Music is a key ingredient to cultural togetherness and social awareness; it’s origins are primitive and we must invest in it’s vivacious simplicity. When infatuated, musical visionaries are rapidly losing their wealth to desensitized businessmen, it is an intellectual crime. Austin’s dedicated mayor, Steve Adler, is ready to entertain Austin’s unorthodox, musically-driven attitude with diplomatic flawlessness to keep Austin jamming.
There is a growing community of artists, musicians and behind the scenes visionaries that strive to redefine all that is music, especially in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the world. In a more relatable sense, the Austin arts community puts itself through the ringer to expose deserving artists. Music tech companies like On Vinyl Music, Synesthesia, Spot Caller and Solstice Live are pouring their existence into the partnership and aid of local musicians- regardless of genre.
Despite the sweat and tears that quilt these companies perseverance, progress is moving slowly; Austin is caught up in praising and accelerating it’s gentrifying growth. Unfortunately, Austin’s numb entrepreneurs and business savages are contributing to musical art resting on the back burner of societies collective. And although the musical community will run with the creative wind until the sidewalk ends, there is a characteristic blatantly missing- power.
While massive revolutions are absolutely probable at any day in time, society must call upon “the man” to make a notable difference. Austin’s man is one who goes by the name Steve Adler. Adler ran for mayor under the democratic platform in January 2014 and was officially elected with 67 percent of the popular vote and sworn into office by mid-December 2014.
Adler has an extensive and righteous background in liberal politics: fighting for young women’s rights, fairness in public education, civil rights and conservation of our precious ecosystem. Adler is a fine representative choice for the face of this progressive city, but does our man have a firm grasp on millennial necessities, progressive music and the massive importance of art, all at a local level? Austin will not hold the throne as the live music capital of the world unless Adler enables us to do so, unless we declare a civil war of sorts.
As speculated in recent political debauchery (the freakin’ presidential election), diplomacy is losing it’s credibility and dividing our nation into two terribly stagnant “parties,” that refuse to choose political fluidity over “the lesser of two evils.” Diplomatic rhetoric is trivial in 2016, it’s trifling promises are over-the-top controversial and typically, rubbish.
Thankfully, Steve Adler, despite being a politician, is proving to be a hero and a driving force in the acceleration of local music, behind the scenes and on the stage. His intentions are pure and well researched.
According to Adler’s outline regarding the future of Austin music, “music is part of the soul of Austin and at the center of a creative ecosystem that is a key pillar of Austin’s economic health and vibrancy. We must invest in music for the good of our city, it’s people and our future.”
Not only are his intentions well articulated, but they are particularly chosen. His outline that he refers to as “a new way forward for the Austin music industry” is equipped with each and every concern, inside and out of Austin’s music community.
His first and most resonating point pertaining to the issue is “investing in local musicians.” Key points under this umbrella are guaranteeing parking for musical consumers, and even then bands themselves. There is no good reason a headlining three-piece band should pay $20 for parking, when they’re only getting paid $100 for the set.
According to the most recent Austin Music Census conducted in 2015, 50 percent of Austin musicians with a secondary source of income take home less than $25,000 annually and almost 70 percent of total musicians make less than $10,000 a year. With that being said, let’s let these artists park, then play, with good intention, past 12:00 AM in a city that never sleeps. The extra two hours generate revenue for the venue and for the musicians. Good, influential noise should not be condemned or turned down, “when a passing car can be louder than a musician is allowed to play something is wrong with the system,” Adler rightfully argues in regards to the noise restrictions in the city of Austin.
Austin’s mayor is also calling upon musical visionaries to “take down the red tape” that musicians have to cross in order to get their foot in the door. Global talent did not start at a global level, no, each globally recognized artist came from a local neighborhood and a small circle of influence that said “yes, you can.” As long as Austin keeps red tape in the way of musical geniuses, there will be no regional attention, no national attention, and definitely no global attention, and at that point we will wallow in self pity and loathe ourselves for having our title of the capital of anything removed from the tops of oblivious heads.
With that being said: go to a local show, download the do512 app, donate when you can, and encourage venues to raise the covers: $1 shows are not helping your favorite producer, or generating the revenue needed to maintain the status we have as an eccentric city.
Transportation and traffic is a city-wide issue that is growing at an exponential rate as well. Being “on time” is only likely when you leave 45 minutes prior to your destination. Not only is vehicular congestion becoming threatening to the cities ego, it is not being appropriately utilized for night-owls. Austin is a party city, no matter which way you spin it: music, drag queens, disco parties, late night tattoo parlors, etc. As a response, Adler has called upon the city to run safe, late-night transportation for concert goers, as well as for consumers who wouldn’t be able to enjoy the cities aesthetic due to a lack of transportation.
While Austin is nationally praised for it’s music and arts scene, according to Adler, “our music ‘industry’ pales in comparison to other key music cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.” While Austin thinks they are five-steps ahead as far as “coolness” goes, other metropolis cities, especially Nashville, are actually diligently investing in their artists, venues, and the tech companies involved- doing what’s actually cool. Adler wants to invite out-of-state established music tech companies to the city to conglomerate with the already growing tech companies in Austin- not for competition but for cohesion. “We’ve spent a lot of effort bringing companies like FaceBook and Google to Austin; it’s time we put the same type of focus on recruiting companies like Soundcloud, BMI, ASCAP, and Bandcamp,” Adler demanded. When companies, established or growing, exchange their righteous ideas pertaining to the arts, progress incubates.
In Austin, city dwellers are encouraged to fearlessly dive into the depths of their strangest characteristics and exhibit them with resonance. Being you, is an art form in itself. In order to incite artistic, global revolutions, revisions must root themselves at a local level, and then branch out into infinite directions of musical metamorphosis. This city will not maintain it’s aesthetic resilience until music consumers, music tech companies, and our political representatives join the rebellion against Billboard top 40 hits, and promise to engage in the acceleration of underground geniuses.