Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Idea Diet

Those who can... do. Those who can't... blog. It's easy to rattle on about the next big thing, but it's an entirely different matter creating it. I should know, I do it all the time. Having always been a perfectionist, I obsess on every detail. Sometimes that trait has served me well but more often than not it bogs me down in an endless cycle of doubt, indecision and ultimately, inaction. Every idea is perfect in my mind but the edges get rougher when I translate those visions into reality. It's so much easier to just write about how something should be done than to actually do it. That's why I've decided to muscle-up my willpower and embark on an Idea Diet. Just as food diets limit certain "bad" calories, the Idea Diet seeks to control "bad" ideas. What's a bad idea? As it turns out, the vast majority of ideas aren't inherently bad. It's what's done with them once they've arrived, that's where the discipline in needed.

The Idea Diet doesn't require me to go "cold turkey" when it comes to daydreams and epiphanies. Instead, it seeks to filter the intellectual wheat from the idealistic chaff. For example, let's say I catch myself thinking about writing a song. The Idea Diet wouldn't attempt to stop that process... it would simply require me to sit down at my keyboard, fire up the proper program and actually write the song! Ouch... this may not be so easy.

So, this is day one of my Idea Diet. I'll check back in from time to time with updates but it should be fairly easy for you to track my progress. If I start writing about music... that's bad... if I actually start writing music... SUCCESS!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The "Free" Jury

Lately there has been a lot of debate about the economic concept of "Free", especially when it comes to music. Has "Free" ever worked? Yes, in certain instances. A free food sample at Costco might make you purchase a larger quantity to take home. In the area of music, a free MP3 might make you more interested in buying a ticket to a band's concert.

I'm not, however, as convinced as some that "Free" is ultimately beneficial for all of the creative arts. Time may prove that it is, but at this point I don't see the empirical evidence. Yes, there is much more music out there, but the quality across that mass isn't anything to praise. True, there is more video available on YouTube than all of the footage network television produced since its inception, but again... quality?

The expanding access that is part and parcel of today's internet is a wonderful thing. No doubt it will allow artists who never had a shot before, gain some level of notoriety. The question is, will they have to drive a cab their entire lives to pay for it. I think the jury is still out on that one.