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It's Both The Industry's Fault and Yours..

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posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 11:08 PM
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So I posted this in response to "Feelings About The Mainstream" Thread. I felt like my response deserved it's own thread because it's pretty long and I'm kinda tired of everyone with the hate of music or the business behind it. Isn't that what makes music so special? It's an unspoken emotion and feeling translated in a series of sound waves that are manipulated by your brain. Plain and simple. A business packages up products and sells them.

The problem I have with most of these mainstream arguments is that I work for the mainstream. In both film and music. It's simply a business and YES, they carry a completely outdated business model. Artists will have their various reasons for why they do it. Some are really just in it for the art, some want to be as rich as hell and party it up. In the end, the mainstream is a product. They package it up, sell it to people. I'm not saying it's a great system, I'm not saying I fully support it. But it's been enough to be able to pay the bills, pay for gas, helps me eat and sleep. I know you're doing your own thing as an artist and that's awesome (I never want the music to die) but I guarantee you dude, because it happened to me, if you even gain an ounce of respect outside you're circle, and "make it", I guarantee you that you will be classified as a sell out or people will form a conspiracy around you about being the puppet of the Illuminati. I've been called a sell out many times. Some of these mainstream artists, I've worked with, not all of them, know how to fully write a song but they still work with people to get it on the radio. (producers or guys who write the beats, and ghost writers) It feels very unnatural to play someone else's song but the most we tell the artist is think of it like a cover song. They don't have to like it but the suits have it in their best (and greedy) interest to make simply: MONEY. So a simple pop song will do. Yet I've worked with bands that are metal bands. They've made it and are still judged. I've worked with orchestra's, which are pretty much on the classical stations. I've worked with Christian artists (that's kind of a different beast all together). I've worked in a lot of different genres and this argument is the same on every side!

Think about this. It's one thing for you to work your @ss off and promote yourself, while booking shows (touring is where it get's even trickier and more complicated), while collecting money or saving it for equipment, merch, studio session..It's a lot to put on yourself when you should really just be focusing on your music (why do you think most people think most bands first couple of albums are awesome but the rest suck? It's because most of their life, blood, and tears were put into those first 20 songs). It CAN BE DONE. Don't get me wrong but it takes A LOT OF WORK ON YOUR PART!!!! (and that's where 99.9% of bands will fail. They will never be heard outside of local shows which I'm not trying to say is a bad thing, it's just that now I kind of know why you can be pissed about the "system") So when a record company steps in, they take the responsibility of promotion. Not only can they sell your music to your country, they can also help promote it (social media, your own band website, Itunes, merch, etc) in other countries. Hell, some will actually buy you new equipment (mainly for touring purposes but still, free guitars!!!) I'm pretty sure we can all agree that yes, they do take a VERY large chunk of the cut but that's not true with a lot of smaller companies. Look at Daft Punk. They got like a 10 million dollar deal and said no because they were smart enough to (even though they got paid less) go with a company that gave them more artistic freedom. So really, not every record label, part of the mainstream is bad or corrupt.

Now I know a lot of what I said seems like I love them or "it's bigger than that" and although I'm not going to argue that there are some shady practices, the whole piracy thing is stupid, I'm telling you that I got here because I worked my ass off to get to where I am and maybe some luck. It took hours of blowing off parties, girls, and stupid teenager and adult crap that I focused on playing piano. Instead of dates, I read my mixer manuals, I didn't pay attention in college core classes I was on my computer reading about pro tools.

I hope you continue to play for you because it makes YOU happy. I have never thought I sold my soul for the mainstream devil. If anything, I got to do what I wanted to do for a living and more importantly get paid for it comfortably (bar money can only pay the rent for so long). I can literally put this stuff on a resume and get hired anywhere musically.

I really just want you to know what it's like to see it from the outside in. I completely know where you guys are coming from but it still bothers me that people are like this. It's a product for entertainment. Isn't that what we are? Entertainers? Find a way to use the system like I did. Use it for YOUR benefit.

My entire point to this rant is that if you want to excel in music and make something of yourself, you have to take it as a full time job. I gave up a lot of things in life to get to where I am (I do have some regrets) but because I was humble towards the club owners and suits, practiced my talent everyday, and I never gave up even when I was ready to musically throw in the towel I got to where I am today.




posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 11:46 PM
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Hi Absco


Good thread but i'm curious why you have one of those england rioters for your avatar? Do you support violence like that?

I certainly hope not. THANKS!!!



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by Tangled4u
 


Thanks but...

My pic has nothing to do with that. His name is Danger Mouse. He's a producer/musician and someone i look up to in this business.

Danger Mouse Wiki



posted on Aug, 23 2011 @ 11:57 PM
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reply to post by Absco
 


hat's off to you for making it. hard work and preparation is reality. the entertainment industry is probably one of the more difficult career routes to take in life. there is so much competition in entertainment regardless if it's theater/stage acting, movies, sports, music etcetera. there's so many talented people and just so many slots to be filled.

and at the end of the day, business is business. artists may wish to primarily express themselves in life but everybody has bills to pay. recording companies have their overhead to meet and if they don't turn profit they won't continue to be in business for very long.

today as hundreds of years ago those who write the checks are in charge. the long-dead classical composers had to write the music that was favored in their time to cover their expenses while pieces that were of a personal nature were penned on their own dime and time.

radio broadcast music in America has had restraints placed upon it (and the artist) from the earliest days. broadcasters revenue primarily comes from paid advertisements of the sponsors. so it's a Catch-22 for the radio station owner: they have to find middle ground between how many pieces of pre-recorded music they may play --ratio-- to how many ads they may play without listeners turning the dial. sure there are variables: broadcast range, population, demographics of audience, price per play of ads. still, this has direct impact on how long most songs are.

people in America are very used to radio played songs being within a certain play time. we've been fed that since childhood. it's rare when you'll hear a 5 or 15 minute song get airplay, with the exception of college stations or listener-supported radio that takes no money from the man.

in this respect, professional signed artists may find their hands shackled. while it may not apply to all genres - jazz comes to mind - i would imagine in a meeting where Rock Band tries to convince Label Suits of letting them release a CD where every song is for example 9 to 11 minutes length, there would be repressed laughter and fingers pointing toward the door.

where today's musicians have it really made is all this wonderful technology we have. and a butt-load of it is dirt cheap, too. OMG, the software you can purchase for your PC that will give you a world of effects or composing tools, recording ability, synthetic capabilities, i could gush on this for ten minutes. it's mind blowing, especially compared to the mega-money one needed only 30-40 years ago to accomplish less.

self-promotion is also easier than ever, thanks to the many wonderful websites on the Internet. today's musician really can put out the art of their choice and present it directly to the audience with minimum unwanted interference. true, one may not have the powerful punch of a recording label's money/exposure behind them, but IMHO if you've got what it takes someone out there may just look you up. we really are living in fantastic times.

two things i wish for:

1. the constraints placed upon music/musicians will one day change or be lifted, so that artists will be more free to express their creativity. this is important not only now, but for future generations of listeners who will hear them and be motivated by them.

2. for the American public school system to get back to funding music courses, teaching music, music reading/writing/appreciation, playing instruments, and encouraging young budding musicians to seek their own path and cut a new trail. the seeds we plant today become the mighty and strong trees of tomorrow.

be well my friend




posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by Absco
reply to post by Tangled4u
 


Thanks but...

My pic has nothing to do with that. His name is Danger Mouse. He's a producer/musician and someone i look up to in this business.

Danger Mouse Wiki


Danger Mouse is talented beyond belief, absolute dynamite. run out right now and buy Gnarls Barkley 'The Odd Couple' CD as an example. Cee-Lo is so fine, and with Danger Mouse at the wheel OMG this album is a how-to course on ear candy orgasm perfection. Bless their hearts, God bless them both Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:22 AM
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reply to post by LargeFries
 


Fries, I'm really happy you said what you said.

With what is available now technology wise and the availability of cheap and affordable equipment, bands like The Moldy Peaches, Grizzly Bear, even Mick Jagger's solo stuff wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the home studio.

I'm even more happy you touched upon the catch 22 that radio stations are in. That right there is what I've been trying tell people about. What makes things a little bit more interesting is the 3-5 minute time span. we all have been introduced to that from day one. However, there are some bands that fought very hard to be able to have a concept album or even a song that is longer than 5 minutes. Tool always comes to mind on this and Trent Reznor starting breaking the norms of what a single or hit was. Every decade had it's uprising moment in musical history and with everyone being able to freely record their band "in the basement", there is sooooooooo much music out there and it's always a shame when people think the radio is all the same. That comes back to YOUR point.

It's awesome how I entered the business riiiiigggghhhht at the end of it's normal set up. Once the internet came around, digital became the norm. A bunch of old engineers and musicians refused to buy into it. A bunch still do. I remember reading an article about Jack White and how he would record on tape but they would master it on pro tools. Hate to break it to the audiophiles but it went into a digital medium. Doesn't matter if it was converted from FLAC. That's still a digital format.That's why you will ALWAYS hear or know that one guy who swears by vinyl.

When I set up an msn group, I got more self promoting attention. Then I moved to Myspace, then newgrounds, then mp3.com, then Facebook, then soundcloud, then last.fm, it keeps going on because there are endless possibilities to this industry. It's so much easier for me to tweet a track from soundcloud now. What makes it even cooler, it's from my phone..

I'm kinda losing track of my point but I really believe that music is heading in new directions everyday, ways to promote it, and play it or present it to the listener. I also agree wholeheartedly about the music programs. I just tried to donate some instruments and money to my old high school's band and the school refused to take it for the "arts program" because they wanted to renovate the gym and football field first. Even 10 years after high school, the art kids still get crapped on.

edit on 24-8-2011 by Absco because: banana mayonaise legos



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:44 AM
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When you state, "where I am today", where exactly is that?

That part is confusing however the rest of your post makes sense not only for music but anything someone decides to do.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 



I meant that in comparison to where I was. I was living with my parents, in my car, trying to live the "starving artist" lifestyle because the music came first. It wasn't until I pulled my head out of my butt and realized that attitude was only going to get me so far. In fact, being from New Mexico with a music/ art career is IMPOSSIBLE. Don't believe me? How many bands do you know that came from here that made it? The Shins are one of the only big bands from New Mexico. They too realized how hard it was to gain any respect or even notice from a record label. They packed up, moved to Portland, and now they live comfortably, getting to play music and get paid for it.

It's like Fries said, in the end, someone needs to pay the bills. So I could have continued to live off of $30-50 a gig or move on up and move out and I got my stuff and skillset together. A lot of it is skill if you're behind the scenes like me. But then again, some of it is luck. It's hard to be at the right place at the right time when you're playing crappy clubs that don't even mix you properly or know how to. When I'm not playing music, I mix, when I'm not doing that, I make films, I get to live a care free life because I worked for it and still do.(if I'm not creating something, I don't get rent or food money, it's that simple)

So that's what I meant by that to where I am today. I'm not a rebellious 15 year old anymore who wants to fight the system with my messages. I conformed just enough to spread my message while manipulating it through the arts.

edit on 24-8-2011 by Absco because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:56 AM
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reply to post by Absco
 


So you just wrote three paragraphs to tell me you moved from New Mexico?

Gotcha.



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 12:58 AM
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reply to post by kro32
 


That wasn't my point at all. If that's how you view it, so be it. I'm not going to argue with that
edit on 24-8-2011 by Absco because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 24 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by Absco
 


2 points Ive tried to put into words..

1. Why does it seem that there are untalented hacks in music that are successful and yet some very talented people who are better can get no 'play'? if the music industry put out the best artists wouldn't it be better. ex. (niki minaj is trash, yet sells..there are at least 1,000 female hip hop performers WAAAY mre talented, better lyrics and voices)..

2. The industry has ruined itself.. copyrighting is such BS.. is it the actual CD or the music on it that we are buying?
a. if it is the cd then no downloading illegal
b. if its whats on the CD, then the music companies are liable to replace something you have already bought..example:
I buy a metallica CD (now I own the rights to play those songs forever), the purposefully designed to fail CD no longer plays. I then use a website (limewire) to download and burn a new CD of the songs I already own..how could downloading songs I already own be illegal?

It seems the music industry is like a Blacksmith who sees people are driving cars and won't be needing horseshoes anymore. And instead of becoming a tire shop, tries every pathetic thing possible to keep people from using cars..



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