Kentucky Fried Music

Things are expensive in Manhattan. Those one dollar extra value menu items ring up at a $1.49 here, and if you need a hotel room, be prepared to shell out a hundred times the cost of that junior bacon cheeseburger. The biggest bargain in town seems to be the new music concerts. While tourists in Times Square are handing over hundred dollar bills to see the latest show, there are a handful of experimental music concerts going on all over town every night for $10 or less.

Well, I guess the old adage of supply and demand is in operation here, but the music we’re creating and performing right now is monetarily equal to a bucket of chicken at KFC. The funny thing is, there are those among us in the new music community–you know who you are–who feel those Broadway hits are the cultural equivalent of fast food. Yet a discriminating public is willing to put a dollar value to them that’s more along the lines of the chef’s tasting menu at Per Se.

Can it really be that we’re “right” and everyone else is “wrong” about this music? Perhaps at some point we should concede a little bit. The world needs another sonata like it needs another hole in the ozone layer. Rather than pretending we’re the culturally healthy option, maybe we can infiltrate the stuff that’s widely consumed with a nourishing dose of whatever it is that makes our music so important to us. Hey, even Wolfgang Puck sells pizzas at the supermarket, so shouldn’t the Muzak in the frozen food aisle kick some ass?

2 thoughts on “Kentucky Fried Music

  1. JKG

    “The world needs another sonata like it needs another hole in the ozone layer.”
    Speaking for yourself, no doubt eh Randy?

    Reply
  2. Armando

    Money for nothing?
    Well, if we’re going to start assigning our work as “art” composers cultural value based on its commercial viability then we should ask ourselves why we bother writing the stuff in the first place? Was experimental music ever TRULY commercially viable? Other than for a relatively brief period of a few decades in the middle of the 19th century I can’t think of a time during which writing experimental concert music was profitable. After all, even Mozart had to shell out a few dances a year to help make ends meet!

    Reply

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