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Conrad Keely on the Need for Live Performance

Conrad Keely, of Austin's ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, makes a compelling (and graphic) argument against the dilution of music appreciation in our iTunes-enabled culture :

"The association of music with a recording rather than a live performance, along with the loss of the average listener to be capable of playing the music they want to listen to and the absence of a piano in every average middle-class household, is probably the most defining aspect of our less-than-definitive musical age... It is the demise of our need to work for music, to have a certain affinity to it, whether it be seeing it performed for us by apt musicians or listening to a family member reading it out of a song book, which makes us the consummate insatiable consumer and gives way to our need for more and more choice and diversity. Like a glutton who has overstuffed themselves past the point which their stomach-linings have bloated outward, so our musical-ears are overstuffed with variations without ever paying attention to theme, obsessed with consumption without any focus on merit. And we will continue to break off chunks of the pure form and dilute it with any whim available simply because it is available, for there is no longer any actual activity associated with our ability to appreciate."