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B4 The Music Dies


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I watched a documentary last night my other guitarist loaned me that I highly recommend buying or watching. Actually I don't know if it is even out yet. His brother in law interviewed the director and he gave him a copy.


It is very interesting to any musician really. It discusses the state of the industry and things that have changed, why they have changed. There are pertanent interviews with Eric Clapton, Les Paul, Erica Badu, Doyle Bramhall II.


Its pretty sad to hear about it really. People like Clapton and Les Paul are pretty sad about it. He said there are only a handful of artists like Doyle Bramhall for instance, in the world, and largely they will remain unknown.


They go into elements of society that create a certain 'instant gratification fix'. They discuss it on Wall Street about how thats how investors are now. Nobody wants to wait for any long term pay off.


They say now people who sign artists are just businessman, they aren't musicians like they used to be.


One example was funny. They took this guy who wrote Jewel's biggest hit. He said he woke up one morning and played it and was like, "god this song sux, you can have it" and it became a huge hit. And then on the spot he comes up with another dumb song and then they hire a producer and some hot chick who can't sing to do it in the studio. It sounds totally pro when they get done with it, and then they shoot a video. And it is that dumb song that guy wrote as a joke on camera!!


Pretty amazing, and sad


My good friend is a film scorer. He sent me a link to a thing he recorded recently. You wouldn't know it wasn't really a guitar but a sample on keyboard. At least I didn't.

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Ummm....is the documentary called "B4 the Music Dies?"


EDIT: Nevermind. I found the website - beforethemusicdies.com


OT: Are they still showing movies at the Royal Oak Music Theater or is it strictly a concert venue now? I saw some great shows there when I was a kid: The Romantics in concert, a Beatles documentary and a Three Stooges festival (all "Curlys") come to mind.

Mudcat's music on Soundclick


"Work hard. Rock hard. Eat hard. Sleep hard. Grow big. Wear glasses if you need 'em."-The Webb Wilder Credo-

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This is nothing new. Corporate music has been growing and growing for years. It drives the business and owns the business. Look at FM radio. Once the FCC removed the number of media outlets one company could control, it was all over.


Sat radio has helped a bit but that is still corporate music.


But for all the control they can and do exert on the masses, be thankful the Internet exploded. It has given way to a new era of spreading music that would never be heard. I do see the powers trying to stifle the music on the Internet because they can't make their $ millions off it.


I haven't seen the documentary yet but I do know what friends in the business have been telling me for over 15 years. Pretty much what I saw on that trailer, Bill Payne of Little Feat saw this years ago and Little Feat started their own label and an Internet Grassroots attack. It has worked well for them. They are in control of their own music and money and even without the "major" record deals, as happy as they have ever been. They show it every time they play.


There is a growing number of musicians following this trend and starting to control all aspects of their careers. I will say it is pretty hard for a young bunch of bands with tons of talent but little business sense but it is the way to go if you want to get your music out there.


Major labels will have nothing to do with you unless they see a 1st album going platinum. The days of 100,000 records sold on a major label are over. Using the dreaded "r" word, rappers come and go so fast just for this reason.


The music won't die if the musicians don't let it.


As one artist said in the trailer, "teach your children well."



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Good topic.


In the middle 70's, a friend's brother was a DJ/FM programmer at a local FM station in Montgomery, AL.


He had the graveyard shift one night and so we went up to the studio after a night of partying.

Man, he had EVERY good album known to mankind! :)

YES...ALBUM. :grin:


We went through those albums and were putting some fantastic music on!


Could you imagine that going on nowdays?



"Just play!"
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The corporate music biz is tough and disheartening. Yes, as long as some girl who can kinda carry a tune is willing to go out and shake her titties while she does it some fool will buy it.


Many talented people are denied the chance to get their music heard in such a system. But as long as the creative impulse exists within people music will be made, and heard. I was just on a mandolin forum where they were talking about busking. I recommend it! For those (bands, whoever) who find that impracticable, take a page from Ani DiFranco and others and build your own recording, marketing and distribution structures from the ground up. It's never been easier.



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Many talented people are denied the chance to get their music heard in such a system. But as long as the creative impulse exists within people music will be made, and heard.


Exactly. There's no law that prevents you from grabbing a guitar and writing songs and with the Internet, you still have a chance of finding an audience, evil corporations notwithstanding. It's a yukky old world, but these days, bands can have a lot more control over their careers than they used to.

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A popular theme. The us be clear though... anyone selling anything is a businessmam. You want to qualify what he is selling or somehow apply a label to it that makes it more palatable to you, or you just want to elevate it because you happen to like it, you can call it 'art' if you choose to do so. But he is selling to make money. Art is art. Money is money. Sometimes the two cross, but it is incidental. Good music is good music, no matter how many people buy it.


The sad thing that I see is that somehow guys who want to make a living with their particular proclivity bemoan that people who are skilled in that proclivity can't make a living... why won't people buy what they are selling? Sorry guy, I don't need sealing wax, or 8 inch floppys, or 8 track carts. It does not matter if you make the best 8 track carts in the world, I just ain't buying. And the broader public is not buying the comodity that we call 'good' music. Guess what? If you asked the established musicians in 1949-1960 about what had happened to 'good'music, the answers would have been much the same, and they woud all be complaining about how the industry was following the ability of any pretty boy with a pompador to make little girls scream.


The music business exists to make money. Fortunately, music is independent of business, and we can make all the great music that we have time to make.





"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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