Blog #95: How things have changed
This week was a big one for Jazz in New York(yes I'm still calling it Jazz). First there was an all day event sponsored by JazzTimes that was a 'Do it yourself Crash Course' in promotion and 'the industry' on Thursday, then a series of APAP workshops/panels/speakers from Friday to Monday. Add in the fact that WinterFest was going on Fri and Saturday: it was a big week for Jazz.
I attended the thurs 'DIY' event and one of the panels on Sunday, I just didn't have the time to go to 4 full days worth of panels, the trumpet needs more attention than that, but I got a lot out of what I saw. Got some ideas for new ways to get my recent album out there more and really enjoyed Michael Ricci's ideas and presentation on his website and a future one he will launch as well. Props to Michael for being someone who is working hard to find new solutions and approaches to this music world we live in, and for having the balls to publish my friend John Beaty's controversial articles.
Going back to the 'DIY Crash Course' event, I had some strong reactions to what audience members were saying. People seemed to break down into 2 camps; Those that realize the music world has changed due to all the new technology and those who think the ways which they succeeded 30 years ago will continue to work.(These ones seem to me to be shoving a square peg in a round whole).
I just wanted to take a second and talk about how much things have changed in the past 10 years(which really isn't a long time)
First, when I was in high school AIM was HUGE. 'Instant Messenger' was a program on 'America Online(AOL)' where you could chat with your friends. It was the precursor to 'Gchat' on Gmail. When I'd get home from school I'd sign on(which consisted of 'Dialing up' using the phone line) and talk to my friends. You could surf the web too, but I don't remember there being much that interested me....outside of Napster(where i pirated incredible amounts of music for free). After a while my mom would yell at me, because i was tying up the phone line and we couldn't receive phone calls while I was using the internet. I also remember fondly that crazy noise the computer made when you were dialing up.(weird buzzes and hisses)
When I got to college, my school had a network, so I could ALWAYS be signed on. I left up an 'Away Message' most of the time, but when I came back from class I'd see a message on my computer from a friend that would say 'You around? Gonna go to the Cafeteria'. You could even chat with the guy across the hall via AIM.
Somewhere in there I totally abandoned AIM(maybe everyone did), and somewhere in there Facebook crept in. People could post about what they were up to, yada yada. AND Texting seemed to appear out of no where. Texting is basically AIM on the go; because you don't need to be stuck at your computer to type. Quick communication without having to actually pick up the phone.(big fan of texting)
The reason I mention all this is to illustrate how much things have changed and how fast its happened. Who would have seen any of these things coming? But one thing is clear, the world is different. People listen to music differently, and people buy/find out about music differently. It seemed like a lot of people I heard speak(some audience, some panel) had the attitude of: "I know how to do things, I sold tons of records back in the day". They seem to refuse to accept that their methods won't continue to work because the world is different. And there's one thing that's stopping them: their own ego. They need to accept that they don't know everything, and be open to trying new things if they are going to have any success.