Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

for you and me

"And there on the Texas plains right in the dead center of the dust bowl, with the oil boom over and the wheat blowed out and the hard-working people just stumbling about, bothered with mortgages, debts, bills, sickness, worries of every blowing kind, I seen there was plenty to make up songs about. . . . I never did make up any songs about the cow trails or the moon skipping through the sky, but at first it was funny songs or songs about what all's wrong, and how it turned out good or bad. Then I got a little braver and made up songs telling what I thought was wrong and how to make it right, songs that said what everybody in the country was thinking. And this has held me ever since." --Woody Guthrie

I love the idea that music can serve as a bellwether for which way the wind blows.
Perhaps the chief difficulty with music-as-corporate-vehicle is the way in which the spontaneity of the "open source" is lost. This is why I believe in seeking out indie and even open source music wherever I can these days. Write me down as in favor of the Creative Commons license, songs dedicated to the public domain, and free downloads.

I draw a distinction in this regard--I don't see any virtue in taking the intellectual property of others without their consent. I'm not a fan of file sharing or other non-consensual taking of the rights of others. I'd rather be a consumer of big corporate product than a taker of big corporate products, as it seems to me more open and direct to pay the price things cost, in both senses of the word.

I'm speaking instead as a glimmer-eyed utopian, who dreams of a day when music is free, and we all sing songs we make up for one another and share. I'm willing to be less utopian, though, and look for the day when artists get the largest part of a CD sale, and not the label. Now that the average record contract is essentially little more than a high-interest loan to the artist of touring money, I'm hopeful that new paradigms will continue to arise. There will be ways to both compensate the musician for creation and avoid merely losing all the compensation to the corporate machine.

It's not that I mind buying music from record labels--I enjoy buying music that way. But if we are to have a "real" folk music again, it will come from alternative distribution. The next "folk" music may not sound like Guthrie or Dylan or any of the modern folkies. But it would be great if a folk music arose which said what everyone was thinking, and how to set things aright.

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