April 21, 2013

You sound like a broken record.

Over the past few weeks, the online community has become inundated with posts and shares and invites from musicians and bands to attend today's International Record Store Day... "Come out and buy your rare, unique, hard-to-find vinyl & support your local independent record shop while your at it!" The idea has it's merits: get consumers to spend on what many often view as a dying industry. The bands aren't making any money and the stores are making even less! So all across the 20s and well into the 30s demographic, kids are letting the cash flow. Successful marketing. Which happens to fall on the 1 day of the year that smoking marijuana is celebrated more than any other day.  I heard 1 guy talk about how he was able to score 3 White Stripes albums which were released especially for a 10th anniversary of something or other.  I wonder if that means he's gonna go home and smoke 3 joints and call it a successful day.

I appreciate music. More than most, not a much as many more. My collection of mp3s and CD-Rs and CDs is diverse and extensive. I have 0 records and a few silly cassette tapes that get play-time never. I have evolved in my preference of music: Prong's Primitive Origins and Screeching Weasel's My Brain Hurts will always hold a special place in my heart but as I finish off my 20s, I might put on something  a little less raw or mad or (do I dare say it?) simple.

I find myself enjoying music as much as ever, especially as it continues to flood in from everywhere. Dropbox, Grooveshark, YouTube, friends that forward downloads...really it's a non-stop train. There's
dead bands reforming and making new music, old bands putting out new material after 25 years of hard work, fresh new sounds like this Lawrence Arms side project, and let's not forget our up-and-rising stars Selena and Justin!

But alas! I will not be taking part in World Record day.

Mindful, arrogant self-promotion in order to get the masses into the stores to buy their product. Really, you're not cool if you don't like music, you know. Where would the world be without it after all!! We all covet thy song which will shake our bones and penetrate our soul. Bring a tear to our eye and give us strength to get up another day. I can't count the # of times I've heard how much "music SAVES me" or "I would be nothing if it weren't for my music". Heck, you might even grow a beard and where skinny jeans to help proclaim your love for music on a more visually stimulating level.

I want more than just music. It will always be in my heart and I am thankful for that. But right now I sit here in silence contemplating my future. It could be a dark & lonely future if I didn't have at least music as a part of it, but truthfully, without having someone to share your thoughts, beliefs, feelings, fears, vulnerabilities, and experiences with - live is bound to be dark & lonely (more or less) anyways. I have gone to countless concerts then left again, speaking only to The Merch Guy or The Beer Tub Girl and yes, although the entertainment value of the evening would be great, the experience as a whole could almost count as disappointing.

Music is not everything.

So here I am! A guitar sits in my basement I don't play, 6 or so of "childhood" piano under my belt,  high school French Horn skills that have dissipated  despite the joy and inspiration of a lifelong favourite band - Fractal Pattern. I try not to sing, I cannot keep a beat.

A person can find happiness outside of music. Similar interests? Well, that's MUSIC, right??! BLEH! There's things like life goals, ambition, health & lifestyle, ability to earn the chance to travel and see the WORLD, thoughts on God and religion and what happens when we die. Just the ability to communicate in general, really!! THESE THINGS are what can make a person just as satisified as going out and buying a new record to support the struggling artist. 

Okay, I have some Calexico CDs to go pick up tomorrow from my Edmonton Public Library. Good night.