Five years ago, I would have spent the rest of the evening searching record stores for Regina Spektor CDs. This being 2012, I ran up to my computer and logged on to spotify.com. I had her entire discography on my screen and ready to play in six seconds.
Basically, it flipped me out. Did you see the ABC-News Person of the Week on Regina Spektor? She’s a Soviet-era refugee who landed in the Bronx and built her own American dream.
Regina is a very good piano player, a fantastic singer and an incredible song writer. Unlike American pop music, which sounds so corporate, Regina’s work is, well indescribable.
She wears conservative clothing, uses lipstick and spends a lot of time looking into your eyes. And you cannot dance to her.
I told my wife, “I feel like the day I first heard Bob Dylan.” She countered, “Or Adele.”
Five years ago, I would have spent the rest of the evening searching record stores for Spektor CDs. This being 2012, I ran up to my computer and logged on to spotify.com. I had her entire discography on my screen and ready to play in six seconds: six studio albums, one live album and 11 singles.
Regina is the new wave of how we listen to music. She writes, sings and produces her own work. She handled sales on her website, and drove around with a trunkful of CDs to her concerts.
She took off, not because she’s media outrageous or satisfied a focus group. She built her own audience. She finally attracted Warner Bros.
Her way is the opposite way. A lot of artists realize they must compromise for the record company. This is why a style suddenly becomes imitated, and boring.
Imagine a song “We don’t laugh at God in the hospital.” That’s essential Regina. That’s certainly us.
She narrows the process of music making. Bob Dylan did the same thing. So did Joni Mitchell. The record moguls had no piece of Regina’s action. This, of course, terrifies them down to their Ralph Lauren loafers.
What’s happening here is nothing new on the Net. It takes away the middleman, the powerful person who once determined what we hear, read or watch. It’s happening with all manner of media and disrupting retail to the point of bankruptcy.
The technology is not all good. Convenience creates bad habits. We use our headphones to flee our own lives. Music that is everywhere is nowhere. To hear Regina, you must sit down, be quiet and do nothing more than invite her music into your soul — just like we did with Bob Dylan.
Regina Spektor has made it on her own music, not because she won some made-for-TV award. Is this democracy? I believe so. Give her a shot. She’s playing from her heart, for you and me.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.