All The Time In The World

Published on November 29th, 2008 in: Editorial, Issues, Music, The Internets |

time after time pic2
“Every age is the same.
It’s only love that makes any of them bearable.”
Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells, from Time After Time (1979)

“I started collecting records when I was five years old.” I can say this with total honesty. However, I’m actually quoting part of the Keynote Address at the Grammy Northwest MusicTech Summit, given by Ian C. Rogers on November 6, 2008.

Who is Ian C. Rogers? He’s the CEO of TOPSPIN. And what is is TOPSPIN? Their website indicates that they are a “media technology company dedicated to developing leading-edge marketing software and services that help artists and their partners build businesses and brands.” That sounds like a lot of corporate speak. But bear with me. My point in mentioning them is not to discuss TOPSPIN’s business model or practices.

Mr. Rogers’ long, detailed, statistics-crammed speech, might make a few readers groan, as it’s chock full of lots of corporate-speak. But Rogers is an intriguing person and many parts of his address ring true for me (and several of you who are reading this, I’m sure). He mentions how he “prefer[s] to have music playing at all times and still wish[es] [he] had more time for more music.” He also adds, amusingly, that he “realized a long time ago” that he’s “stuck with music,” describing his “passion” for it and saying point blank, “Music is my life.”

The summit was held to discuss the future of the music business, something which we all know is in a great state of turmoil. Rogers feels that, “there are only two players in the music business that matter at the end of the day: the artists and the fans. The rest of us either add value or get in the way.”

This could be a canny ploy to paint the CEO of a company as “just one of us,” another way to democratize the long out-of-touch music industry, another way to make it more appealing to the music listeners and fans. Yet Rogers’ approach seems valid, as it echoes what other musicians and music fans have been saying in increasing numbers for years. And because of this, I think his ideas bear repeating.

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There is a great quote in Velvet Goldmine, attributed to Norman O. Brown, which says, “Meaning is not in things, but between them.” If we apply this to Rogers’ words above, the meaning we find might be the relationship between the music creators and the music fans. Music does hold meaning; it represents the past through the memories it evokes, the present via the emotions we feel while listening to it; and the future, when it inspires us to create things in homage to those memories and emotions. The same could be said of art in general, whether that art takes the form of novels, films, paintings, plays, or comic books.

This is our seventh issue of Popshifter; it’s cliché, but it truly is hard for me to grasp the fact that it was a year ago that we published our first issue. I feel that the Popshifter Manifesto is just as true and valid now as it was when I first wrote it. I thank all of our fantastic contributors, as well as all the wonderful and generous artists who have appeared in Popshifter over the last year. I hope you will continue to enjoy Popshifter as much as we enjoy bringing it to you!

Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor

3 Responses to “All The Time In The World”

  1. Ian C Rogers:
    November 30th, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks, Less. It’s an honor to be included here in the intro to the latest issue.

    I appreciate your skepticism, but we’re not a big enough company to hatch any clever PR ploys. Afraid that’s the real me.

    Thanks for letting me comment. I’ll finish the issue now. I just wanted to say in advance, I love Tin Machine, too. But really only the live record. The production on the others gets me down. But I thought almost all of that live record was amazing, especially the Roxy Music cover that kicks it off.


  2. Popshifter:
    November 30th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks for letting me let you comment. Or something. And I’m sure Christian will appreciate the Tin Machine love. Enjoy the rest of the issue!


  3. Christian:
    December 1st, 2008 at 11:40 am

    w00t, Ian! It’s good to hear that there are other people who don’t see Tin Machine as a major misstep. And major props for your excellent speech, which everyone should read.


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