Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Where's the music?

Mike is vexed. A singer he likes isn't getting the music industry breaks he believes she deserves. Sadly, her situation is now the norm, for anyone trying to be unique. It's the dog days of global domination, by a few mega corps, of the entertainment industry.

I honestly believed the hype, a few years ago, that the Internet would shake up the music industry something serious. It almost did. Maybe it still will. But frankly it seems it's hurting only the indie labels. The economy isn't helping either. Ask anyone in it and they'll tell you their business is off at least 50%. Only the huge survive now.

But the Muse is an unsatiable thing. Artists still feel the call to create and to be heard. And we, the listeners, still yearn for the sounds. As cringe-worthy as American Idol is, the popularity of the show - with both the wannabes and the audience - shows there's a pent up frustration with the status quo. Artist Direct was a good idea, but something got lost in the implementation. Garageband is a ghost of it's former potential. CDBaby lives, but trying to find the wheat among the chaff is so time consuming.

Is there any new way?

I was talking to some friends the other day, who also wonder about this. We kicked around the 'what ifs.' Here's one thought. As taxpayers, we can elect to direct a couple of bucks of our taxes towards a campaign fund. Ignoring the fact, for the moment, that this populist campaign contribution scheme hasn't seemed to reduce the influence of big corporate & PAC contributors, why can't we get a couple more boxes to check on our tax form? One to rebuild the Endowment for the Arts budget. Another box to fund art and music programs in schools.

In these days of massive military spending, budget deficists, Republican administrations and nonexistent opposition parties, I know what the odds are for something like this happening. But still, it's a thought, no? Maybe Move On could consider a spin off Arts agenda?

Short-term, I can't wait until the renovation is done and we can have a house concert again.


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