I get e-mail every day giving me a hard time for not offering solutions.
It's very simple. Make good music and don't rip people off.
I know, I know, you want it to be more complicated than that, you want multiple entry points, you want to believe it's about Twitter or Facebook or Spotify or…
Usually, anything but music. Because music is hard. Requires a ton of practice and moments of genius. Speak to creators. They know when they nail it. The Stones don't think everything is "Satisfaction" and U2 doesn't believe everything they cut is "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
Then again, I'm doing it again. Pointing to those who've already made it. You haven't. You're frustrated. You want to take your anger out upon someone. You want someone to listen, to take you on a trip, from obscurity to ubiquity. If it were that damn simple it would happen every day.
We're in a fallow period in mainstream music. No, I don't want to talk about jazz or klezmer, or hear about the obscure person who makes a living playing music most people don't care about.
Kids would rather spend their time in the world of technology. It's easier. A great idea triumphs. Come on, you don't know a teenager with an Internet idea? Tell that kid to sit down at the piano and bang out a winning tune. Can't be done. Because music is more than conception.
In other words, conception comes after tons of practice. Only after paying your dues, learning everybody else's music, becoming completely comfortable with the territory can you achieve moments of insight, that allow you to create brilliant work almost instantly. Yup, it's just that simple. But the preparation's hell.
And the reason music doesn't drive the culture is the public doesn't believe it's vital. Come on, if you want to know what's going on do you play a record or surf the Web? Used to be the artists were uncompromised, searching for truth, now they're completely sold out, looking for endorsements from the same corporations the public abhors.
Now I'm doing it again. I'm getting too deep.
I'm just saying EVERYBODY knows a hit song when he hears one. And if you can write one, you've got a momentary flash of notoriety. If you can write a few, you've got a career.
If you can't write any, you're a nobody, complaining that no one will pay attention.
Lousy sports teams have lousy attendance.
Meanwhile, the athletes on those teams have years of dedication and practice invested in order to suck. Do you really think just because you pick up an instrument and want to be famous you should be?
We live in an overwhelming world filled with over-zealous marketers trying to sell us mediocre wares. But if we find one good thing, we tell everybody we know about it, we want others to share in the joy.
There I am, repeating myself again.
But you don't want to believe that. You want to believe it's about getting an MBA, or having a spiffy business plan, or Daddy's Money.
It's about the music. Now more than ever.