By Hans Ebert

Someone I know recently did a survey about how much time the average person spends on what is termed “social media”. It’s a scary number. It’s not just the hours, but she “tagged” the amount of time spent THINKING and “strategising” of what to “put out there” and how they believe their content will be perceived.


This is all apparently “marketing”, but one has to think what is being “marketed” and whether all these delivery platforms were created to give us those fifteen minutes of fame which Andy Warhol predicted we’d have all those years ago. But how much difference is there between wanting something and craving it like crack cocaine?

Somewhere ego gets in the way and all hope is lost. Too many have ended up alienating themselves and getting lost amongst “exposure” and being blinded by “boosted views”. It all becomes meaningless unless knowing how to tame the beast and where the long tail doesn’t wag the running dog.


Do I enjoy having my life manipulated in this way? Not at all. But one is paid to “belong” and it’s how much business gets going today. And until someone shows me an option or I take an alternative route where we return to a social media world based on reality and real feelings expressed face to face, this is about as good as it gets. Sad, isn’t it? But there are sometimes a few nuggets amongst the clutter and the often cringeworthy self-promotion.


Musician friends explain that social media is the only way to get recognised- putting yourself out there until one almost becomes an irritant or is very quickly shown to be not worthy of being a prime time player and why there’s only some meaningless delivery platform to make you think people are really interested in everything a nobody has to say.


This is how and why and where, there’s no substitute for talent. This is how Tash Sultana, Maggie Rogers and a handful of others have succeeded where others are still stumbling in the dark, and gave many of us that newness. It’s how I fell headfirst into Larkin Poe- Rebecca and Megan Lovell, two twentysomething multi instrumentalist sisters from Atlanta.


Unlike the looper artistry and creativity of Tash Sultana and the commercial quirkiness of Maggie Rogers, Larkin Poe, who’ve been together since 2010, often upload videos of themselves performing covers. There are covers and there are karaoke covers, and what, at least for the time being, Larkin Poe has turned into a USP is covering Rock and Blues classics going back 30-40 years.

What’s appealing is that Larkin Poe- the name of their great-great grandfather- make these covers their own, something much appreciated compared to those who simply refuse to hear that they cannot write yet foist their “original” musings on an unsuspecting online world.


Oh, for social media to have some filter effect where there’s some new online version of a record reviewer like a Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh or Greil Marcus and a five star rating. Unfortunately, in today’s online world, everyone’s an expert. About everything. So much for freedom of speech and the inferior music product it continues to create and devalue music.

Sorry, but someone must have the courage of their convictions and the CV to separate the chaff from the wheat. Not everyone was created equal.


Of course what some are asking of Larkin Poe is, And now what? They’re young, they’re attractive and they’re terrific musicians. So, is this output of covers even from eras long gone part of a strategic career move to build up a fan base with, most likely, an older Rock and Blues audience before introducing their original material? And what might this original material sound like? More Blues oriented music? As an unabashed fan, I hope it can be something South that comes from left field and which the whole world embraces. Like Larkin Poe coming together with Tash Sultana and see what magic might be created.


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