This or that?

I stopped competing in the music world a long time ago (think music awards for genres and the like).

Why do it when I can spend my energy listening to the people who listen to me and tell me what they think.
(Steve makes a fine example below)

Evan, Finally, belatedly downloaded and listened to the WAV of Burn. I love this record. What I’d always been hoping for, but too reticent to ask you for: guitar-centric, Evan-only singing, bass guitar!, awesomely clean production. And the new songs so good. I’ll email additional thoughts this week, but I’ve got a ridiculous signal chain (Mac -> Apogee Duet -> Beyerdynamic A20 -> Sennheiser HD 650 headphones), and Burn sounds so good! And those perfectly clean, just barely breaking up guitar tones, oh man.. 🙂

Great jazz saxophone player Paul Ahlstrand sends out very, very entertaining emails that put the “music world” under scrutiny and give great belly laughs at the same time.  Paul got nominated for a Boston Music Award this year, and below was his take on it:

Usually when you get one of these missives from me, it is to invite you to a gig that I am doing, but not this time.  I am writing to let you know that for the second year in a row I have been nominated for a 2017 Boston Music Award in the category of “Session Musician Of The Year.”  The Boston Music Awards are kind of like a local version of the Grammy Awards but with a chintzier swag bag. (The last time I went to the BMA’s, my swag bag consisted of a couple temporary tattoos, a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer and a gift certificate to Condom World) I’m humbled to be nominated by my peers even though I find the whole idea of competitive music to be silly especially in this category. Very few people get to see me do this sort of work.  It is often anonymous. How is the winner determined? Is there a sight-reading competition thereby eliminating guitarists in the first round? Perhaps some test of stamina where a megalomaniacal record producer forces the nominees to play the same passage over and over for no apparent reason and the last nominee to storm out of the studio wins?  Nope.  Random people just vote for you whether they have heard any of the projects you’ve worked on or not.  If hell freezes over and I somehow win this stupid thing, I promise not to officially change my name to: “2017 Boston Music Awards Session Musician Of The Year Paul Ahlstrand.”  Here’s the link if you feel like voting for me (voting end on 11/1 at 10am):

Paul’s great (his honesty is brutal and refreshing).
Steve’s great (he took the time to write me because he loves “Burn” so much).

The question of “this or that” is always relevant when you have to choose whether or not to spend your time making art for people, or trying to get everyone to vote for you.