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Ben Kyle: Hey—What if We Did a Living Room Tour?

with 5 comments

The Dog Days of DIY

07082013-tumblr_mpmcl33I561qbmgeto1_500There is no one on the other end of this telephone connection who can help set up my new smartphone. With my last several technology purchases I’ve found myself alone in the final fine-tuning that actually makes the device work. Oh—there is certainly tech support. But my questions seem to send the customer representative to their supervisor (>30 minutes on hold) for answers. Not because I’m so smart, only because I am the chief of my cobbled-together IT system and I seem to always demand awkward things of said system. This is my penance for pushing for non-standard capabilities.

But maybe do it yourself is not such a bad set of expectations.

And maybe do it yourself is the future of, well, everything.

A local artist I find myself listening to again and again—Ben Kyle of Romantica—seems to be doing this very thing. He’s taking his music into the homes of friends and strangers. Right into their living rooms. Pot-luck and BYOB. Sign up here and you’ll see Ben singing from the ottoman. Can this be literally true—have I got this right?

If so, I’m watching for other artists to do the same. Why not run a DIY art gallery (oh, wait, that’s been done for years). Why not bribe neighbors with brats and beer to come to my book reading? Why not summon an interpretive dance-off on my front lawn?

As a nation we’ve always been enamored by fame. Anyone’s definition of “making it” inevitably carries some component of fame. You’re a success when everyone knows your name. If everyone knows your name you are a success. How else to account for the seeming success of the Kardashians who are famous for being famous?

But this DIY future doesn’t look like mass audiences following influential taste-makers. At least not at first. Ben Kyle is on to something that real influencers have known for years, that building an audience is a person-by-person activity. This is the word-of-mouth model: generally slow but immensely effective.

And maybe anything worth doing is worth doing one-on-one, despite what our national psyche longs for. I’m with Mother Teresa on this one:

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.


Image credit: Francesco Romoli via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

July 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

5 Responses

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  1. Timely. Thank you!


    July 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

    • Thanks for reading!


      July 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

  2. Vinyl Aficionados are losers!

    Acoustic-unplugged-live…Anything else is a fallacy.

    I went to a Ben Kyle home show it was awesome! Can’t wait to see more musicians doing this.

    Two weeks ago I went to a “pop-up” “One night only” Art Gallery. That too was awesome and I’d be open to seeing more of it.

    And I still love my smart phone 😉

    Roger Messner

    July 8, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    • I love your aggressive either-or. I’m just happy to become acquainted with the talented Mr. Kyle. I’ll be looking for live shows. And now I like my smart phone too. As always, thanks for reading.


      July 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm

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