Saturday, September 28, 2013

MacArthur Genius Grant Award - The Masses Gripe

Playing right now: Living By Lanterns
The good news is I accidentally figured out that all my music IS on my phone and ready to play. This morning I was using my phone to try and find something in the dark when somehow the "music" application got triggered. No music started blasting, luckily, a la what you'd see in a cartoon, but I saw a bunch of playlists. Hooray for me and my happy accidents.

The band news is that the bile has started flowing on Facebook about the fact that Vijay Iyer getting a MacArthur Genius grant. Now I love me some Vijay Iyer. I don't need to go into detail here because there are plenty of posts on this blog that talk about him. But one pissed off pianist said that he had never heard Iyer so he checked out a youtube video of him and thought he didn't swing, there was no melody, blah blah blah.

Has it come to this, that we're basing a musician's quality on how a youtube video sounds? It's bad enough that no one has the time to listen to music on a decent stereo anymore - but a goddam youtube video? That's like saying "I heard Funkadelic on my transistor radio and they weren't that interesting." And then there are posts saying, "Well, we don't really know what the criteria is with the MacArthur grant so you know there's really no way of knowing he deserves the award or not."

It's reasons like this that I try to stay off Facebook. People love to complain. About everything. Without social media, it can be easy to miss. With Facebook there's a good chance that the piss and vinegar will clog up your news feed and you feel like you're driving past a train wreck and your base instincts just have see how bad the carnage looks. Suddenly 20 minutes go by, you've wrestled with the thought of adding a comment, but you're worried a. about getting 20 emails with followup comments to yours and b. about getting angry thoughts from some musician who doesn't know you.

Of course, when I say, "you," I mean "me."

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