A few things on my mind today...I want to mention - again - that Wellington's Jazz Festival is under way. Last night's Chucho Valdes & The Afro-Cuban Messengers gig at the Opera House was a ripper (my review will be in the Weekend Dominion Post) and tonight Cassandra Wilson is on the early show (see yesterday's post for my interview with Wilson). Later on tonight Lucien Johnson has curated an evening billed as The Opera House Sessions. Good stuff. All of it.
But I also want to talk about Barney Hoskyns' post on Facebook this week. Hoskyns is a well-known British music writer and his passionate plea is for creative people - writers, designers, musicians - to stop giving it up for free. You do any work for mainstream media, for a paper or website or radio station and you deserve to be paid. What do you think?
I thought about his post a lot this week - followed a lot of the feedback, some interesting posts in relation to it already and more to come, no doubt. And, inspired in part by Hoskyns' comments, I wrote a bit of my own story down. I'm keen for you to share your thoughts on this. Are we right to ask to be paid for something that is work - or should we all just accept that creative work can be performed by almost anyone in these days of the net, Marshall McLuhan's "global village" filling the void, the web, the world with far too many global village idiots...so what if you're a so-called expert. You better front up for nothing - or someone else will. What do you reckon?
Also I wanted to mention The Rolling Stones. Specifically the slow-building furore around what seems to be a rather ghastly 50th Anniversary Tour - if the bite-sized clips are to be believed.
The latest is Taylor Swift almost-singing along with As Tears Go By, a portrait of vacuity. (Masochists can view the full song here.)
The internet is getting angry about The Stones. But does the internet have it right? (Or have a right?) The Stones, it's clear, couldn't care less. The Rolling Stones Organisation is posting the clips on its official Facebook/YouTube/Twitter channels. And in each town there's a guest - some pop-star du jour, someone phoning in an appreciation for The Stones' worth and then phoning in a dodgy vocal. Next night in a new town it's someone else. Move on. The band and its fans have. The Stones do sound particularly shoddy. When the tour started the reviewers all suggested a touch of the rust and rot; it would wear off with new miles under old belts. But no, it almost seems like the band is getting worse. Check any clip; Keef and Woody appear to have forgotten how to play their guitars.
An interesting question came up in relation to this post yesterday - someone suggested that if the Stones did in fact want to piss their legacy away then they were entitled to do just that. I'm all for civil liberties but - in a way - don't the fans own the band? Don't the fans keep the band going; providing the income and adoration/adulation - so in some sense can't the fans claim a buy-in here? Demand some say?
Rolling Stones shows long ago became a rite of passage, became something beyond just going for the music. I have memories of seeing The Stones and being amazed that some of the shoddiest musicians about were collectively - still - the greatest band in the land on the night. They had the hits and the way to lock in to play those hits. They were remarkable. Individually they were all ordinary. Together there was magic. But I feel that magic is gone. And though I've moved on - I don't need to see The Stones again, I don't really care how they sound on this tour - I do think that as a fan who has spent a huge amount of time and money supporting this band I am entitled to my say. And I do wish the band would stop embarrassing itself.
What do you think? Is the band a sad joke now? (If you say they always have been then you've come to the wrong room, by the way.) Or do you see - and hear - no problem with any of the latest tour clips? (It was less than a year ago that I gushed out 50 Reasons to Love The Rolling Stones - I'd struggle to think of five based on what I've seen and read and heard from this current tour.)
So - there you go. A few micro-posts wrapped up in one end-of-week post. Feel free to comment on all or any. Are you going to any of the Jazz Festival shows? Or do you wish you were? What do you think of Barney Hoskyns' post? And my related comments about being expected to front up for nothing because "the payment is in the publishing"? And what do you make of The Rolling Stones' latest tour and claims they're killing their own legacy? And if it's their legacy does that mean they're allowed to kill it if they want to?
Speaking of kill it - and dying and death and embarrassment - just to end this on an upbeat note, I was reminded of a passage from Chuck Klosterman's Killing Yourself to Live book last night where he says "If I knew I was going to die at a specific moment in the future, it would be nice to be able to control what song I was listening to; this is why I always bring my iPod on airplanes."
So, if I've given you nothing else here in this set of starters then perhaps you could share the song that you'd have lined up for your hypothetical last ride. For me it's Carousel Memories by Dick Hyman but that's only my answer today. And only because I've been slightly obsessed lately with the soundtrack to the Woody Allen film, The Purple Rose of Cairo. But what about you? What would be lined up on your iPod for that final (fantasy) flight?
Killed enough of your time now, have I? I think so. Happy weekend all. And if you're not a phobic of Facebook, remember on Fridays over at the Phantom Billstickers page I have a rant about a Classic Album I Can't Ever Hear Again.
You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.