I was having this discussion with a girl at The 5 Spot the other night who was clearly into me.
She was saying that if you’re a musician in Nashville, you couldn’t claim to be an entrepreneur.
“Why?” I demanded.
“Because music is it’s own thing in this town,” she responded, matter-of-factly. “It’s just done a different way.”
“So if I make music, and try to sell it, thus generating my own income through a product of my own making, I’m not an entrepreneur?”
“No, you’re a musician. You’re a songwriter. You’re not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs own businesses.”
“Music is a business.”
If she was thinking, I couldn’t tell. “Yes, but it’s a different sort of thing in Nashville.
Her friend came up and joined the conversation. I asked how being a musician is not being an entrepreneur. He replied, “Entrepreneurs work all the time.”
“So do I.” Then I switched it around. “Would you consider yourself an entrepreneur?”
The friend didn’t skip a beat. “I’m both,” he said.
“Yes,” said the girl. “You should say both.”
OK, so entrepreneurialism isn’t entrepreneurialism. Music isn’t music. Everything I thought I am and I knew is obviously wrong. I thought I was on the right track, but I apparently I need to work more. Or less.
Another conversation I had yesterday at Beyond The Edge further proves the concept of no thing being what it is. “Elevator music isn’t jazz,” I said. “So people who say, ‘I don’t like jazz,’ and they’re really referring to elevator music, have no real reference and thus can’t claim to not like jazz. It’s like jazz musicians who say they hate pop music. You find jazz in pop all the time, and you find pop in jazz all the time.”
“Not really,” responded my argu-ee. “They’re two separate genres.”
“Bullshit. If you like Steely Dan, you like rock and jazz.”
“No you don’t. Nothing about Steely Dan is jazz.”
“Not true! Have you heard Alive In America?”
“Steely Dan has jazz-y elements, but they’re not jazz.”
So an odd-number measure sax soli isn’t jazz? Numerous jazz harmonies throughout so many Dan songs – not jazz? Is funk not –
“Stop saying the word ‘jazz.’ Can we stop saying that word?”
So, jazz isn’t jazz. Maybe it’s “jass.” Or maybe all categories are superficial and irrelevant. Maybe entrepreneurialism is just another word for “being cool.”
In which case, I most DEFINITELY am (not) an entrepreneur.