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16 April 2012

As a civilian

There are many risks to a life in the arts. The one that bothers me most is how entertainment can become work. It’s a very different experience to go to a concert hoping to take flight, and to merely attend a concert with an eye toward networking, and a sense that the machinery behind the live show (the soundman, the seller of merch, the collection of money) is your responsibility to troubleshoot. The latter requires a level of heightened attention that wards off states of ecstasy and grace. Last week returned me to first principles at least twice — I went to a Pulp show as a civilian and saw my cousin Max lead a mosh pit in Times Square. Yes, I was backstage for the latter show — but as a proud relative, not as a scheming puller of strings. It’s different. Since I often claim that my music businesses involvements are more about family than commerce, I hope I can cling to these feelings.

PS – The photo at top is not by me. The bottom photo is.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis

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