I’m reading an interesting book right now called Linchpin by Seth Godin. It’s an American book which basically states that the business world which our parents and some of us inherited is now effectively over. The days when you got a job and kept it for years and the company looked after you until your retirement are long gone.
Undoubtedly that model of business is probably on the decline as we all watch our superannuation melting steadily like a paddle pop in the sun. As a musician I hadn’t really counted on having a huge pile of super to play with for the last three decades of my life anyway so I guess I’ll have to stay current and keep working away at what I love to do.
The Seth Godin Linchpin theory is that people for the last 150 years have been encouraged to be a cog in a giant machine. Dispensable, controllable and ultimately replaceable. When I listen to some music forms I must say that there’s certainly a parallel with the music business.
What is it about you that is going to give you the ability to keep doing this thing that you do for ever until one day you electrocute yourself at a gig with your Chinese manufactured PA system? You need to bring something unique and wonderful to the table every time you perform or put out a record.
I have listened to tons of songs from the ‘great’ writers of Nashville and been significantly under-whelmed by the banality and sameness of most of the offerings I’ve heard. Oh, the really top artists seem to find interesting songs for the most part but there is so much pulp music coming out of Nashville, it’s a joke.
Let’s talk about ‘Lurve’. There’s obviously much more love around in Nashville than there is in Australia because every song seems to be somewhere on the ‘love cycle’. Falling in, falling out, under appreciated, not here, lost interest, too much too little, too late aaaaarrggh give me a break!!
With our Australian country music audience definitely on the older side of life is there any point in really trying to engage people en masse in the topic of love? I mean a few songs is fine but all of them??? Leave it to pop music to talk about love and let’s use our skills for good.
Hey don’t get me wrong I love ‘love’ and I think there’s wonderful love songs out there. I think you should write one every now and then but not every time and not exclusively. Think about your audience and what is going on for them not you.
So you’re in a relationship!! Woo hoo. Is that your whole conversation with your friends and family? How would it be if that’s all you talked about to everyone you met. How would that go over? Not so great I would imagine but if you don’t believe me how about you try it for a week and see how many friends you have left willing to talk to you.
Lets’ raise the songwriting bar particularly in country music and talk about some of the real things that are happening in the real world and I guarantee you’ll have a more successful and more engaged conversation with your audience.
More next week………………
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