Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Apologies

One of my duties as Executive Director of Communications at Silent Stereo Records is to maintain a consistent blog presence. Although as an executive, I should have underlings to do the actual writing, that is not the case in our homey little company. In any case, I noticed that my last posting was way back on September 17th, practically an era ago in these days of 24 hour news cycles and Internet blogs. In my defense, I just started grad school, which severely cut into my free time. Still, there has been a lot of good stuff going on in the Silent Stereo world. The Black Hollies and Boss Tweed both finished recordings at our studio and we're eagerly awaiting the release of those numbers. In a special touch, the Boss Tweed single will be released as an authentic 45, just like in the good old days. We will definitely keep you updated on that release. Furthermore, Silent Stereo friends The Dansettes will be playing the big CMJ Music festival this week in New York City. Word on the street is that some record industry bigwigs are interesting in checking out the retro stylings of the Dansettes, but I'm sure every band at CMJ believes that.
In other news, I'm embarking on a project that is relevant to the theme of this blog (check the masthead if you've forgotten our theme). As it happens, November is officially "National Novel Writing Month." In fact, there's even a website for it at www.nanowrimo.org. While it's not as if I don't have enough excuses for not updating this blog, now I have a new one: I'll be writing a novel. Or more accurately, I'll be attempting to write 50,000 words in the space of a month. And why should you care? This is where the Silent Stereo angle comes in.
In the last forty years, American culture has been plagued by a steady, debiliatating decline in "social capital." Social capital, as the name implies, refers to the value inherent in all sorts of social endeavors, whether they be book clubs, religious groups, knitting circles, and even bands, which as we know from our rock history are just as good as gangs. Although the data is not complete, it appears that after reaching a high point in the sixties and seventies, group participation has plummeted. So apparently good music wasn't the only thing we lost in the eighties. The changes in the music industry that we rail against here are simply one part of a larger metamorphis in the American cultural landscape.
But instead of cursing the darkness, I'm going to light a candle. The Nanowrimo project gives me an opportunity, albeit an electronic one, to investigate social capital. As I torture myself to keep to a daily output of 1667 words a day, I can reassure myself that I'm also gaining valuble insight into the new American culture of the 21st century. I'll let you know how that turns out for me.
And in a final twist, the novel I intend to write will use music, especially sixties soul and rock, as its main metaphorical device. Maybe if it turns out okay I can try to expand the company into publishing.
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