Independent Food Local Music Independent Music Local Food

The cover of the February Paste magazine salutes the 1966 Time cover, the one that asked “Is God Dead?”  Only Paste is asking “Is Indie Dead?”  Not such a heady question, but one that speaks to music fans.  Several teenagers have asked me what I think of when I hear the word “indie.”  It got me thinking.  Not much, really.  Part of me thinks that it’s an intellectual, cerebral matter: no one is going to die over this question (hopefully, although I imagine there are some folks that could get riled up over this debate), and part of me thinks it is a more visceral concern–people make their livings writing and talking about this stuff.  But mostly I’m left shrugging my shoulders, thinking, “well…”

Here’s what I think:  People who pursue art for art’s sake–painting, drawing, music, cooking, writing–those are the true independents.  The folks painting beautiful monochromes in their basement, or the guys playing music in the basement with their friends–these are the people to respect.  If acknowledgment comes to them in their time, great.  If not, they will still be pursuing their craft.   I have been playing drums for a long time, and I hope I can pursue this path of integrity for the rest of my days.

And I think the same can be said for the local foods movement.  I think it’s great that people are realizing the importance of knowing where their food comes from.  Check out the movie Food, Inc. I can’t say it any better than that movie shows it.  I heard Dr. Steven Jones say this one time, concerning diversity training, and it can be applied to music, food, whatever–“Do we need to call it  diversity?  Call it whatever you want to call it—Call it ‘love everybody’–just do the work.”

Is Indie dead?  Who knows?  Here’s what I know: It means a lot to pursue what you love to do, whether anyone ever sees it, reads it, hears it, or eats it.  Here is a final thought from my good friend and mentor, Gordon Gottlieb, again–I defer to smarter people than me:

What “words of wisdom” can you offer young people entering the field today?
With so many styles of percussion/drumming available to the curious, one can choose to perform and/or teach a myriad of instrumental or theoretical techniques. The savvy student is one who has an overview of the cross-currents of our art, can hone in on what is essential for him- or herself, and come to the art with humility and honesty. Being a rhythmist defines what we are, suggesting a life of continual striving for a state of grace with pulse and time. Any of another mindset need not apply.

What is essential is invisible to the eye…St. Exupery

More later.


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One Response to “Independent Food Local Music Independent Music Local Food”

  1. keith Says:

    “Here’s what I think: People who pursue art for art’s sake–painting, drawing, music, cooking, writing–those are the true independents. The folks painting beautiful monochromes in their basement, or the guys playing music in the basement with their friends–these are the people to respect. If acknowledgment comes to them in their time, great. If not, they will still be pursuing their craft. I have been playing drums for a long time, and I hope I can pursue this path of integrity for the rest of my days.”

    Absolutely! So many people I admire for this very reason.

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