Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Music 'Industry'

Dear pop music,

I'm kicking you out. It's not me, it's you. How do I say this? You're fickle, predictable, profit driven, and when it comes right down to it, you're pretty damn shallow.  To tell you the truth, I've been meaning to say this for a while: you just don't have anything to say.   Yes, yes: all of us adults have been in love – it's nothing new, and frankly, the only thing truly remarkable about love, is when it lasts for several decades.  Funny how that never gets more than a footnote from you (i.e. "happily ever after," etc.).

Long before the record guy came along, we were making music and telling our stories.  Most of these were not about love. Most of the stories we told about ourselves were about our lives, our jobs, our families.  We didn't play to sold out arenas; our music never appeared on records, nor was it ever broadcast over the airwaves – most of us never saw a dime from our music.  If we were lucky, our people took time to stop in to see us at the local beer joint or come to a barbecue to watch us play.

Why did we play, if not for fame? Why did we sing, if not for accolades and/or money? We did it because the newspaper, the radio, and later, the television, were all tools of propaganda. We did it because we are the only people who will tell the truth about ourselves - we are the only people who can be counted on to tell the stories of the forgotten poor and working folk.

Dear pop music, you were, yourself, quite the distraction. Remember when we used to spend 10 bucks on an album with only two or three good songs on it? Yeah, your fault! I believe your industry even coined the term "throwaway" for songs meant to fill up your crappy pop albums. And now, the makers of these "throw away" pop songs are whining because they're not millionaires anymore. Funny: we used to share cassette tapes all the time and it didn't hurt the industry at all. Not that any industry has a right to exist: you can't force consumers to demand a good or service. And let's face it: you've been giving us the same crap since the 1950s.

So later days and better lays, pop music! And don't let my foot hit you in the ass on the way out.

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