Just know this: realism, in the hard-nosed, nickels-and-dimes business sense, is a way of maintaining the status quo. [...]
Everybody in the music world, I think, subscribes to the idea that music is more than just entertainment, that it is transformative, that listeners should be changed by the experience. But in the face of the encroachment of free-market and capitalist rhetoric and values into every corner of society, that sort of talk about music has been reduced to the level of platitudes. “Music can change the world!” sounds sentimental and unrealistic. But do we believe it or not? Maybe a statement like that isn’t extravagant enough. Art’s realism is no less real than capitalism’s realism, even if the respective vocabularies stand in disparate esteem. The first step toward resolving the disparity might be, literally, to talk the talk. The danger? You might get lumped in with fools. But it’s fools who know the score; and anyone who calls you unrealistic isn’t really interested in anything beyond cosmetic changes anyway.