Vibe Cheque: Contemplations on Class, Creativity & Power in Music
“Money is the music business’ bouncer; it’s the vibe check... So, with that I say: if you love music, like, really love that sh*t, you’ve got to hate everything, and I do mean everything, about capitalism.”
A book in four parts, Vibe Cheque connects the dots of labor, class, success, celebrity, and power in ways music laborers and listeners are conditioned not to. Weaving sociological theory, political commentary, and unpretentious confessionalism with original music reporting, cultural criticism, and personal essay, Sydney Nicole Sweeney delivers this enterprising series of interrogative writings that collectively serve as a comprehensive primer to the plight of creative laborers during an era in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
In Vibe Cheque, the author disassembles a machine that thrives on obfuscation, exploitation, and conspiracy. Sweeney tells it like it is, even when it hurts to hear it — it, as in the way power in the popular music economy is more concentrated than ever, working musicians are unprecedentedly broke, and creativity chokes at the noose of commodification. Not just framing the creative economy as a simulacrum of late capitalism in America, but also articulating the broad ramifications of exploited labor in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Sweeney explores how the sinister nature of the music industry is a threat to both artists and art. And, with conviction, she ultimately dares all of us — from music makers to music consumers — to rethink the peculiar cahoots we’ve come to accept of the creative economy.
Vibe Cheque equips its readers with the knowledge they need to get smart, build solidarity, and subvert the system. This stimulating collection doubles as a wake-up call and an explicit call to action, altogether with erudition, humor, and incisiveness — when you finish reading, you’ll be more ready than ever to rabble for the revolution.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2023906676
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📌 This 94-page softcover book has full-color covers (both inside and outside). Outside covers printed on high-quality, sandy matte 120# paper stock. Interior text printed on smooth natural white 60# paper stock. Perfect bound with premium PUR glue.
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