Lubbock Music Part III (You Can’t Help Some People).
I guess this is the third part of blog. The first two were about how there should be more “Lubbock Music” in the Lubbock Music Festival. The second was about the meaning of the word “Musician” and this one, I guess, is about how you can add music to religion and politics to things you can’t talk about without getting threatened or called vulgar names buy a mom holding her baby (classy).
First off, most of the ‘musicians’ that want to dispute my facts are actually of the older variety. The younger ones tend to agree with me. To the older ones I ask, “how far has those attitudes got you?”
You see, as I mentioned before, many Lubbock musicians have a sense of entitlement. They’ve heard the phrase “Lubbock music” so much that they think they are a part of some giant mythical beast. A giant magical unicorn, if you will, that treats the rest of us to special hometown enjoyment. Well sorry gang, I dispute that Lubbock has any more or less talent than anywhere else.
We’ve produced basically two platinum selling artists in the last sixty years, and we don’t talk about the second one because we don’t agree with her politics. The other point that I tried to make (the one that got me threatened) is that if you just play covers you’re not part of the “Lubbock music” scene. That is, you are not contributing to any style or growth of any regional ‘sound’.
Now, first people like to forget that I put the word “JUST” in there, so let me type it again: JUST JUST JUST JUST JUST. Do you get it? I also wrote in some follow up comments that, to a degree, playing covers is not a bad thing, it can be a much more selfless act that even playing your own original music. When you play covers, you are playing straight up for other peoples enjoyment. Sacrificing your art for peoples enjoyment is an awesome thing.
So these over-the-hill and burnt out musicians want to call out my cred? They don’t know that we’ve actually played more local artists in the past few years than ever before. See if you remember any of these names: Another Day Undecided, Members of the Bored, Colossus of Rhodes, Blood Red Summer. Yep, all of them were in REGULAR rotation on FMX. You see these older musicians are jaded because in their day it wasn’t that easy to submit a well recorded project to the radio, so they have no idea what is going on.
Now, once again, we’re also not going to play anything that is not also well written or right for our format. The point is, if you produce music on par with what we play, we’ll play it. Next, I let one of them bait me into putting out there what I actually do. I’m not going to bore you with it, ’cause you probably know. His followup was an amazingly telling statement. “If you were doing that in Austin or Dallas, I might be impressed.”
THERE YOU GO, That’s a bitter Lubbock musician right there. Why can’t something that is done here be as good as something that is done well in Austin or Dallas? The answer is, especially in the digital age, it can be. FMX as a station more than stacks up against the Eagle in Dallas, ask someone who has listened to both.
I also want to point out that I’ve paid what I consider ‘premium money’ to have local bands play at my other business. Just want to throw that out there because it rounds things out. I’ve been in a cover band, I’m in the music business, I’ve booked and hired and personally paid for local musicians. I think I’m qualified to speak on any and all topics in this area (I’ve also had my butt chewed by promoters when the local acts showed up drunk or acting like jackasses for the gigs).
So anyways, what have we learned? Well, first off, there are a lot of delusional musical types that think they a contributing to the ‘local scene’ by playing “Don’t Stop Believing” for the after dinner crowd. You are VALUED entertainer, but that’s it. There is no Grammy for “Best band or solo artist to hear playing softly in the background while you’re eating dinner.” I actually had one of these types challenge me to watch his performance on YouTube saying it was ‘note for note’ with the original. If it’s note for note, why don’t we just listen to the original? It may make you ‘talented’ that you can copy something note for note, but it is certainly not artistic, thus not contributing anything new or in touch with any local or regional sound.
So how to put an end to this? Well, I came up with a great idea for a “real” Lubbock music festival. One that that would really bring the singer/songwriters out of the closet and give everybody a chance to hear some real, original, Lubbock music. I then decided, why?
Why would I put myself out there financially or professionally for a group that is dominated by a bunch of whiners? I WILL instead continue to do what I do. I will continue to get the bands that deserve a shot gigs playing with national acts. The national acts don’t have a sense of entitlement. They know what it’s like out there. They’ve fought for their success and for every fan they’ve made on the road. In short, the best thing I can do for a local band is keep them away from other local bands.
Lubbock players (of the older variety) have simply had so much smoke blown up their rears about Lubbock music being ‘important’ that they forgot that they actually have to write and perform music to be a part of it.