I'm not sure why it hit me tonight. The idea crossed my mind the second I pulled onto the highway to go watch the Super Bowl with a friend. Maybe it's this weekend. Maybe it's in the rut I'm in. Maybe it's the work I owe a lot of people, and better things to do with my time. Maybe I want to see the effects of a personal #SOPA blackout. I'm not sure. When I wake up tomorrow and finally drag myself out of bed and onto my futon to sit down and blankly stare at the screen before embarking to my e-mails, I'll move just there. No Facebook. No Twitter. Not even the occasional Tumblr scroll for shits and hoping to find that one funny meme to slightly entertain me for the afternoon. As of the Sun rising tomorrow morning, I will be disconnecting from the social sphere. For how long? I'm unsure. I want to try and last until the end of the month, but we'll see how it goes. At the very least, I want to last a week.
I know, I know. Keith Buckley kind of did this already. He is an inspiration in doing so, but this is about me, not him. I want to see how it effects a lot of things in my life, both personal and professional. Mostly I want to see how it effects my consumption of both inspiration and musing. I'm either writing, or I'm sifting through article and editorial links on Facebook and Twitter (generally aggravated by half of what I read) for hours. What could I be doing with those hours? Finishing half-read books on my shelf? Completing my work in a timely manner instead of 10 minutes here and a half an hour in social networking's endless no-man's land?
Then there's the personal side. I want to see with how many people I can keep up with just by phone - call or text or simply spending more time out. I want to spend time in a room holding great conversations, instead of computer parties and half-listening to what someone has to say because you're checking up on something on your phone that has nothing to do with the moment. For an extended period of time, I'd like to make the best of my surroundings and see how that in turn effects my thoughts and therefore my writing. I want to enjoy my social surroundings without sharing them with the outside world. I want to see how far they'll stick without having them archived.
This whole thing revolves around that archival of information. So many ideas, opinions, pictures, songs, film clips are shared, reblogged, liked or reposted in just one day, I'm unsure if I'm retaining any sort of discussion that's going on around me or if I'm even having a minute to form an opinion of my own, with so many sides of the topic striking me at once. Why do I feel justified even in sharing with you every null moment or inside joke you're not going to get unless I tell you a thirty minute story behind it?
I'll still use the Internet. Still be on the site. Still will be sifting through e-mails. Just no "social" feeds of any kind to gather information or be a social voyeur.
At the very core, I just want this to be fun. I'll let you know how it's going in the next installment.
It's been quite an eventful week when it has come to discussion pertaining to the music industry. But more importantly, it's been eventful to have ourselves a good ol' rowdy discussion (read: Holy balls Batman! We made it through with no one getting banned!) While I still stand by some things on both sides of the argument at hand, it's the fact that I stand on both sides that's needed. See, I'm not a person that believes in a definite truth to anything. There's always an exception. To me, it's never about finding the right and wrong of a situation, it's doing your best to understand the full spectrum of it. Keep asking questions.
Curious George, you were the man...err...monkey!
Better than an argument about how kids spend their money - fuck it, blow it on hookers and candy I say! - is when you read something that really grabs you. When someone says something that you've been screaming in the back of your head for most of your life.
Property of Zack ran a new guest blog this week with booking agent Matt Pike. Pike has the attitude that anyone in the industry should have, let alone anyone wanting to do anything with their life: "You see, I NEVER expected anything to be handed to me. I have always lived with the mantra that if you want it done you better go and do it your fucking self. Iíll take that mentality to the grave."
Think about it. It was rewarding to be second in line and snagging what I was hoping to grab this year at Record Store Day. People sometimes ask how I have this cool little job, it's simple, I worked my ass off in other media outlets four years prior - this ain't my first ro-deo! I did it all on my own terms, and reaped one hundred percent of the reward.
If you really want something bad, you'll do whatever you have to do to get it. It may mean mowing a few lawns (Do kids still do that?) to save up for that one concert you've been waiting to see or a small shitty part time job to fund your vinyl addiction. The point is, I think in anything in life, it's your path to your goal. The minute you let someone else start molding your decisions, it's no longer your goal, it now is morphed into another goal with another path that may or may not be your own.
I've been thinking a lot about what Geoff Rickly said about Omar Rodriguez Lopez's reaction to new material being unleashed onto the world. It's no longer yours. That's anytime you throw your ideas out into the pool, it's no longer your meaning. It's interpreted and possibly not interpreted wrong, but just in a different light.
Along with the new site, I would really like to see more open discussion about the changing of the guard in the music industry, but I would also like to see all sides of any argument to open themselves up more to opposing views. Even if in the end you don't agree with that view, at least you have a new light shined upon the discussion at hand. It's the only way we'll truly grow and make a difference, because sometimes you do need someone to guide you a better path to complementary goals.
So, last week Native rolled into town with PJ Bond and that's where the discussions started. As a) an Austin resident and b) someone who has frequented many shows and regular venues of this great city, I'm already getting the South by Southwest buzz. Sorry, I get to be the guy who gets to know, but I will keep my mouth shut to the public about the upcoming day and night showcases I've heard about so far.
Just in the last week, my excitement is beginning to swell, and possibly going to my head. So I sit hear. Just breathe. I keep calm. There has been much discussion amongst my good friends about what South by Southwest will bring to the table this year, but one thing we all agreed upon is the next wave of bands. In 2011, 2001 is on its way to happening again. It's something, if you read anything I write about (read: we get it, you hate most of Rise Records' line-up), I've been standing on a digital soapbox for some time now telling you all that it's been ten years. Like most frequent cycles, especially in that of music, we've come full circle. Hearing about the number of bands coming and not coming to this year's week long event of music, networks and free booze - where we're going, we don't need no stinkin' badges.
There are a lot of showcases I'm excited about for a reason other than the great acts. I'm excited to see how many kids will pile into some of these smaller venues as opposed to the big rooms. I'm curious to see if some of these kids are looking for more substance in the art than is piled across their faces and hair styles. There are certain bands gaining momentum out of house shows and clubs and into larger venues - headline tours are foreseen in the near future. These bands are growing alongside other bands. They're touring together. Most importantly - they're feeding off each other.
Thankfully for an enthusiast as myself, I need something to keep me guessing, to keep me excited. There are numerous times in my field where I've said, "Yeah, that was good," but really meant, "Meh, it wasn't bad, but it didn't strike a match under my senses." Maybe because it either sounded similar, or there was a lack skill or passion holding it back from inspiring a cartoon light bulb above my head. Last year, there were many light bulbs. This year looks poised to create even more. I hear these bands talk about one another. They talk about other bands' skills. They talk about their anticipation of hearing each bands' upcoming albums, and not as colleges and friends sharing a bill, but fans of their respective music. It happened with labels and rosters like Dischord and BYO and Level Plane. Sure, those labels don't have the turnaround they once did, but think about how many bands they ended up influencing. A lot of those labels are these new labels. A lot of those bands are these new bands.
Much like my banter on intellectual property, ideas need to fight and feed off each other to progress. Jazz musicians ripped each other off and made it the point. They were breeding new ideas from tired old ones. Big question: How long will this new generation boil, and how long til it settles into another round of conformity?
For now, things look promising. Today I received the new Former Thieves album, The Language That We Speak, in my inbox. I haven't put it down all day. It has sidetracked me from writing reviews I was working on earlier in the afternoon. It's made me think about the first time I heard something heavy and thought-provoking like Botch or Norma Jean or Fear Before the March of Flames. It's an album that grabs the listener, and in a way, sets a bar among many hardcore bands right now.
La Dispute, Touche Amore and Defeater are up to bat later this year. Match that to new releases from Thursday and Glassjaw, more brewing from the Midwest and Long Island scene (Tidal Arms and Lights Resolve especially), and there are pockets of musicians everywhere feeding off each other. Though there is usually much complaining of your favorite bands hitting it big, I'm so tired of the muck, that I hope Former Thieves' single, whichever they choose, is the top play on Headbanger's Ball - if MTV even still shows that...
After one month, 2011 has proven itself to be a brute force of a year. I'm 24, but I feel like I'm 16 again. I hope all those that are now 16, they finally realize what real punk music is.
When is intellectual property under copyright? Besides the obvious answers including fair use and the difference of copyrights, trademarks and patents, when is an idea owned in some sort monetary value or property right? Does it have to come into fruition or remain the "first" in any forum or marketplace?
After watching The Social Network and Exit Through The Gift Shop in the past few weeks, I've been throwing that idea around in my head - especially when it involves art (in any form). I remember discussing this specific topic a lot in my media law classes in college. I always tried to separate this in my head as art and everything else. Like the media business and art partnership of some time, there's no right or wrong - technically. On one side, there's the business: we're all trying to make a buck to survive, etc. Then there's art, where ideas are bounced off one another to create another idea. In a world where that said marketplace of ideas is constantly growing thanks to this little Internet thing and, let's face it, an supersaturation of advertisement and media that won't matter years down the line, art can be manipulated by the slightest form of pop culture or Shakespearean allusion.
Who truly owns it? Should public domain be more of a free game than the current laws of copyright allow it? With the rate of technology, especially now, the constant rate of turnover of ideas into tangible ones is outrageous. Even as Jason is building the new AP.net, I can see him feeding off of other designs. But it's not what he intends to copy, it's what he intends to improve. Just like in The Social Network, the idea, whether given to Zuckerberg's character as an idea, never came into fruition until two things happened: He created the code and improved on it. He attacked the idea in a different way. So was it then his idea, since it was executed in a different manner? How is his art expendable to someone else's idea if they executed it in two separate ways and one was more of a success?
In any rate, if what I believe is the wrong side of the argument is right, in their light, all these shitty neoncore bands owe a percentage of their crappy t-shirt sales to 2003's alumni of bands. Those bands owe sales to the D.I.Y. bands of the mid-'90s. Those bands all owe Rites of Spring and so on and so on.
After thinking about this whole this one begot this one's idea and so on, maybe it all just boils down to greed. Personally I don't know what I would do with a billion dollars. Never work again? Bored. Pay my debt? It's a small fraction of that. Help people? Possibly.
The commercialization of art is the real crime here. It's an intellectual property that has no value past subjectivity. When you look at a vacuum, you know what it's intended to do. When you pick up a new album, you have no idea how it's going to make you feel. When you waste money on a Slap Chop, you know it'll suck. When you come up with an idea to revolutionize the world, you're not really sure how far it'll go until you execute it. Even then you have to continue to reshape it to keep up with the marketplace around you.
"It's my belief that history is a wheel. "Inconsistency is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don't complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away" --- 24 Hour Party People
Keep the talk alive! Just please, let's chill on the bloodshed. What are we, Congress?
love and respect.
P.S. --- I have a lot of work coming at you all through this site and AMP Magazine online, with more happening this week. I want to thank everyone for their reads and kind words. It means a lot. I don't know what my future as a music journalist will turn into, but if I can eventually dig myself out of the restaurant business just to not have to survive on the almighty dollar, I'll be happy.