Thursday, May 06, 2010

If The Demise Of The Record Industry Means More JoCo And Less EdgarBro...

....I'll Take It.

Every freaking time.

And I mean it.



What set this off, you may (or may not) be wondering....

Well, in the latest Atlantic Monthly (which I still read regularly in the dead tree version) Megan McArdle wrote a lament about the interwebz-assisted death of the coke-fueled, top-down, hype heap-driven multinational monopolistic record industry.

And then, in what was supposed to be a coup-de-grace near the end, Ms. McArdle whacked her readers over the head with the following:

".....This fragmentation has been good news for performers like Jonathan Coulton, who makes a decent living selling quirky songs and related merchandise on his Web site. But the broader music industry, like other entertainment fields, has always worked on a tournament model: a lot of starving artists hoping to be among the few who make it big. What happens to the supply of willing musicians when the prize is an endless slog through medium-size concerts at $25 a head?...."

To which I can only say....

Throw in the likes of Molly Lewis and Paul and Storm (as seen above), and I'll double that $25 to help ensure that Edgar Bronfman et al. can stick their crap where the sun don't shine.





Your driver said...

Danny Barnes, my favorite banjo player, wrote a brilliant piece on how to make a living in the new music business. He's not a rockstar. He doesn't want to be, but he seems to enjoy his life immensely. He plays whatever he wants with very little concern for the whims of higher ups in the business and he makes a middle class living at it.
I think that even if the internet hadn't happened the days of a few men in New York and LA having complete power over worldwide popular music would still be ending. It is possible to do studio quality recording with a few hundred dollars worth of equipment and to reproduce one's recordings on demand for a few dollars more. That's as true in Senegal or Bangladesh as it is in New York or LA. With the addition of the internet it is possible to build a fan base and distribute music with almost no capital.
That also means that musicians can make international careers playing music that would otherwise be called marginal or experimental or underground.
As far as I'm concerned these are the glory days of music. The record industry can rot.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Some things which remind me why I don't purchase music anymore and download off the internet:

- My wife was on her way to HMV one day and asked me if I wanted any CDs. Since George Harrison had just passed away, I told her to purchase his CD Cloud Nine, which I had never gotten around to buying. She was told that not only was the CD not in stock but there was no chance anymore future CDs of the recording would be manufactured.

- When CDs first were marketed, they cost $20.00 as opposed to the vinyl recordings of $9.00.

- The recording industry is out and out lazy. They started with the manufactured musical groups Like the Spice Girls and the N'Syncs about 15 years ago and have regressed with false artists from the American Idol genre. No grass roots, real talented musicians for these folks.

I maybe particular in what I like but I know what I like and I don't hear anything on the radio to spur me to support artists by paying for their music. So in a nutshell, the recording industry can blow me. Sorry for the foul language, Ross.

mr perfect

RossK said...


Great point about the ability to do studio quality work DIY....In fact, hearing Zooey Deschanel talk about all the fantastic stuff she had in her laptop, recorded in her bedroom, BEFORE she contacted and met M. Ward is a great example of that....In fact, for anybody interested, you can hear all about that great story here.

Most importantly, I very much agree that the fact that 'tournament' model is broken should not be lamented as it is by Mr. McArdle but instead it should be celebrated....


RossK said...

No need to apologize Anon-Above, after all, latenight posts are meant to be more loosey-goosey.

Here's the thing though, you no longer have to rely on the four programming hacks who run ClearChannel to get new stuff you might like....

Now....given that you and your wife like George who, in my opinion always had a soft-spot for good, well-produced DIY stuff (including 'handmade' films)....I suggest you give Pomplamoose a try.



Your driver said...

Danny Barnes on the music industry. Ross, being a smart guy you seem to have an appreciation for smart guys. Barnes is a really smart guy. Even if you have no music biz ambitions I think you'll enjoy this:

RossK said...

Fantastic Jon--


And while I have no interest in making a go of it in that business, I have a sneaking suspicion that at least one of my kids just might....


Norm Farrell said...

After watching Jeff Bridge's movie Crazy Heart last night, I'm thinking T Bone Burnett could turn me into a singer and I can't carry a tune in a bushel basket.

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? reminded we about the magic of blue grass and Crazy Heart reminds me that country music is more than a guilty pleasure.

Norm Farrell said...

Catch the fun here with Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell filming at a Toby Keith concert:

RossK said...

Fantastic stuff Norman....Thanks - I hadn't seen that one.

And Mr. Burnett is a heckuva guy himself....There is a great interview with him by Terry Gross where he talks about his relationship with his collaborator, and inspiration, on the film's score, Stephen Bruton.

You can hear it here.


Rev.Paperboy said...

McMegan is, as all readers of Tbogg know, the biggest waste of column inches this side of Jonah Goldberg. Honestly, she's proof that one can have a first class education and still be a complete moron.

The record industry is dying. The music industry, on the other hand, is entering a new era of grassroots fan-driven excellence. The millionaire rock star is dead, long live the working musician!

Norm Farrell said...

If I may be allowed an unpaid plug, guitarist Steve Dawson and Black Hen Music contribute to our music scene in interesting ways. One of their project is A Tribute to the music of The Mississippi Sheiks.

Norm Farrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.