The Shift

05/27/2010 03:08 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: We're in the midst of a significant cultural shift.

There have been many trends and events in the past decade that have been very reflective of the current collective consciousness and have inspired a personal sense of urgency -- 9/11, the collapse of the music industry, Obama getting elected, the worst economic recession since the great depression, the abundance of cause marketing efforts from major corporations, wars that never end, the ability to respond immediately to a catastrophic natural disaster, moving away from oil, the recent US health care bill getting passed ... all signs of the times and the intense polarity we're experiencing -- one side of the spectrum pushing to evolve and the other helping to make Mike Judge's Idiocracy seem like a not so distant reality.

So, is this really news? Have you not been experiencing vivid signs of this so called 'shift' for years now? What do you attribute it to? Out of all the revolutions throughout history, to me this time is unique in that it's spawning from the slow realization that the human race is inevitably fucked if we don't drastically change our ways. No other era had technology at a level that allowed the whole world to be interconnected, forcing transparency and enabling rapid communication like that of today.

I asked around 40 artists whether or not they sensed this underlying shift taking place in culture, if they feel we are living in a transitional time where perhaps all these game-changing events are coming to a head and will amount to real change, for better or worse. Fortunately for my own personal sanity most were able to grasp the concept and explain what they perceive it to be or where it's leading. My question then is if we at least know the direction of where we're going and are aware there's no going back, then why are we still holding on to the past, and how quickly can we become who we now are?

Below are a few artists whose answers I've chosen to feature. For a full list, please scroll to the bottom.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead:



Jon Foreman of Switchfoot:



Neon Indian:

Imaad Wasif:

Other responses:
Alberta Cross
Alejandro Escovedo
Alela Diane
Band of Skulls
Ben Sollee
Bobby Long
The Bravery
David Crowder
Dr. Dog
Ebony Bones
Fitz & The Tantrums
Heartless Bastards
Lake Trout
Los Amigos Invisibles
Low Anthem
Marie Digby
The Mynabirds
Rachel Goodrich
Reckless Kelly
The Rescues
Solid Gold
State Radio
Surfer Blood
Tegan and Sara
Walter Schreifels
We Were Promised Jetpacks

Other Musician Q&A:
What Does The Word Peace Mean To You?