by Kit Walker - Feb 9, 2016
by Kit Walker
The music business is dead. There, i said it.
Please bear with me, once again, while i question everything. It is rapidly becoming obvious, at least to me, that nothing, and i mean nothing, is as it seems. Especially what is promoted by the “system circus”, the 3 ring corporate farce that is being constantly pushed on us by the mainstream media and the corporate onslaught of imitation everything. Let’s turn a discriminating eye towards one of the biggest commercial pig-piles of all, the music business.
The End of an Era
I have been noticing something in the last couple of months. The passing of David Bowie, combined with the departure of an unusual number of famous musicians, including Glen Frey of the Eagles, members of the Jefferson Airplane, Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire, Dan Hicks, and several others, left me scratching my head and wondering. Wow, it was like there was an expiration date of some kind of soul contract or something for a bunch of well known musicians, and they were all in their late 60s for the most part. And, many of them got their start in the late 60s. It is becoming very obvious that this is the end of an era.
The Uranus Pluto connection
In the late 60s we had the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. A conjunction is the beginning of a cycle of any pair of planets. This pair, Uranus and Pluto, are the planets of revolution, among many other things. At the conjunction, in the late 60s, many seeds were planted, both positive and negative. These planets are both slow moving, so when they come into aspect with each other, it takes years for the change to come about.
Now, 50 years later, we are at the culmination of the first quarter, 90 degree square of these two planets, a process which has taken the last five years to complete. This square brings to mind The Tower, in the Tarot deck. Pluto is now in Capricorn, which is like the fortified consolidation of the “power over” paradigm. Uranus is in Aries now, at 90 degrees to Pluto. Uranus in Aries is the sudden lightning strike that brings down the tower.
The first quarter square is where things that were begun at the conjunction either start to find a foundation, or start to break down, if they are not viable. There is no simplistic way to describe the complex ramifications of this square, but we can see that much of the corruption that began in the 60s is now breaking apart, and it would be naive to not include the music business in this exploration, especially in light of the other major square happening now between Saturn (business) and Neptune (music). The music business, as well as the religion (also Neptune) business, is now up for major review.
We also had a birth of new consciousness in the late 60s, with the psychedelics and the music. It was the “peace and love” moment. So now is the time when we have to sort out what was real there, from what wasn’t. It is time to make peace and love REAL. And, in order to accomplish that, we first have to realize how that movement was co-opted to serve the corporate agenda. Whatever happened to “tune in, turn on, drop out”?
The conjunction of Pluto and Uranus brought an explosion of new music, psychedelics, revolutionary sentiment, and a sense that we had to fight the “system”. The lyrics of the songs, although in many cases drug-addled and obscure, had the quality of a new consciousness arising, one of freedom and justice.
But then, progressively over the last 50 years, the music became more and more formulaic, and the lyrics more and more banal, as the parasitic corporate agenda slowly but surely strangled the life out of this revolutionary impulse. And now we are left with nothing but an ego-driven parody of these noble impulses. And most of the hippies cut their hair, got corporate jobs, bought houses, and forgot. What happened??
Pluto and Uranus have now finished the process of the square, after 7 occurrences of it. The end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 marked its final pass, where the two planets came very close to exactly 90 degrees, and then right after New Year’s 2016, the Sun passed over Pluto, which intensified this final pass of the square. And what happened in music business news at this point?
David Bowie exited, stage left. David Bowie was a Capricorn, with Sun conjunct Mars in Capricorn, and, lo and behold, Pluto, the planet of death (among other things) is conjunct the position in Capricorn of his Mars and Sun. And Uranus (sudden changes) is square that position. So his exit, to me, marks the end of an era, the end of a phase, which represents the hierarchical (Capricorn) model of power. The lightning of awakening (Uranus) has struck the “Tower of Power”, and it is falling.
And is it a coincidence that one of the musicians who passed was Mic Gillette, one of the founding members of the band “Tower of Power”?
So, it was David Bowie’s birthday, death day, AND the release of his last album, Blackstar. So close together, that one wonders, what are the chances of all that happening at once?? Coincidence?
It really made me wonder. How about you?
A Houdini-like disappearing act
Consider this for a moment, from Julian Temple, a film and music video director who was active at the beginning of the punk movement in England. If we consider that the punk movement might well have been yet another experiment in social engineering, things begin to make more sense. Here he is talking about David Bowie.
“When I knew him well in the 1980s – we worked together on Absolute Beginners among other projects – David talked often about his compelling need to engineer an elegant exit mechanism from the circus of pop stardom and fame. A Houdini-like disappearing act. A velvet parachute floating down and away from the public eye. He was obsessive about it even then and it is beyond extraordinary that he has now managed to pull it off with such breathtaking ingenuity and precision. A Garboesque process that began with him invisibly evading the rabid buzz-hounds of the Twittersphere has ended with what seems like a magnesium flash, a sudden trick of the light and a triumphant vanishing act.”
Seems to me, he pulled it off. Especially in light of the report that he was cremated privately soon after his death. Even his family was not present at the cremation. Hmmmm…. Houdini. An illusionist.
Inquiring minds want to know: what kind of ambition would move someone to spend the last 18 months of their life working feverishly on making one last hit record? Not to mention a theater production, as well. Is that how you would spend your last days alive? Yes, in one way it’s amazing, but it also makes me wonder. Yes, this guy was a serious Capricorn. With Saturn conjunct the moon in Leo. Saturn all the way. The goat, who climbs to the top of the mountain, step by step.
There’s a lot more to say about Blackstar, but what strikes me is that something has changed in the music business since then. Or perhaps that it marks some kind of transition to something new and different. Since then i am seeing more and more articles where people are questioning it all more.
Going downhill fast
Does Today’s Pop Music suck?
Also, a statistic that says more old music is selling now, than new music, for the first time in history.
Some of us have been investing some hope in the Bitcoin/blockchain model as the new way for the music business, but that is beginning to look like a pipe dream too:
Let’s not kid ourselves any more. The sooner we come to grips with what actually IS, the sooner we can move towards solutions. But if we, as musicians, just keep our heads in the sand, trying to recreate the past days of glory, or whatever it was that happened, we’re just going to go down. Humans have managed to pollute everything on the planet, INCLUDING MUSIC.
Look at this:
Piracy of music is rising, and the quality of music is plummeting. You get what you pay for. You don’t want to pay anything? OK, you will get something that is worth nothing. But, apparently, you don’t care, because you really can’t tell the difference between something real and a simulacra.
Are we stuck in the past? Why this tendency to be looking back, trying to relive the old way, the old music? What was so appealing about it? Why aren’t we looking forward to what is coming next? Not only in music, but in everything? Is it because there is nothing to look forward to? Is this it? We’re going down?
Sometimes i get the feeling we musicians are all competing for the gig on the deck of the Titanic. Shouldn’t we be manning the lifeboats right about now?
So I started to see the trajectory of music since the time recorded music began.
Basically it seems to pretty much parallel the development of electricity generating and delivery to homes. Both began around the beginning of the twentieth century, though they didn’t really turn viable until the 20s or 30s.
It is interesting to note, further, that the Federal Reserve, and the fraudulent banking industry as we know it, has a similar trajectory. And it is becoming more and more apparent, with each passing day, that the days of the Federal Reserve are also numbered.
So i began to see the entire trajectory of recorded, and thus commercial music, almost as a kind of bell curve, which peaked around the 70s or 80s, and now is on its way down.
And also, more and more, we are now seeing people come up with ways to generate electricity from uncontrollable sources. Free energy technology is arriving. Could it be time for free music? No, not just music you don’t have to pay for, but truly liberated music. Free of the commercial paradigm altogether?
We’re talking music as the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE here ! This is not some small thing that we can squeeze into some cheesy pop music ! Let’s wake up out of this nightmare, and restore music to its real dignity and standing.
Those were the days
There now seems to be this prevalence of looking back to the past, the great masters from this time period, the big stars. We have reunion tours, and homages to this master and that, and everyone making albums with cover versions of some of the more famous songs and compositions from this time period. I see a lot of musicians reminiscing about how great it was. Those were the days. We miss that time, when we had that evolutionary impulse to wake up and be real. Why didn’t we have the strength of spirit to sustain it?
But I am wondering in the midst of all that.. NOW WHAT?? If we look towards the future, and the future of music, can we see anything? Where are we going? What happens next? Is there a future for music, or for that matter, anything at all?
This is a very short period of time, compared with the entire history of music. It’s about a hundred years. And it coincides with the rise, and now the fall, of “modern civilization”. And really, it mirrors the civilization in so many ways.
To me, Blackstar is a statement about the death of the music business, even if that was not its intent. And perhaps, there is an unintended message there as well, about the resurrection of music. Now, i agree that it is very artistically done, and the musicianship on the song is top quality. I like that Bowie chose some of the best jazz and fusion players from New York to work with him on it.
But aside from the artistic value, I found myself wondering, just exactly WHAT is he trying to say with this video? But rather than get too intellectual about it, i was left dealing with how it made me feel. And I have to admit, it did not leave me feeling good, not that it was supposed to. To me it is like a nightmare. Something i never want to watch again. And it struck me about how it is like so much of what the music industry has been releasing lately, a dark message, with really an overlay of hopelessness. Are we just crucified scarecrows who are eaten by the moon when we die? Maybe that’s what it has been up to now, but not a very encouraging message to send to the world, especially as your parting shot.
What is death ?
Is this a depiction of what death is supposed to be like? And, like one friend said, well, death IS dark.
So then i was left wondering again: IS death dark? what is it? Does anyone really know what happens on the other side? Yes, we hear stories from near death experiences, but does that mean that what happens to us will be the same? It’s certainly not the same experience for everyone on this side of the curtain, not even close, so why would we expect anything different on the other side?
But perhaps even death ain’t what it used to be. EVERYTHING has changed, and is changing SO much, why would we assume that death is not included in all of this change?
To me, death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite, it is eternal. Death is the opposite of birth. It is a transition. If you think of where we are now as a room, it has two doors. One is the “In” door, that is birth, and one is the “Out” door. That is death.
But just like any room, once you go out the door, you could go ANYWHERE. It might very well be a bright sunny day on the other side. Is anyone really sure? And also, wouldn’t it be different for each being, just like life on this side is? And are you sure that you wouldn’t have any choice about where you are going to go after you go through that door? Admit it, you really don’t know.
Why would things on the other side be any different than they are here? Here there is a myriad of realities available, of all qualities, from sublime to hellish. Why would it be any different on the other side?
And if you are established in and as the Divine Reality, why would that not continue on the other side?
So why does the entertainment industry insist on reinforcing the idea that death is like a hell? And life as well, for that matter…? Look at all the “entertainment” that comes out of Hollywood. Most of the films and music videos portray some dark and twisted themes, with lots of guns, conflict, violence, and death. Why?? These kinds of questions open up some serious cans of worms, about just what is really going on here in this earth realm.
And, furthermore, lately since Bowie’s passing, he has become like a god. Like somehow he held the secrets of the universe. People even say he went to “heaven”, because he said that in the Lazarus song. Where’s heaven? Do we REALLY still believe in heaven and hell? How is that different from conventional religion? Is heaven a good place to go, even?
Through his life, Bowie went through many transitions and transformations, from being heavily influenced by the occult and Alastair Crowley, to being deeply into Buddhism. I have even read that at one point he was seriously considering becoming a Buddhist monk, but at the last moment decided not to.
He was clearly a complex and multi faceted man and artist, and it is really hard to say anything definitive about him one way or another, without knowing him personally. But clearly his departure marks the end of an era.
Where’s my constellation?
And now he’s the “Starman”. He even has a constellation named after him. Yes, it’s a nice thought and everything, but how does something like this happen ? Who decides how constellations are named, anyway? Then i wonder, where’s Beethoven’s constellation? What about Mozart’s? He died at 35 years old, penniless. How can some musicians be multi millionaires, and others totally impoverished?
How about a constellation named after Jaco Pastorius, the “world’s greatest bass player”? Or how about Paco de Lucia? He died this year too… Why aren’t we worshipping him? Clearly one of the most brilliant guitarists who ever lived. Don’t you think he deserves a constellation?
Towards a new way of art
So here is the big question for me. Some people say that great art reflects the times, and that art like Bowie’s reflects the fragmentation of our society. It helps us see that more clearly, i guess, but wait, don’t we already know how fragmented everything is?? Do we need any more reminders of that? How about some art that reflects the innate wholeness and connectedness of all life? How does that sound for a change?
But that means the artists will have to be whole, awake, present, alive, sane, and enlightened. Oh well, never mind then. We’re too busy playing music, and trying to produce yet another hit record, to waste time on “spiritual stuff”.
Do we really need more music? Do we need more stuff? Do we need more “busy-ness”? Isn’t consumerism consuming us? Perhaps it is time to just STOP, and reboot. Seems to me all our busy-ness is just making one big mess here.
What’s next for music and the arts? Well, seems like wholeness is the only real choice. Not only for the arts, but for everything. Because otherwise we are all toast. But the arts can also lead the way. However, that is contingent on the artists and musicians WAKING UP. Which means stop being obsessed with the dying hierarchical music biz model, and getting here and now.
I submit that many of the really big music stars are people who were ready to sell themselves for fame at the drop of a hat. And what is fame? People’s attention. Perhaps this is the way the Parasite eats the attention, and thus the conscious energy of people, through “celebrities” like this. The classic Faustian deal. Let’s not be naive about the methods of society’s soul cancer parasite. It always finds a way, until you really see its strategy. And the way it infects people is through EGO, the belief in separate self.
So please tell me, how is this different from religion? Notice that, at the same time as the rock and roll era was beginning in the late 60s, religion began to fall apart. The famous Time magazine issue that said “Is God Dead?” on the cover was in, you guessed it, 1966. The Uranus Pluto conjunction.
So religion was replaced with rock and roll. Same process, different clothes. And who but a chameleon like David Bowie to better represent this change of clothes?
And even the word “fan” comes from the word “fanatic”. What do we associate that word with? Religion. Religious fanatic. Hmmmm…..
The pyramid scheme is over
So to get back to the subject matter, we are witnessing the demise of the hierarchical top-down pyramid scheme model on such a grand scale right now, that all of its aspects are up for review. And none of it is working any more. Really, none of it. We may not be noticing it yet, similar to when the root of a tree is cut, at first the leaves are still green. But slowly but surely they start to turn brown, and it begins to become obvious that the tree is dead.
So if we look at the whole phenomenon of popular music, fueled by commerce, we can see the hierarchical model very clearly in operation.
The whole phenomenon of “big stars”, with larger than life presentations, is part of this hierarchical model. The big star is up on the stage. He’s the one with the talent, and the light show must mean that he has something important to say, so we should listen very carefully. Because if he can play such amazing music, and have so much money backing him, then he must know something i don’t know.
How is this different from politics? And where did the money that catapulted some of these people to stardom come from? Clearly, the publicity machine of the corporate controllers has gotten behind some of these stars and made them into a “phenomenon”. Their popularity is not always about talent. Sometimes they happen to be talented too, even very talented, but that is not always the case. Very often, these stars are “created”. Can we tell the difference between being created and being creative?
And as Socrates said, just because artists have inspiration and genius, doesn’t mean they have wisdom.
And the women, for the most part, what happened? Nowadays, it seems like it is more important to be a young sexy babe, to dress provocatively, and to sing in a kind of pseudo-soul style that feels like a caricature of the real thing, rather than to actually be a real musician, with something real to say. Where are the Nina Simones, the Elis Reginas, the Mercedes Sosas? You know, the courageous ones, who are not afraid to speak the truth. Where are the women who cut through all the superficial narcissistic fascist fashion BS and sing about what really matters? Where are the ones who plumb the depths of their being to come up with something raw, honest, and original? Of course many of these “stars” like Beyoncé have talent, but talented people are a dime a dozen these days. There’s a virtuoso on every street corner, playing for tips.
Music is not Football… or is it?
Has music become a competitive sport? I have been wondering about this a lot lately, as so many musicians try to outdo everyone else, being the baddest, most mindblowing, sexiest, funkiest virtuoso ever. But isn’t it more that each of us has a unique expression? At least that is how i have always seen it. This is not a place for competition. Yes, we can be inspired to do our best by others, but music somehow loses its delicacy and beauty when it becomes a platform for competitive ego expression.
But well, maybe i’m wrong. After seeing the half time performance of the 2016 Super Bowl by Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, sure enough. i could see the evidence right there. Music has become football.
And Beyonce’s song, released right at the same time, “Formation”. Here it is, with the lyrics: http://www.justjared.com/2016/02/06/beyonce-formation-full-video-lyrics-watch-now/
Maybe I am missing the point, because “critics” are hailing this as a great empowerment for black people. As far as I can tell, this lyric just equates power with money and sex, which is exactly what you would expect from someone the toxic corporate music industry had placed on the throne. And of course, millions of young women will be emulating this kind of “music” and “power”. Oh well…
Support the independent trail blazers
Just to be clear, of course i realize that there are many truly amazing talents in the music world, who are a true joy to hear and see. What i am objecting to here is the corporate co-opting of the arts and music, to use it as a tool to further its agenda. For me, the artists who manage to keep their artistic integrity without catering to manufactured fads and fashions are to be truly honored, as it is challenging territory indeed to navigate.
The only way left for real musicians these days is the independent route. It is a long and winding road, which requires improvisational skills on all levels. It is not for the faint of heart. These people are true lions, courageous souls who will do whatever it takes, go wherever they need to go, to keep practicing the art. Let’s develop the ability to recognize and support these music warriors. Just like we would support local growers of organic food, doing whatever it takes to make sure that healthy food survives, in this onslaught of fake everything, let’s acknowledge and support those who keep the vision and the art alive no matter how intense the obstacle course gets. You will find almost all of them online, and you will find many ways to support them there as well.
Taking the 60s spirit to the next level
And also in no way do i mean to belittle the contributions that all of the musicians, including David Bowie, who came up during the sixties, have made. That was a seed moment, an initiation. Everything came out, rough, unformed, and wild. It was the chaotic springing up of something new, with all its pluses and minuses. But now is our opportunity to reevaluate all that, and build something more grounded in the Real, something even more true. This is the moment of turning a corner (the first quarter square of Pluto and Uranus), and taking it to the next level.
And now with all the social engineering of the 20th century coming to light, we can see how popular music has been used to push society in ways that the controllers want. It is time to sort wheat from chaff (Jupiter conjunct North Node in Virgo), and remove the virus from the process, by understanding how it works.
No Individuality Allowed
They want us to be the disempowered audience, down there in the crowd, looking up to the special one who has the connection to the creative source, that we don’t have ourselves. Just like religion. And then they want to confuse our minds with messages, through the lyrics, that contain just enough truth to keep us paying attention, but not enough truth to really liberate us. Again, like religion. And then, at a certain point, these larger than life types are sacrificed. Just to let us know, don’t bother to try and become like this, for this will be your fate. Kinda like Jesus, actually…And we just numbly watch the same drama play out, over and over again.
How is the corporate music business different from the “king business”? This idea that there are chosen ones to rule over the rest of us is one big lie. They wear these gold and diamond studded crowns, and big fancy hats, and all sorts of badges on their chests, and then we are supposed to believe that they are somehow superior to us. What is a crown, but a cheap imitation of an open crown chakra? What is a diamond but a cheap imitation of the indestructible multi faceted brilliance of enlightened awareness? DON’T FALL FOR IT!! What is going on in this phony distraction theater of entertainment and politics is a simulacra, a false version of the true glory of your own divine kingship, YOUR MAJESTY. Not theirs. The “kings” of this world have no majesty. They sold it out for a flimsy tin substitute. Traded their glory for a fake hat. If you want to know what poverty looks like, take a look at the perverted vampires of the collapsing empire of “power over”, whose crap “glory” comes from eating the suffering of good and honest beings all over the planet.
And then there are the ongoing frequency wars, which are being pushed on us in so many ways, but through the sound of the so-called music it has been getting more and more intense and artificial.
So I look at the David Bowie video, and i see the end of an era. And then a lot of musicians followed him out. Time’s up for the music business.
So now what? What happens with music now?
This beautiful poem by Pablo Neruda shows the way:
“Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
—from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974)
Music 2.0: The Resurrection
So, i have a modest proposal. Music 2.0.
We could look at the entire situation as something like a virus in the operating system that distorts the output. It’s time for a reboot of music. So i have some proposals to submit for your consideration.
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
The first step, for musicians, if you want to be part of Music 2.0, and if you have been “professional” for a long time: simply STOP. Be silent.
This is the real revolution, literally. It is a 180 degree turn. Remove yourself from the corporate commercial paradigm. And yes, i agree, easier said than done. Really, at this point, it is almost impossible. But at least we can take the first step and understand clearly how it works. And really, we are all being forced into it. Just like society, there are the few mega-rich superstars, and the rest of the musicians, just barely making it.
By the way, this might be good advice for EVERYONE at this moment, not just musicians. We are all doing WAY too much, most of which just doesn’t need to be done, and we are ruining our planet, just for money. Let’s all take time out, out of time. Beyond time altogether. REBOOT. Rethink, review, regenerate.
When we want to clear the virus from a computer, the first thing we need to do is turn it off. And then we have to erase the disk and reformat it, with an upgraded operating system. So, there is some down time involved. But it is worth it, because the computer will then have new software, and will not be having the old problem any more.
If you are a musician who plays music constantly, even compulsively, just STOP, for a certain amount of time. “Count to twelve”. for 12 hours, 12 days, 12 weeks, or 12 months. Try it, and see what happens.
I mean, we’re not making money anyway, (are we??) so maybe now is the perfect time to just STOP. Be silent. Explore the inner music. Practice the silence. Understand and embody the vibrational source of all creation. Take the study of music to the next level. And then afterwards you come out of the silence like a butterfly from a cocoon, a new being entirely, with a new relationship to music.
What we have done with music up to now is just the kindergarten level to what is possible, that is my feeling. But in order to graduate beyond kindergarten, we have to leave the ego game behind. Without that necessary step, we are going to just become more and more mired in banality.
You could even think of it as being on strike. Even though it may not apparently make any difference in the “music biz” world around you, trust that it will have an invisible effect. And it may just improve the quality of your music, and your life.