American idol is probably the biggest stage for musical hotness at the moment. So, why do some musicians shun it? To give this article some context, I sit in the prudish camp. A guitarist by trade, I don’t like it either. Let me put my case to the jury however. Music to me is the result of a creative process, the result of a moment where you express something to others in an effort to communicate. Art, to me, is the currency. This is I think why I’m not a big fan of karaoke (ouch, ha ha). Now, let me qualify. I absolutely see the value of the show and respect those who like it. It’s just that there are two kinds of flavors in this world art. Just like the political division between Democratic and Republican, the Church and the State. American Idol and shows like it represent the idea that performance is currency, instead of the creative act. Now, I believe that both have a need for each other. The Rolling Stones would be nothing without Mick jagger, or Keith Richards. They bring to the table the two sides of the coin. The yin and the yang so to speak. Just like any good marriage, you need two strong identities that have different kinds of minds, who know who they are, and compromise.
I think, personally it’s kind of funny that some “real “musicians are sneaking onto the show like lonely friends that weren’t invited to a birthday party. I know many purists that just sit around complaining that pure art never gets any respect, read audience. I found there to be no point to good art that fails to connect to the minds that it was created for. Yet, there is no point in connecting, unless you have something to say. The strongest moment if often found when both sides integrate, becoming one thing. Making the connection, and having something to say together in a loving moment of forgiveness is the most powerful form of communication. This is why The Rolling Stones were so great for so long. Both Keith Richards and Mick Jagger had a love and acknowledgement for what the other brought to the table. The same goes for John Lennon and Paul McCartney. It only begins to fail it one side retains the position they alone have something to prove. The “real” musicians that do come on the show are usually ones with nothing to prove, and are looking to find a new audience for the love that they have for their art AND the audience.