Here’s my question. Is this website Nashville Music Pros, or is it Nashville Music Whiners?
For this last two weeks, I’ve logged into the Tuesday Morning Chats. And, while there are certainly some enthusiastic comments coming through, the preponderance of what I’m seeing are complaints – particularly about the creative state of the music-biz.
“Nobody is writing great melodies anymore.” “Rap isn’t music.” “Why does Jay Z have to ruin a perfectly good Cold Play song?” “Taylor Swift is a joke.” These are not exact quotes, but typical examples of the mood of these discussions.
We are all trying to hang on to some semblance of sanity and solvency in a business that, in the next two to five years, will not even vaguely resemble the industry to which we’ve all dedicated our creative and professional lives (some of us for decades). More corner offices in high-rise buildings will darken. More major record companies will shutter up. We will have to ride it out, find creative ways to continue doing the things we’ve been privileged to do, or seek other means of self-expression and livelihood.
In my opinion, social/professional networks like NMP should function for the purpose of sharing information and opportunities to help its membership survive and succeed. I’d like to have a spirited discussion with my peers, and log off of the Tuesday Morning Chat feeling energized and encouraged. That would be a great way to invigorate my week.
But, to get on there and observe a bunch of professionals kvetching about things over which they have no control is enervating and infuriating.
Great melodies? Listen to Panic at the Disco, Dashboard Confessional, Nada Surf. Rap and hip-hop started as indie music two decades ago. Now those genres are the mainstream, because their message connects with millions of music fans (yes, music fans). Why not applaud the rock and rap cultures collaborating in the form of Cold Play and Jay Z? Taylor Swift writes really good songs and makes smart records that appeal directly to her core audience. Sure, she ain’t no Martina McBride. But she’s pumping millions into Music Row, and that’s good for every single one of us, whether you think she can sing or not.
Let’s curb the whining, my fellow Nashville Music Pros. We are all fortunate to be in this business. Every one of us should be grateful for every minute we get to do what we love to do. And, if we stop loving doing it, let’s just move on – without complaining.
Songwriter/producer/author Makin’ Stuff Up – secrets of song-craft and survival in the music-biz