, but would that be enough? Or is there more to be gained letting her clear those paths herself? Or heck, she’s six, maybe by next week she’ll want to be an astronaut or something and will have forgotten all about her writing.  Obviously, I’m Dad.  I’m never going to stand in her way, and I will give her whatever she needs (or asks for), it’s just a weird feeling of helplessness wondering if that’s the most I can do, and should I even be doing THAT.

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Filed under Life, Observation

What’s a Tortoise?

Okay, they’re at it again. You’ll remember a few weeks ago I was getting approached by “June” at IBM, who was in reality actress Anna Florentini.  Well, apparently whatever secret government project that failed to snare me with that trap has now upped their game with a new model.  In the middle of the night last night, I got an almost identical request from “Michelle” at Acosta.  Now, Michelle is a slightly improved model.  She actually has a full background and a work history, which arguably if I wasn’t so paranoid now, and if Michelle hadn’t ALSO used all caps for her first name, I would have allayed my suspicions that she’s a Voight Kampff flunkie. Unfortunately for them, I  quickly identified MICHELLE as an iStock photo model I once had a boring Match.com lunch date with.


Seriously, what is the nefarious purpose behind all of these fake profiles?  Even with the extra effort in the profile, they’re still less convincing than a Mall Santa.  Who are you people? Ex-girlfriends?  Nigerian 419 scammers?  Corporate spies?  Government recruiters looking for people who can spot fake profiles?  I will get to the bottom of this eventually, you hear me?!

bauer

 

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Filed under Life, Observation

The Appeal of Second-Rate Minds

Did the isidewith.com survey tonight. Okay, I’m actually pleased Zoltan is at the top of the list since I’ve actually thought about voting for him, and I have actually READ his book, as opposed to the rest of the candidates. (Yeah, mostly because I didn’t really care enough to subject myself to them.) Stien and De La Fuente though!? I mean, I consider myself a pretty pragmatic, middle-of-the-road guy. Green Party and Reform Party agendas just do not compute with me.

I imagine the discrepancy comes from the way the questions are phrased.  The majority of them begin with “Do you want …” or “Do you think …”  Now, as a computer guy, I take these questions pretty literally.  So, hey, I WANT the government to put more money into space research, and I WANT the government to guarantee free college education for all Americans, and I THINK we should give Syrian refugees asylum in the US.  Do I think it’s a good idea to be spending that kind of money?  Well, you’d have to show me the budget.  Maybe stop making a few bombers or something.  You’re not exactly giving me the whole picture here.

Still, this confirms my feelings and shows just how far the major political parties have left me behind if we can’t come to even a 50% agreement on issues. I don’t expect 100% agreement with anybody, but can we at least go with “most of the time you’re doing what I want?”

 

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Filed under Observation, Technology

I Predict This Will Not End Well …

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June 17, 2016 · 3:48 PM

Joe Bonamassa Must Be Stopped!

Okay, I have been tolerant. I have been patient. I have quietly bitten my tongue and endured the overt display of “show biz” mentality, but after a month of this incessant display of hubris, I just had to vent. No, I ‘m not talking about Kanye and the “imma let you finish” shtick.  No, I’m here today because Joe Bonamassa must be stopped! Oh sure, it all started innocently enough. “Like Jimi Hendrix? You need to download my free album!” Okay, cute. Possibly an apt comparison. I’ve heard Joe’s stuff. He’s a really good player. Never really saw the Hendrix comparison, but maybe he’s changing direction a bit. Okay, I’ll check the album out.  The next day, he’s implying he’s the new Jimmy Page or something.  This, of course, was met by internet trolls with a wonderfully scathing list of insults, name-calling, and lathered threats to start a campaign that would have all keepers of the Zeppelin gospel boycott future Joe Bonamassa concerts.  Basically, grab a bowl of popcorn and start scrolling, it’s more entertaining than Bonamassa’s music anyway.

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Okay, I will go on record saying I like Joe Bonamassa as much as the next guy … err … the next guy who likes Joe Bonamassa, I mean. But, wow, that’s pretty bold. Both Hendrix and Page? He’s got a pretty high opinion of himself. Leaving those ads up after getting a virtual smack-down from a bunch of 14-year-old classic rock experts was possibly suicidal.  Meh, I wasn’t concerned yet.  Comparing yourself to products greater than you really does invite the “I knew Jack Kennedy.  You’re no Jack Kennedy” response, but heck, sometimes you need a little controversy.  Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. It quickly escalated every couple of days for the next few weeks.  Sure, I could have hit the kill button and stopped them (brilliant feature of Facebook), but honestly there was a train wreck mentality about it. I just had to see who he would pit himself up again next. Well that and the comments were truly amusing.  The Internet appears divided between the “Love them both” crowd and the “I met Joe Bonamassa once, and he kicked my dog” crowd.  A few people offered some musical critiques of the various artists depicted, attempting to refute any similarities between the iconic guitarist selected and Joe.  I mean, this is all great.  Some people are entitled to their own opinions; others, not so much.

bonamassa

I mostly point this stuff out as an example to the many local artists and musicians I deal with on a daily basis, because there are sooooo many lessons to be learned here. First of all, I am long on record that you should never give your music away for free. Yes, maybe it worked for Radiohead, and it will probably work for Joe Bonamassa (who gets a pass because it’s a greatest hits album and not a new release). You, however, are not Radiohead … or Joe Bonamassa. Next, overt comparisons, particularly to artists whose heydays were 30-40 years ago, do not make those artist’s fans buy your music. In fact, those comparisons say, “Hi, I’m stuck in the 70’s. I’m a musician impersonator. I have no originality to my playing. I justify this by overtly comparing myself to the people who invented the style I emulate — people that you (rightly or wrongly) hold up as sacred cows. I say, they are not gods, and I am here to tell you that your praise of them is wrong, for I, a mere mortal, have matched them!” (Okay, at least that’s what it’s saying to me.)  Even worse, comparing yourself to seemingly every iconic band in multiple genres!?  We are to believe that Joe is just like Phish, Queen, and the White Stripes?  That’s got to be the living definition of an apples to oranges to pears to lychees comparison.  (Yes, lychees are a thing, look it up.) Third, pay attention to your fans. If people who like you and have followed you for some length of time start saying that they’re embarrassed for you, or telling you that possibly comparing yourself to Freddy Mercury is a bit of a stretch, then maybe they have that objective view you’re looking for.

Now, maybe it’s possible Joe didn’t have time to go back and see the comments/debates that were now running rampant in the posts. This is completely understandable. He’s playing a cruise ship gig right now (really spotty Internet) and is getting ready to kick of a European tour. He’s got other things on his mind. At this point, it is probably best to pay a marketing firm to handle promotion of your … um … free album.  (Okay, go back to point #1 there.)  Because then we start going from marketing by way of “slightly arrogant comparisons” to, this is completely unprofessional.

king

“Prodigy” is a person possessing exceptional qualities, typically younger than would be expected for their level of talent. “Progeny” is an heir, descendant, or offspring. It seems to me he’s kind of mixed the two up here. You ARE a prodigy. You are SOMEONE ELSE’s progeny. I’m pretty sure he meant the later, seeing has how BB is a big supporter of Joe’s, having given him some of his first gigs.

And it just seems it get’s weirder the more you go on. Classic Genesis? Seriously, a band that has zero blues influence or stylings in their music?!
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Oh, and a group that didn’t even have a guitarist!? Seriously, Joe, have you ever even heard these bands?
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When I saw this one, I really had to rack my brain for a few minutes to figure out whether it as Joe or me that was completely insane.  When was Ozzy in the Eagles?!

boneagles

Seriously, the sunglasses are just for show right?  I mean, you’re not blind?  Wrong words … wrong pictures … irrelevant comparisons … honestly … I can give you the names of some musically-savvy PR teams who can do this kind of stuff for you.  They work cheap.  You can pay them out of merch sales.

This latest one has been running for a week, proving that nobody is reading the comments or doing any sort of market focus studies to see how the ads are playing out.  I don’t think this one is strictly Joe’s fault.  You see, Bon Jovi has always been too polite to correct him for calling him Billy all these years.

billy  jovi

It’s getting to be like a collector’s baseball card game.  Question is:  Has anybody seen the Stevie Ray Vaughn ad?  That one might actually be a fair comparison. In fact, it’s probably the only one that’s a fair comparison.  He should have led with that and left it alone.  Really, though, I shouldn’t get all critical.  It’s just a Facebook ad. Far greater sins have been committed in that right-most column of my timeline when you think about it.  For example …

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Revelation!

Okay, so I will admit, I like Christmas music in a weird, twisted way.  Well, some of it.  I’m not even picky about who does it.  It can be the version I grew up with, or some new version I’ve never heard in a genre I don’t even particularly like.  I mean, how weird is it to have a group of songs that are done orchestral, vocal, country, rock, reggae, even metal.  As music, it’s pretty universal.  Probably worthy of anthropological study.  And I know, you’re going to argue that it’s Christmas, it’s universal, but really how many songs, aside from containing the phrase “Merry Christmas” actually pertain to the religious aspect of the holiday.  Sorry, Christians, everybody says “Merry Christmas” even atheists and Jews in my experience.

It first dawned on my when I was listening to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”  The more times I heard it, the more I thought the protagonist was probably severely depressed. Everything seems to be about how they wish things were like they used to be and they’re just trying to forget how miserable they are and how many troubles they have.  Of course, I looked up the exact lyrics to see if I was missing something, then found the original version of the song, which is from an old Judy Garland movie, Meet Me in St. Louis.  She’s singing it with her daughter, who is depressed that they’re moving to New York and leaving their home behind.  Okay, not as bad as I was making it out to be, but certainly not the context we’re used to placing the song in now.

The point being, as I was sitting around at work listening to Christmas music all afternoon, I started studying the lyrics to others.  Then I went to Google and found out half these songs are not what I thought they were about.

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas — There’s a reason they never play you the first verse.  The song is actually about a guy stuck among the palm trees of Beverly Hills, where it’s 80 degrees and he wishes he was up north.  Yeah, we feel really sorry for ya, dude.

Jingle Bells — Surprisingly doesn’t even contain the word Christmas.  It was originally written for a Thanksgiving program.

Winter Wonderland — Also doesn’t mention Christmas.  Pretty sure just the “sleigh bells ring” bit is the only reason it’s associated.  I’m thinking the song is about a guy whose sleigh got overturned a ditch, pinning him underneath as he was on the way to his wedding.  As he slowly freezes to death, ringing the bells (hoping that someone is listening and will come to his rescue) he starts hallucinating circus clowns and snowmen dressed as clergymen.  Now you argue that he’s later sitting by the fire with his bride, but the lyric is vague.  I think he’s conspiring by the fire with the clowns and snowmen.  Who knows what a man in this mental state is planning, but he’s got circus clowns (scary) and snowmen dressed as clergy (religious zealots), so he faces it unafriad … probably a suicide bombing.

Sleigh Ride — Originally didn’t even have lyrics.  It was strictly an instrumental piece first (stolen and) used in a western movie, “The Streets of Laredo.”  Two years after it was written, a different guy threw in the lyrics about riding in a sleigh.  Apparently  sleighs are only used at Christmas time, so it became a Christmas song.  It says something about going to a Christmas party at one point, but alternate versions of the songs say Birthday party, so we can’t be sure now, can we.  A party is a party.

Baby It’s Cold Outside — Okay, you guys are just sick.  Nothing says birth of the King of Kings like a song about date rape.  Again, the word Christmas isn’t anywhere in the lyrics.  Unless you think the answer to “What’s in this drink?” is muhrr.  The fact that this ever got associated with Christmas has to be the result of a disgruntled disc jockey spinning the tune on Christmas eve as a joke or something.  Seriously, the only reason this song isn’t creepier is because they always have this really tough singer chicks singing it.  You’re not going to hear a version featuring, say, Tom Jones singing it to Kate Bush.  It just doesn’t work.  However, I would love to have a version of Shirley Manson from Garbage singing it to Justin Bieber, only have her do the guy parts and him do the girl parts.  I think it could be a platinum hit.

 

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Filed under Humor, Observation

Just Spitballin’ Here

Recently installed at one of my favorite bars.  The potential jokes are endless …

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Worst urinal ever!  Splattered pee everywhere!

— or —

1. Put your hands in the box.
2. Remind yourself that fear is the mind-killer
3. Kul Wuhud!  Perhaps you are the Kwisatz Haderach

 

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Vive la France!

Came across this one doing some online genealogy. My Great Grandfather, Alexandre “Frenchy” LaCout was pretty interesting fellow.

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I might also point out that he was a sprit-maker by trade and had gone to a lot of trouble to build his own tavern right before the government changed the rules and declared his chosen profession was suddenly illegal. According to my grandmother, as one would expect, this led to an “interesting period” in the family history. I wholeheartedly recommend the book Dapper and Dangerous: The True Story of Black Charlie Harris if you’re into interesting local history and getting a feel for what it must have been like in St. Louis, Wood River, and Southern Illinois during the prohibition era.

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Filed under Life, Observation

Local Depends Laregly on Where You’re Coming From

localI’m not one for whiny, preachy, or even overly-serious blog posts.  Self-indulgent, yes, but I generally try to shy away from negativity (except in a few well-deserved cases, and almost always when I’m defending my opinion against someone who I fully believe is completely stupid … er wrong … in theirs).  I read far too much crap designed to stir up readership through controversy to participate in such childish poo-flinging.  That said, it’s been an interesting morning of seemingly unrelated reads and events that somehow, while woofing down a tasty burrito at lunch, I suddenly realized were complete related … and then I decided to rant on it …  in a constructive way.

First was a conversation I had with member of a band that I admire and enjoy, and whom I have been dying to get on the podcast for over a year now since they became one of the first bands to graciously donate their music to the cause that is Indy In-Tune Radio.  I mentioned that I was very excited about the possibility, but obviously we are getting ready to enter into a four-month commitment as a sponsor of the Battle of Birdy’s that is going to keep me extremely busy with those fifty or 60 bands.  When asked if they might be interested in signing up for the battle, they politely replied that because it had been on a bit of a decline in recent years, they were steering clear of joining.  Obviously, I can understand this sentiment, and their reasoning.  Though I don’t believe we’ve met in person, our mutual friends have nothing but nice things to say about this person, so by proxy I respect his opinion – and should he be reading this tirade, I hope he doesn’t take it as an attack on or criticism of his position, when merely this is my way of elucidating my own in something more than the 140 character format I was confined to at the time.

Second was an article this morning in the Chicago Tribune wherein they laude themselves (go figure) for greatly expanding their broadcast empire by buying up operational rights to a large number of local television stations.  Now, the amateur day-trader in me says, yes, this is a smart business move.  It made ClearChannel a great deal of money and completely changed the way radio stations all over the country operate, after all.  Sure, it means that local TV stations will soon be watered-down least-common-denominator commodities that are stamped and mass-produced to be exactly what Tribune thinks we want from a TV station — instead of entities with personality, individuality, and a genuine stake in the concept of “local.”  It is, however, a sound business move that will no doubt keep the dying Tribune rolling long for another five or six years at least.

It certainly seems at times that local is dying.  One need only pull off I-74 in Brownsburg, I-65 in Greenwood, I-465 in Castleton, or I-69 in Noblesville and see how once distinct neighborhoods are now carbon copies of sim-city-esque templates with the same franchise restaurants, architecture, billboards, filling stations, etc.  Wal-Mart has long ago replaced the corner dime-store.  Barnes and Noble and Best Buy have killed off mom-and-pop specialty book and record stores.  Broad Ripple is now anchored by Starbucks and Firehouse Subs where local institutions like Broad Ripple Deli and Paco’s Cantina reigned uncontested.  Our radio stations feature pre-canned into four convenient flavors and playing the exact same playlist as their clones in every other major market in the country; our local TV channels feature less than 10% “local programming;” and this week we mourn the passing of Sammy Terry — one of the last of a breed of local broadcasting icons that has never been, and likely never will be, replicated.  (Seriously, when was the last time you stood in line to get a local TV star’s autograph?)  Each year, there is less and less to distinguish Indianapolis from St. Louis, or Cleveland, or Louisville.  It’s all gone bland.

In many ways, our attitudes are exacerbating the problem.  I can think of very few people who actually want to see local businesses fail or for Wal-Mart reign supreme — which is good.  Yet, still, I see huge lines to get into Applebee’s every Friday night while I’m driving to Shapiro’s, or Dooley O’Tooles, or some other locally owned establishment for dinner, where I get immediate seating.  I hear a lot of car stereos playing Nickelback while I’m on my way to catch Minute Details or No Pit Cherries play a show.  Okay, I’ll admit that, as a matter of budget, I buy groceries from Kroger instead of Good Earth (but many of you do support local grocery — hats off to you), and the number of charges on my card to Amazon.com every month probably overshadow my purchases at Indy CD and Vinyl, Luna, or Vibes (though the former does employ a lot of people around town, and I do try to stop visit the later every couple of weeks at least).  Just promise me, if you ever see me having a beer at Brothers, you will drag me outside and kick my ass.

Purchasing power aside, saving “local” requires a fundamental shift in attitudes.  Local music scene, in particular, still wastes considerable energy bashing this company, or this venue, or that event, when we should be singing the praises of the ones that are doing a great job.  Case in point: the night Locals Only closed last year, you couldn’t park within a mile of the place.  If we had all come out to celebrate its life the way we celebrated its death, it would probably still be there – as would half a dozen other venues in the last couple of years.  Though there are some great musical cliques in this city that regularly support each other, we are still essentially divided into “this camp” or “that camp” or “Rock House bands” or “west side bands” or “coffee shop artists” when in reality it would be to our advantage to break out of those mindsets. The one that gets me every time, though:  If local radio would just play more local music, then the scene would really take off – as if the aforementioned ClearChannel (which knows about as much about the “local” scene as I know about running a major multi-national corporation) is the only reason we’re not all famous and drawing huge crowds.  Look, if you are waiting for this to happen, then you are dreaming.   And even if it did, I seriously doubt it would make the difference everyone things it will.  We as a scene need to be supporting each other, not waiting for corporate America to grow a heart … because it won’t … ever.  Corporate America doesn’t hear us.  It doesn’t care what we think.  And it certainly is not going to make us all famous unless its cold calculating formulas show it a way it can make fast money off of us in return – and the fact that you can, at will, bring 50 people to your local bar four or five times a year does not even register on their radar.  Do you know who does care about that?  A local bar owner who can sell a few extra beers; the local restaurant owner next door that might serve them a dinner before the show; oh and the guy running a local radio station in his basement that can always use one more listener, and will happily share five of his for just one of yours.  And you know what?  We spend almost all that money here in town.  It doesn’t go back to a CEO in upstate New York to pay for the mortgage on his condo in Florida.  It gets spent here — usually in other locally-run establishments.

So what do we do, o preachy one?  (Yes, sorry, I’m getting all soap-boxy.)  For every artist that laments that the local music scene needs to unite, I ask: What have you done to make that happen?  Do I see you attending other bands’ shows even if you’ve never heard them or been in that venue before?  Are you regularly telling the rest of us about these experiences on your Facebook page or Twitter?  Are you dragging bands of completely different genres outside of their clique and onto your bills in order to cross-pollinate disparate fan bases?  Are you organizing “event shows” or festivals in exciting new locations that bring together hard rock acts with hip hop artists, jam bands, or singer/songwriters?  Do you ever do anything to stir things up, even if there’s a good chance it will fail?  Or are you booking the same show with the same two friend bands of yours at the same venue … and drawing the same 25 people you draw every time, then blaming the venue for not supplying you with an audience?  Every time you lament that a venue or event has gone downhill, do you take it upon yourself to help find a way to help revitalize it with a new crowd?  Or do you see this as the owner’s problem, and just leave it to rot in order to validate your point, as if a venue that has supported you is suddenly some graffiti-ridden abandoned building at the end of the block?  I’m not trying to shame anybody here, honestly, and I fully admit that some buildings should be condemned in order to make way for something new.  I just think we need to pick our battles a little more carefully when deciding what can be saved, and what should be let go.  We need to start thinking of local as a “neighborhood watch” instead of a “death watch.”  We need to be a scene, not a style.  Most of all, we all need to spend more time supporting what we believe in, instead of bashing what we don’t like.

I consider myself a content creator, as do most people in the local music scene.  For me, that content has always been about “local.” I’ve been at this “Indy In-Tune thing” for seven years now, and have accepted that I will never even begin to recoup my investment, to say nothing of my time.  It’s never been about success or money, though; It has always been about filling a void by creating the type of media and content that I wish someone else was creating – and hoping there were at least a few people who felt the same way.  Sometimes people are on board with my ideas (a local music streaming radio station) and sometimes I get jeers (PodConcert #1: The great cross-genre experiment).  Hey, I tried.  No harm, no foul.  There are a number of new initiatives being planned for the next two years, and I fully expect a few dismal failures, a couple of marked successes, and the largest percentage to be “meh.”  Rest assured though, it’s always going to be entertaining, if not amusing, and while I do tend to lay back every once in a while and concentrate on the more mundane aspects of life and career out of necessity, it’s never for very long.

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Filed under Indy In-Tune, Observation

Underneath the Sine Cura Pace Skulks an Epic Doom.

This hangs above the door in the developer’s bay.  Seems like every couple of days it gets reset back to “1.”  I haven’t confirmed this yet, but it has suddenly dawned on me: I think I am the velociraptor.

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Filed under Observation