Friday, March 30, 2012

Respect part 2

Recently a young band was featured in NOW magazine. I won't go into the details, you can find either online on their website or on Facebook as it generated a quite heated debate.
From my take on what they said, they were former college music majors who didn't relish their experience. They put out a video (filmed in the same college's practice room playing the school's gear, by the way) which got some hits on youtube. Good for them. What I find somewhat disturbing is how in the article they tend to dismiss the school, it's teachers, and the methods used to teach them. This is the sort of stuff journalists at independent weeklies love. "Young lions inject the staid conservative Jazz scene with new life, blah, blah, blah". Every year or so it comes along like clockwork.

The problem is:
A) They sound okay, but innovative? Hardly. Just because you've covered some current material?
That puts them squarely in a tradition that's gone on since musicians were trying to get gigs!

B) So they're young and cute and full of vinegar? They won't stay that way, and if they keep playing, how will they portray themselves as "innovative rebels" in 10 years?

and most importantly...

C) The music scene is very small. Cutting down people teaching at the schools just isn't smart. Those same teachers are active professionals that can help a lot if you treat them with respect.
I had teachers I didn't agree with. There's lots of music out there (some made by peers) that I don't care for and doesn't reach me, but in either case, I keep my mouth shut, particularly in a public forum.
We as musicians should be encouraging each other, not puffing ourselves up at the expense of people who have worked long and hard at this. It's a very poor long term plan.

...Then again, maybe if I wore a pig's head I'd get more gigs!


  1. I thought I might've written about the same guys, but no- apparently there's a lot of this going around. As annoying as the kids are, the writers are even worse:

    "Jazz, a mutable music born out of black resistance, made psychedelic intrusions into the dominance of Western classical modalities, rhythms and sensibilities, but it’s ossified over time."