Persevere Severely

Running like a horse's assI spent my afternoon looking for new music on Spotify. I love being able to scan, listen and cue such a variety of amazing artists. Unfortunately, just like blogs, many songs get lost in the milieu and mediocrity. When I think about it, that is often a good thing as so much drivel is out there. It does make it more of a challenge to find the good stuff, that undiscovered band (or writer…) who carries you through for another day.

Master of Choice

The beauty of technology, something I think anyone reading this must also like, is that we are masters of our own choice. It has been discussed more intensely since Napster was deployed. In the day (you know, back in the 80s) when I got an album I would transfer the songs I liked to tape, even recorded songs from the radio, and then plug and play it on my Walkman. I even packed and carried tapes in one of those black canvas punk rocker bags. When I graduated to CDs, but still had a tape deck in the car, I kept filtering out what I liked and cutting the rest. Oh, and I never owned an 8-track.

I bought my IPod in Vegas as a 40th birthday gift to myself. It was thrilling to have even more freedom to pick and choose the music I already loved and owned. I spent days and days transferring all my CDs to iTunes, and then when I discovered BearShare I went on a hunt for all those songs I never got round to buying. I still have my iPod plugged into the Blu-Ray at home, but I stopped carrying it when I got my ever-so-smart phone and started paying for mobile Spotify.

Renting the Future

Now I just rent music.  I can borrow and browse music and maintain my playlists. But two things are happening: my attention span gets shorter and my need for new material is sharper and more demanding every day.

And I know that writing is even more fleeting than music. Music is more likely to be played again in the future, to turn up during a dinner party, on the radio, as movie music. Writing does endure but it requires a lot more attention, a lot more cultivation than other artistic mediums that are instantaneous.

The corporations have caught on. Both my home internet and mobile phone services automatically sent me text messages telling me that I have almost used up my monthly allocation of bandwidth. My rental period starts again tomorrow. I am in fact, renting this space, where my own material lies. And this is the future of writing it seems. With self publishing and Kindles and all the other unknown mediums.

Watching and Waiting

Artists of every ilk need to pay attention to the trends in the music industry, as well as the trends of the listener, or in our case, readers. I think that musicians cut a fine example of perseverance. If you read the bios of many, most, of the bands, they have been at it for years, decades, touring across the country, playing to piss angry drunk crowds, and often to the wrong crowds at weddings…They collaborate willingly with others and experiment with other genres to gain experience and evolve.

Fake Follow Me and I Will Fake Follow You

A lot of blogging energy seems to be spent counting followers, adding up clicks, and analyzing the likes, some of which are false clicks.

All those fake readers who don’t spend a second looking at our content, just playing the fake follow game to increase their clicks. If you are one of them I don’t want you as a follower. Oh yeah, you never got this far down the page…

Annapolis benchCue and Shuffle

My goal as a writer is to improve, grow, collaborate, and merge like all those musicians who make it into my queue and shuffle list.
I like artists who severely persevere. I want to be one of them. I am going to be persevering severely. I am proud of what some of us have to offer (for free) to the world.

I am just not sure what to do next.

4 thoughts on “Persevere Severely

  1. I really enjoyed this post Amanda. So much so I read it the day you posted and returning now a couple of days later for a second helping. I admit the first time out I was a bit rushed but recognized the profundity it contained. Today I return seeking a deeper comprehension.
    Very novel parallel you make between music and writing. It is interesting to ponder how my music listening habits have evolved through the years while at the same time considering reading habits. This exercise in thought triggers many observations and indeed memories – cross-firing synapses relating to the musical with those typically reserved for the reading of words from the page.
    I come away with two primary realizations (among many yet unrealized):
    1. Today’s music scene is so vast – with a selection of music to consume so abundant – that I find it difficult to label a few select artist or a single genre as providing the soundtrack for my life.
    I too had that dependable case full of cassettes that I hauled around for many years. In fact I still have those tapes and I guarantee that if I were to come across a cassette player and replayed those hiss-filled wonders memories of that period of my life would rush to the fore. Years from now – I am hard pressed to imagine – what in the realm of music will carry with it such power as to bring to mind this day and age.
    2. I am starting to “get” that the blogosphere is indeed replacing newspapers and magazines as my chief vehicle for entertaining reading. It used to be you would grab the paper and follow a few favorite columnists; perhaps you would even subscribe to multiple papers and magazines to convince yourself what a well rounded reader you were. Today your options for reading are as broad as they are long and stretch far beyond any meaningful measure. Is this new-found abundance a blessing or curse? It is what it is.
    I have to chuckle as I think back on all those departed old, and dearly loved fogies I have known; those tales they would tell of the way it used to be; how the people of the world today do not stand a snowballs chance.
    I think of those 8-track tapes that I could pop into the player and listen to the same 45 minutes of music play in that endless loop for as often as I wish to allow… “I know this song”, “I know the next song”, “I know them all.” “There are no surprises”, “There are no commercials”, “This is the life!” to which the old fogies might reply: “back in my day the music was playing in our heads (as were our words.)”
    Well, better out than in, I say.

    • Well dear Masodo, you humble me. I did not think my post so profound, just one of those things that crossed my mind. Having said that, my post and your response is exactly what this Internet space is about. The conversation we are having now was not possible in 8-track days; it is possible, however, that I am repeating what others have also eloquently said somewhere else on the web. Changing one mind at a time…you and me and the rest of humanity.

  2. I’ve kind of abandoned the music world. I’ve heard of Spotify, but have never been motivated to look into it. It’s been so long since a new band has piqued my interest.

    I know what you mean about the fake followers, but I ignore them. I’m just grateful that some people do read, sometimes. Cheers. 🙂

    • That is too bad about music, but I hope you do listen to those bands you do like, even if they are on LPs and cassettes.

      Yes, I am realizing that it takes just as much time to find and read good blogs, comment, and keep in touch with the like-minded (or at least interesting) people, such as yourself.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I am grateful, too.

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