Don’t get any
Big ideas
They’re not gonna happen

-Radiohead

Who decides how much one can push their art’s boundaries? Are artists here to entertain or innovate? Or both? If you’re hoping to push the envelope but just end up in a gray area that doesn’t revolutionize but does entertain, is there a point when you should resign yourself to be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished as an artist?

 

Radiohead Vs. Nickelback: The Classic Debate

 

I recently watched a live Radiohead performance on the Music HD channel. They're one of the best bands I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live, and this particular show proved they’ve only gotten tighter as a musical unit since I last saw them. The difference in musical contribution to the world between them and, say, a band like Good Charlotte or Nickelback, is like night and day. But the latter two bands entertain large audiences. Some might call it mindless, others call it greatness. When it comes down to it, they’re both equally valid for different reasons. But if the members of Nickelback are in the business to innovate, should they accept their current place in the music world (which, for the record, is in a spot pretty goddamn far from the world of innovation), or should they keep pushing themselves to be something they are most likely never going to be? And by most likely, I mean most abso-fucking-definitely-lutely.

 

I Think I'll Go Ahead and Revolutionize Everything Now

 

These are the kinds of questions someone like me, who is still waiting to break into the music scene, might ask themselves. I would love to be an innovative, revolutionary musician, but to be totally honest, I have no idea if I’m even capable of earning such a label. Do the revolutionary musicians even think they’re revolutionary? Maybe they do. Maybe Pink Floyd knew they were making history with each successive album. But it really isn’t quite so simple as quitting what you’re doing and jumping right into something influential, is it? When it comes down to it, all I can do is be completely sure that I am making the best possible music I can make. (This could apply beyond music of course… I should be making sure I’m doing the best job I possibly can with anything that is meaningful in my life.) What more could I really ask out of myself? I am capable of being harder on myself than any music critic or fan could ever be.

I suppose that when all is said and done, it’s not up to me to decide if my music is revolutionary or not.

Hell, it’s barely even up to you, either.