Music as Frivolity and Fashion

Recently, I had the benefit of speaking with a friend of mine who happens to work for a subsidiary of a large music label in New York City.  He’s a low-level data analyst at a company that scouts new talent and connects them with producers and executives for new deals.  In other words, he looks at the numbers—sales, web hits, video views, etc.—and processes them for executives to decide how to pitch new pieces.  He was telling me how the field has become so stratified and how an overwhelming bulk of listeners were consuming a miniscule handful of musical artists—the top ten or fifteen singles of any given cycle are all coming from the same circle of people.  Intuitively, coming from a culture that at least pays lip service to meritocracy, you’d think that these top artists would be the cream of the crop, both as artistic and musical geniuses, right?  Until you realize that he’s actually talking about the Justin Biebers, the Beyoncés, and the Katy Perrys.  It isn’t that the music is particularly good, it’s just that everyone happens to be listening to it. Continue reading “Music as Frivolity and Fashion”

Things I Learned During My Time In Food Service – #1

I recently quit my job working as a food preparer at a cafeteria.  It was an awful gig, but it paid the bills and, for the job that I was hired to do, the pay and benefits weren’t terrible.  Health insurance, about two weeks of vacation time a year, very little sick time and, what really made it work out at the time, was a 6am – 2pm shift.  Had to clock out for lunch, of course, so they were seven and a half hour days at a little over ten dollars and some change per hour, but hey—easy work, easy schedule.  What more could a good-for-nothing writer and aspiring entrepreneur ask for? Continue reading “Things I Learned During My Time In Food Service – #1”

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