There’s a phrase I heard, I don’t remember where, which I think is useful here – ‘the innovator’s dilemma’. I’m sure I’m butchering the meaning so don’t quote me on it, but as I recall the vague gist of it was that those who are initially successful by virtue of their new and innovative ideas will eventually fail in the face of other innovators unless they continually rework themselves. It doesn’t take too much imagination to see how that applies in the world of music.
I think what I like most about people is that they relentlessly mock any musician who dares to live and record past thirty years of age on the basis that they’ve ‘lost it’, and then steadfastly refuse to pay any attention to the ones who repeatedly prove this to be incorrect. Wait a minute…that’s what I hate about people! Please – pardon my muddle-headedness. I’m all in a tizzy at the moment, what with the constant strife at home and abroad. I’m not sure how I could have made such an elementary error; anyone with ears could tell that the grizzlies still have it.
Canecutter and Ilki performing as part of the Filthy Children Collective. Photo by Kynan Peru-Watt
It’s that time of year again – Sydney is once more gripped by Fringe Festival Fever. From the sweltering sands of the Northern Beaches to the winding alleys of the Inner West, men, women and children of all ages are erupting into spontaneous explosions of poetry and song, swept away by the freaky wave. Even I was not immune from the fever; after three days of deep sweats and delirium, I stirred from my bed with but one mission – to get in on the action. But how? What was to be my in?
Right before I started learning guitar, I used to sit in my best friend’s room and watch him play. I didn’t really know what songs he was playing; indeed I didn’t really know anything about music or even particularly like it. And yet even though the room was cramped and musty, I would think of any reason to go up there and stumble around with my adolescent fingers on that mysterious slab of wood and wire.
A colourful Hawaiian shirt walks in. The man wearing it strides towards me; hands are out. He shakes mine, says ‘whatup’, compliments my shoes and insults the houseparty he was at the other night. The party in question was mine.