Friday, August 10, 2007

Clutter

(originally posted 07-14-07)


I’ve been on a mission lately………to clear out the needless clutter in my life.

The impetus for this was all the Nigerian emails and others that I’ve been receiving lately (what is WRONG with Yahoo, anyway? I used to be a Yahoo fan, but lately…..geez, they have really been falling down on the job.)

It’s gotten to the point that I’ve been ignoring my friends, because it’s so daunting to weed through all the junk emails to find the legitimate ones.

But, aside from the spam, I only have myself to blame for subscribing to certain sites, thinking the newsletters would be interesting, only to find that they’re either NOT interesting, or I just don’t have time to read the stuff anyway (I need to click on that “unsubscribe” button.) Or, once you subscribe to them, they ask for money for the “real inside scoop”. I think maybe that’s the outlet I’ve been looking for……I need to ask for money to have people read my stuff…….then I could become rich and I’d have LOTS of time to spend browsing the internet.

Funny how the world-wide web was supposed to make our lives easier, but in actuality, it’s just caused more aggravation in our lives. Am I right? Yes, I am. And, really, isn’t there enough aggravation to begin with, without asking for more? I mean, after spending countless hours on the internet, you find that you have adware and spyware and all kinds of “ware”, so you have to purchase programs that get rid of all of that for you, or your computer will go up in flames. It’s created a whole new industry.

But I’m on a mission to de-clutter my life. There are currently three sites that I pay for the privilege of being a part of. One of them I will be ditching quite soon. Another, I have mixed feelings about. It’s not that it does me any good; it’s just that I like the look of the paid site, as opposed to the free one. Ah, vanity. The third, I believe I will hang onto for awhile. That is the only one that has reaped any benefits/rewards for Red River.

Funny how musicians get sucked into joining these organizations. It’s the promise of rewards that never come. But we always grasp onto that sliver of hope. Oh, this one will be the one. I think we’ve got Red River music all over the web; most of it on free sites (thankfully), and most of it uploaded on a promise of riches that never materialize.

There are probably websites out there for every inclination and aspiration. I don’t think musicians are the only ones targeted. I suppose if you write short stories, there are most likely HUNDREDS of sites out there, promising you that they are the ones who will deliver fame and fortune to your doorstep. It’s a racket, but yet we choose to believe them (at least for a day). Then we move on to the next new one that pops up. It’s an endless graph of highs and lows, and lower-than-lows. But without hope, what do we have?

But the advice I would give to aspiring musicians is, tread lightly. There are a lot of people who are circling like sharks, waiting to chomp onto your money and your dignity. Promising you those riches that you so rightly deserve.

I say, create a MySpace page. It’s free, and you can upload four songs. You can gain lots of friends who surf the net looking for the latest “add”. It won’t make you rich, but neither will any of those paid sites, and you’ll feel good, knowing that you have a lot of “friends” (not that they actually listen to your music, but still…..)

If you are truly serious about making any money in the music biz, search out a song plugger, and see if he or she will agree to shop your songs around. Be forewarned, however, with the state of music nowadays, you’d better have something that’s generic, preferably three-part harmony (ala Rascal Flatts), or don’t even waste your time. If you’re an artist, well, good luck! Nobody is signing new artists. Heck, they can’t even clear their shelves of the product that they have, and it’s pretty damn good. I mean, c’mon, Prince is actually GIVING his stuff away. So, how the heck do you think YOU are going to make any money?

But, hang in there! Maybe YOU are the one. You could be. Who knows? If you’ve written something that has a modicum of intelligence and heart, you COULD just hit the jackpot! Hey, it happens! (occasionally).

Just don’t waste your money. I implore you. If you’re poor like Red River, then you will just dig yourself further and further into debt, and all you will have to show for it is a comment on your MySpace page, saying how much they like your music; but yet, they won’t put themselves out enough to actually buy anything.

Don’t waste your time on websites that ask you for money. Log off of the internet, pick up your guitar, and write something. If you don’t please anyone but yourself, you’ve still pleased someone important.

(I leave you with an image to clear your palate….my songwriting hero, Kris Kristofferson.)

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