Did you know, kids, that there were networked affinity groups even before the internet? I wandered down a YouTube wormhole and came across this interview with Kathy Mar, whose cassettes I bought at sf-con huxter rooms back in the 1980s, when we were all slimmer and stronger and had the endurance to carpool six hours each way for a weekend convention. I was never a filker, because I had a strong voice and no sense of pitch, so whenever I tried to harmonize innocent bystanders would meekly follow me into the briars. My gifts were for apa-hacking, a form of round-robin self-publication from which quite a few gifted political bloggers would emerge as the technology improved, people like Avedon Carol, Gary Farber, and Driftglass. Being opinionated in front of 25 or 50 or 100 of the dearest friends you’ve never met turns out to be useful training — who knew?
But I get the impression that musicians are their own affinity group, as well — people doing what they love, trying to find kindred spirits to share their enthusiasms, hoping for an appreciative audience even if making a living from it will never be more than a daydream….