Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rattlesnake Confusion - Alternative Energy Version

Kind of like Phoenix radio
We used to listen. Where did it go?
It went off the air so
More Sheryl Crow could be on.

“East Nashville Skyline” – Todd Snider

There’s this one particular sort of people in our world and they have jobs that allow them to sit around and think of ways to screw other people. They gravitate to these jobs like scum finds a pond. These people cut across all socio-economic, racial and cultural lines, they could be thieves, or politicians…and in the case of the latter, very often both. But the people whose jobs are to sit around and think of new ways to screw struggling musicians deserve a special place in hell. I’m thinking front-row VIP seating at an eternal Kenny G show, however, I’m open to suggestions.

The musicians in question aren’t heard on the radio, because of restrictive, inbred formatting and least-common-denominator programming, but they are likely highly respected and wildly creative and influential songwriters.

The musicians in question aren’t on the lucrative corporate-branded shed circuit where they pimp out front row VIP tables at VIP prices where the big business tickets pay for the Eagles to re-re-re-unite or tell Jimmy Buffett to sway his fins to the left.

So if you can’t be heard and you can’t be seen, what can a poor boy to do ‘cept to sing for a rock and roll band? Lots of them loaded up the car or the van and rolled from town to town, playing gigs here and there in a bar or coffeehouse, an occasional house party or benefit and they were doing all right.

Until gas went to four dollars a gallon on every corner.

Now they’ve found a whole new way to screw with the musicians and, by extension, with us and our listening pleasures. Now they can’t afford to get to us and we can’t afford to get to them. Is this possibly the most sinister conspiracy since Chad and Jeremy left us hanging? Can this be a way to corral creativity? To saddle up individuality and reign it in? Or is it all horseshit?

Consider this: What if someone manipulated the global financial structure so that we couldn’t afford to go out to the clubs and hear live music, so that we couldn’t afford to do anything but listen to rotting and festering classic rock in the car on the way home and then settle onto the couch with our significant others to stare at the endless commercials that use those same damn songs to sell us insurance, tires, beer and sleep aids?

Viva Viagra, indeed.

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