Merging music and the arts with local community networks of activists is both very attractive and not altogether free of risks. But signing with a label seems like one huge risk to me. Been there, this web done that and have seen enough scary contracts to run away pretty fast. Always shower afterwards too.
So at a initial organizational meeting of Transitions in my local, nurse Venice, FL (a suburb of Sarasota), I got to meet several community individuals who are like minded in that they all support greenness. Nobody raised any political affiliations. I think, however, you’d have to be pretty uninformed not to realize that the green movement is identified much more strongly with one side of the Congressional aisle than the other. But it’s my feeling that as soon as that other side realizes they can make just as much $Green off of the green than they’ve been making off of the dark brown crude, things will change. This article hints that this change may be coming. In the meantime, I try hard to avoid obvious political posturing in my music. I’m not after the fringe market.
I know there are plenty of big names in music who seem to have no fear of separating themselves from potential fans. And even turning some of their own off by making bold political statements in and out of their lyrics. Neil Young certainly hasn’t been hurt by it. But The Dixie Chicks are another story. Hank Williams Jr. comes to mind more recently in the “Did I Really Say That?” department. Just really risky and of questionable value, most of the time, in my view.
I don’t engage in political arguments. I’m not gonna change anybody’s mind and they’re not gonna change mine. So why waste the energy? I have many good friends and acquaintances who walk a different road to “salvation” than I do. We stay friends by avoiding certain topics. Most of the time. A little good natured kidding is as far as it goes. None of us carry guns.
I have a few songs that might be considered political in some sense. One other that used blasphemous language, according to a church lady who got pretty vocal with me. And I don’t mean she was singing backup. That song, “Meltdown,” was co-written by my friend James Braha (Find it on the Tune Widget in the right column) . When I wrote “Underground,” (Find it on the Tune Widget in the right column) I didn’t want to record it but my producer, Helen Avakian insisted. I played it for a family member who is an Army officer and an instructor at West Point. He assured me it wasn’t at all offensive. So maybe I’m a little over sensitive. But that was in 2005. The country wasn’t as blatantly polarized as it is today when one side in particular just objects to whatever the other puts up. Even if they had previously put it up themselves.
Then there is “A Way” (Find it on the Tune Widget in the right column) which I wrote about environmental disaster and the error in ignoring it. I even wrote an additional unrecorded verse about the Gulf BP Oil Spill. It’s a favorite locally anyway. But I hesitate to get too militant in anything else I write since EVERYthing is so political these days. Who needs to piss off people who might otherwise buy your music? Yes, some of you out there actually buy music.
But I will be attempting to merge my music with topics I think deserve objective public consideration. And if my own point of view shows it’s head above the chorus, well I can duck pretty fast. But I won’t flip or flop.
Here in the middle of an insane Christmas gig season, viagra 100mg
I’m beginning to think past the holidays about the New Year 2012. My predictions and projections are as follows:
An App for that: Every human function will have an app by the end of the year. I have one to show where the public rest rooms are and where to get Starbucks so how far can we be from an iBlood Test, an iMood Enhancer, an iAppetite Controller/Satisfier, iOrgasm anybody?
Occupy this: Tent cities will spring up anyplace there are unemployed. Invest in canvas.
Electronic LED green hair: Led lighting matched with solar power will give us such innovations as instant hair color changes projected from LED earrings, necklaces, headbands, powered by solar collectors imbedded in our clothing.
Bizarre oddities: New species will start appearing to replace those going extinct. Expect naked polar bears,
Reverse osmosis gills on fish, domed and gated communities for honey bees, Monsonto resistant wild corn and wheat, Oil eating algae that will defecate plastic,
Music cliches banned: In a move to help culture evolve, BMI, ASCAP, SESEC and the Library of Congress will refuse to register songs that use cliches. Several entire genres go silent.
Chocolate declared a vegetable: Chocolate will take it’s rightful place beside pizza as a vegetable in school cafeterias. It will melt all over the food pyramid making the whole thing more appetizing.
Oil wells declared as persons: If corporations are people, so are their offspring
Poor people declared as non-persons: Aren’t they already?
News networks suddenly realize how ridiculous they sound: At a conscious raising media convention, all the major TV News anchors and corespondents get a look at themselves after being secretly dosed with LSD/truth serum punch. They become embarrassed, point and laugh, vow to forever shut up and go away. They eventually go into recovery and everything gets back to normal.
Performers who’s demographic aims at sex appeal, will appear naked with no sound: Britney, and that entire ilk will realize that production costs can be cut to almost zero if they just do naked web cam with no sound. Their profits soar.
CD sales will boom at naked gigs. Performers still trying to sell CDs find that a naked merch table is the only way to go.
And who knows what else might happen? The Christmas song broadcast that my writing partner/drummer Jax Resto and I did along with bassist Bri Hays, was good fun despite some technical difficulties. I’ll perform those two songs again with Jax soon. In the meantime I fed her another one liner and she returned two lyrics to me overnight. The girl may be my best Christmas present yet. Has Santa sent me a human song writing machine? I still have the Christmas weekend to play at my regular gig at Back Eddy Bistro, a private Boxing Day Party and the New Year weekend. Then the really busy season is upon us here in southwest Florida. I still plan to get more done this year than last. I don’t do resolutions. I just stay busy on my goals. Adjusting them as time moves forward. I write, I perform, I make new alliances, my business grows, I stay healthy, I realize my happiness hourly. I make good Karma. Happy New Year!
Sunday is usually recovery day for me. I always liked that “Day of Rest” concept after a long weekend of remodeling my universe. I routinely review if I met my goals and either reshape them or rededicate myself to another kick ass week. Skipping over those details, medicine
I’ll share a question that keeps coming up lately:
Why not have a band instead of always solo?
Probably nothing is more fun in music than playing in a band that just works so well together that the sound is a pure beautiful organism. And if I left a couple of letters out of that last word, it still works because it feels that good. And I’ve had several brief flings with bands and I’m currently rehearsing with one for two special gigs. And it’s been very good. No regrets. I always look forward to these little side trips. My studio bands have been particularly amazing. Give a listen on the tune widget to the right of this page and you’ll quickly see what I mean.
But all of those band relationships, in and out of the studio, great as they were, I regard as kind of “friends with benefits.” Fantastic fun. Let’s do it again sometime. Go and have yourself a ball and tell me all about it. Our friendship is first. The majority of those I’ve played with, I’d happily play with again. In the meantime, I wish them well. One permanent, ironclad relationship in my life, is all I need. And it doesn’t involve music. I married her and write songs about her. Life is grand!
But musically, solo is just so much easier, less filled with angst and no overhead to pay. And I absolutely love my regular solo gig. Can’t dream of giving that up. Back Eddy Bistro is my weekend home. Playing music for friends and fans in the same spot, with rewards of amazing food. One load-in (and out) each weekend, close to home. Growing local celeb status. Frequent drop-in-jams by a few close musician friends. My life is perfect.
The band scene is a minefield of mental health hazards in my view. I have many close friends experiencing this on a daily basis. For many of these folks, the need is an incurable spreading virus. It is, by nature, their need to play with other people. In this day of tracks-for-sale, one man bands, canned music, I have actually seen a drummer playing and singing to tracks he bought or perhaps made himself. It’s not at all a stretch to think a bass player can do the same. There are of course countless guitarists and keyboardists who do this. But I can equate this to having phone sex, I think. And if you do that stuff for too long, you either reshape your reality to accept it or you long for the real thing. Not that I’ve had any actual experience with phone sex. But the analogy works here, don’t you think? It’s protected against the virus of needing a band that often becomes self destructive. So okay, go ahead and take it a step further and describe playing in a band like unprotected sex.
The Rolling Stones are about to consider if they should do one more tour to celebrate their 50th year as a band. At the same time REM has called it quits. These long term relationships have given the rest of us a great deal of pleasure. For the band members, it was more of a roller coaster ride to who knows where. Takes a certain kind of personality with particular needs to get on that ride and stay there. I prefer the kind of ride you get on and know where and when you can get off . You can always buy another ticket and jump on again for another go.
So I define myself as Bud Buckley, solo acoustic singer songwriter, not adverse to certain pleasurable musical flings but protected from Band Aids.