This is a State of the Union address to the higher states of future culture, sonic warrior tribes of the West Coast and the world at large. WE are all much more than we appear to be. We CAN do big!
Fairly inspired by Obama’s speech to the Nation last night. Whether you believe in the game of human management or not, anyone who rallies people to achieve more in the name of humanities betterment is a-okay in my book.
But what about our “state of the union?” This bedroom producer, artists in secret, that toil away in silicon isolation to show up at clubs and parties across this globe at the stroke of midnight to lay out the jams like starlight de-cloaking in power rhythms for the cult of the open minded. How’s it going “out there” and are “we” surviving and feeling fulfilled with our collective efforts?
For myself, in early December of 2010, I stone cold stopped posting music reviews and features on I AM A LASER. I burnt myself out with all my efforts to support new music while at the same time neglecting to support myself. It’s a shame that no one donates money or that labels or artists can’t think to hire you to do all this promotion. So if all the artists who want reviews don’t/can’t contribute for my services, I can’t really play. I want to pay the rent and eat and have clothes on my back so my recent efforts have been placed on finding stable income via a j-o-b. Once that’s settles, I may come back to this.
Though…something has to change on a larger scale for all involved. Mainly because we all are changing. Social technologies, mobile applications and the lack of time juggling all that is coming at us is dramatically shifting how we experience and consume music. This is nothing new, as per the last decade, but this environment of media is just about to turn a big corner -and that is where I and I AM A LASER want to play.
Recently I have been in dialog with other blog owners such as Syd at Grounded.tv and John at Bwomp Beats as to their current experiences running similar websites/media blogs. There is a growing consensus among us that the game needs to change. As with the exponential democratization of access to tools of creation -there is just toooooooo much music to review. As we are all unpaid to do this, it basically requires a staff of at least three full time people to get a grasp the wave that is about to hit.
What’s going to hit? The day we wake up to the reality that everyone is a producer, artist, DJ, etc and that there is NO AUDIENCE LEFT. What do you do then when all the people who were once sitting in the chairs of the theater get up and hop onto the stage and proclaim -all at the same time, that they are “what’s up” and that they have something to share/sell/proclaim/innovate. Total white noise in a blinding big bang flash. Perhaps this is the singularity effect that Einstein sought after with all his might.
As John from Bwomp wrote to me: “So the question becomes; how do we deliver content in a world that has too much already?” We are all at a crazy culture intersection for sure. Everyone is both a consumer and content creator. Be it a simple Tumblr account, a Soundcloud page, or Twitter account, everyone wants an audience, followers, in which to shake their thing in front of. My hit on this is that Blog culture is dying. Period. The signs are here. What’s happening is that through mobile devices we are turning into a “real -time” experience. Reading is a casualty of this. Even clicking on a link is going the way of the Dinosaur.
Though it is still true, that in the age of information, you need filters to get through all this content. Be that taste makers, experts, algorithms, keywords, or celebrities that point to and curate the best of the best out there. The cream must rise to the top.
Also, where is our economy? This scene relies too much upon favors and freebies. In a chance to be heard artists are continually giving their music away for free. How is that good? Another question arises: Paid Content. When, at what point in the experience, can we all charge? It must be answered or else there is no business model and that automatically makes us a charity organization.
One possible answer is that this could be subsidized by a coalition of independent record labels so users never have to pay or, at some point, the culture must pull out their wallets and support the infrastructure of the “cutting-edge.” We have a tax system in the United States. That’s how roads, and all the other things we take for granted (and assume is our natural right as US citizens), get built and supported. So where is the income in this scene? I’m not talking about getting rich. I’m talking about basic survival and living needs being met. Otherwise all of us will starve in fantasy land.
This is a big topic and what I aim to have a conversation with you. Put down the rampant ambition for a second and tell me what’s going on for you as a: Blog owner, music producer, DJ, clothing designer, visual artists, VJ, record label owner, promoter, agent. and more. Are you keeping up? Are you supporting yourself? Are you still excited? Why?