By Hans Ebert

It’s not death we should fear, it’s wasting the time we have in this particular world. And when one sees the amount of pontificating and self promotion that goes on in one of the most anti social and time wasting mediums to be embraced by so many called “social media”, apart from shaking my head in disbelief at how real life priorities have taken a backseat to a mixed bowl of nuts made outta hot air, it makes me realise where music has gone wrong. Social media amplifies the total absence of what could be called “real music” because of the avalanche of clutter.

Fortunately, many of us travel through YouTube and Facebook hoping to re-discover what has come before when it comes to music- and it’s a minor miracle that so much of it can actually be found. Perhaps some of us were too young to know those early recordings by the Jazz greats, most of which are available now- and not just the sound recordings, but the original videos.

Perhaps many of us are going through some form of fatigue at those making mediocre music and screaming, “Look at me! Look at me! I am a musician.” They seldom are because they’re clueless about what’s come before and have no point of reference as to what it takes to be original. And here, we’re talking about the time when members of every great rock band first heard the blues of Robert Johnson, Howling Wolf, Muddy Waters etc, got inspired and made it their own. They might have initially copied those who inspired them, but, in time, evolved and created their own sound from those early recordings without making these sound like Spinal Tap. Sometimes listening to various jam sessions, there’s the feeling that Spinal Tap is making a huge comeback.

Perhaps if these people come down to earth and face reality they might have a chance. Perhaps if people are more selective and stop “liking” mediocrity just to be nice, there can be more quality and less quantity. Surely it’s time for some form of “filter” where only music that makes the grade gets through? There’s a simple way this can be done, but here and now is not the place to write about it. You know what they say about action compared to words.

As for the music by the pioneers of music and those who were inspired enough to form Rock bands at a time when there were only pop vocal groups, this has nothing to do with “views” and “likes”. This has to do with something personal- and not only musical appreciation, but respect and gratitude for these pioneers in music. Their music is still inspiring. How can the ingenuity and fastidiousness of Les Paul and his multi tracked recordings with Mary Ford not be anything less than inspiring? If not for Les Paul, one doubts there would have been Rock gods.

Like the Beatles sang about how they’d love to “turn us on” and take us to wherever their minds were at the time, some of us continue this grand tradition by sharing what music we like with others.

If one thinks back, it’s not that different to what we did in school or university: happy to discover new music which we were even happier to tell our friends about and lend our records and CDs. We’ve come full circle. Aren’t these Spotify playlists many see as the present and future of music a modern version of the cassettes we used to make by taping songs off the radio and creating personal cassettes as presents with messages to those one really cared about? It was part of the love ritual and it was innocently real.

What’s gives one hope are those on social media, who travel under the radar and are very selective about who they wish to share. They’re not everywhere and nowhere shooting blanks hoping something sticks. This not only looks desperate, it’s a turn off. It only adds to the devaluation of music, and does nothing to further their own brand. It’s leading nowhere other than adding to the clutter and- this is key to understand- devaluing whatever talent they might have to offer. Less is more. If not, it all becomes like those very many free porno sites that have almost killed off real sex based on real love. Someone please find me a fully clothed woman with style and a brain!

Just like blocking those of no consequence on Twitter and Facebook, it’s “muting” those engaging in transparent self promotion and those other twats screaming about politics because they have some time to kill. Do they really believe their rants will make one iota of difference? Sure, make changes where changes need to be made, but know how to bring about this change.

In other words, take some smart pills before shooting at the moon, whereas if a musician, nothing beats actually creating and producing something truly original and knowing that less is more. And then have something actually in the bag before sharing everything and nothing with the world and wondering why “the world” isn’t responding. It’s because nothing is real out there and nothing to get hung up about.

#Socialmedia #RobertJohnson #HowlingWolf #MuddyWaters #Twitter #Facebook

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