I spent a week in Florida just after new years playing some trio shows. Chris Bates and I shared a hotel room and talked a lot. It was quite beautiful. We spend time on shows, in vans, but the duo approach, as in music, often is the most unarming, connective, and ultimately most substantive. 

I lament often, as does any musician I know, the state of our modern arts, moreover a reflection of our culture and desired intellect. But, there is hope. I receive it from sharing with Chris, and other friends, artists or not, that there are exceptionally dedicated people with vision and a commitment to beauty, regardless of how difficult it is.

 

In the interest of turning the usual lament on its spine.

 

What is good about music right now

 

- The art world has lost shed borders. Everything is world music. Jazz is dead, so is rock, and metal, and tango. Anything that you someone thinks SHOULD be played/sound a certain way is over. We go everywhere and come from everywhere. Art is smarter and more progressive than us. 

 

- Musicians have more facility than ever before. Understanding of western harmony and rhythm is so thoroughly investigated and deconceptualized - the academization of the arts - that the only logical next step is challenging, if not abandoning it. Institutionalize something and watch it be destroyed. Hold it harder and watch it dissolve. Conviction as to should in the arts has never worked. Errors are progress in the artistic world. That I love.

 

- Money has disappeared. It makes it tough, but maybe we can all realize the only thing worth doing is our own. There is no making it anymore. Ask 80 percent of the American Idols, if you can remember their names. Or ask The Black Keys, who sound like a shadow of themselves after being swallowed by the homogenization machine. They made it only as far as to a place where they could no longer sound themselves.

 

- People CAN hear whatever they want when they want it. It takes personal initiative, but the opportunity to discover new artists, musics, and pieces, along with familiarizing oneself with art history (see You Tube on EWE drumming) has never been greater.

 

- Fame by song is over. Bands pass. No one remembers. The vain have short lived monetary success and adoration that only does a service to the performer and art in that it exposes them for what they are not, artists. Artists have careers. Treacherous and manic ones, but they last.

 

- There is so much jealousy and envy that it has to fall under its own weight. A peaceful and reasoned voice, one only to inspire, has never been in higher demand, whether we know it yet or not.

 

- MTV is sans M,  and with it lasting star adoration on a widespread scale is over. The person on stage is one of us. Is us. Return to humanity.

 

- Jewels, cars, big houses and talking about them did not make anyone happy. That shit is over. We are beginning to see it. It was never art, we get it now. Sonny Rollins lives happy, in his skin. Hey Sonny!

 

- Entertainment, due to over saturation, passes quick. Substance, statement, a concept of one's own, if heard, carries more weight and gives us a lasting relationship with the artist, and the artist the chance, and support, to evolve, as we humans do when left to our nature. .... thats a run on

 

- I get to write this. You get to read it. Others do the same. Thats our best chance, and how we return to the celebration of the humane. Capitalism has inspired a competitive, focus-grouped entertainment industry that creates need for what it wants to sell. It tells you what you want. It doesn't feel right. We don't ned it . Be the mule, drag them with you. Life as art, art in life. 

 

#ArtLife

 

 

Big Big open world

 

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