Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Why music really matters...

This time tomorrow evening all requisite bits and pieces will be packed in readiness for Friday morning and three festival days but that somehow seems strange.
I can drive to Latitude now without a road-atlas and when I get there it seems pretty much familiar; now I'm going to a much smaller festival taking place thirty miles away, so no big deal, but a map is something that I will certainly need and in many ways it feels a bit like starting over again even though I know that is totally irrational.
This time it is different however: in 2007 there were several times on the drive to Suffolk when I wondered if, once there, I might just turn back and come straight home again. That is however now extremely unlikely, even the weather looks good, and to be honest I can't wait to see what it is like.

I am in fact in a mood that might best be described as curious in all senses of the word, which is probably good in the circumstances, and
everything I have been told or read about it is complimentary.
This brings me to another point which is that I haven't been doing a good job here recently. There is so much that I would like to post but simply never get around to writing and, worse still, much more that I'd like to know but never have the time to read or certainly discover for myself even though I am lucky enough to receive numerous updates from various sources.
Some may wonder why and I have, from time to time without ever doubting my reasons. The exact circumstances are remarkably different but today, thanks to a featured blog courtesy of CYBER PR/Ariel Publicity I realised that perhaps the real reasons to continue are, perhaps, less the desire to be read (as such) and more the wish to participate in a perceived greater whole and for no obvious financial reward - perhaps a surprising outcome in this day and age.

To sum that up here is the interview with Ariel Hyatt and I think it is quite remarkable:

Nicole Rivera of Pop Reviews Now

Pop Reviews Now is a run-of-the-mill music review blog that posts reviews, raves, rants and the occasional music news.

Q: What has to be done in the technological sense to monetize music to a greater degree on the internet?

A: As a blogger, I don't think I actually have the right to answer that question BUT if it were purely my opinion, I'd say make the music available to every single country. Where I live in right now doesn't have any digital music for sale whatsoever and physical albums here not only cost a ton of money, they come very scarcely as well - it's like that for third-world countries. To me, everyone has a right to listen to music that moves him/her regardless of social standing, geographical location or whatever can hinder capitalist companies from reaching them. Making music available to anyone and everyone on the internet will let the artists earn what they need to live and make more music while reaching wider audiences. That, in my humble opinion is what should be done.

Q. Where do you see the next trend in social media? What else can be done in terms of having an online conversation? What is the next "What are you doing?" question?

A: Social media? I'm not very good at predicting trends in networking but Twitter is the big thing right now - they might create a vide-centric Twitter or something. Like you take a short video and upload it but it's just some wild dream I picked out of my head. As a blogger, I'd love the next 'what are you doing?' question to be 'what are you listening to?' but that's highly impossible - not everyone listens to music 24/7 like me and a few friends.

Q. What inspired you to start broadcasting/blogging? It that still your source of motivation?

A: I started blogging for numerous reasons and I realized that I keep on blogging for even more reasons. Blogging for me is all about the writing - I want to be a writer so badly but since I'm still in school, there's nothing I can do about it. Blogging is my sanctuary - when I'm extremely stressed all I do is whip up and post and I feel like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I write about music because it's in my blood. I come from a legendary music family in the Philippines with roots traced to European composers and my father produced albums for the biggest and most influential band of the 90's and 2000's - the Eraserheads. I can play basic instruments and I'm a member of one of the most prestigious countries - music is something I was born to purse but I love it so much that even if I wasn't born with these ties I'd do it anyway.

Music, like writing has the ability to relax me so the minute I put those two together I'm doing something I truly love doing. Over my short time as a blogger, I've realized that I blog to have my opinions and my thoughts voiced out to as many people as possible but I've discovered a deeper reason for why I blog.

I blog to fight for what I believe in. The mainstream music industry has taken away the little respect I have for them by deleting a review of mine with a legal download link given by promotional companies, sanitizing artists, denying me and everyone in my country of music and flat-out disrespecting creativity by doing those but I still blog because it's a way to fight. Blogging is a way for me to show the principles I was raised with and prove to everyone that I'm not someone powerful people can boss around or hurt - I'm a person and I deserve to voice my thoughts in the best way I can.

Q. What are some things bands can do to get your attention to be featured on your broadcast/blog? Do you ever cover a band that you are not particularly fond of musically?

To answer the second question, I only feature an artist I don't musically like if I have something to say about him/her or if it fits with the principles I'm trying to get across. Otherwise, if I don't like the artist I don't feature him/her. To me, all bands have to do is show me that they're a few things. I look for creativity, musicality, technical ability and good songs in an artist but before that I listen to see if he/she knows what he/she's doing or if the song is just a repetition of a generic pop hit. After I hear those things I find a song that I personally like. I can't really describe my personal taste well because I listen to whatever I like - I am very fond of beautifully-crafted melodies though.

Q. Will major labels ever be the gatekeepers again, or have they lost all of their power to the internet forever? Can they somehow return to prominence?

If they get their acts together, stop being stupid and start respecting the artists they take in then they might be able to return to where they were ten years ago. To me if they're gonna think of returning to prominence they have to take in artists who really are artists and not some random singers they find on the street with absolutely no talent and creativity. They have to learn how to respect music as it is and not force artists to change their art 'just because it won't sell' - that's not right.

Record companies have to develop the ability to be ahead of everyone else - the reason why they lost out to the internet is because they failed to use it to their advantage back it its early days, thinking it wasn't important (my dad was told that by a record company executive here when the internet was just gaining momentum). They have to lose the capitalistic mindset and get some musicians to run the company - the music can function without the industry but the industry can't so they have to learn to RESPECT it. Simple as that, really.

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