Bands: The Pursuit of Creative Risk
Journalist John Dickerson is currently publishing a series of illuminating pieces about economic risk over on Slate. Perhaps the most interesting so far is this piece on the life of a career musician. A snippet:The life of an independent musician blends different kinds of risks: artistic, personal, and financial. At every performance you expose yourself to embarrassment in front of an audience. You live hand to mouth, and the decisions you make on your latest recording can determine whether you’ll earn a living at all. And yet you’ve always got to keep challenging yourself creatively.
It is nothing new that the life of a musician (or any artist at all) is difficult and filled with uncertainties, but rarely is the economic plight of the touring musician explored as thouroughly as it is here. Dickerson delves into the life of Girlyman, a New Jersey threepiece who is trying to make a name for themselves with a gruelling tour schedule of 100 or more shows per year. Things generally seem to be going better for Girlyman than most small touring bands (an 800 dollar average takeaway from a show isn’t that bad at all) but the issues they deal with are as real as the ones faced by even the most unknown bands.
— Jon Behm
See the rest of Dickerson’s pieces here.