Tag Archives: Twitter

Van Halen Versus Billie Eilish: Who Wins?

So today I saw Van Halen trending on Twitter. My first thoughts drifted to the recent disclosure that guitarist Edward Van Halen has been receiving treatment for throat cancer. Did something serious happen to the second greatest guitarist ever? Has the brilliant creator of numerous classic guitar riffs taken a turn for the worst?

Nope!

All the chatter centered around a single, simple confession. It seems the latest pop sensation doesn’t know who or what Van Halen is. But that’s to be expected, right? I mean, Billie Eilish, the pop singer in question here, is just 17 years old. She was born in 2001. Van Halen hasn’t released a successful album since 1995’s Balance, which sold 3 million copies (physical copies, no downloads back then) in the United States, and another couple million across the rest of the world.

Okay, I sort of get why some older people might be a little miffed that this kid doesn’t know who the once mighty Van Halen is or were. This is a band that has sold over 80 million albums worldwide. They’ve had two albums pass the ten million (Diamond) sales mark in the United States alone. They’ve been at it for 40-odd years. Their tours are legendary. They’ve more than paid their dues. But do these same angry Van Halen fans know who Billie Eilish is? Most have admitted they don’t.

As stated above, Miss Eilish is just 17 years old (though she’ll be 18 this month). She wasn’t even born when the VH machine made legit music and world-conquering tours. That’s excuse enough right there. Yes, she’s a singer and musician. She ought to know more of the history of who and what came before her. But that is not mandatory. It doesn’t disqualify her from being legit herself because she can’t pass a pop-culture trivia quiz.

Billie Eilish is making some seriously good music. She is touring the world in support of her first album. She’s also released an EP. I own every Van Halen album (including the Sammy Hagar stuff).

I also own both Eilish releases.

I am a music fan.

Period.

I cannot wrap my head around the animosity going back and forth on Twitter. Both sides dissing each other. One side accused of being old and out of touch, the other side dismissed as young and ignorant. I couldn’t ever imagine myself dumping on a band like Bill Haley and the Comets simply because they had their success long before I was born. I like the music. I own some of The Comets CD’s. In fact, my collection of nearly a thousand CD’s (and countless downloads) contains music that traverses a wide spectrum. I have music from Django Reinhardt, a French jazz guitarist popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I also have many 1940’s Big Band swing jazz albums. Billie Holiday—the original Billie? I possess lots of her music. I own many titles from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Led Zeppelin, Miles Davis, Grace VanderWaal, Pink, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Tupac, Eminem, and, of course, the aforementioned Van Halen and Billie Eilish.

It’s a collection befitting any true music fan. In my younger days, if it wasn’t metal, it sucked. Then I grew up and my love of music matured. Good musicians always look toward the future with an eye on the past. There aren’t many successful musicians who rise to the top by not knowing the past. But here’s the cool thing: the past is so vast and filled with tons of great music and musicians just waiting to be mined by a new generation. And by that same token, the world today is filled with some incredible new music and talented young musicians. Why would anybody choose to dismiss a band or singer based on age? Music unites, ignorance divides!

For those who may not be familiar with Billie Eilish, have a serious listen:

Are you too young to recall Van Halen’s glory days? Let this seep into your mind:

 

Twitter As A Marketing Tool

Marketing in this modern world of indie publishing has afforded authors a wide array of options. Among these choices are blogs, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. I personally prefer Twitter. Twitter allows for quick messages and immediate feedback. With generous retweets, the audience potential is virtually unlimited.

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On Twitter, I’m known as @voiceofindie (though I’ve recently added @BeemWeeks). Those who follow me know this account isn’t just a self-promoting entity. I promote the work of others more so than my own. Writers, bloggers, musicians, artists, and photographers often benefit from shout-outs and retweets. But I don’t do this expecting retweets of my own stuff. I do this for one simple reason: A stronger indie movement is good for everyone treading this platform.

When we indie writers, musicians, and artists work together, we strengthen an up-and-coming industry. This tells the mainstream: Hey, we can do this without you. It lets the world know we exist, that our work is of the highest quality, and we’re only gaining in power.

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I’ve discovered many new and talented writers through this process. I’ve also been turned on to great music from some seriously amazing musicians. Bands like Argentinian rockers Amoenus and Nashville-based The Bloody Nerve are reaching the world with music that, in most cases, sounds far superior to the auto-tuned nonsense seeping from the major labels these days.

@voiceofindie is growing each day. The only drawback is that I may not be able to get to every retweet every day. There are just so many wonderful participants involved in my little experiment. And that’s exactly what it is: an experiment. I set out to see if creative sorts from across the world would come together in the twitterverse to share what they’re reading or writing or listening to or recording. And it’s working. So why not join in and support indie! Tweet for tweet is the cheapest way to spread the word.