Where’s our voice?

11:30am Wed May 15, 2019

Angie was my nextdoor cabin neighbor on one of the ships where I worked the piano bar. Someone posted a video of her on Facebook, doing a set at some songwriter festival in Key West. I thought you might be interested in the little behind-the-scenes bit she shares from her experience as a contestant on The Voice, which is no doubt the core of her draw you can hear cheering for her over the breeze in the palm trees. You’d miss it if you blinked, it was just some intro patter for the next tune:

“We don’t get to choose our audition song.”

Their AUDITION song. Y’know, the one that determines whether or not Blake Shelton will turn around and give you a virtual lottery ticket. Take half an hour sometime and look up the winners from any season of your favorite tv talent show, and see how many of them are still with the label that was their prize – and how many walked away from that rawest of deals and are still busting their ass trying to make a living doing a set in Key West next to a box of EPs they’re never going to break even on.

Producers of shows like this don’t care about music and American culture, they don’t care about you, and they sure as hell don’t care about artists. These shows exist to make further millions for the 1% who own the rights to music made by others who couldn’t afford to say no. That’s why I get upset when they do something like Mad World. For them, it’s just portfolio activity. I assure you Tears For Fears is seeing the least of the revenue stream there. Well, Gary Jules sees zero for bringing that tune back from the dead after 20 years. No doubt he’s supposed to be grateful for the 40 cents he gets from that week’s incidental bump on Spotify.

We can do better. It’s almost certainly too late for me, but for young beautiful people like Angie. Hell, for young, talented, hardworking, ugly people. #Bernie2020

Thus endeth the rant.