I've got a very serious cynical streak that runs through me and that mindset has turned words like "diversity" into code for some of the sillier sides of political correctness. In the past few days I've realized that's not entirely good because diversity can be a powerful tool for perspective, something society, our culture, and I desperately need.
If you get your news exclusively or primarily from some sources, you get the false sense that musicians lead charmed lives that revolve around big houses, fast cars, faster women, and good drugs. If you turn to other sources, you'll be led to believe musicians live in an artificial, infantile Neverland where personal responsibility is a punchline and talented people throw their money and talent away and flush their lives down the toilet. In short — and I can't believe I'm quoting Kiss here — the music world becomes a world without heroes.
Enter perspective. Since starting my BlogTalkRadio program the B-Sides Concept Album, I've had the opportunity to hear about a different world. I've heard the tales of real, working musicians who are far removed from the caricatures and character assassinations popularized by some media portals. There are musicians who love their wives and raise their children and wonder if they'll be able to follow their muse and put food on the table. In short, there are good guys in this game and some of them are normal people. Maybe this is news only to me, but I'm willing to bet I'm not the only person who has been led down a narrow-minded path by the power and influence of Big Media.
I interviewed Glen Phillips last week on my program and the experience has impacted me. It was fascinating to hear real-life tales from a real musician rather than the cartoon-ish ones that are more famously and lucratively recycled. It was striking to listen to someone who has seen the music industry from some many different perspectives go through the struggles of understanding his place in it and making peace with that. This is a guy who is doing his thing a long way from the spotlight and he's doing it for all the right reasons in a world where evil is funny and morality is a joke. There are talented pricks and kind hacks and when it comes to music I look for the talent first. This happens to be one of those glorious opportunities to support someone possessed of talent and kindness.