Considering the fact that rock was severely underrepresented at the MTV's Video Music Awards (VMA), Berklee gives us hope for the genre's future with the third annual Rock Enroll fundraising event tomorrow night at Hard Rock Cafe in Boston.
Dean Of Admissions Damien Bracken explains why his department is recruiting '... the next Sting, Patti, Bruce, or Kate' in the U.S. and beyond: 'Not only is the genre still thriving, rock musicians are playing stadiums all over the world', he says enthusiastically, ' ...and there are multiple methods now through which they can be visible via niche marketing'.
As Berklee assiduously manages to cover all aspects of the music industry within its academic 'musicians workshop paradise', Bracken is very aware of the challenges in the outside world. Rock Enroll provides one qualified student (proficient in the rock genre) with a scholarship. The night will also feature live 'heart-throbbing rock' at the appropriately selected Hard Rock Cafe. Participants can donate a minimum of $15 for the cause and make a future (hopeful) rock star get in the field with a seal of academic approval.
New York Times slammed VMA's rancorous genre selection today, calling it a 'stubborn persistence of pop'. Although the acculturating media focuses on the gyrating pop acts of the Reality TV era, the legitimacy and tradition of rock has serious academic support to take it to the next level. Cirque Du VMA (and the like) use music as a background track for attention-grabbing stage shows, mostly shutting out musicians. There was virtually no live playing at the VMA's, nor any acknowledgment of the musicians who played on the celebrated recordings of awarded music videos. The invisible (but definitely audible) music fans continue to vent their frustrations through the social media about the dismissal of a huge array of musicians -- and their repertoire -- in the mainstream media.
What was once a promotional tool for the music industry -- the 30-something music video -- is now quite mute in terms of reflecting the world of the musician. However, the social media era has also brought a few possibilities that never existed before. Speaking at a Berklee Visiting Artists clinic, Billy Joel once said that for every million people who are buying what is considered to be pop hits, there are millions more who are not buying them. As Bracken points out the important role of niche marketing, it is very important to actively support the kind of musician (and the kind of music) you'd like to see and hear in your i-pod/pad/phone.
Wednesday / August 28, 2013 / 8:00 p.m.
Hard Rock Cafe
22-24 Clinton St. Boston Massachusetts 02109