Talent

25Mar12

There’s a ton of talent in the music industry right now…and if you look in the right places, it isn’t that hard to find. I can’t wait to see what happens with this generation of artists…we now know what Napster did to kill (or save?) the music industry a decade ago, so today’s musicians are leaning much more heavily on independent labels and touring to make their money. Fair? Not fair? Doesn’t matter…that’s how it is now. The good thing about this new reality is the rebirth of camaraderie and friendly competition among emerging artists that was a bit stagnant in the 1990s and early 2000s, which has led to great co-headlining shows, cruise ship concert trips, small festivals, and so on. As a result, up-and-coming talent gets noticed and encouraged very quickly. For example, check out this performance from emerging guitar stud Gary Clark Jr (who was recommended to me by a friend a few months ago):

Now let me show you an example of how money can potentially ruin an artist, by pressuring them to change their wonderful art into something shitty. Here are two videos of Lady Gaga performing the same song, ‘Edge of Glory’. One performance sucks, one is excellent…you be the judge! (hint: the second one sucks)

and…

I don’t hate Gaga…she’s doing her thing, she is getting paid, and my understanding is that her live shows are actually more like the first video above than the pop-drenched crap in the second video. I appreciate her talent, but I wanted to post these videos to point out that we still haven’t gotten rid of the negative affect that $$$$$ has on art. And we probably never will!

The talent is out there, and it’s being encouraged in different ways than prior generations. We won’t know yet if this is better or worse, but in the meanwhile stop reading this and click around YouTube to find more good music!

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