Other Writings: Nextbop Articles and Juneteenth

Things have been a little out of sorts lately so I haven't had the chance to update you on other things I have written. This is now one of those times.

When last we've spoken, I wrote my usual columns over at Nextbop.
Today's post entitled "Jazz War, What is it Good For? (Absolutely Nothin')" (sing it again now!) was on the pointlessness of jazz commentary infighting and in doing so, I solidified Nextbop's stance to only talk about music that's awesome and not cause fights with sensitive folks...
But as a guy who holds the reins on a site dedicated to promoting one of those viewpoints of jazz, it’s hard for me not to bash one ideology to promote my own, especially when such talk is in vogue. Still, I am a man of my word, so I refuse to keep fighting just to increase hit counts (and we really do like steadily increasing our website’s hit count). Besides, there are times when I feel like playing more traditional jazz music. I’m not against that whole aspect of the music, neither are many other jazz fans and musicians.
When we recognize this, we can then focus on our actual forward movement. Rubbernecking isn’t truly beneficial, even if it is entertaining. It’s better that we stay on the highway, focused on getting where we’re trying to go.
The week before that, I published a rather controversial post on jazz opening acts and made a misguided proposal in which musicians stop holding out for more money. It's an idea that works if a musician is paying his/her dues to get a foot in the door but not necessarily a long-term, stable solution for the jazz music industry. Still, it's worth a read.
If this is really all about the music, about the proliferation of the genre, about being creative for the masses, about making jazz music in the way it was intended, live, then why is this genre trying to hold out for the $200 gig when other folks in other genres will put together a show with a bunch of their musician buddies for a night of all free Pabst Blue Ribbon they can drink?

I’m not begrudging the genre for wanting the $200 gig and the $60 million concert halls. I’m begrudging the genre for holding out for these things. I’m begrudging the genre for blaming the industry for its lack of success instead of continuing to create and put itself on display and losing its optimism that the fans and community will keep things alive.
Finally, I wrote an article for the San Antonio Juneteenth Foundation about the importance of Emancipation Proclamation Day (Juneteenth) to the Millennial Generation. I don't particularly like speaking for my entire generation in such a glossary fashion (like how Tyler Perry claims to speak for black culture or Steve Harvey speaks for black men while berating black women some other foolhardy, myopic moron of that ilk) so I hope I was rather evenhanded in my assessment. It was actually a pretty fun piece to write (pdf).
Juneteenth is the foot of the mountain. It is the start of our ongoing race. It is our own piece of America’s belief of Annuit Coeptis, “He (God) approves our undertaking.” Our people from that day forward were capable of undertaking our own varied goals. We were able to accomplish great things without our shackles holding us back. We continue this undertaking today in 2010 and will always have the freedom to continue to do so.
If there isn't anything else, I'll see you here tomorrow night for the playlist for The Line-Up.



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