Wednesday, October 08, 2008

When all else fails...

I apologise for attempting to provide a positive note concerning the current economic situation. Banks may fail, and some more probably will, but even if all four remaining 'major recording labels' were also to do so (which I suspect will not happen), while it would have a major effect on the music industry in the short term, it would not be the end of the world.

The world will still need music, just as surely it will still need banking services, but if the current modus operandi is no longer appropriate then that needs to be addressed too.
I can think of one thing that has survived, maybe even thrived, in previous times of trouble and that is music.
It matters not whether you want to enjoy it for escapism or wallow in its realism for, either way, there is plenty already available to draw upon and there is no sign of a supply shortage - far from it indeed.
The established music industry has been feeling the pinch for a few years now, and long before the current economic crisis, but I have no reason to believe that is in any way likely to change as the making of music is, as far as can be reliably surmised, a human trait that transcends almost everything else and possibly even language. The recorded music industry however, as we knew it until recently, was barely fifty years old and as such thus one of the youngest dinosaurs.
I never thought I'd write this but
I wonder if, as although it belatedly realised the game was up a couple of years ago, in this situation it is actually slightly ahead of the others here!
The grim reality of the rust-belt matters again and so does - whilst maybe updated - the music of uncertainty and dislocation that goes with it.
This image is reminiscent of the track 'Dusty Boxcar Wall', which was written by Eric Anderson for his 1965 album 'Today Is The Highway' and if anyone is going to cover such downbeat Americana in 2008 why shouldn't it be a short, half-forgotten, tale of despondency reinterpreted by a female artist born in Boise, Idaho in 1979?

I for one can't see any problem with that.
This image, and the cover version of the song, come from the 2008 album 'Letters from Sinners and Strangers' by now Boston-based singer-songwriter Eilen Jewell. The rest of the album is a mixture of covers and self penned tracks that, unless you know better, are often indistinguishable - it is a wonderful album.She also plays harmonica, a long neglected instrument, to great effect on several tracks and no major label got a look-in here - it was released by Signature Sounds Recordings and all credit to them for doing that.

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