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Don't you wonder sometimes about sound and vision?

Recent Comments

Re: “Misogyny in Music

Elle - I love what you guys are doing, and sorry you have to do it. I spent a lot of time in the 90s with friends who did virtually the same thing in towns all around the country. I remember it being very powerful. For me, Do it Yourself culture has always been the most empowering reaction to things I don't like. Don't feel like you have a safe space? Make one! Don't feel like women are represented at shows? Book a show full of women! You can't wait around until the people with all the privilege finally get tired of their privilege and just hand over all the good stuff. It's not going to happen. Those gatekeepers are going to work hard to keep their spots. It's not just about isolating either, it's important to have a safe place to operate out of. I know you guys know that too.

I've always said that I love Indy because I can do pretty much anything I want. I know that it's easier for me in a lot of ways than it is for some people, and I own that.

Let's talk more and know that I think what you're doing is important.

Posted by Shiners on 09/11/2015 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Haunting Melodies

Matt G - I definitely considered "The Murder Mystery," but it's almost 9 minutes long. I also considered Joy Division's "Atrocity Exhibition," Ministry's "Every Day is Halloween," Skafish, Cloak and Dagger, Roky Erickson and so many more.

Also, the Sir Deja Doog album is a Halloween treasure from here to eternity:

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Shiners on 10/25/2014 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Summer Is Ready

Oops. I guess I didn't see the fine details. I did check the Melody Inn page, the Do317 Page and the Facebook page while writing this, and didn't see the fine details (and frankly, don't see where the difference was really made to the casual music fan who might not be familiar with the fine details of the history of an obscure punk band).

I admit, I associate the Gizmos in their later incarnations and am relatively unfamiliar with the original line up. I was two! I knew there were lineup changes over the years, but didn't know that now there's two bands with the same name from the same decade from the same small town in Indiana, who both played music that sounded very similar to most people who are both playing shows five decades later.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Shiners on 05/09/2014 at 12:07 PM

Re: “This Year's Model

John, we're working on it! The only problem is that having babies means we don't go to shows to support artists in those "other" ways everyone talks about.

I think my friends and I are in rare air when it comes to albums, like Kirsten said. I just don't think the majority of people really listen to albums the way that we do. I think the vast majority of people like to hear the songs they want to hear, and don't explore the way I do. I hate to say it, but I don't think we'll ever see a rise in album sales again, especially physical albums.

It's like a bakery that makes the best bread you've ever had, meanwhile, the vast majority of people are buying that bread substance sold at grocery stores. I don't think most people believe there's enough difference between the two to make them want to pay more or go out of their way to get it.

All I know is that whatever technology comes next, there will be someone saying that it's not fair and people should go back to the system that the very same person was complaining about a few years ago. Artists are a funny lot.

I don't think Spotify is the end-all-be-all of streaming services, but it's the one that's hot now. I have no doubt that Apple or somebody will come up with a better model, that includes a way to purchase the music. That is a point I didn't think of about in this about Spotify, that they don't provide a link to purchase the music, and I think it's a valid point you make. I think they believe the money generated by paid subscriptions and ads is enough. It's just a different model.

I hear the argument about the amount of music on different services. Well, there's a lot of music out there. Like there's a lot of books out there and a lot of paintings. That doesn't mean that I have to like them all. My job is to find the ones I like. It's just life. The journey's half the fun!

I'm just glad there's the Asthmatic Kittys and Joyful Noises in my town who keep moving and evolving to stay relevent and successful. Cheers to you guys for making it happen.

Posted by Shiners on 01/03/2014 at 11:08 AM

Re: “Pay The Artist

I was drawn back to this post, because this just popped up on my radar today, where the Arts Council is asking local artists to donate work:…. Do you know what the artist gets for donating? Exposure! I hope that a lot of local artists submit and support them too.

I appreciate that you pointed me to the site, Dan, because it’s different than what IDADA members have presented in person. As someone who solicits arts from a lot of artists on the IDADA member list, I can tell you that the message I hear from those who say no to donating to the Tonic Gallery say that arts organizations like IDADA recommend not donating. I have a friend here at the Art Center who's been scolded by members of IDADA for donating to an Art Center fundraiser. So, again, see my post – the point is great, and I think it’s meant to encourage artists to be responsible, but maybe the messaging isn't getting there, or you guys should think about re-packaging it. Your members, by and large from my experience, don't deliver that messaging the same way the website does. I can state more than half a dozen times I've heard that in the last year alone. Maybe it’s just an excuse to not donate, but that’s how I’ve encountered it in the community. Should artists say no to donating? Of course! If that’s how they feel. Again, I think we’re talking about common sense here.

Any organization worth its salt will never divulge the name of a donor, so telling an artist who bought their piece is against a basic donor bill of rights and best practice. Should the organizations offer to connect the two? Of course! If the donor is up for it. I can tell you from experience that sometimes the buyer will turn down the offer to connect with the artist. I can't explain why, exactly, but they have. One donor said they just wanted to buy something to support the cause and didn’t want to meet the artist. Again, that’s their right too, but I agree that organizations should at least offer every time.

Do Orgs need to give them a ticket for their donation? I’ve struggled with this but have changed over the years. It would be a nice gesture, but isn't giving someone a free ticket to a fundraiser the same as opting to give away a ticket that then can't be sold to raise funds? It's a fundraiser! Free tickets aren’t raising funds. I will say this - if you think you deserve it, by all means, ask for it, but don't expect it. But, if you donated, and then want something in return that’s called trading, not philanthropy. There’s a huge difference. I'll re-iterate from my post before - a lot of local companies and businesses give a lot more than any single artist I know, and very few ask for these kind of perks, and a lot of times turn down free tickets because they'd rather the organization sell the tickets and support the mission. Very few want a lot of perks. Again, just my experience on the other side. I’m still grateful that so many causes I support are also supported by businesses that don’t need so much in return to simply support a good mission.

I’ve seen small business owners donate to causes, then volunteer at the organization, then become part of their board of directors, and the whole time their business gained the kind of exposure that few could pay for. They sat on a board with Lilly executives, wellpoint board members and many other influencers and people of wealth who bought her product and opened doors for her. You know, people who actually can afford to buy things? But, it was more than just donating a product. It was full scale immersion into an organization that then led to exposure and increased revenue. It was also a lot of work. Not a lot of artists I know are willing to put in that kind of work, from my experience. I’m sure there’s artists who can prove me wrong, but by and large, no.

That’s my point – I don’t think artists should give their work to anybody willy-nilly. It has value and social currency and can open doors if someone is willing to put the work in for it. It can lead to all sorts of exposure. Heck, they might even give something back to the community while they’re at it.

Posted by Shiners on 10/23/2013 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Pay The Artist

I have to disagree with you, friend-o, and thank the stars that not many people in the world ascribe to the theory put out by IDADA, including a whole lot of people in their own association. I’m also happy for Primary Colours and the Vonnegut Library that you don’t personally ascribe to this theory either. I think it’s preaching apathy and selfishness, and kind of borders on trying to control people at its root.

I’ve done a lot of work with causes and have studied and worked in philanthropy and giving, and it really all comes back to the most basic cliché about philanthropy for me – giving is sharing your time, talent or treasure to help a cause you believe in. The basic suggestions you have for nonprofits for artists? Um, that’s what they do every day with donors, volunteers and stakeholders. It’s called development, fundraising, volunteer management, advancement or anything else the pros want to call connecting people and their passion/resources to a cause. Artists are donors, and the same rules of fundraising apply to them too.

Take a cause I know we both have a lot of passion for as an example, Second Helpings. In my time there, I saw individuals who can cut a check for thousands of dollars on the spot to help feed hungry people. I knew businesses that can’t afford large donations, so they send their whole crew there to help prepare food, or deliver meals to hungry people. Or, businesses that donate their food and products when they can only deduct the wholesale cost, and most times less. Or, the thousands of volunteers that show up every year to help SH do their job so they don’t have to pay someone to do the work, saving them money that then can be put directly towards the mission. And, there’s a board of directors that come and give their expertise and professional talents/time to further the mission. Right there – time, talent and treasure – a healthy way to sustain a cause. I don’t understand either what IDADA doesn’t understand about this concept, or why they would want to work against it at all.

Then there’s the Tonic Ball (shameless self-promotion, I know, but it’s my best example). If the hundreds of artists who’ve donated their art work to the Tonic Gallery, and hundreds and hundreds of local musicians didn’t spend a bunch of time learning and practicing songs to put on a great show that thousands of people go crazy for each year to raise money for Second Helpings, we wouldn’t have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed our hungry neighbors, some of whom live in the very neighborhood where the concert takes place. Oh, and the cast of ruffians that spend hundreds of hours putting it together each year, using connections, spending professional currency and hustling like crazy so the whole concert with 45 bands, four venues, dozens of visual artists all gets done with virtually no cost to Second Helpings. None of us alone can cut a check each year for $40-60,000. Together with our time, talents and treasure, we make it happen. If we ascribed to IDADA’s theory, none of this should happen. Again, thank the stars that they’re in a vast minority on the subject.

Okay, Tax breaks. A friend of mine donates a painting or two to the Tonic Gallery every year. Each one sells for $500 every year without exception. Say he can write off the $62.08 before tax like you say. What if that’s not the benefit he wants from his donation? What if he would take the measly $62.08 tax break happily knowing that his painting turned into the equivalent of a $500 donation towards the impact of the mission of Second Helpings? Then, what if he knew that $500 turns into almost 1000 meals to feed people who live in his neighborhood? Why wouldn’t he want to do that, and why would someone discourage him from doing that? Again, thank goodness not a lot of people are listening to IDADA on this issue.

I know you’re not preaching that artists shouldn’t be giving, but, man, it’s close. Really close, and I think this position needs thought through again, or packaged better. And, by all definitions, you’re writing that visual artists should do the exact opposite of what you do in your volunteer life, as you’ve donated your professional skills and expertise to causes for as long as we’ve been friends. Weren’t you discerning in who you chose to give so much time to? Should artists be discerning in who they give to also? Yes, but so should people with money, so should people with time to give. It seems like pretty basic adult stuff to me.

Here’s my advice for artists – you don’t have to give to anyone, but your art has value too, and that shouldn’t be understated. If you are passionate about a cause, your talent and work is the same as cash. And when you give, you’re called a donor. You have every right to all the benefits of being a donor – knowing where your donation is going, knowing how it will be spent and knowing that it’s making a direct impact. Don’t just give to anyone, like money-based donors don’t give money to just anyone, and most people don’t go volunteer at places they don’t know or support. That’s why, Hugh, you volunteer for the Vonnegut Library and not doing weekend trash pick-ups with church groups. Your talent is the right fit for the organizations you serve. Again, pretty basic adult stuff to me.

I’ll leave with a quote from Picasso, who says an artist is “a political being, constantly aware of the heartbreaking, passionate, or delightful things that happen in the world, shaping himself completely in their image. How could it be possible to feel no interest in other people, and with a cool indifference to detach yourself from the very life which they bring to you so abundantly? No, painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war.” What he calls war, I call change.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Shiners on 10/16/2013 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Music With A Movie

I was just reminded of a glaring hole in my list. I absolutely adore the Lost in Translation soundtrack - Roxy Music, Air, My Bloody Valentine, Peaches, Jesus and Mary Chain, and my favorite mood changer -

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Shiners on 10/09/2013 at 11:06 AM

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