Acceptance and commitment

IMG_2356All too often, I find myself in conversations where the general sentiment seems to be that it is indeed hard to be in group, as it means you play gigs for little money and small audiences, release records with no financial support and just feel generally irritable all the time. I often contribute to these conversations by giving an account of some particularly humiliating incident, often involving nasty music bloggers or greedy small-time promoters. But I can’t help to think what the teenagers of today would feel, were they ever to overhear our conversations. I was a teenager when I started Cats on fire, and even though I’ve been frustrated by being in a group ever since, I can also imagine myself overhearing a group of older men complaining about the fact that their music don’t get any airplay and that they don’t get any festival gigs. In fact, that must have happened many times, but I can’t remember that I’ve ever sympathized with these older men (and yes, they’ve been men). Instead, I have always thought “My God, why do you seem to think you are entitled to listeners. You are not, especially not when you’re playing music that is so amazingly passé. Get over yourself and get out of the way. Or be content with playing in that niche category for old people.”

Now that irony laughs back at me, I don’t know whom to concede points to. Surely the young upstarts of today, with God knows what they’re playing, will grow weary and drop off some day, exhausted by the never-ending, seemingly arbitrary pseudo-progress of modern music. But that doesn’t make the disgruntled old-timers any less unbearable.

As in other areas of life, I’ve tried to adapt a more accepting attitude towards all this. Yes, I do feel disenfranchised and extremely privileged at the same time, but I should view these feelings as results of my poor head trying to cope with the situation of just being alive, not as absolute truths or something that demands action or/and more inner struggle. Yes, I do feel desperately unable to enjoy current music and equally unable to embrace notions of a golden era. I’ve learned I should let this pass. The thoughts don’t mean I’m a closet conservative. I don’t have to come up with convoluted statements like, for example, this: Steady stylistic progress and even complete revolutions happens automatically in music and doesn’t need organisation. Embracing progress is the same as embracing the status quo. We don’t, which makes us the real progressives. See, that doesn’t take me anywhere, yet sometimes it feels it is all I’ve been doing these past few years.

Over and out.

Leave a Reply