The InsiderOne Daily Report
Monday, January 1, 2001
Always Infinite Possibility
InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: How appropriate just a few days before we move into 2001, I'm listening to an amazing album by a new band, The New Year.
By the time I post this, it will be the New Year. Stretched out before me like a beautiful mountain lake under clear blue skies, 2001 echoes the promise on the locally-made card I gave my son for Christmas: "Always Infinite Possibility."
The New Year's album, Newness Ends, will be released on February 2, 2001 on Touch and Go. Listening to it, I am awed yet again at how emotionally powerful music can be. I'm reminded that there is something new under the sun, and that as long as the human spirit lives there will be artists expressing their unique experience.
I know many are living hard times. As you who have been reading the Daily Report for the past month know, I'm well aware of the darkness shadowing the U.S. since the Bush-fronted coup d'etat.
I've pondered a Bob Dylan line off and on for decades: "There's no success like failure," he sang. "And failure's no success at all."
The Bush presidency will be a horrible thing for America, and it will likely have a negative impact on many other parts of the world, but it may very well be a great thing for underground music.
It's never been easier for a musician to Do It Yourself. The blueprint for the D.I.Y. indie scene alternative labels, alternative record stores, alternative touring circuits first emerged in the '80s. In those days, you still had to go into a studio to record your album. You had to get it pressed up, and then there was the problem of distribution yet underground music thrived, and has been thriving ever since.
Today, you can get an eight-track digital recorder for less than $700, or you can turn your computer into a recording studio. You can burn CDs one by one if you like, or get a thousand of them pressed up at relatively minimal cost. You can even dispense with CDs and distribute your music and your message online.
Your music can flow from you to your audience with no interference from any suits. The very possibility is amazing.
Don't mistake what I'm saying here. It's never been easy to be an artist, and it still isn't. Finding an audience is difficult. The media channels that reach millions are still controlled by big business the folks who helped Bush with the coup.
I do know a lot of people are as sickened by the music they hear on commercial radio and MTV as they are by Baby Bush. They're looking for something good, something that speaks to them. I also know that thanks to the Web, it's never been easier for those who want an alternative to find it.
A few days before the New Year, it gives me hope to put on a new CD by The New Year, a group that until recently I'd never heard of, and be filled once again with wonder.
The InsiderOne Daily Report appears weekdays at 9 AM PST, except when it doesn't.
Michael Goldberg is the president of insiderone.net. He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.