When the Music Stops

The search engine terms responsible for the top 3 entries in my blog’s traffic reports all have one thing in common:  Music.  Here they are in order of popularity from highest to lowest with links to the relevant posts:

  1. asheru boondocks
  2. ipod sucks
  3. lexlife

Seeing this trend got me thinking about how I have not written about music in a long time.  This bothered me because anybody who knows me knows how central music is and has always been in my life.  I started looking for reasons why music has become less important to me over the last few months.  Quickly fast-forwarding past the easy, obvious culprit known as “less time” (I am a firm believer that people always make time for the things that are important to them) I realized the last album I purchased that moved me was The Minstrel Show.

When it gets to the point that no one is making music I care to listen to I could complain about the state of the music industry and the liberal application of terms like “R&B Singer” and “Hip-Hop Artist” which seem oxymoronic when applied to many of today’s artists.  There are not many true artists left — Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville both looked exhausted at the Super Bowl.

There are myriad people who work really hard and have sacrificed and struggled to get where they are in their music careers but those careers are propped up by marketing, promotion and audio engineering in the absence of true talent.  No one cares whether the choir soloist is cute or can dance as long as he/she can sing.  No one cares whether a police officer has been shot or is a roughneck before entrusting him/her to serve and protect us.  Somewhere along the spectrum from “person next door” to “celebrity” the signals get crossed and cause the mainstream to care more about hairstyling than vocal styling, gunplay over wordplay.  It is probably the same interference that soothes us into believing it is okay to spend more money and time on entertainment (sports, music, movies, etc.) than education.  Shoot we spent some major coin on the Super Bowl…many years after we invested orders of magnitude more on our fine MIT educations, however. 😉

Casio KeyboardRather than complain about the music industry I could make my own music and listen to that. I can’t sing, I’m no rapper and my trumpet skills waned a long time ago but the horrible state of affairs in the music industry might just force me to fire up the Bosso Nova beat on one of those olskool Casio keyboards and let my little light shine.  I don’t want to lose my “Husband of the Year” nomination so I may have to wait until the balloting has completed before starting my jam sessions. (Where is DJay when you need him?)

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