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Sunday, February 6, 2011

LETTERS

jeff michael of big country bluegrass



Today I've been uploading videos from the Big Country Bluegrass show onto YouTube. I've been searching for the SPBGMA, bluegrass, awards today and can't find them posted anywhere I've looked. Big Country is up for 10 awards. The one I, personally, would like to see is Jeff Michael for male vocal. There are an awful lot of good singers in bluegrass, and Jeff has recently entered the arena of the big dogs with #1 hits. He's been with the band most of it's 20+ years, singing and playing fiddle. I actually don't care what awards they receive, as long as they get at least one. They deserve at least that. I'd like to see them bring home several. Depends entirely on the judges. Judging is a subjective activity that wants to be objective using several judges, but never quite makes it. I won't argue with the system of judging music at fiddlers conventions or music award shows, because it's designed to make the judging objective as possible, given that what we have to go by, individual listeners, is subjective.



All last week I felt preoccupied by one thing and another, never got anything uploaded from Big Country Bluegrass or Skeeter & the Skidmarks. The last few days have been spent at the computer uploading music that I think is music as good as music gets. I know it's a tech revolution and thousands, millions of people are putting videos up on YouTube of music and everything else. I tend to see it an archive everybody with a computer has access to. Don't know if they'll last a year into the future, 10 years, 50 years. None of that matters. Doesn't matter if it only lasts a short time. YouTube is a living entity people are tapping into round the clock, round the world. A month or more ago I heard on radio news YouTube gets 11 million uploads a day. I like being able to archive mountain music in this way for anybody on earth who wants to see it. Mountain music is too good not to be represented among all the musics of the world. It has made "publishing" truly democratic. Anybody with a video camera of any sort can put anything on there, as long as it's decent. And that's no issue, really.



I like having a forum to get mountain music out in the open for people who want to hear it to have the chance. The music store and the radio show satisfied that longing, now putting videos on YouTube satisfies it. I wanted to be a dj in my teens. I thought it would be cool to play the latest rock & roll over the radio. I didn't do it, because I didn't know how. Didn't have resources to go somewhere and live for a spell of time going to dj school. Wasn't sure that was the world I really wanted to be in. Never got it done. So I've djed to myself over the years, buying all my music, listening only to what I like. The radio show came up because I believed it needed doing and knew I could do it. I regarded mountain music in this time in my life with the same enthusiasm I had for rock & roll in my teens. I'm the one having a ball putting these music shows up on YouTube, and none of it is about me. I attempt with every video to make it unselfconscious, no fingers pointing at me for exceptional cinematography, just the band and the music. The only fingers pointing at me would be about dreadful camera work. I don't care about either one. I like the point and shoot method, moving snapshots, a picture taken by somebody some place some time.



Like the blog, a record of somebody some place some time. I was about to say who doesn't matter, but it does. Who is part of it. Who is the living part. The rest is place and time. It just happens in my case it's me. In another case, it's someone else, someplace else and different time, though time and place could be the same and the who would make them very different. I like the democracy of the blog as much as I like the democracy of YouTube. Anyone can do it. You don't need to know how to spell right or anything. Whatever. I chose the form that suits me best, daily open letters with photographs. All the way along, I've been told by friends my real art form is the letter. The blog is a daily series of letters. Every day I write a letter to whoever is reading it. It doesn't matter who, where, when is reading it. Doesn't matter if no one reads it. Yet it does matter that a few people are reading it. I'm surprised anyone is reading with all this prose to deal with. It's for people like myself who read.



It's an interesting challenge attempting to write something worth reading every day. That was the initial intent, to write something every day worth reading. I don't know if all of the writings are, but that is my purpose, something worth reading. Only readers can determine if they're worth reading. I do my best at my end writing something worth writing. I figure if it's worth writing, it might be worth reading. My letters are my own thoughts to my readers, whoever they are, whoever happens upon them. Whoever is reading it is the one the letter is written to. I love that aspect of it. Hi. This is for you. :D



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