Stephen Covell

Pacific Grove, CA, United States

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Comments & conversations

94703
Stephen Covell
Posted about 3 years ago
Is this the best time in history to be a musician?
In response to Steve Rosos, it should be noted that Beethoven was well compensated for his work not only by its publication but also by contributions from wealthy aristocratic patrons... so it's not like he was doing it just out the the kindness of his genius :) Also I don't see why it should make your blood boil to think that creative property has value. I'm not saying that value should be ridiculously inflated but I don't think it's unreasonable to try and convince those who consume music that it should be paid for. Music, film, and TV shows suffer currently from being easily copied and distributed which has in the minds of many, diminished their value. It's seen as a victimless act to download these files and enjoy what's taken years to create without giving anything back. I agree that if you factor in profit to your creative process you should probably find another line of work but artists have to eat too. In an ideal situation you could share your gifts with the world and not have to worry about bills and rent but we've not reached that point yet so I suppose my next question is; is there a way to help reeducate the public to hold the arts in a higher regard or are we just going to have to let talent speak for itself? Will the shining stars shine regardless? I'd like to think so.
94703
Stephen Covell
Posted about 3 years ago
Is this the best time in history to be a musician?
Interesting diversity of opinion so far :) I suppose I'll weigh in with my take now that I've seen a bit of what the rest of your are thinking. A agree that making a living as an artist has always been challenging. You have to be willing to give up the security from the routine of the standard education to career path that most people take for granted. You have to have an almost manic drive to succeed in the face of all logic. You have to think you're special enough that you're worth peoples time, money, and attention. Not to mention possess a rare talent that must be honed with years of practice. Scott said something I believe is true. People may not expect everything for free. But they do expect everything to be available right now, on all there devices, for a reasonable fee. The era of $20 albums with two good songs is over. Napster wounded the beast and iTunes stuck the sword in the heart. And over all I think that's a good thing. I think major labels got a little lazy because the money was so easy they no longer had to cultivate acts, they could just pluck another young talent, bank off a single and move on. Tom thinks that today's artists say nothing and I have to disagree with that. Sure many of your top 40's are mostly void of emotional substance but there are hundreds of lesser known bands making amazing new music right now. And really, no one gives a shit about MTV anymore. They don't even play music. People learn about music through Pandora, Spotify, Pitchfork and any number of other music related websites not to mention word of mouth. Social media drives interest more directly than top down mainstream distribution channels. My only concern really is that as I said, with so many options, video games, movies, TV, the internet, and as some here have stated the ease at which music can be made and shared, I think people may be losing their appreciation for how special music really is. It may be in danger of just becoming background noise.
94703
Stephen Covell
Posted about 3 years ago
Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution
I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see a rise in jobs labeled something like "progress ethicist". People who's soul focus it looking headed to help steer these innovations in a way that is beneficial to man kind as a whole. That is of course if way can convince enough people that short term profit isn't always the most important goal ;)
94703
Stephen Covell
Posted about 3 years ago
Joshua Walters: On being just crazy enough
I think you have to be a little manic to complete in business today. How else are you going to focus your attentions so singularly with all the societal static around you? With all the possible right answers, how can you be so sure yours is going to be better? Crazy helps in art as well. Ask any performer who's spent ten years on stage. Any normal person wouldn't put up with the amount of rejection you receive in that position. You have to be a little off to keep telling yourself your voice is worth being heard.
94703
Stephen Covell
Posted about 3 years ago
Nathan Myhrvold: Cooking as never seen before
Sure you don't NEED science to show people food in a new way but you also don't need science to explain why we feel love or why the Earth revolves around the Sun. Science exists because humans have a deep rooted desire to dig in to those questions. Deconstructive gastronomy can be very aesthetically centered but it's also about thinking about food and flavor in new and exciting ways. It's just another chapter in the evolution of food preparation, not a replacement for the canonical standards that have been refined and perfected through out the ages. We celebrate Andy Warhol for re-envisioning the soup can and turning a commodity in to "art". Today in the same way chefs and amateurs alike are breaking away from the whats commonly considered "the right way" or culturally fueled instinct and taking risks, going deeper in to the "why" because they are less concerned with being right and more concerned with exploration and discovery. Lastly I'd argue that science created all the dishes you love. As Simon put it, centuries of hypotheses, trial and error, testing, and tweaking are what make great recipes. Just because they didn't think of themselves as using a scientific method doesn't mean they weren't :)
94703
Stephen Covell
Posted over 3 years ago
Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs
Mike illustrates the exact reason why I operate under the assumption that I'm usually wrong. Very few people have enough life experience and wisdom to make useful snap judgements. We often take second hand information as gospel when we try to make informed decisions but there is no substitutes for the kind of knowledge you can gain from someone who has dedicated their entire life to a certain pursuit.