There are any number of ways one can relate this book to contemporary life or issues. One that stands out is the conflict between staying true to one's self or one's art in the face of opportunities to make money or to "sell out." Some of the bands involved in the story make different decisions and the book offers a possible example of what can happen in the case of each decision.
Another interesting situation in the book could be the way that Sylvia had chosen to be married to a man who could provide her with a comfortable life, perhaps choosing that over her real love interest with Aldrick. This is obviously still an issue that comes up in many people's lives and could be compared to contemporary situations.