Last night the movie “The Doors” was on TV starring Val Kilmer. Great movie. I’ve seen it many times. As I was watching, I felt a sense of jealousy and admiration for those who lived during those times of freedom, exploration and sense of cause and purpose – both personally, politically, and culturally. I was taken away to the time where people were meditating and taking hallucinogens to explore and expand their minds, reading poetry, allowing themselves to be influenced by the thoughts and ideas of others, and explore new sights and sounds through art and music. There was also the idea that “The Man” was misrepresenting America’s ideals and there was a liberation in rebelling against that system. Then it hit me. We’re in a very similar place now!!! I’m not sure if I can say the same about our freedoms in 2014 compared to the late 60’s, but whether we realize it or not, we are in the middle of a gigantic shift of consciousness and reality. Yea, MAYBE 2012 signified the mark of a new age, but I can say with confidence that the INTERNET is the mark of the new age. Ideas spread like a virus. People are held accountable for their words and actions online (for the most part). People are starting to wake up to the realities of the world because we are able to see, share, and spread the good and evil actions of others. We are a fairly new species, and I picture humanity as a reckless 12 year old destroying ourselves and our planet, literally shitting where we eat. Well, in my mind, we just sprouted our first pube, and I’m excited to see what puberty has to offer us in the next 1000 years. There’s a resurgence in the idea of “the system” vs. the people, and there’s even a resurgence in people experimenting with Hallucinogens again, taking ayahuasca journeys and psilocibin adventures. And the spreading of new ideas? I’d be damned if I’m not educated by SOMETHING every time I check into Facebook.
As for music and the music industry, I feel that in the 60’s there was a birth in musical freedom, through new genres, concepts, and ideas. People let music move them, define them, and lead entire cultures into new uncharted realms. Now, music is more than ever in an uncharted territory. Because of tech, ANYONE can hop on a laptop, express themselves through music, and hit share letting the whole world look into their creation (this must be scary as shit for music executives). As it may be hard to get your hit song played on every top 40 station around the world, no one is stopping the viral spread of great music (key idea being it has to be GREAT). I used to think that due to the industry’s tight control over content and its release, that music held such great sacred importance to society, and to be a part of that industry meant to be important. I used to be angry and bitter about the drop in sales, and hence the tightened budgets and lower pay for me. I used to be angry and jaded at the accessibility of streamed content – the user listening to a song once and then moving on to the next. I used to say “Fuck it, people don’t care about MY hard work and lifetime growth to create content for you? I’m out of this bitch.” I can imagine that many artists in the industry share the same thoughts. But ya know, all that changed the other night. I realized that we live in a sea of possibility, and every day we are freeing ourselves from the confines of the system who can control what we listen to. Radio doesn’t set trends anymore, they follow them, so I think artists shouldn’t make music for them anymore. It’s not worth it. I think artists should make music for the free market. For the cool kids. For their parents. For whoever wants to listen! I may miss the days of holding a record, tape (remember those?), or CD in my hand, realizing how special it was that I OWNED that, hence listening to the songs over and over again, but I’m more happy to be part of the emerging reality that we can stream, share, access, and impact people in the world with ease. I’m happy to live in the new reality. I embrace this reality.
Also, an afterthought – I once read that the music industry developments foreshadow other industries. If this is true, what’s to happen with other businesses and infrastructures?