Painters paint, writers write, explorers explore, but jazz musicians do all three as they create sonic landscapes that delight us, that provoke thought and emotion, and that ultimately enrich our lives.
There’s an article doing the rounds entitled The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think.
Starving artists have been affected by more than just piracy and and the miniscule royalties from streaming on services such as Spotify or Apple Music. They are struggling against forces at the very nexus of commerce, culture and education that have conspired to make music less meaningful to the public at large.
Amongst the reasons given are these valid points:
– Digital music ecosystems have reduced recordings down to a stamp-sized cover image and three data points: Artist, Song Title, Album.
– An ethos of musicality and discovery on commercial radio has been replaced wholesale by a cynical manipulation of demographics and the blandest common denominator.
– Music is defined by the celebrity status of the musicians.
– Our collective ability to relate to music through a humanities lens has atrophied. Too many are satisfied to engage with music at only the level of feeling, or as an aural background to films and games.
Yep, attention spans are shorter, gimme, gimme, and I want it NOW even though I don’t know what it is that I want!
I hadn’t heard of Mike Keneally until a week or so ago when I heard this song. I was captivated by both the lyrics and melody and his voice which reminded me a great deal of that truly wonderful intelligent pop band XTC, especially with the bucolic fade at the end with twittering birds. And, lo, it was co-written with XTC main man Andy Partridge.
And hey, what about his amazing guitar work?
Mike K has got a certain Ineffable Oomph of Everything.
As it is, I’ll have to make do with YouTubes, both official and not, his radio station “streaming infinite amounts of [him] for you at all times!“, and his generous offer on his website of over two hours worth of free downloads.
He says this about EP1: “All I ask is that the contents of this download (the music, art and liner notes) remain intact and unaltered and again, it remains FREE. So, please, share away!”
Right, that’s done Mike, thank for your generosity, and please come to Jakarta.
Above all, I hope that the way you’ve gone about with your career sets an example for all those who bemoan the state of today’s music business. You show that, yes, it can be done independently!
Mike K. is also on Farcebook.