Life and How to Live It

Posted: September 25, 2020 in Body Count, Fridge Note, Music nobody listens to

When I was living in a cow-town land-grant college, there was two or three places to get connected to new music. we could drive down to Dubuque, which was questionable, or make a trip to Madison. And there was a grocery store that had a rack of albums. And one week, REM’s debut album showed up – 2 copies. I bought one. And it became an instant fixture on our house’s turntable. Dunno where the other one went. They probably sent it back as unsellable.

When I moved to Milwaukee, their second album was also instantly a given on our stereo. And was this one. REM changed the paradigm of how music was produced and distributed and who it was being distributed to. And the band didn’t care about any of that, which was part of the attraction; they made music they wanted to, and they hoped you liked it, but they didn’t care if you didn’t.

And you might be able to tell, but that is a singular common thread with the bands I love. The Mekons have NEVER cared about being popular, or doing what labels wanted. Of course, that resulted in a reaction. And they didn’t give a shit, and 40 years on, record labels have died and the Mekons continue making some of the most vital music out there.

But the problem, these days, of course, is that it is nearly impossible for bands to find avenues for getting their music out. Normally, lesser bands would rely on touring and selling merchandise at shows. But there are no shows.

There are many efforts to support venues and bands on the internet going on. But hardly enough to keep everyone alive.

Many musicians are working their asses off to make some kind of revenue stream. The Mekons are weirdly able to make this work, because they have long ago managed to cobble together a life within their varied and diverse lives scattered around the world.

But that is hardly a way of living for musicians on a typical basis. And as you might know, I am fervently in favor of supporting musicians and the venues that they typically frequent. (I supported Ramblin Deano when he had a virtual tour, which was helped by a friend of mine)

This afternoon, a couple of those socialist bastards the Mekons, Jon Langford and Sally Timms (and fellow traveler John Szymanski) did a few songs on Langford’s deck (with cameos by his kid, his wife, and their dog) and asked for money to benefit a meal distribution group, for which we raised overer $5000. The musicians just had a total party. It was awesome.,

After that, I clicked over to a live stream from Wussy playing from one of their side rooms. They were awesome, too.

Yeah, I’ve seen them.

What is completely apparent is that most musicians want, beyond anything is to contact their audience. the connection and the exchange of energy. it’s gone. yeah, let’s blame that on Trump too..

The loss of live music is killing me.

I love that many musicians are finding ways of connecting with us. It helps me keep upright and working. But I really need to get live music back before I can only see it from a chair, like Lois (from the Dennis and Lois movie)

Thank you Bob, your fire and spit and anger helps.

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Comments
  1. another kiwi says:

    Love Mr. Mould’s song, thanks.

  2. Oregon Beer Snob says:

    None of these are probably your cup-o-tea, but:

    Umphrey’s McGee is doing a thing — fairly large live drive-in shows. $400 gets your car with 4 people in, a parking spot, and a same-sized-spot next to it to chill/dance/drink/whatever. Bring your own cooler/food/booze/weed. I wish they were doing one anywhere near me 😦

    Also, too: Trey Anastasio just announced this:

    https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/trey-anastasio-beachon-theatre-virtual-residency-twitch-1069704/

    Streams will be free, but they’ll be raising money for a couple different non-profits.

    • The Waco Brothers did a drive-in show in Evanston. up to four people per car, each band member played from the bed of separate trucks. Also, one Sunday, Jon Langford and a couple of others did a roving concert from the bed of a truck, driving around a neighborhood. You could donate money and give your address and they would drive by…

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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