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inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #176 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 07:13
    
    Obviously, no system is going to be perfect. I think musicians
will have to live with several co-existing systems, each with its own
problems. But these days more and more approaches seem to be evolving
all the time. So people will have the opportunity to be just as
creative about getting themselves out there as they are in their music.
   That may be the crux of the issue. Most creative people are unable
or unwilling, or certainly reluctant, to push themselves forward in a
shameless self promotional or business sense. The ones who do probably
wind up being the ones who get heard.
   But at least with the Internet, you can shamelessly promote
yourself and still remain relatively invisible.  The best of both
worlds!
   
   I have to add one aside to Gary, which relates to the idea of
promotion and fame, etc. I totally appreciate everything you've said
about the book. I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and
appreciative reading.
   However, if this could have been written in a cover review in the
Sunday NY Times Book Review, I'd definitely be a lot more famous by
now....
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #177 of 198: Jim Brennan: Pseud Monkey (jimbrennan) Fri 14 Mar 03 07:55
    
I agree that no system will fit everyone's needs alll the time.  

As far as promotion goes, I think it's important to ask yourself what
you are playing music for.  If it's to enjoy yourself and get a feeling
of satisfaction, then you can achieve that rather simply.  If your
goals are more ambitious, you would need to determine what you are
willing to do to achieve them.  If you can't, or won't promote
yourself, then find someone to believe in you who can. Music is art,
but getting other people to listen to it is business.  If you don't
want to mess with the business side, that's a choice.  I believe if you
are passionate and determined you can keep the integrity of your music
and get it heard by the masses.  But there is a price.  It will
include your time, your money, (as well as other peoples) and who the
hell knows what else.  

I think a big part of the key is belief.  The mind is a complex thing,
and if you really believe that you will make it, your mind will do
what ever it takes to get you there, at least on some level.  But if
you don't, it will not put in the effort.  I'm not saying that just
believing will get you there, but not believing will certainly lead to
failure.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #178 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 08:13
    
In the meantime, if part of that belief system has just a little bit
of room for reality; ie, you're not in a total fantasy world, then you
will surely have your share of "defining moments," the moments when it
becomes apparent why you are doing this (just to get in another plug
for Working Musicians).
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #179 of 198: Berliner (captward) Fri 14 Mar 03 08:22
    
As for critics helping you sell more records, I have to agree that the
standard of criticism has declined horribly in the past, oh, 15 or so
years. The major reason for this is that the magazines read by the true
fans, the core audience you're trying to reach, were dependent on
advertising, and a negative review could cause the record company to
pull its ad contract. This is, of course, horseshit, because a bad
review at least mentions the product, and many critics got reputations
for hating stuff lots of people liked. But publishers are craven
beasts. 

It's possible that the internet may someday render this threat
useless, and that trustworthy sites will be there that are read by
people who know and trust the writers it employs. However, these sites
will cover micro-genres, because that's the way popular music now is.
In time, there might be a sort of network of these sites, so you know
that the integrity of the guy on the jazz site is as strong as the one
on the country site you're reading now. 

But frankly, I wouldn't hold my breath. 
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #180 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 08:28
    
Actually, I think the situation you describe above is quite do-able,
and already exists! I mean, there are countless sites on the Internet
that offer a wide variety of music from many different genres. 
     Just as financial and real estate sites have popped up, which
rate the existing sites, what you need is a Rate the Music Sites site,
which would detail the pros and cons and biases of each site. Maybe it
could also list all the need additions to each site each month and
offer links.
    Then you could go to this one site, and have access to all the
other sites, and make your judgements from there.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #181 of 198: Berliner (captward) Fri 14 Mar 03 08:32
    
Sounds nice. Me, I have problems putting a simple photograph on my own
website, so someone else'll have to do the hard work!
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #182 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 08:38
    
But you could make a fortune. Unless someone else has already beaten
you to it.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #183 of 198: David Gans (tnf) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:08
    

> I had a review in a local paper a couple of years ago that ridiculed me for
> wearing a beret, which the critic felt was the ultimate tired jazz cliche.
> Based on that he proceeded to trash everything else about the show.  Well,
> he sure had a right to dislike my music, but I don't even own a beret and
> haven't worn one in years.

Man, that just sucks.

Maybe you should have gotten a big sign to attach to your porkpie hat that
said, "NOT A BERET."


> Most creative people are unable or unwilling, or certainly reluctant, to
> push themselves forward in a shameless self promotional or business sense.
> The ones who do probably wind up being the ones who get heard.

You are so right about this.  It is really hard to want to do it -- wouldn't
we really rather be concentrating on the music? -- and once you decide to do
it, it's damn hard to do without an infrastructure.  And who can afford to
hire publicists, "street teams," etc?
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #184 of 198: David Gans (tnf) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:13
    

> Music is art, but getting other people to listen to it is business.  If you
> don't want to mess with the business side, that's a choice.  I believe if
> you are passionate and determined you can keep the integrity of your music
> and get it heard by the masses.

You're right, Jim.


And using myself as an example, I am extremely confident in the uniqueness
and value of what I'm doing, and I WILL NOT BE DENIED.  I also know that what
I am doing doesn't fit neatly into a category -- it's singer-songwriter music
in the Steve Goodman/Randy Newman vein, but I like to jam like the Grateful
Dead.  The post-Dead "jamband" scene dooesn't value songwriting very much...


> It's possible that the internet may someday render this threat useless, and
> that trustworthy sites will be there that are read by people who know and
> trust the writers it employs. However, these sites will cover micro-genres,
> because that's the way popular music now is.

Right on, Ed.

The Internet also enablesw a lot of really bad writers to self-publish their
insightless reviews...
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #185 of 198: David Gans (tnf) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:14
    

> what you need is a Rate the Music Sites site, which would detail the pros
> and cons and biases of each site.

Annonymous public rating/voting schemes are inherently corrupt.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #186 of 198: Berliner (captward) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:30
    
>The Internet also enablesw a lot of really bad writers to
self-publish >their insightless reviews...

Which means we need a gateway to the gateways. Aieee. 
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #187 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:40
    
For a big enough non-recoupable, guaranteed advance for myself and
budget for the staff, I would be willing to assemble a team to put this
together, just as soon as the check clears.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #188 of 198: Jim Brennan: Pseud Monkey (jimbrennan) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:50
    
I got about $1.26 in my couch cushions.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #189 of 198: Berliner (captward) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:51
    
Take Euros? 

Well, I ain't got any of them, either. 
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #190 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 09:58
    
Maybe I'd just do it for the love of it.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #191 of 198: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Fri 14 Mar 03 10:57
    
"Anonymous public rating/voting schemes are inherently corrupt."

Perhaps that's true, and yet Google is still useful.  I'm still enough
of an optimist about the Internet to believe that a really good music
search engine could be written.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just
good enough that the masses will use it to find music that they
wouldn't normally listen to.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #192 of 198: a monor quibble (chrys) Fri 14 Mar 03 11:05
    
But doesn't that rely on being able to catagorize a musician?  Most of
what I like these days doesn't fall into neat catagories. In fact,
much of it is best heard live, not recorded.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #193 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 11:25
    
     You could probably throw in a Live performance aspect to this
search engine, locating not only the top players but the top cities and
the top clubs for new music. Maybe not every city and every club; but,
to pick a number at random, the Top 40 cities, with two or three clubs
a city, if warranted, one for solo artists say, one that specializes
in bands.
      Then audiences could provide descriptions/ratings of who the
main artists and bands are.
 If you want to spread this into the worlds of dance, hip hop,
country, jazz, you could have specialists, like the folks who run the
ALL Music Guide site, which is one of my favorites.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #194 of 198: Jim Brennan: Pseud Monkey (jimbrennan) Fri 14 Mar 03 12:16
    
This is my point.  All of this is at least possible now.  Just a few
years ago, you had to settle for the recomendations of friends, MTV and
radio.  There has never been a better time than now for fans to find
new music, and musicians to find new fans.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #195 of 198: David Gans (tnf) Fri 14 Mar 03 12:39
    

A new interview has taken over "center stage" here in the inkwell, but there
is no reason for this conversation to cease.  I am enjoying it immensely!

Bruce and Gary, thank you for an excellent, informative, fun interview.  And
thanks to all who have joined in.

Please keep it going -- this subject is far from exhausted!
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #196 of 198: Bruce Pollock (bruce-pollock) Fri 14 Mar 03 12:44
    
Anyone who had 195 in the pool is the big winner! 
   As a prize, you get to run the clearing house web site we've been
brainstorming about.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #197 of 198: alla bout image and not music (kurtr) Fri 14 Mar 03 13:50
    
Thanks for writing the book, Bruce.  It was interesting reading.  
Interesting discussion here as well.
  
inkwell.vue.177 : Bruce Pollock: WORKING MUSICIANS
permalink #198 of 198: Jim Brennan: Pseud Monkey (jimbrennan) Fri 14 Mar 03 15:05
    
Yes.  Much thanks and best wishes for your future endeavours
  



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