Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Some Food For Thought: the reality of the music scene

Today after work I came across an interesting conversation on Facebook. I am not going to name any names for the sake of keeping this blog professional. It goes without saying the conversation between the artist and its fans to be a real eye opener. The artist clearly has some serious issues to be taking his frustrations out on the fans and the internet in general. And this is not the first time he has taken to Facebook and made himself look like a total douchebag with his whining. This is my personal take on what went transpired on the artist's Facebook page. I personally took umbrage at his opinions because he came off as self-absorbed and ungrateful.

I think artists (especially those who are just starting out) in the dark underground scene needs to be realistic and know that you can't make a living off making music  alone. Most well known artists I have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with have day jobs. I certainly know my friends in the local music scene has day jobs as do I since I don't get paid for writing on my blog. I cover the local music and concert scene because I love music, end of story. I am all about my art. I prefer going to concerts over clubbing because I find clubbing absolutely dull and I am not into drama which comes with the territory. I get plenty of that at the office, I really don't need any more drama outside of work. So in between concerts I spend a lot of my time online searching for new music to share with my readers or hitting the local record stores searching for interesting music. Why? Because I love to do it and obviously there are people who just don't know where to look for new music which became my goal as time went on when I first started blogging.

I think it is pretty obvious that the economy in the past few years have really effected everyone including the music scene. People are buying less music and streaming music more (and usually for free) and attending less concerts. Have you seen the costs of concert tickets lately? The mainstream concerts are ridiculous. As far as the underground scene is concerned, the costs of tickets are fairly reasonable but somehow not enough people are attending shows to help the promoters break even. Newflash: some people have other financial priorities (i.e children, mortgages, bills) or even unemployed or work-related issues. For me personally, I am fortunate I am able to afford to attend the shows I want to see and buy music but not everyone has that luxury. Don't go blaming fans for not buying your music or attending your shows. I personally would have liked to have seen this particular artist live but he never really toured the states much. It really doesn't help being stuck in the midwest either.

From my experiences in my local goth/industrial scene, people do try to go to shows but not everyone can. I have a friend who lives way up in the sticks in Northern Minnesota. She would totally go to the shows  here in the cities but she can't due to distance and the fact that the shows happen mostly on week nights. Or sometimes the shows that goes on happens on nights when people are working. Unfortunately no amount of promoting that my friends and I do have seen any increased numbers in attendance at shows therefore loss of money for the promoters. They are lucky if they break even. I certainly make a concerted effort to attend shows even on a work night. To hell with being tired the next day. At least I'm supporting my scene but I am speaking for myself.

I find it very disappointing when I am forced to unlike an artist's page because he feels the need to rag on fans and the online community for something I believe was created by the current state of the economy. Musicians are not Gods. The fact that this individual had to ban some people from his page for expressing views he didn't like really says a lot just about his character. It is disappointing but that's the reality. I wish he would grasp reality but if he wants to whine about it on Facebook by all means he can. I just won't have to read it whenever he posts it (thank goodness). This is also another reason why I find myself going to concerts outside the goth scene in recent months, it is complete free of drama. 

I will end this blog by saying that true and honest music fans (like myself) will always buy music (legally) whether CDs, vinyl, or digital and attend live shows put on by their favorite artists as much as possible. I admit I stream music on Spotify but I also buy music.Without a shadow of a doubt reality can be cruel. Shit happens and people may have to put other priorities first ahead of music. Believe me I  now. The holidays and my 2 nieces' birthdays are coming up in the next two months. Money is going to have to be spent on gifts and travel expenses. I am going to have to skip out on a couple of shows to save money. That is the crux of life. I'm sorry but my family will be coming first during this time of year. That is my reality. I don't think people like myself have to apologize for putting more important matters first than luxuries like concerts and buying music.

If artists feel like us fans owe them something then I think they certainly should get out of making music and find a new career/hobby. That is a sure fire way to alienate one's fan base as is creating drama about it on social media. Respect is a two way street. Fans should show their support by buying their favorite musican's music legally and if possible go to their shows (and buy merchandise at the show too). Musicians, don't develop this high and mighty attitude and expect to be worshipped by your fans. We are not filthy rich. Also, learn to take what you can dish out on the internet. Banning fans on your Facebook page does not earn you respect. The respect I had for this certain artist went straight down the toilet tonight. I have no patience for other people's online drama.

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