Anyone living in a mega-city is painfully aware of the lack of space. It's quickly obvious to those who move that life is slightly different when space is removed from the equation. I have continually asked myself where do the musician's practice without the basement or garage?
Super interesting article in the NYtimes about the lack of affordable spaces for musicians. NYC is the one place that has largely ignored the real estate trend, with continual rising prices. NYC Performing Arts Spaces runs a site where musicians can book practice time in rehearsal studios, ranging from $10 to $50 an hour.
Famed historical club CBGB's was closed last year due to rent issues, now to return as a clothing brand. (Slight painful and certainly selling out.) It would seem that music is on the unfortunate side of a struggling economy. Raising rents are forcing musicans out like never before. But its a bit of a paradox situation. We live in an era of technology, where anyone with a computer can grab and mix samples to become the next Dangermouse. Music has seen a revolution of power, with independent artists creating their own fame and fortune (i.e. Merge's Arcade Fire). Radiohead just said F U to the labels, iTunes models by setting its own price. Music can be free. So the value must lie elsewhere.
While technology makes music easier to share (not necessarily achieve) it adds value most to what it eliminates. Physical space. Revenue leaves formats, it must reappear somewhere else. That means marketing, experiences, live events, art etc. Quite strange for an aural experience.
But for the garage band who whose physical space is merely to practice, and not to churn profits this is death. What was once free, is now the ultimate luxury and a point of emphasis to generate profit. What will the impact be of a loss of creative spaces? Is this a music revolution or evolution? Many would argue now is music's greatest age, an era of freedom and privateering. But what is the price? Interesting times ahead