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Thursday, March 03, 2005

You never miss the water...

AJ at All Your Blogs Are Belong To Us has posted Bloggers of Extinction: A Tribute. The whole idea of extinct blogs gives me a chill because I've only been doing this for two months and I'm already wondering how long I can keep it up.

In one of the extinct blogs he mentions, Phoebe Moons makes her goodbye:
There was a time not long ago when blogging was a way in for me. I was writing and thinking about writing in a way that excited me and was self-propelling. But it caught up with me. ... I just can't do it.
Then AJ takes us to an extinct blog (I'd never seen one before), Jack's Texas Music, and says:
[I was] taking for granted the idea that they’ll always be there for you to enjoy and interact with. ... Jack’s was always one of those blogs with which I was going to "catch up later."
As a musician I am never more infuriated than when somebody comes up days after one of my groups has done a concert, expending more effort, organization, energy and anxiety than any non-musician will ever realize, and says breezily: "Oh, sorry I missed the show. I'll catch the next one."

As if live music is like the water in your pipes, and when you're thirsty you turn the spigot and it gushes out for you. Or as Sigmund, Carl and Alfred wrote below: we can pick up the phone, call Domino's, say "feed me," and food is delivered - therefore we assume live music and blogs work the same way.

Not so. Musical groups are very unstable, subject to tremendous stresses from the personal (who is breaking up with whom) to the philosophical (who wants to do covers and who wants to do original material) to the practical (who can only practice on Wednesday nights and who can only practice on the weekends).

Then there's money. Some can't afford to gig, because they have to hold down full-time jobs. Some can't afford not to gig, because it's their only source of income. Some have to leave cause they can't wait for the ship to come in.

I know a band that can't perform when the fiddler has to shear his sheep.

Or someone has to quit because of getting married or having a baby and the other half puts his/her foot down.

Groups are constantly breaking up. Sometimes just because not enough people come to the concerts. Then later they're accosted by so-called fans: "What happened to your band? I was thinking about coming to see you."

See The Commitments, a terrific movie. Spoiler: working-class kids in Dublin pull together a great soul band, but as the band prospers, personal things (from lust to snack trucks to diapers) pull it apart. Tension mounts, culminating in a bloody fracas in an alleyway after Wilson Pickett seemingly blows off his promised appearance at their gig. As they disperse, bloodied and swearing, into the darkness, Pickett drives by in his limo, en route to the club where the music has just gone silent.

If you don't go out and get it when you can, folks, you may not be able to get it when you want it.

And it seems this must hold true for blogs too. Yes? Somebody with more experience weigh in, please.

I'll close with this classic couplet from a Mills Brothers song:
So be careful or you'll end up with a tear in your eye;
You'll never miss the water till the well runs dry.

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At 6:51 PM, Blogger SC&A said...

Excellent post.

I suppose it is the 'feed me, I'm hungry,' syndrome.

We have created a culture wherby all you have to do is pick up the phone and say, 'I'm Hungry,' and food is DELIVERED.

Some people think music is prepared and delivered in the same way.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Happy and Blue 2 said...

I only had time to read part of this post. I'll read the rest next time, tee,hee

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I have seen too many blogs disbanding because of various circumstances in life, or moving to a new address, and if you don't keep up you can lose them. I have found it difficult to keep up with all of the "good" bloggers, so my blogroll tend to be essential in keeping up with the most recently updated, and saves me a great deal of time having to wait for page loads and such. Now maybe if we can get blogrolling to stay on the ball...

At 11:24 AM, Blogger AJ in Nashville said...

Melinama - Thanks so much for the plug. As far as I'm concerned, this situation has just reminded me once again how much I take for granted and how foolish, even dangerous that can be.

Musically, "never miss an opportunity" has been my credo ever since the time in 1995 when I had the chance (actually had passes for the show) to see Alanis Morrisette here in Nashville in a small intimate venue, back before she caught her big wave of fame. I decided not to go and literally a month later she exploded on the national scene and was selling out arenas. I've regretted that decision ever since.

Now of course that might not be a big deal unless you actually *like* Alanis Morrisette, but I do, so I'm stickin' to my story. :)

You have a wonderful blog. Do stay with it.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger ruth said...

i love the idea of not being able to perform because you have to shear your sheep. a good reason. most of my colleagues can't cos 'a session's come in' (money and soul death. shame.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Miriam Jones said...

What I find distressing are the bloggers who just stop, with no explanation.

At 10:27 PM, Blogger VARepublicMan said...

A worthy CoTV post.

I am also a new blogger (2 1/2 months) so I can feel your pain. I am trying to find a way to make money at this so that I can justify the time but it's not going so well. I guess I am just left with passion but that's what drive bands, isn't it?


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