Every day, we read about what’s wrong with the music industry- how the majors are finished,  illegal downloads are killing everything, streaming versus downloads, to be Free or not to be Free.

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Bloggers who have been in the music game for too long name drop about what “Irving” and “Michael” and “Lyor” are doing “right” and- oh- how the majors are finished, how “smart” Live Nation is,  how Radio is back, radio is not back, again, how the majors are finished, EMI is finished, Warners is finished, Obama is getting involved in sorting out the music industry, again, the majors are finished, Guy Hands is back, there are no gigs, FREE is good, FREE is bad, “physical product” is finished etc etc…

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Very infrequently does anyone have any real solutions. It’s all one whinge-fest. If there was a sound to all these words, it would be that of a litter of kittens meowing for their mummy.

Yes, if there was one “solution”, it  seems to be is whine and carry “The End Is Not Nigh, The End Is Here” signs and wait for the sky to fall on you. Or cyberspace to crash and envelope us like Steve Martin’s one-time fear of the “fartzone” busting open and stifling us to death with flatulence.

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Then many there are those who make frequent pilgrimages to music conferences and sit there and listen to people many know to either be wankers or paid speakers pontificate about the “the future of digital”, the “future of China as a music market” and how things are “getting better” though no one knows where and how and if this is only wishful thinking.

Here’s maybe how to put a spin on the thinking: If there is so much bad music being marketed and promoted- my thoughts immediately think of “Friday” by Rebecca Black- why can’ the same not be done for “good music”?

Have we become too lazy, or creative eunuchs? Are we incapable of creative marketing despite all this talk about “new delivery systems” and “viral marketing”?

Is “bad” the “new good” and, if so, can we not remind/educate people as to what is what?

After all, even the Sixties had its versions of “Rebecca Black” with acts like Millie Small, Twinkle and Napolean Bonaparte.

“I’m Henry The Eighth, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits wasn’t exactly great “art. Neither was Dylan singing “Everybody must get stoned” on “Rainy Day Women  #12 and 35.”

Crap has always floated to the top. It’s just that these days- and because of all these new delivery systems- it seems to be happening more regularly.

But “new delivery systems” are just that- nothing more and nothing less- and it doesn’t mean that the human side of things is not involved, or takes a back-seat role and technology does “their thing”.

The human side is more involved than ever before and love ‘em or despise them, Ark Music Factory found some 13-year-old, charged her star-struck mother $2000 to write and produce “Friday” for her daughter and for which they own the publishing and a will make millions outta a crappy little song.

They might never have another hit and Rebecca Black might join the One Hit Wonder junkyard pile, but the “damage” has done and more bad music has been able to create worldwide music industry news. And you wonder why so many people outside of the music industry think all music is crap and how, these days, saying one is with a music company brings about a look on faces that seems to say, “You poor thing. When are you getting a real job?”

Was this Marketing of Rebecca Black a scam on the part of Arc Music Factory? Well, if it is, it’s just a big a scam as Simon Cowell “creating” artists who should never have been as big as they became. They were MADE into “stars” and “YouTube sensations.” Buying “views” is easy- and cheap. And Cowell, apparently, saying that he is a fan of Miss Black does not augur well.  Also, do videos like this one do more harm than good? Just asking.

As for Arc Music Factory, they are laughing all the way to the bank and every major and minor label- and music production house- must be, deep down, kicking themselves for having produced this hit and probably having a hefty slice of management.    

Think about it: No one twisted anyone’s arm to talk about this song. No one forced anyone to record it- and all of us who sent the Youtube link of it to all our mates to laugh at just how horrible the song is along with all the parodies of it have only succeeded in creating a mega-hit and has chalked up one more for “The Bad” side of music.

Hell, the girl was even on “The Late Show With Jay Leno”. She laughed, she giggled, she was on prime-time television and when asked to ‘sing” her hit, the track started off before she did. Did and does anyone care? Not really. We just accept “stuff” like this as a given and turn the other cheek, hear more crap and then pass it on, become part of the marketing of crap- and we then moan and whine.

So, does music have to be shockingly bad before we share it with people? Can’t we not share just as much good music with each other? Or would this be considered “boring”?

Would, for example, having millions send each other the music of someone like Adele be a “bad thing”?

What if we were to start a Good Music Week and go into overdrive and tweet and Facebook and YouTube every artist out there who we all know to be good and some who many of us might not even have heard of?

We hear about Artists and Repertoire people, but some of the BEST a&r people are bona fide music fans.

I know a few people who send me new music and they are WAY head of the curve of many highly-paid Artist and Repertoire people in music companies who usually hear “new” talent way after music fans have and then become known for “discovering” these same artists. Huh?

The ear for music by fans is currently being wasted- and exploited- BUT this is something very RIGHT about music today. It is just not being used as effectively as it should.

Also,think about this: How did someone as irrelevant as Perez Hilton become an authority on music? You know how? ‘cos he said so and, like lemmings, many agreed. Perhaps the man has run his course and needs to be ignored. Totally.

Watching the video below is a bully boy in trouble and furiously back-peddling. The website never changed and this interview was plain damage control.

The key now is to have the antithesis of a Perez Hilton, the boring Bob “The majors are finished” Lefsetz and others who try to impress with their knowledge of “the music industry”.

What “music industry”? There IS none because it has evolved into something completely different, but no one has figured out what to call it.

Once someone gives “it” a name, perhaps, we can start all over again with a new slate and new BUSINESS and CREATIVE strategy in place ‘cos right now there is just too much bullshit floating about and many trying to “save” music- for a price.

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Saving music has become a business- ironically, probably the only real business around in the name of “music”.  

Last week, Drake was named Songwriter Of The Year by some organization. Drake- the Rapper? Songwriter of the Year? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Again, it’s a lowering of standards and de-valuing creativity and talent.

I listened to the track below by Drake and his mates and thought, Is it really THAT different to “Friday” by Rebecca Black? There just seems to be a cacophony of swearing and the ‘n’ word.

We listen to “music” on tinny- and tiny- speakers- but they are not Bose speakers- and headphones and have very little idea what good music even sounds like anymore. Why record in a studio? But we must as we need to bring good SOUND back and make those who don’t know it, or hear it, at least, RESPECT it.

A good SOUND is part and parcel of the greatest music ever produced- everyone from Maria Callas to Sinatra to the Beatles to Motown, Led Zep and Pink Floyd and the great Les Paul and Mary Ford. 

We listen to a track and seldom listen to the bass playing or the drummer as they have been replaced by loops and samples. Bring back “real” musicians.

They are out there and with many, sadly, trying to “fit in” by learning how to “make music” with computers. Go back and listen to James Jamerson, or Miles, or Wynton or the Duke Ellington Orchestra and REAL horns.

What’s right about this so-called “music industry” isn’t the pat music company mantra of how there is today, “More music than ever before, when you want it and how you want it”. That’s just clutter.

No, what is truly RIGHT about MUSIC today is that we have a CHOICE: We can choose to ignore what we don’t like and promote the music that touches us, the PEOPLE that matter, and raise the importance of FAN POWER using these SAME “new delivery channels” we talk about incessantly and yet, are used more effectively- or so it seems- to peddle crap- the one-hit wonders, the bloggers, the hype and the nasty.  

We can- and should- FILTER OUT and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what we don’t like. DON’T pass it on and unwittingly become part of some dumbass viral campaign.

We  need to spend more time with all that is RIGHT about music- and this MUST start with, well, the MUSIC- and promoting it for “The Good” side- and for the good of music and those who create it and love it with great passion.

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  1. Christy says:

    @ Hans

    Loved this one, because it’s about the fans taking control and not being beholden to industry.

    I agree — the less said about Idol — current or past is better. I have little hope that most past contestants, including those I’ve been enthused about will light the world on fire UNLESS they can write good original material. But, one cannot bicker with the beautiful and glorious Jennifer Hudson, who has transformed her image personally and professionally post-Idol. She’s graceful and stunning and real — all at the same time.

    I just saw Jonny Lang at a small venue and was gobsmacked. The guitar playing is fab, but his voice has quite a bit of finesse. He can sing the low-down blues, but can turn around and sing amazing falsetto. He’s no poser. That’s the musical part and the most important thing about the guy, but I think his career trajectory has been fascinating.

    I am a late-comer to the “Jonny train”, having previously been aware of his music but not a true follower. As a prodigy, he could have faded away, but I think it’s a true mark of his talent and integrity that he got it together (personally and professionally), has kept it together, and has continued to write some great original music with some respectable song-writing partners. He could have been a sad sixteen year old musical footnote — all the makings were there: the write-ups in the teen fan mags, the drug/alcohol abuse, early fame. So, it’s been great to watch him mature as an artist and as a person. He’s writing good stuff and continues to tour small venues — but is selling out shows at a time when, quite frankly, people don’t have the money to go out to shows. At least in my neck of the woods, there isn’t as much live music to go to these days. Even the epic names — like Jackson Browne — are playing small venues. Personally, I LOVE the small venues (a topic for another day).

    What I’m trying to say is, I think there are models that work for people. But it takes time, patience, reasonable expectations, and the desire to be a musician first, and a “personality” second.

  2. SasPepper says:

    Maybe what’s right with the music industry is that the “music industry” really doesn’t control music anymore. The old media ie. record labels, mtv, radio are no longer the only avenues to hearing new singers, new songwriters, new bands. In the old century we were limited to what was promoted on the old media but how many great bands, musical geniuses were there that we never heard who toiled away in obscurity? With the internet and social media there is so much more opportunity to discover the new talent and to follow their development and buy their music directly. We are no longer limited to what the labels are selling.
    Here’s an interesting article about the Ramones and how they were ignored by the music industry and radio:

    http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/mpatterson/2011/03/28/the-genius-of-the-ramones/#more-459496

  3. Azuka says:

    Love your blog its a hoot. I would call it rant not b*tch.

    There are many things you have posted which I would love to comment on. Loved your take on Bob Geldof’s ‘rant’ on music. Funny enough I copied and kept the Bob Geldof extract weeks ago as it said so much about what is happening now!

    Millie Small was a favourite of mine and she was fun and it was great pop when I was a young dancing teenager. She was huge! Rebecca Black does not bare any resemblance to her. Oh you have made a muck of my childhood! LOL.

    As for American Idol the less said the better.

    Love, Love my Adam but not his forums and some of the crazy fans. I believe his time will come. Rock is dead at the moment. I think he has time to reinvent the wheel if he wants to. But would America give him a chance? Its a fight to be on Radio and gain a lot of publicity. But to enter the cultural consciousness has never been an easy. He is no GaGa and I thank God he is not!!! Copycat extraordinaire and it worked for her. I intuitively believe that he will only do 3 albums with RCA. I think he has to break out of the mold and forget pop. I know its difficult for a gay artist but Adam is loved regardless. He should diversify quickly-meaning televison and movies will propel him further. I agree with you Glee would be a fine platform as to me its all about promoting music the acting is almost secondary. Finally the less said about the desparate new crop of AI10 the better. Of course someone will be successful! lol.

    Keep up the great work. Will post soon! I am from the UK by the way.

    Oh I am working on my blog. Its not music but my professional career. Will post link when ready.

    Stay cool

    Azuka

    • We-Enhance says:

      Thanks. I would call it RAM, but I made my bed in a moment of haste and now need to live with the bitch:)…Adam needs a new label. RCA/Sony have no idea what to do with him. Cheers….

  4. M says:

    Hell yeah!!

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