Kristen's new online project is CASH, which stands for Coalition of Artists and Stake-Holders....read about it here. and here's what she recently posted on a MySpace bulletin:
My latest song from "Speedbath" is here. It's called "Around Dusk" and I hope it treats you well.
Now that CASH is a viable entity and not just an amorphous blob floating around in our heads, those of us who work here are becoming increasingly aware of its quieter gifts. I knew this construct was necessary in order for us all to share interesting music, but intangibles like political implications are now sneaking into my world view. I've always believed that what I do has more in common with the field of research than the field of entertainment. Of course, from the beginning, I knew that in order to reach people with sound, I had to make records and play clubs. Sounds simple, gets ugly.
In order for someone like me, (The Artist) to reach out and grab the Music Business Experts who in turn, reach out and grab someone like you (The Audience), they ask you in not-so-subtle ways to play by the "rules" of the entertainment industry. These rules are not mysterious, nor are they difficult to follow. In fact, there's only one real rule: be attractive. If you work in the recording industry, you must play attractive music, you must be an attractive human. If you work in the film industry, you must make attractive movies, you must be an attractive human, etc. The definition of attractive is where we all fall down.
Healthy people view it as a melange of sensory, intellectual and emotional input. Healthy people are attracted to music and film -- and humans -- that move us. The wildly unhealthy entertainment industry views attraction as: easy. That's it. Just like high school! This is how bimbos happen and I don't just mean the Barbie doll kind. Male bimbos, female bimbos, musical and filmic bimbos...a bimbo is anything one-dimensional enough to be taken at face value with no potential for insight or growth on the part of the consumer (oooh...scary...insight!). Every time Nothing is wrapped in Fashion and sold to the Public, a bimbo is born. Bimbos always make someone money. They're e-e-e-e-easy.
I've watched musicians I loved buy into this insidious phenomenon. The idea that to bring their music to more people they'd need to dumb it down. Whether they believed in their own success or their own failure didn't matter, the end result was the same: something imaginary killed their art. The "experts" ask, are you a bimbo? If your answer is no, then you flunk the music business and eventually you disappear. If your answer is well...I could be...here's a picture of me 'looking cool'...here's a flimsy song... then you're allowed to share your music with the public. But what music? You dumbed it down! Why bother?
For twenty years I lived with this quandary. Thank you, CASH people, for removing me from that ugly world, for taking our amorphous blob and running with it. I make records, I play clubs, I'm in the music business, but I no longer have to answer to some vague idea of a "market" or demographic. I no longer have to play by the crap rules of the entertainment industry, I only have to answer to my stake-holders. Now my job is to throw myself, body and soul, into my research and share it with you.
Note: As of this writing, Kristin's CASH subscribers come from 12 different countries on 5 different continents.