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Avoid Culinary Artsy-Fartsy-ness

September 18, 2013

2013-9-18Because of my meal plan, I eat at my university’s cafeteria often. However, I usually try to avoid the cafeteria as much as possible. Why? Because the food is weird, dude.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like your average college student wants burgers, tacos, and pizza. However, the cafeteria hardly serves these items. Instead, the lunch room is full of such entrees like “Roasted Poblano Corn Chowder, Eggplant Caponata, and Beef Horseradish on Focaccia.” Unless you’re a chef yourself, right now you’re probably thinking, “What the heck is that stuff? It sounds like it might come alive and eat ME!”

As a regular diner of said cafeteria, those are my thoughts exactly. The chefs are trying too hard to create exquisite culinary masterpieces. I, however, don’t want them to impress me with fancy, shancy cooking techniques, I just want something that tastes good to me. No one wants this culinary artsy-fartsy-ness.

So, this brings us to our music and our bands. Are we doing the musical equivalent? Are we trying too hard to impress other musicians? Are we creating stuff for our little inner circle of fellow musicians and critics in our genre? In the same way that I just want stuff that tastes good, most fans just want music that sounds good, regardless of its technical value. Four chords that mean something are better than 72 soulless chord changes that took an equation to create.

Now, don’t take this too far the other way. You still need some degree of artistic integrity. I am not implying that you should drop everything and play boy-band crap, but you should do a quick reality check quite often. Ask yourself “Is this piece going to connect to fans?” If not, do something about it! The degree that you need to apply this advice depends on your genre and your fanbase. But by all means, avoid the evil spell of artsy-fartsy-ness!


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