Ronnie's Rags: Just US vs. JUSTICE
Guess what was Number 1 on January 3rd, 2003 in Santa Monica, California? "Charity Is Not A Crime" as repeatedly chanted by protesters who oppose the Santa Monica city ordinance, which makes feeding the homeless illegal. Among the protesters were Serj Tankian of System Of A Down and Audioslaveís Tom Morello. Hell, if it takes celebrity or rock star status to gain media attention, justice is served. Tankian and Morello have boldly combined music and politics in their joint project entitled Axis Of Justice. (www.axisofjustice.org)
"Will these uncertain times inspire great art?" asked Franz Hemingbeck, writer and musician (www.earstation.com/franz), on a music industry forum board recently. Think about it, "we have two or maybe four potential wars to look forward to." Will all this uncertainty inspire a new music platform? Like songs of protest or songs of how it could be instead of songs about me, me, me. Better yet, will the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, or FCC even allow so-called unpatriotic songs to be heard? Music needs something ... a knockout maybe?
Those poor, poor record labels and their reduced profit margins in the year 2002. It seems a bit ironic that labels have tens of millions of dollars to buy an artist out of their contract, but blame all their problems on p2p file sharing. Talk about corporate waste and excess, for example, a label may sink $500,000 on recording alone or $350,000 on a bandís first video. Is all that expenditure really necessary?
Artists are actually called to art, I believe. Itís like art can provide the most joyous, as well as the most tormenting moments in oneís life. Fight to write, fight to play music? Hell if I know. I do know creating art can provide sheer agony, but also pure exaltation. Franz Reinbeckís story "Above It All" expresses inner feelings of many, by saying " I just want to spend my life above it all, anonymously. Altering the paths of everything I pass." Perhaps your art is "Above It All," truly energizing anyone intuitive enough to recognize the power of synchronicity and collective contributions.
Itís your call! People young and old need to go out more ... The "World Is Dark And Grey" find some light in local music. Instrumental in local music success are four important variables, including the local music consumer, supportive club owners, nurturing booking agents, and corporate sponsors. New music audience members perhaps are the most important ingredients, so spread the word about the pure bliss obtained from good live music. GET THE F**K UP potential new audience members because live music=pleasure=peace. (Even in times of war.)
Live performances are predicted to be the largest revenue source for artists as the perceived value of CDs decline. Therefore, venues and their patrons are a vital link to increasing local, live music potential.
No room to breathe is my theme of the month. My only advice is to "Take Another Hit Of Fresh Air" and go see the following artists: (Youíll breathe much easier and restore a little justice for all of us.)
* MOLLY HATCHETT: Scott Woods is "Beating The Odds." On lucky Friday the 13th, Scott joined Molly Hatchett as their keyboard player. Take note ... Timmy Fodrey of the Rhythm Pigs provided the referral to Molly Hatchett. Scott had the talent, just needed a contact. Scott was adamant about passing this referral tradition on in hopes of furthering the careers of his fellow local music associates. Thatís beautiful, man!
* RHYTHM PIGS WITH SPECIAL GUESTS BLUE OYSTER CULT: Rhythm Pigs are true blue ... "Just A Different Shade Of Blue." They too are "Tired Of Paying Their Dues." Well, "Now The Time Has Come." The world is "Burning, Burning For You." (Timmy takes a stand, thank you.) www.rhythmpigs.com
* THE SMITHEREENS: Love their work ... "Iíll Say Anything, Iíll Do Anything" in the name of longevity as in full-time artistic career. Itís possible; the band members have been together since junior high school. www.officialsmithereens.com
* REGAN: Awesome live single from upcoming DVD. New CD title Coming Or Going? poses a good question. Iíd vote for this Regan any day. Former Agents Of Good Rootsís guitarist, Andrew Winn, serves up justice in a win-win for this band. www.reganmusic.com.
* SEA OF SOULS: Good souls ... they mentor new bands. BTW, have I said how obsessed I am over this band, lately? SOS just won best SOS is currently performing and recording at least three new songs that I could die for ... (well, at least a little bit of heaven). I canít "Let It Go," for Iíd travel "From The Mountains To The Sea." Iíd rather fight for SOS than for any country. www.seaofsouls.com.
March on music fighters, march on!