This phenomenon has been glaring at me in the face ever since whenever my face became glare-worthy: there’s the multi-millionaire musician with gold made of cars and other unspeakable extravagance on the one hand, and on the other, the poor, lowly, barely surviving, pavement pounding, penny collecting full-time musician whose instrument costs more than what she or he makes in their lifetime. There’s nothing in between where a kid can pursue music as a career and realistically hope to make a decent living. Is ‘MusiCapitalism’ doing this? If farming is an essential profession because of it’s direct correlation to producing food, where does the “food of love” stand? Don’t we want to let the music play on (play on, play on, play on…)?
Like all true bloodless revolutions that eventually lead to democracy, let’s suppose, for argument’s sake, that we start listening to musicians from our neighbourhood (Now that’s a thought?). Let’s assume they tickle our timpanic taste-buds and we become fans; of our very own, local-bred musician from across the street. Becoming a fan is step-2 of course. Step-1 is to be open to give them a listen in the first place. We might, just might, tip this movement to a point where we end up encouraging them enough to make music. Their own, original, unadulterated music. Let their originality shine through. Set their music free. We all know that it runs in their veins, it powers their adrenaline generators, pumping to be set free, waiting for that gush of air out of their collective larynges (or whatever the plural of larynx is) or flow out of their opposable thumbs and other extremities unique to talented humans. All they ask is that you turn up. Listen. Applaud if you’ve enjoyed it. Maybe then we create a world where an adolescent is not afraid to pursue music as a career… And that becomes a legitimate means of staying solvent and making more music. Be their friend. Be a true fan.
Just like more colours never hurt the eyes, more music never hurt the soul. Unless of course, it has been churned out of the VMA cookie-cutter.