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I think whether or not the blues has had innovation actually wraps into the way we think about genre. Modern blues music is specifically genre music that calls up the vocabulary and style of a genre that is past it's time - much like equally common occurrence of modern jazz bands playing old swing and bebop standards. The reality is that blues has had a tremendous amount of innovation, but that innovation has become attached to different movements and thus people stop considering it blues. Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Cream, Jeff Beck, all blues musicians. The vocabulary, the solo-styles, the improvisation, the vocals. All blues. The Black Keys, Baptists, The Sheepdogs are the same.
The blues gets a strange rep because it's just so foundational and familiar in western popular music and music history. This is easiest to see if we go back to the comparison with jazz music. Like I said, tons of jazz musicians play old standards, no innovation, but an homage and dialogue with the roots of their music that is essential in musical practice. If you look at jazz decade by decade as well, you see that it changes wildly, to the point where in the 80's and 90's huge 'jazz' bands were playing world tours with electric instruments, chord structures that had very little to do with old songbook progression, and way less improvisation aside from the presence of a solo section (Return to Forever, Weather Report, Snarky Puppyetc.). In fact, most periods of jazz have had their own name anyway: dixieland, swing, be-bop, hard bop, fusion, etc. Yet, because jazz has always been a bit of a fetishized and outlier genre, it was always called jazz. Indeed, if you're familiar with the discourse around jazz, you'd know that the name is a source of a lot of conversation and debate (what the hell is jazz?) - as early as the 40's, people like Duke Ellington were questioning the use of the title.
So if we relate the jazz history to blues (two branches of the same family tree), you can see that where jazz was always reserved as a term for music from black traditions that favoured the virtuosity of the soloist, the artist and the development of musical forms; blues - as nowaypablo addressed - remained the name of the eldest form of a tradition from which grew american popular music. Modern blues is not innovative because it's not supposed to be innovative, it's period music. It doesn't get to become progressive blues, because rock took up the mantle and took away the name and title of the changing face of blues music.
My name is Alex, and I'm a mid-twenties composer and gigging bassist slogging it in Vancouver, BC. I found out about this great community when I realized that the dialogue and content being spread on reddit was getting harder and harder to curate into a front-page that actually seemed meaningful to me. In addition to living a rewarding but incredibly difficult to sustain creative life, these things tend to show up:
- Point and Click/RPG/Rogue-like Gamin'.
- Table-top Gamin'.
- Great Fiction and Great Poetry
- Also learning, so non-fiction is cool too...
- Digging up 60s/70s gems on vinyl, mostly funk/fusion/psych-rock. Leading to...
- The DIY arts community. Leading to...
- Drinking beer and yelling about art/justice/nonsense. (Vancouver hipsterdom/la vie bohème...)
- Doing my best not to be a jerk.
That's a start! (edit: formatting)
Tigran Hamasyan's "Shadow Theater."
Armenian born jazz pianist who infuses healthy doses of armenian music and classical influences into his distinct sound. Epic, haunting, hip.
I think that in addition to being more compelling, this kind of ending keeps the theme in perspective. It doesn't really matter if the girl is interested in him or not in the end, and in fact, I think it would cheapen what happens in the story if it was properly book-ended with the romance plot in mind. What seems to be more important is the comment on life in Israel: that this guy living a fairly normal, young life - thinking about how to woo a girl and score some weed - is also faced with the unavoidable tensions of global instability. The presence of arab-israeli conflict in relation to the borders closing and the court-case itself creates the incredibly visceral sense in him that the somewhat innocent romance that he's pursuing is steeped in a very real history of sadness and probable tragedy, and that the end-result is equal parts a future of laughter and lightness, as well as a need for strength and support in the face of great loss. The uncertainty of the romance equates the uncertainty of the future in general.
They certainly could have cut some costs, but this was a primarily you-tube based band on their first tour with a lot of hype to live up to. It's an investment for the future, exactly as he says in the article. Cutting down on hotel costs is possible, but it's very hard to hire professionals to be part of a touring gig when you're conspicuously cutting costs on quality-of-life aspects of the budget. These guys are a duo, everyone else in the crew were their hired employees. I see them getting a lot of flack for the costs of this tour, and I think it's pretty unfair and represents a lack of knowledge of the contemporary music industry. Early-career tours are -always- a money pit, even when you have the kind of following this band has. The amount of capital that goes into advertising, travel, and expenses is huge, and to come out of it only 10k over-budget in order to produce a professional, quality act is actually pretty impressive. Like, there's no question that they could have made a profit, but it just would have been a poor offering that wouldn't have garnered much respect of reputation in an industry -hugely- based on networking and rep. This is a small-business enterprise entering the wider music industry off of a decent online presence that makes them a -very- modest wage (30k a year for 12+ hour days...). If this were a restaurant, it would be as if people were telling them that instead of pulling out the stops to open the space they wanted, they should stick with the lemonade stand until that turns them enough profit!
Thanks! Digging the community here.
This is a really heartening read! I'm admittedly very optimistic, but to know that businesses like this are not just taking it upon themselves to be socially-minded, but are actually a regulated and observed part of the bureaucracy (not to necessarily endorse bureaucracy, just to recognize a change from within) hopefully is pointing toward a gaining momentum for systemic change.