Well, Folkpunkateers, after much reflection, I've decided that I'm probably finished playing in bars and pubs, at least for the foreseeable future. At the moment, I couldn't care less about another gig in some mediocre little watering hole here in Hogtown, where half the beer in the fridge has gone skunky, and the music is battling with ESPN for everybody's attention. You guys deserve better, and frankly, so do I.
Really, why should I bother cranking out She Dates Creeps for the millionth time to a bunch of alcoholics who aren't even there to listen to me anyway? For the applause? Screw that, my ego doesn't need to hear it that badly, and applause isn't paying the bills. Don't get me wrong, I'm not turning into a complete hermit or anything, I'll still gladly do festivals, house concerts, private parties and whatever else pays the artist what they're worth, but bars for me now fall under "been there, done that".
The scene is pretty much dead now compared to the early 1990s when I started this whole charade anyway, and for those of you who would argue that the local music scene is just as vibrant and important as it ever was, I have three words for you: "Weekend At Bernie's" You know, that movie from the late 80s in which two guys have to pretend their boss is still alive in order to enjoy a big weekend party he promised to have at his beach house, and they go so far as to dress his corpse up for the big bash so nobody will suspect anything? For me, the music scene in Toronto resembles Bernie. They're even starting to smell the same.
So in lieu of being a performing flea, I've decided to concentrate on the cyber/digital/virtual realm a bit more. Other art forms such as paintings, sculptures, books, poetry, movies and most TV shows are more what you might call "passive" art forms. They're created long before their audience experiences them, and music has had that potential since the advent of recording technology, but until the internet came along recorded music's only real outlet for public exposure was radio, which left the artists at the mercy of station programmers. Well, no more kiddies, technology has levelled the playing field, and I'd be goofy not to take advantage of it. I now get over a hundred visits to my website on a daily basis. Germany, England, the Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and Japan seem particularly interested in what I'm up to, and I've been selling lots of MP3s in those exotic locales as a result.
Even cooler than the downloads though, I recently received an email from a teacher in Germany who's conducting a course on American society and how it's viewed by the outside world, and she asked for permission to use my song American Dream as part of the course. So there ya go, my lyrics are now been used for scholarly purposes on another continent. Amazing. By the way, according to my monthly website "traffic reports" Canada has yet to generate the most visitors to Folkpunk in any given month, and I've been getting those reports for almost two years now. It's a bit ironic, but typically Canadian I suppose.
So to sum up: internet good, bars bad. I can now begin working on Sgt. Folkpunk's Only Darts Club Man or whatever...