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RANT ALERT: apologies in advance. I wouldn't normally bother with all this but I'm sufficiently grumpy and pissed off anyway today so I feel like getting involved... ;) OK first of all Hypebot, I do love a lot of your posts but really – Bruce – what possessed you to write this patronising short-sighted claptrap, grasping at straws to make a vague point, badly built on horrible assumptions and ignorance? And who are all these pedlars of music biz propaganda who agree so readily, and state the obvious (ooh you have to work hard!), rounding on some hypothetical artists as if they must be a bunch of lazy, clueless, self-indulgent narcissists just because they want to make great art but are struggling in a new digital landscape to uphold un-ending web duties, the call of the cyber-Sirens luring them to frustration, stagnation and mediocrity...? Allowing for the initial premise of your opening sentence (which I'm guessing would define the word “enough” as being 'professionally viable and having some kind of success'), the whole point of those who express the kind of frustration behind the statements in your sub-title is about a struggle with TIME which (and I'm 'sorry if this comes as a surprise') your nebulous wankery about “every generation of musicians” facing “it's own challenges” firstly assumes the odious myth that to be a “musician” means to be trying to “make it” and “be famous” like some kind of pop star or 'artiste' working in the narrow genre of personality-based recorded music post 1940, sweeping aside literally millions of musicians and composers whose work environments (classical orchestras, world music community groups, film studios, folk clubs, music therapists anyone?) who don't need to give a fuck about updating their myspace; and secondly even if we take that assumption about recorded music it completely misses the fact that the current “generation” quite clearly has to tick ALL the boxes that have gone before (minus a few cheesy dance moves) and 'life-stream' the results AS WELL– oh and find the TIME to try and make halfway-great, meaningful, or god-forbid groundbreaking new music; which is no mean feat in a post-post-modern unshockable, over-saturated and shrinking marketplace, where all culture and media is utterly fragmented and a new digital paradigm is irreversibly changing the face of humanity, just as we begin to approach economic and ecological apocalypse on a planet that will bear the burden of 9 billion people by 2050!! Wow I'm really ranting aren't I? Sorry. So – going back to TIME. I'm talking about proper long, uninterrupted, indulgent, absorbing, good old fashioned Like, more than half a day... No phones, no twitter, no blogging to do – yes there have always been interruptions but being 'always-online' fragments the mind and distracts the soul like nothing else. Bob Dylan, when he was bumming about Greenwich Village absorbing a thousand folk songs had TIME. David Bowie, back in the day when people were funded to 'develop' more than just a web presence had TIME. Great artists need real TIME to explore and freewheel, destroy and create. Sure there are plenty of 'non-musical' web-based skills and good habits that Amanda Palmer and Imogen Heap have in spades which when embedded in an artist's working lifestyle will empower them – but we still only have 24hrs a day and this is so very far from a mere 'modern version' of costumes and haircuts (which have not been replaced!). It's a brave new digital world and we are in a new paradigm, did you get that? A new PARADIGM – uncharted waters, a city paved with jelly, and we're lost, we're floundering, we don't know how it's going to work or even IF it's going to work to try an sustain a long-term artistic vision in anything remotely like the old glory days (yes I'm torn between digital freedom and a dream of cultural power beyond niche)... This is NOT like Elvis swinging his hips - in ANY WAY! I mean COME ON - Sinatra, one of the greatest interpreters of song ever, didn't make movies to reach a “bigger fan base” for his MUSIC – NO! He made movies because: a) he could b) he wanted power and money c) he liked the hollywood party life It was by no means intended as a leg-up for his musical journey in the vein of having a twitter account linked to a youtube channel in an attempt to 'go viral'. MTV's contribution to the obligatory visual element of an artist (for good and for ill) has certainly not gone away now we're on twitter – it's still there we just have to be on twitter too. For these reasons when you say “it was never just about the music” (the “it” being a careerist approach to personality-based popular recorded music) well – duh – and well done for saying that “great music is where it all begins and ends” (obviously no-one should even contemplate whoring themselves online before they've written a song they think is great, and if they haven't they should piss off and write one!)... BUT... Bruce! Please hear the cry of a hundred-thousand passionate music makers staring, blinking into the cyber-abyss at the sisyphean task before them and take a broader and slightly more sympathetic view for fucks sake! Your analogy is WAY off when it comes to the new eco-system - we're in a totally new world, so realise what's really going on here before all the poor artists that slavishly nod to your beat finally wake up in failed obscurity and come a-knocking on your door for a hand-out. Now please excuse me while I post this to twitter.
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