Political Correctness, Relativism, Live Music, and Zappa

Bands and musicians should have opinions about what they consider good or worthwhile music. I think the PC attitudes of the world, musicians originally try to refute through their musical style, can actually become integral to their own outlook. What I mean is that relativism can make you too open and too willing to compromise. Like “we’ll play with any band, at any venue, for no pay, whatever?”, just as long as we get our sound out there…But over time I think this can slowly chip away at a band’s integrity or their ideal sound. I say only play with the bands that move you and interest you. There’s no sense in playing with any band, just as long as they will book with you. Of course detractors of this idea will say that this attitude is pompous and you’ll never “get anywhere” as a band – if you remain so inflexible. Although making it on your own terms seems much more worthwhile, in the long run ( I talk like Yoda on occasion)

 It becomes almost the norm for someone to say they like all kinds of music – more and more of us are playing it safe, too content to play it safe and get along. I say fuck that and identify the specific qualities you admire in a band, or be specific with the exact bands you like. Relativism is mind numbing, lazy, safe, and too easy.

So when I mock a band or can find no redeeming qualities in their performance, I’m fine with that. This just means I have a discerning ear and have spent enough time understanding the sounds that move me and refuse to spend 1 second more on something that just annoys me. Zappa understood the role mockery and sarcasm could play within a live setting which also carried over to his interviews. Same with Dylan. Todays musicians on that level have this “we are the world” mentality which can really become a fucking bore.

You expect politicians and athletes to play the party line and play nice. But when musicians start to have similar approaches to the media or in life in general, we lose the last of our media outlaws. And that’s a shame.


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