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Re: OT: why musicians can't eat -- and why radio is so bad
hmmmm...i do see the evils of corporate mass culture and i see a space where
people invariably react to such evils and say they dont like it, but i also
see people (both the masses and the niches) falling into very predictable
little marketable patterns which play very well off of each other which in
most cases are still run and controlled by the major labels in the end who
know what types of consumers the easiest selss are as well as the most
difficult and obscure; they got somethin for all of us it seems..
more Ironically i gues you could say I think that advertising is the future
of the music industry and that ad agencies are now perhaps the new place to
look to for the A&R like functions of what record labels used to do.
BTW, NPR had a great piece on new music a few weeks ago which chronicled
where all the new tunes are coming from and getting introduced into pop
culture...its not the labels but ad agencies.
methinks the future/now of music points strongly to musicians gettin paid for
work not in terms of cd's or mp3's but in liscensing and rights to your
material on a one shot fee to artists ...thats a different tangent (but
somewhat related tangent) than where im gonna go here but it makes the good
bad evil pure arfuments kinda off the map ( thank god ) in the context of
what it means to be a working musician not tomorrow or in the past, but right
& I too think people really don't care that choices are made for them and I
furthermore think that people have lost the ability ( or have not cultivated
that abilty) to make distinctons for themselves on their own accord to the
point where they really do enjoy the convenience of having what they know and
recogniZe as familiar at their fingertips offered to them by someone else.
I am also 1000% convinced that you can sell anything to anybody on the basis
of just a few pursistencies...bombardment, repitition and by convincing
people that to be like you is cool alongwith getting other people to repeat
the spincycle you have assigned to an act.musician/entertainer, etc., the
more you repeat it the more it resonates and the more you get others to
repeat what you have said the more u have propped up your investments.
But y'all struck a nerve here which has been an evolving question and
curiousity of late for everyone in AKASH where we've been asking ouselves
with different answers and different perspectives on whether or not any music
really matters anymore.
I personally still want and need good and bad music so there can be any
music, ya know?
& I dont see it as a universal validation or i dont frame the dialog in terms
of good winning over evil but more about how people are receptive to to
somethings and what an industry makes of their own awareness of peoples
perceptions which are these days less attentive to discernabilty and more
inclined toward a single identifier-group image ( and what someone is willing
to invest in to make that image "sticky" ).
i do think a certain amount of healthy skepticism contemplating the "process"
of the "business-side of music" is the best way to frame questions where the
emphasis is on how an overly mature industry with a business model which
still works and serves itself ( bear in mind, not audiences or musicians but
the industry itself like all industries tends to be self serving) very well
and how it invariably conducts itself day-day-out time and time again and
continues to dominate what gets out and to whom.
But for a musician to be heard, have a tangible value or become known above
the noise of many and to have a grip on a discernable audience, takes some
type of investment, marketing, advertising and distribution and as of late,
co-branded merchandising & extensive touring ( plus you gotta sell clothing
these days to really be big in the music industry...its sorta like have a
coke and a smile and also develop a schtick or set which makes people
invariably wanna be like you with your product placement sneakers and other
I think the ani difranco model is cool and so is aimee mann's ( i don't
really listen to either one of those artists on a regular basis and dont know
their sound that well but I am aware of their business models and how well
its working for them as labeless independents - where with not that much
airplay on mainstream radio, they are surviving ( not thriving ) but able to
generate enough recognition in the right areas to sustain themselves
but how many ani's can you have and moreover how many fripps can there be
regardless as to how good or bad they may be?
I think most musicians either avoid or detest commerce and spend so much time
considering their musical voice and chops or presence but spend very little
considering how to place all that hard work into a context which is not only
right but advantagoeus to them & their music ( aint nothin wrong with that )
but still the choices are weighted toward being derrivative as opposed to
evocative and or innovative and its an art in and of itself navigating thru
the BS which has nothing to do with music..but those who are betetr prepared
for that or have others around them who can do that for them have a definite
BUt whther the selling is done by suits and ties from corporations or thru
word of mouth by fans, the selling and promotion of musicians is essential to
where you get placed in the food chain of pay for your playin and how eager
other folks are to
pony up $$$ for your work ( people tend to do what they see other people
doing too ).
& I still have not heard the band-musician or act from any genre who was
"broken" via the web or outside the majors on the web... I could be missing
something and may have overlooked a new artist who somehow got through via
web, but my point is that the model that is in place now will certainly adapt
itself to dominate whatever newer model production-introduction of new
product as it emerges while the traditonal music industry adopts a model .
Also more and more people are not even listenting that much or looking for
new or different perspectives just as many have mentioned earlier...that
means that what already is happening in terms of the business of music/model
and the hows and what types of products are introduced stays a familiar fixed
business with pretty much the same type of envirnment we see now being the
texture of what you are gonna see and hear in the future...and that is no
& if no one is willing to guide folks to other choices well.. once again,
others have already painted a very vivid picture of what ya get.
& that Doesnt mean give up or militanly fight the power and become combative
as much as it means to become smarter in how you apporach the busines of what
you do & to consider the environment you are working within and or around
and how you can achieve your goals in an industry which is both indirectly
and directly hostile or in most cases mostly indifferent to you.
& jeesh as you look out on the musical horizon, you also have so many
musicians and so few places to play where you get to the point of backbiting
at times amongst other musicians just so you can play free and have a space
to sell your CD's/or Recordings and gain access to some sort of outlet to
build an audience-market for yourself(s).
But my final points are really pointing to the further marginalization of
music that keeps on marching forward with the subtext sorta begging another
question more so than an answer that i have not been able to findr: how much
more do you have to give away just to be heard and still not get paid in the
Perhaps a lot more and even more good evil bad pure sentiments will get
But I dont think music matters that much anymore though i do think that it
still can make a difference..if that makes any sense.
but i really dont think people are really inclined to want to pay for music
anymore and they wont pay unless you fit their profile of the audience they
are trying to advertise to en masse or unless you are someone who everyone
else wants to be like or you are already an established brand identity ( look
@ the e-bay tivket prices for madonna's drowned world tour-thousands of
dollars for a single ticket ).
"Remember To Always Kill Your Expectations"
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