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Are sessions socialism?

Les in Chorlton 12 Mar 05 - 12:26 PM
woodsie 12 Mar 05 - 01:00 PM
MudGuard 12 Mar 05 - 01:10 PM
Piers 12 Mar 05 - 01:36 PM
Les in Chorlton 12 Mar 05 - 01:46 PM
RobbieWilson 12 Mar 05 - 02:02 PM
MudGuard 12 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM
RobbieWilson 12 Mar 05 - 07:44 PM
Piers 12 Mar 05 - 07:46 PM
Bernard 12 Mar 05 - 08:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 Mar 05 - 03:01 AM
Piers 13 Mar 05 - 06:33 AM
s&r 13 Mar 05 - 07:36 AM
Charley Noble 13 Mar 05 - 10:27 AM
Bloke in the Corner 13 Mar 05 - 11:00 AM
Les in Chorlton 13 Mar 05 - 12:43 PM
Willie-O 13 Mar 05 - 12:51 PM
Les in Chorlton 13 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM
John MacKenzie 13 Mar 05 - 03:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Mar 05 - 03:50 PM
Les in Chorlton 04 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,petr 04 Apr 05 - 08:08 PM
Manitas_at_home 05 Apr 05 - 01:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Apr 05 - 03:24 AM
Piers 05 Apr 05 - 04:22 PM
Once Famous 05 Apr 05 - 04:30 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM
Once Famous 06 Apr 05 - 03:28 PM
Piers 06 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 07 Apr 05 - 08:36 AM
Willie-O 07 Apr 05 - 09:13 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Apr 05 - 03:33 PM
Les in Chorlton 07 Apr 05 - 03:46 PM
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Subject: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 12:26 PM

Lots of people cooperating to produce something than benefits all. Is the session the last vestage of socialism that actually works?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: woodsie
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 01:00 PM

It is if Jim R turns up


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: MudGuard
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 01:10 PM

Sessions are socialising.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Piers
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 01:36 PM

Only if they take place on common land.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 01:46 PM

Perhaps are more Marxian analysis would see them as primitive communism?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 02:02 PM

Common Ground is more important than common land


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: MudGuard
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM

But common sense is even more important ;-)


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 07:44 PM

common sense? What's that?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Piers
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 07:46 PM

If we were to use Marxian analysis then we would start with the social relations of the participants to the means of production.

We are producing music in pubs, our means of production are our instruments and, less directly, the chairs we sit on, the building that allows us to perform the session etc.

In the productive process of the tunes or songs, labour is freely given and its product is socially/communally owned (i.e. not owned by anyone).

Our labour utilises energy in the production of the tunes/songs and so for production to continue energy must be put back into the session. In the immediate, this is achieved through pints of real ale, pork scratchings and dry roasted peanuts from the bar and, in the longer term, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, somewhere to sleep etc.

At the bar, the barman says 'this pub belongs to JD Weathervain, it does not hand out beer for free, only in exchange'. Our pleas that we have been entertaining the entire pub, perfoming a useful function and making the world a better place go unheeded, if we want a pint we must give something in exchange. If we try to pour our own pint we would be met with violence either from the bar staff or the state on their behalf. We have to leave the pub to find something to exchange for beer.

Outside the pub any attempts to obtain something to exchange for our much needed pints directly are met with a similar reaction to attempts to pour them ourselves, as are attempts to produce something for exchange ourselves - we find the breweries, pig farms, chair factories etc. (means of production) belong to JD Weathervain or someone like him. But JD Weathervain says 'I'll take your labour in exchange for something that you can exchange for your, now very much needed, pints etc.

Then we find that in order to get enough to exchange for our pints, breakfast, lunch and dinner, somewhere to sleep etc., we have to work eight-hours a day, five-days a week. That time is spent producing commodities (goods and services to exchange) e.g. making JD Weathervain's beer, pork scratchings or chairs. After that we can go back to the session in the pub and have our, now desperately needed, beer and pork scratchings*.

What I am trying to say is that whilst there are elements of freely given labour and socially owned produce, such as sessions, these operate within the system of minority ownership of the means of production. Before we can go to a session we must eat, sleep, be clothed etc., and we can only have access to food, shelter, clothes etc. (the means of life) on the proceeds of selling our labour to the minority that possess the means of production which they use to accumulate further wealth, that is as capital. Elements of socialised production can occur within capitalism.

Some Marxists would probably class sessions as domestic labour. That is labour used to reproduce labour.

*At this session there are twenty players, nineteen of them are discussing what kind of week they've had - brewing, making chairs, scratching pork etc. - then someone asks the well dressed guy with the expensive fiddle who's keeping quiet: 'hey JD Weathervain, what was it you do again?'. He replies, looking slightly sheepish, 'I own a brewery'. 'You own a brewery?' asks his questioner, 'but what have you got to exchange for beer and pork scratchings?'. 'I've got what your labour produces' says JD Weathervain. 'But you paid us for that' says the questioner. 'Yes, but not as much as I got for it' says JD Weathervain. 'So you live off our work?' asks the questioner. 'I wouldn't quite put it in those terms' says JD Weathervain. 'Why don't you give us more for our labour?' asks another questioner 'then we'd have more time for sessions'. JD Weathervain continued 'Well, naturally, I'd like to, but I have such expensive tastes and you've no idea how much it costs to . . . '.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Bernard
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 08:20 PM

Erm... an anagram of 'sessions' is 'S S noises'...


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 03:01 AM

So, is that no a yes?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Piers
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 06:33 AM

I think that no is a no, in simple terms.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: s&r
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:36 AM

Reading various threads in the 'cat, it seems that sessions fall somewhere between anarchy and dictatorship...

Stu


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 10:27 AM

Piers-

A nice analysis.

I raise a glass of old Port Royal to you, Sir!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Bloke in the Corner
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 11:00 AM

good sessions are anarchy, rotten sessions are purgatory!


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 12:43 PM

I am still puzzled about how 10 people trying to play more or less the same thing at the same time can be either anarchy or dictatorship and I have yet to visit that particular part of purgatory. Surley a large measure of cooperation is the basic strategy?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Willie-O
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 12:51 PM

Last year at St Patricks Day I ran into JD Weathervain in a little Irish pub. Except he was semi-retired. In the guise of an old beatnik (there are no young beatniks of course) named Harvey, who happens to have practically owned the music business in Ottawa for forty years or so. He owned the legendary Le Hibou coffeehouse from the late 50's through early 70's, owned a chain of record stores which have long since disappeared, and a concert-booking business which brought major rock acts to this city. Then in the late 70's he started an initially progressive FM rock station, which has been a very formatted classic rock station for about ten years, and he sold it to a large media conglomerate a few years back.

So, in short, he went from being a folk music impresario to a retailer, rock music businessman, then media mogul and finally "retro sellout". I've met him several times, some when I was a cab driver, and also because he is a friend of a friend of mine. I'm inclined to cut him some slack for some reason, probably because he is a rather pleasant person with no top hat or pretensions. The only thing I really hold against him (I don't know the inside story) is that in the mid-90's he fired his old friend Brian Murphy, who as a guy that had worked with him as a DJ and concert emcee since the 60's (maybe 50's for all I know), who was the heart and soul of the radio station with his great knowledge for 60's/70's rock and blues which made his Sunday radio show a must-listen. Guess Brian didn't fit the demographic anymore.

Anyway, I was chatting with Harvey, who has been so involved with the music scene without ever being any kind of a performer, and he told me he's taken up Irish whistle in his old age!

Haven't seen him at a session yet, but I don't go to many.

The pub we were in, by the way, provides one free pint per player (scrupulously monitored) on session night. Which is what might be called a minimum standard for civilized behaviour. One thing in common with Piers' scenario is that you can't negotiate free beer with the bartender, you have to go to the owner.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 01:38 PM

A very telling tale Willie O.

Didn't somebody say you cannot build socialism in a sea of capitalism?

I'm the man, the very fat man, that waters the worker's beer!

But they do so cooperate in them sessions don't they?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 03:07 PM

Well there's more socialism involved than there is in the present Labour Party; party of the working man!! Phtoooey.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 03:50 PM

Reminds me a little of that speech in Amadeus where Wolfie explains excitedly his idea of having sixteen voices all with a separate personality singing the same theme in The Marriage of Figaro.

I guess if it makes you feel like a socialist.....cool. However keep up the BUPA payments - all this striving towards the revolution, it can't be good for you at our age.

allth ebest

big Al Whittle


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM

I was going to revive this thread but I sense an unease amoungs the music cooperators. Like they have been caught doing somthing a bit naughty.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 04 Apr 05 - 08:08 PM

its important to get something from the pub in exchange for providing the music. in our session, We get halfprice beer, and the host musician (a blind fiddle player) gets 75$ for hosting the session.
petr.
on the other hand the bone players, bodran etc. get the same deal


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 01:50 AM

To each according to their needs!


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 03:24 AM

Are you suggesting the c -word comrade?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Piers
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:22 PM

Careful now!


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Once Famous
Date: 05 Apr 05 - 04:30 PM

Sessions in China and Cuba are socialist.

If you want them to be socialist to serve your Commie needs, Piers, that's your deal.

In the U.S., jam sessions are wonderfully capitalistic, especially amongst bluegrassers.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:09 PM

How capitalist then Martin?


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Once Famous
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 03:28 PM

with abundance, of course.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Piers
Date: 06 Apr 05 - 04:36 PM

Martin, you must mean all the instruments are owned by one or two players in the session and they only let you have a go if you play the tunes they want you to, and they charge all those listening, including players, for the privilege - sounds rubbish.

Give me the voluntary coming together of musicians and the co-operative production of tunes any day. Maybe someone gives the nod, maybe some leads more tunes than others, but it's not coercion, like the conductor of an orchestra. Yes, we have our differences (e.g. bodhran players who can't keep time) but we mostly sort them out amongst ourselves. People do this across the world as well as their jobs. IMHO, it's one-in-the-eye for those who say that humans are by nature selfish, greedy and competitive and those who say that some are born to lead and some born to follow.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 08:36 AM

Do Americans really still use the word "commie"? I thought it went out with Joe Macarthy and Nixon.(BTW I don't include Martin Gibson in this. He's obviously not real)


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Willie-O
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 09:13 AM

Canadian sessions are the product of a mixed economy.

Which used to work pretty well, only we didn't realize it at the time.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 03:33 PM

Is the session the last vestage of socialism that actually works?

Naah - first shoots more like.


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Subject: RE: Are sessions socialism?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 07 Apr 05 - 03:46 PM

Good call McGrath

I guess we have a way to go?


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