100 CD’s Project Update – In Which Another Artist Chimes In On The Need For Such Things

by Jason on November 4, 2009 · 9 comments

in 100 CD's Project, Marketing/Promotion

Thanks to my handy-dandy Twitter feed I was alerted to a thought-provoking response to my 100 CD’s Project today.

Fantasy artist and illustrator Matt Lichtenwalner wrote about the project over at the Industrial Jazz Group’s blog. I, in turn, wrote a ridiculously long response.

I’d be impressed if you read the whole thing, and even more impressed if you took the time to weigh in with your thoughts, either here or there…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Michael November 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Mr. Lichtenwalner’s reply seems to be an attempt to capitalize on your efforts without having to do more than shoot-off an email.

…I guess that counts too… Kudos (to you both!)

Andrew Durkin November 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Hey Jason — I just posted a comment over at the IJG blog. I don’t think Matt was critiquing you or your project at all — he was bemoaning the broader situation all artists find themselves in in this day and age.

Jill-o November 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Hi Jason! I interpreted Matt’s original as being excited about your 100 CD Project, and also as a critique on audiences in general. He and I (and our other artist friends) are always brainstorming ways to get people to put down the remote, put on their shoes, and support local art / music / theater / etc. Maybe it’s where we live (Wilmington, Delaware isn’t exactly the hotbed of artistic innovation), but our efforts are often met with apathy.

He essentially says, “Look at Jason – he is handing out his CDs for free, at his own expense! Is this what it’s come to?” I believe that yes, this is partially what it’s come to, which is what your response said. Self-supporting musicians have to find new and attention-grabbing ways to cut through the zillions of equal voices that the Internet now encourages. If we look at Twitter alone in a vacuum, your message has the same chance of being heard as someone “famous.”

And that’s pretty daunting… or exciting and energizing… depending on your perspective. It inspires me that your approach is the latter.

Keep up the fabulous work!

Cory Huff November 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Jason, I think you framed that in the wrong way. He wasn’t critiquing you or your work, he was critical of the situation that artists find themselves in.

That said, I still think that even that critique is a little out of touch with reality. Just as you said, there’s far too much going on for us to expect that the general public would just catch on to our artwork.

Thanks for sharing though.

Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
November 4, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Thanks for the comments, guys! Maybe my original response wasn’t clear, but I don’t think Matt was attacking me or the project. I know he was just airing his frustrations with the state of the world now.

But I do think the important discussion is what exactly is the job description of the modern artist? This is where I think Matt and I might differ. I fully believe that part of my job is all of the non-musical things that I do: blogging, twitter, facebook, wacky marketing ideas, etc. It’s all part of being a working artist at this time in history. And frankly, while the technology has changed, I don’t think the actual work has changed music. I’m sure Picasso, Mozart, Homer and the like all had to market their work too in some fashion. Otherwise we wouldn’t know who they are!

I’m just trying to stay on top of the technology to make sure I’m doing everything I can to get my music heard. And I don’t see that as a burden. It’s just part of the job.

Jason Crane | The Jazz Session November 4, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Hi Jason,

I think part of the misunderstanding is caused by the headline of your post: “…in which I get taken to task by another artist.” That then gets compounded in the lead paragraph of this post: “…wrote an unabashed critique of the project.” (Add Colbert’s wagging finger, and the impression is complete.)

Neither of those statements is at all accurate — in fact they are the opposite of what Matt wrote. They led me, and possibly the others who commented before me, to expect something completely different than the 100% support Matt was actually giving you in his post.

Good luck with the project.

All the best,


Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
November 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

You guys are right. My initial writing of this post gave the wrong impression of Matt’s piece. I have updated the title and content.

I’m still glad that the discussion over the artist’s role in marketing and the audiences role in searching out our work has been raised. Please feel free to add anything else you feel is relevant to the discussion.

And I WILL find a spot for that Colbert animated gif…that thing is hilarious! 😉

Jason Crane | The Jazz Session November 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Believe me, man, with the way the jazz blogosphere tends to generate controversy, I’m sure Mr. Colbert’s finger will have plenty of opportunity to wag.

Keep your head down so the Homeland Security guys don’t get you for the ferry thing.

All the best,


Dave November 21, 2009 at 9:49 pm

I blogged about your blog before I tweeted about reading your blog on my Facebook blog about my blog about listing bloggers who tweet. It’s so totally cutting edge.

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