Earnest and Authentic Artists are Marketed

What Are We Doing Here?

Marketing requires a reduction of artistic and human complexity to something graspable, even if what is graspable is the un-graspability of the artist: that’s branding. Complexity and nuance are a hard sell in a medium like pop music.

A hallmark of this reduction is the conceit that the artist doesn’t care to be successful. Doesn’t care about anything but purity of expression, about the song and its honesty and authenticity. Even hip hop—with genre conventions that appear to defy this duality—in fact confirm it: the desire to be successful, rich, and powerful is packaged as its own form of authenticity.

The artist, fan and the ecosystem that binds them all agree to participate in this conceit. It is a collective fantasy provides magic, transcendence, escape. And money.

But the artist does want to be successful. Even the least commercially-focused artist wants two things: time to make art, and to be seen via their art. Making money with art is one way—likely not the best one—to buy time to make more of it. More people being exposed to the art increases the chances that the artist will be seen through it.

There is no conceit here: I want to spend as much time as I have walking around this planet making music. And I want people to hear it. This website and the content and communications around it are designed to further those goals.

We are going to explore and illuminate the context and ideas related to every released song. To treat each song as an individual work that deserves to be thoughtfully experienced. Some songs will get more attention than others, as befits the song itself. I might share horrible song drafts, talk about crafting the song, use the song as an entry point to tell stories and ask questions, but ultimately always strive to touch something much larger than me or the song.

Or, just tell jokes. That would be good too.

And, in doing this try to get more of what I have always wanted from making music: to feel more connected to the people with whom I share this planet. 

In other words,  to love and be loved.

Alternate cover image for Two Dollar Coast, a song by Brick Blair

Two Dollar Coat: Answers and Questions

“Almost all my gear is from charity shops and estate sales,” said Brick. “I rebuild it then write and record with it. Some pieces I keep and others I sell through a side business I have with my kids. The acoustic guitar is an early 70s Japanese Epiphone dreadnought I bought several years ago at a charity shop (Goodwill) and kept.”

Cover image for Two Dollar Coast, a song by Brick Blair

Listen Now: Two Dollar Coat from Brick Blair

Two Dollar Coat is a new stripped down, vulnerable song from Brick Blair that evokes classic acoustic singer songwriters like Yusuf/Cat Stevens and John Prine, albums like Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, and songs like Townes Van Zandt’s, Waiting Around to Die.

On the Zooms Song Essay

If You Stop Using Zoom, Do You Cease to Exist?If You Stop Using Zoom, Do You Cease to Exist? She loved people and she loved travel. The pandemic took both. Her family lived on another continent, so face-to-screen-to-face was familiar. But it was bloodless.