Once upon a time, in the land of music, there were lords of vast empires that told the world what it would hear through TV, radio and record stores and other media of the time. In doing so they controlled much of our thinking about who was popular, what was acceptable and controlled how we learned about any of it. These lords were maniacally happy, proud and ruthless, profiting greatly off the naivete of both the musicians they usurped, and the audiences that they brainwashed.
But all was not to last, for in the Kingdom there were dreamers who had visions of another world where everyone with an electronic device, known as a computer would one day have access to a highway called the "internet" and overthrow the Sultans of song. The Music Lords laughed and sneered and called them fools for such folly. They remained smug, in their towers, counting their money and watching themselves in their mirrors. Their thirst for fortune and ego stroking, along with their denial of the forces of progress and the will of people, was the beginning of the end for them and their dynasties. The once derided court jesters, the dreamers of the fanciful and all too fantastic "cyber" world of some distant future, now found themselves sitting in seats of power of their own. Now, where ever a connection could be made, people with that connection could learn about, or speak to the world. No longer was there a hierarchy to dictate personal fates or fortunes. Every person could think and learn for him or herself and in turn, each person now had the means to have their own voice heard, solely through their own ability, effort and desire. For the first time in decades, there was an even playing field and opportunity for a vast group of new players. The rules were being rewritten and everyone had to learn how to play the new game.
That's where the fairy tale ends and the reality of this tale begins. We are now at a place in time where it is no longer the 'big machine" that makes stars and success stories alone. Today, whether one is marvelously, or minimally talented, can understand computer language or just use an Iphone, make a few sentences that catch attention or write breathtaking melodies, know how to video edit, or push a button to upload to Youtube, it makes no difference. All of these people have an equal chance of finding and building an audience. That's a great thing right? Absolutely! It's now easier for lots more people to be discovered and live that "wildest dream" of theirs...yes? I am sure most would say "Of course!". I am not so sure. I would rather not think of myself as a skeptic, or be labelled as one either, but perhaps I am.
The sea of people searching for success in the music business is growing exponentially. I think that getting noticed, building and holding on to a fan base requires MUCH more effort than ever before. All of this to say that, if there is a performer or band you know or are aware of at your local level, it is probably mostly because of some very hard work and dogged persistence. Sure, you may have seen them somewhere and loved what you heard, but it is mostly the lifeline of the internet that has kept them on your radar, or vice versa, wouldn't you agree? It is their constant and ever active presence there that now determines to what level many acts rise or fall. In fact, the once mighty record labels sit and wait and watch, letting the acts do the work until they are achieving a certain level of notoriety, or have a "bankable" sound already well developed, before attempting to woo rising stars. Fortunately, the large labels don't hold all the cards or solely determine an artists fate, so many can and are saying no thanks. I am not saying this is good or bad. It is what is! My whole point, which once again I have been slow to get to or illusive in revealing is this; If there is a person, or group you really like out there, your support, both online and in person at shows, plays a huge part in their destiny. I know we can't all go to every show or buy every CD or every item of band related merchandise. But...you can talk, spread the word, invite friends, share songs, blog, write positive comments when possible, to name just a few things. It really is getting to be a world of who you know and how you stay connected and USE those connections. If you want to feel like you have contributed to something worthwhile and you REALLY want to see an artist "make it", get active, get behind the creative people you love, be at every show you can and tell everyone you know about them. Often!
That's what I think... What about you?
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