Friday, July 4, 2008

Handy Man Inspires Blogger

The blogger is me and the "Handy Man" is my friend Justin Hand, a local DJ and electronic musician. I was reading his post on his website (the link prior will take you)...and I was impressed with the sincerity with which he wrote. That is more of what I need to do here. Justin's posting frequency is far less than mine and that could have something to do with the substance of his posts. I for the most part have made many small posts; two or three sometimes five per week but they lack substance. I want to keep this blog fairly centered around my music and what it is doing but I think I could be more engaging in my conversations and opinions of it (and many other music related topics).

Justin spoke of his many years of participation in the dance culture and how he has seen genres and sub-genres rise and fall...all the while he continues to stay loyal to his techno inspiration. He is by no means closed to the idea or act of playing other styles of dance music. In fact he is one of the most well rounded listeners of music that I know, and I know a lot. No, Justin is fueled by techno as I am fueled by down tempo.

His dilemma that he blogged about with such sincerity as I perceived it, was understanding his passion in conjunction with his purpose as a hired DJ (or musician for that matter). His passion being the music he likes to play, make and listen to and his "purpose" of pleasing the ears and feet on the dance floors. He was well aware of the many factors of each consideration and his own tendencies. His conclusion essentially being a head full of questions.

Here are my thoughts about the dilemma I perceived: I think it has been extremely wise of Justin to consider his audience as much as he does. It has been wise because Justin has continued to sustain a fairly substantial income from DJing and I believe it is because he considers his audience every time. This is not to say that the other side to that idea is that there are DJ's who don't care about their audience. To that I would say not necessarily. The other side to that idea is more like: Dj's who consider their audience less get less gigs.

I was a DJ who considered my audience less and I suffered for it. My tastes are more obscure and random. I played more of what I wanted and less of what the event or club was needing. A small percentage of patrons appreciated the diversity but my experience has been that payed employees have a job to do. The DJ's job is to keep the place moving, keep the audience listening and dancing. Justin Hand does this every time.

On the other hand (no pun intended...but inferred), I would also advocate that he not resign the notion of doing the unexpected. By all means do something you love, that you are passionate about. If you don't feel comfortable trying it on the dance floors then center it around your original music. I am more often than not, very impressed by the original music many of my favorite DJ's of fine techno make. Sven Vath & Norman Cook just to name a couple.

If you have good business sense and you make music or DJ then you are one up on most artists out of the gate. Many artists are to stubborn or self absorbed to have good business sense...and the really good ones get PR and management! I am happy to be the obscure music enthusiast that I am in fact I don't think my tastes are nearly as obscure as I think. I also feel like my years have gained me some experience in the business of pleasing an audience. Hell there is no faster way to learn than from mistakes!

I will continue to keep organizing my media; songs, art, etc. and make my way towards that EP release I have spoken of. My plan is that by the time I finish the EP and are ready to really "launch" it, I will have saved up enough money to put together the live rig I spoke of in the previous post. I want to be able to go out and support the EP. I will have copies on CD to sell(?) at the shows I play and maybe shirts or stickers. Yes it sounds a little capitalist of me and I even feel a little uncomfortable saying it! But the fact is that if I want to create some kind of presence in the music environment then I will have to do such things. I mean what the hell? If I was at a show and I liked what I heard and had the money, I would surely buy a CD, sticker or shirt. It is the business end of being an artists that wants to make money from art.

OK, was that substantial enough of a post? (I am only asking myself, I know)

m e e k

1 comment:

Justin said...

thanks for the insight man, i really appreciate it