Friday, September 6, 2019

WIRTW #567 (the “passion” edition)


With a 13 year old with one foot dangling in the music business, I do a lot of reading about the music business, and what it means to live that life in 2019 and beyond. This article, written by Rhett Miller late last year, perhaps sums it up better than any I’ve read. It’s titled, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker. And it paints a fairly bleak, isolating picture of what it’s like to be a musician  today.
In garages and basements and dorm rooms across the country and around the world, bands are forming this very minute. They are arguing over favorite songs, greatest albums, Stratocaster versus Telecaster, and inevitably which one of the members is going to have to switch from guitar to bass. These hopeful young dreamers give me hope. 
But we also shouldn’t kid ourselves: they are exceptions. For every one of these fledgling anarcho-syndicalist collectives, there are a thousand or a million kids alone in their bedrooms staring at Protools screens wondering what they have to do to get the Swedish cabal to write a hit song for them. They download a file onto Bandcamp or YouTube, start logging the hits, and pray. 
And oh my God, that sounds so lonely.

Yet, despite that depressing, like-count obsessed picture of today’s musician, Rhett’s tagline to his article is perhaps his most important thought. “Can music still save your mortal soul?” (He eloquently writes about how it saved his.)

I’m an optimist. As I look at my kids, and the community they are creating through the friendships and partnerships they are building through music, I have hope. Not hope for success or a hit song (because that’s not what it’s all about). But hope that they’ve found something to be passionate about, and like-minded people with whom to share that passion. For that’s what will lift them up and carry them through life. 

Here’s what else I read this week:

Discrimination

HR & Employee Relations

Technology

Wage & Hour

Labor


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