An Open Letter to Musicians: Lemme Hear It!
5c. I write a formal review of your album for All About Jazz, eMusic, Bird is the Worm, Music is Good, or in the future, other music sites and publications.
5d. To hell with 5a5c. I mean, those are all good and they will bring you some solid results, but 5d is so damn important and it's what I've been doing and will continue to do regardless of my associations with any organizations or media outlets. I get the word out! On the All About Jazz forum, on Bird is the Worm, on the eMusic forum, on the eMusers forum, on Twitter, through emails to friends and just hanging out... I love to pass along what I've discovered, to share the great and beautiful music I've heard in the hope that others might also have a sublime reaction to it as well.
I love music. Jazz, especially jazz of the present day, is definitely tops in my life, but music has always been at the forefront. All those years of ambivalence at not owning a TV, all I cared about was whether the stereo was working and searching for more great music to play on it. I received an iPod once as a gift. It had video capability. I never bothered looking into purchasing shows or movies for it... I filled that damn thing up with MP3s, and suddenly my commutes on the EL and CTA buses and Metra trains were so much more enjoyable.
And the gift that I consider music to be in my life, I can't help but want to share what I've found, to share that gift. My enthusiasm may be almost pathetically innocent in its childlike exuberance, but fuckwhatever, it's how I'm wired, and so passing along the gift of found music matters to me. I'm compelled to do it. I want to spread some happiness along to others. That's a human reaction that I'll never hide from, to want to find ways to make the world around me a little bit better than the way I found it. One of those ways is spreading word of beautiful and engaging music.
So, yeah, in me, you effectively have a street team member. I don't work for you or take orders from you, but I'll be out there spreading the word about your wonderful music like you were my good and dear friend. I am the human element of the connection your music made with me via the internet, and so it follows that one way for me to show my appreciation for your music is to shout about it from the rooftops. This way, other listeners will gain the benefit of your music and you will gain the benefit of more people listening to and purchasing your music.
This is only going to happen if you let me hear your music.