Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Werner Herzog, LA, and structural employment in hot jazz

The director had an interesting interview on KCRW's none-too-imaginatively named show on the business of Hollywood. The part that particularly caught ear occurred about nineteen minutes in:
"We [Herzog and his wife] have to move into the city with the most substance in the United States, cultural substance."
"And that wasn't New York..."
"New York is more on the receiving end, it's more on the consuming end. ... Los Angeles, this is a place where things get done."
This jibes with something I've noticed since moving to LA and falling in (through no fault of my own) with the hot jazz scene in town. There are some extraordinary musicians around here, the kind who develop international followings and get glowing notices in the New York Times.

LA has a wealth of musical talent, but if those musicians want any wealth for themselves they have to head east. Because, though you might argue that the West Coast has the best musicians, the East Coast unquestionably has the best fans, at least when it comes to ponying up. In NYC these musician actually make good money; in LA you can often find them working for kind words and Pez.

If you're looking for creative energy, I'm with Herzog -- you can't do better than LA. If you're looking for a market for all that creativity, you might want to try the other coast.

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