Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Music, Downloads, Labels and the mess of mixing Business and Art!

Here's an exchange and link given to me on the Air America Place Daily Blog.
For all who love music, All of this is an issue . Download at your own risk! More important, Get the labels to think of music and art first! Not Units. The shortsightedness of the labels is a sad state of mediocrity.
Thread began:
Quote By: blue
South Korean Music Retailers Dying

"According to this Reuters feature, 95% of South Korean music retail businesses have failed in the last year. 'While South Korea is not alone in seeing a downturn, the drop has been greatly accentuated and particularly deep because of the country's high-speed Internet access and a youth culture that uses some of the most sophisticated gadgets available.' Is this really a problem or just a natural progression?"

http://slashdot.org/articles/04/10/11/0424...7&tid=141&tid=1
I replied:
Quote By: 12thharmonic
O.K. as someone who works in the music industry. I must add my two cents. My industry has been merged into nothingness (in Australia Sony just ate BMG..Australia has only SONY. Now I know downloads are a problem. The industry bitches and moans all the time about downloading music. The manager of one of the planet's biggest R+B bands (real playing musos, rare in pop and R+B these days) said recently the download scare is not the real problem. The problem is the music industry has released mostly CRAP for a couple of decades now. Units before Art. The record buying public has figured it out. They won't pay for crap. And a new teenager only stays a teen for so long. Then they catch on. When the industry starts to find real bands and musos, instead of manufacturing them and telling the public what they want to hear. The sales will return They are rebelling!!
Copyright law needs to be re written as well. That's a whole other can of worms..
Thanks for letting me spew on a subject of much personal angst..


Then I saw this reply:

Exactly! I barely able to find anything worth buying on record store anymore.

Music download is rebalancing distribution cost problem. As of now the recording company has become so costly that they can only release cookie cutter music. They can't afford releasing cutting edge music.


incidentally you gonna like this article.
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html

A couple last thoughts.
I still feel the concept of affordability of cutting edge music is a farce. Once again it comes down to control. Less companies equate less product, no matter how big the big guy is..
The Long Tail refered to in this Wired article is where the industry should be looking. I have one more concept for the industry to try...Go see a band in a club. Pay your five bucks and take a chance. I bet the bands will even put you on the guest list if you contact them and say you are curious to see what they do. Listen through a bad P.A. and open yourself to the vibe. Real connections with real people..
Then you can worry about production. The musos will do most of the work, like writing and arranging for you. No need to hire someone to do it. I bet it will be better too.
I remember when a Producer was someone who helped the band see the vision of the music, move it forward, and be a wall to bounce ideas off, or to steer the band in the direction they want to go. Now it is something different. Now they just make product! Sorry not art.
How many labels has David Geffen Had? Too many to count. Once they get to big he sells it. Why. David stops going to see bands. The whole reason any of us do this.. The Music, The Music, The Music!
Can we Clone David Geffen? More needed.

As for the public. You too should take the risk, Shut off the P.C. and get some mates. Go see some unknown band in some club. Pay the five bucks, have a drink or two, Buy a demo. You have no idea how much it helps a band to push on when they sold a couple demos at last nights gig. They know someone will listen later and perhaps tell a mate. Play it in the car. You the average music lover can help. The drummer might even eat that night. (Drummer of 20 years. I can make drummer joke. Q. When do you know the drum riser is level? A. When the drool comes out even on both sides....)
(For balance..Q. What do you call a guitarist without a girlfriend? A. Homeless...)
I'll wrap up this rant...
Pass on a couple 99cent downloads and go see a band!
An Angry Audio Engineer
Wishing we had more silly rock bands!!!!!!



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