I gave myself the weekend off gigging last weekend, so that I can have an extra special this weekend in Melbourne. Definite gigs are the Americana night on Friday.....I will just make it.....and Saturday night I will be going to see two of Australia's best, Lyn Bowtell and Rick Hart. I hope to catch up with The Long and The Short of it and their exciting new project and maybe Chris WIlliams on Sunday. I will let you know!
Quiet week for releases this week but there are a few more coming up soon and in the next few months and lots of gigs to go to! Thankfully, it is a long weekend in Victoria, so I will be able to relax a bit.
Here are some examples of who I will be seeing:
A much used word in the Indie Music Scene in Australia (and I imagine in most parts of the world, is exposure. It is a buzz word on one hand, bandied about by the media and venue and festival hosts, and a much detested word for the artists themselves. There is that old adage that "we all have to start somewhere" and also a counter cry of "would you do your job for just exposure?" - I actually have. I started off, many years ago volunteering at a library - shelving, even though I was well educated and had been in the work force in another capacity for several years....because we all have to start somewhere. Yes, I have more degrees and diplomas now and it was a door into a world where I climbed rung by rung to a fairly high position. It took nearly 30 years and a lot of blood sweat and tears, then I moved states and jobs and I have started from scratch again in a similar role. I didn't have to do it that way, but I wanted to learn all of the workings of a very complex job and to understand how everybody worked and how every part worked in my workplace. I know a lot of fine musos who have worked that long at it too....some for 50 or 60 years with varied success. I try, in some small way through this blog and my own little one to honour their careers and those who are just starting out on that long path and indeed, those in between. It is not easy to achieve what you want to achieve in life, especially if your dreams are big and your chosen path is a creative one in a difficult arena. Yes, exposure is a word that doesn't always go down well. Getting next to nothing for a gig and having folks see it for free or for a few bucks is not a great way to pay the rent. However, I remember a few examples of gigs that I have been to over the years, where I was only one of a handful of folks in the crowd. Now if I go to see the same act, they are hanging off the rafters.
I guess that I am as guilty as the venue owners and the media, when I write my little notes about Indy albums and gigs and play their music on community radio or on youtube clips on my blog. I am giving exposure - if only to a few out there, about people and artists that I care about and whom I believe in. One of our most amazing singer/songwriters, Paul Kelly, sang the line "from little things big things grow".
If I get one person to listen to an album or to go to a gig then I have done my job. A job that I am happy to do for free, because of all what these wonderful artists have done for me over the years. Music is not only the food of love, it is also a rewarding and heartfelt major part of my life. I love sharing it with people. It doesn't pay the rent or put food on my table, and yes, perhaps my writings get a little bit of exposure. I don't think that is such a bad thing.