May 11, 2003

Perceived viable price for music

An unexpected moment happened this weekend as I stopped in Tower Records as it is the same parking area as another regular Saturday morning errand I found Kem Kemistry for under 10 dollars. I had stumbled across Kem in the Apple Music Store this past week and really enjoyed it. I had though about making that the first disk I downloaded from AMS, but finding the disc for less than I would have paid to Apple I was a proud owner. (Kem is a new artist that sounds much like Al Jarreau but with a little more Motown R&B).

Until AMS my maximum price for a CD was 14 US dollars (with a few exceptions), but now it seems that 10 dollars may be my new threashold. I love music and really enjoy quality production as well as clean honest music, which the recording industry has ignored of late as they throw plastic layers over talent and foster mediocrity. When I find the increasingly rare gems in regular music bins I dig to find it at a decent price. I miss the days of playing music in a band and the creative process that is fostered in small bands. I played sax and keyboard (many years of piano as a child went to something) in jazz bands, pick-up bands, concert bands, and sat in on cover bands through high school and through college, even in pick-up bands in early work years in San Francisco. There are times when listening to music I ache to play regularly and there are times when I am in awe of great talent and great musicianship. I have seen far too many great bands ruined by the music industry, which leached the blood from bands and single artists that would bring a large smile to my face for days. I finally am seeing hope with the music industry I have not seen in a long time.

With music prices possibly dropping and a levelling of the playing field for independent artist to get exposure of the interchangable Britneys, I see hope. The downside of late is seeing music programs in public schools cut back due to budget cuts. Not only is music needed for its own sake, but there is a strong corrolation between music and mathematics and sciences. Nearly every American programmer that I have known that I have considered to be above average has been a musician also, and often was formally trained. Many of the visual designers have also been musicians, but not as high a ratio as programmers.

Having music be a decent price is very important to me as I truly believe is supporting the artist that create that which gives pleasure. I wish more of the money would flow to the artist and less to the suits that ruin that with has the potential for being great.

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