There’s probably a whole lot of stuff planned, as usual. There’ll be “showcases” and there’ll be token mentions in blog posts and newspaper articles, the usual names will be named. Ultimately the same backs will be patted. The same few – the chosen few, with just a small hint of new and therefore (allegedly) exciting being added into the mix…
Always that token gesture. There’ll be music worth seeing or hearing, sure. But then, there always is…
You’ll have to tolerate people trotting out that line about it being good to “show some support” as if they are buying themselves time off for ‘good’ behaviour, as if the rest of the year can just go fuck itself; the artists will all be dining out on their earnings from this concentrated period anyway. Since it’s so lucrative and all.
Way back, once upon a time, over a decade ago now – in a different era, pre-social media, when people still went into record stores (and by people I mean the general public, not only us sad collector/completist/fetishist types) there was possibly a purpose. There was a quota to push, it was about radio-play. But radio doesn’t matter at all. Not now. Now it’s about Facebook likes. And if you’re sitting around worrying about who likes you – or who likes your stuff – on Facebook you’re clearly doing it all wrong. And probably not doing it all since it’s your fulltime job just to manage a Facebook page.
We have some brilliant musicians in this country.
And most of them must dread what’s coming. Because it means the friends and family members who still don’t understand why they have dedicated their life to their craft but have – on the surface – so little to show for it will be among those announcing that they’re going to be keen to “show some support” and will most certainly be “doing their bit”.
In terms of the new crop, you’ll read names that you’ll never read again. They’ll flick by you and mean nothing. You’ll also read the same names too, the ones you always see. Once a year or so. They might have something new to offer. It will probably sound the sound. Those cynical jerks that wait, that time their release.
There’ll be one or two things touted as heritage; an archival release, a posthumous release…
There will be t-shirts and posters but there won’t even be a word or two from our Nightwatchman Prime Minister this year.
We should really end it. Call it quits. Stop the madness. Get rid of it. For once. For all. Forever. It’s limping along like it never hurt anyone but itself.
Other times, other years, back a half-decade ago or so, I’ve even tried to do my bit to celebrate it – writing a post every day about a different artist or aspect, trying quite hard to pick the lesser-known, the names that aren’t – perhaps – the usual suspects.
But not this time.
We need it to stop. We need to say no more. Kill it until it is very dead indeed. Kill it with fire. Something stronger than that usual piss-weak apathy anyways.
But it’s too late this year. Because it’ll be jangling its spurs and riding back on in to town. And a few sycophants and psycho-fans will be keen to hitch wagons, jump bandwagons, ride that horse for tokenism.
Yes, it’s another New Zealand Music Month.