A Human Movement
Thursday, June 12, 2003
no, not true. the ubiquity of an object or person only betokens its / their power, not a demise. Your conceptions have flipped the true nature of the "band." For a Band is derived from the most tribal traditions from the earliest times, gathering round the campfire to be entertained by the local group of maestros, a traveling bard, a punk band etc. exchanging food/drinks/drugs/money/sex for their performance.

So, the "experience" of the "Band" is necessarily a public experience. And it is through the concept of "bands" that people seek to connect themselves to and communicate with the subculture in question. The citizen at this point can in one way be defined by the bands he likes, the concerts he's been to, who he has "heard of"... all fodder for conversation that enhances his public image (at least in the eyes of the citizen). So, the question is do the public aspects entrenched in these many levels of musical discourse derive their "publicness" exclusively from an artist's performance? Can a citizen enhance his public image (i.e. can he interact socially with people and derive benefit from his knowledge) without having "experienced" the Band? The answer, of course, is yes, which leads me to my central point about the distinction every citizen must make. What is your relationship with music? Is it primarily public or private?

This question of course exists on many levels and there are no right or wrong or preferred answers. But some questions that might lead you to answer this broad question are: Do you find yourself appreciating music less if you are not aware of the historical and/or technical aspects of that music? Do you listen to music primarily on a personal audio system i.e. Walkman, iPod, etc.? How much do you talk about music? Do you play music? How often?

I think everyone's involvement with or relation to music is comprised of different percentages of public and private elements. On the public extreme, you have Tom Petty's "A&R man [who] don't hear a single" while on the private extreme, an elderly raga ascetic contemplating life from the great heights of South Asian mountains while picking at his one-stringed sitar.

I don't know why I've spent so much time delineating this public/private dichotomy, but I just feel that 1) how music exists in our culture is tied to this dichotomy and 2) the dichotomy itself is at a critical stage in today's society, and we can't know the future of bands, music, "the industry" until we sort out where are the public/private boundaries for the 21st century.

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