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...this is depressing


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Sorry, I can seem to create a hyperlink...but if you go to www.salon.com and click to the arts&entertainment section there is a really interesting article about the music industry. It talks about how they've posted the biggest losses ever this year, between sales, concerts, radio advertising, etc...It's hurt all the majors and more depressingly the indies. It goes on to say how now even less new acts will be signed and invested in, which really bums me out as someone shopping their demo.

Hopefully the promise that internet distribution once had will be fufilled - maybe artists will even be reimbursed fairly! Or perhaps record companies and radio stations will stop being in cahoots and try to really break new acts as opposed to breaking in their wallets. I mean, since $ is the bottom line in all business and industry, what do you think this means for the future of music?

~nel (ubb code moron...what am I doing wrong?)



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The laundry list of underperforming 2001 releases by previously platinum-selling names includes Macy Gray, Michael Jackson, George Strait, Paul McCartney, Snoop Dogg, Jessica Simpson, Tori Amos, Sisqo, RZA, R.E.M., Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Lenny Kravitz, Prince and Mariah Carey.


Maybe people expect better...I do.


I don't know...I'm not surprised at what's happening, I also don't see it as a bad thing for me at all.


Nelz, I honestly don't think a record deal is what you want...maybe but most of them really suck.


I think what all of this is saying is musicians are going to have to do it themselves again...y'know...play a lot of shows (not necessarily huge expensive Festivals)...build a strong fanbase...sell the CDs cheap, keep the overhead down...make REAL profit.


I can name at least two bands that aren't suffering at all (String Cheese Incident, Phish), they have a fanbase inherited from The Dead but they've also worked to keep those fans satisfied and wanting more without charging them an arm and a leg for it.


The fact that people aren't willing to pay for the crap Major Labels are pushing just means they don't see that crap as valuable. People don't mind spending money on things if the value is clear. People in general seem to have figured out they can't just spend their money based on paid for HYPE...RollingStone, MTV, VH1, ClearChannel, etc are paid millions to tell you what to buy, it seems people aren't willing to trust them anymore.


Tori Amos is the one artist on the list above that seems out of place...she's great...I haven't heard her new album...if it's not different enough from her last two that might explain things a bit.

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Nelz...music ain't going anywhere. However, the relationship between money and music is changing rapidly. To be honest, I think that in five years, you'll see more artists making money with their music than you have today. You'll have less individuals, though, becoming multimillionaires while the other 99.9% of people trying to make a living with music being paupers.


The article is short-sighted in the fact that the reason behind this downturn is the inability of large media conglomerates to change their distribution models quickly enough to keep up with the technological adaptations being made by the consumers. However, they'll catch up soon enough, and more and more smaller enterpreneurs are finding themselves able to compete with the giants based on the new paradigms of music sales.


So there. It's actually good news. Stop being depressed. :)


- Jeff

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Let me qualify my statement - I want a record deal, yes. But I have not, will not, EVER send my demo to a major. No way. Gross. I would, however, love to be signed to a smaller electronic label like OM, Ubiquity, Aucourant. I don't want to deal with pressing my CD's, distributing, creating a web-site. Not to mention, it's always been my dream to have a "record deal". I'm old fashioned like that. Anyway, you are totally right in that people do and should expect more. Maybe Jeff is right and this will be the kick in the ass for the execs. It will take a long time though and I suppose that's why I am depressed. It's hard to start a revolution when you are up against such power. (Is the world controlled by Microsoft, AT&T and Time Warner yet?)


BTW, Tori Amos' new album is absolutly amazing, nothing like any of her previous. Atlantic can't pigeon hole her and she was actually dropped by the label and picked up by Epic records. I am suprised by the lack of sales.



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Gotcha Nelz.


More reasons to NOT be depressed


From Chuck Philips in today's L.A. Times...this raises an interesting kettle of fish!


A cadre of popular musicians led by Elton John, the Eagles and the Dixie Chicks is banding together to put on an extraordinary production: five benefit concerts in the Los Angeles area on one night in February.


But, instead of raising money for charity, the artists are taking the stage to finance their ongoing battle against the record industry.


The Recording Artists Coalition, a trade group with more than 100 activist entertainers, has booked the Forum in Inglewood, the Long Beach Arena, the Universal Amphitheatre and the Los Angeles Sports Arena to present separate concerts Feb. 26, the night before the music establishment's most prestigious event, the Grammy Awards telecast. A fifth venue is being scheduled. Among the artists committed to perform so far are Billy Joel, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Offspring, No Doubt, Weezer and Ozzy Osbourne. Other activist musicians are expected to sign on in the weeks ahead to perform at the five shows featuring pop, alternative, rhythm and blues, hard rock and country music.


"It's about time for artists to take control of their work and how it is presented to our fans," said Dexter Holland of Offspring.


Organizers say they are encountering few logistical obstacles in scheduling the concerts because the artists will be in Los Angeles at the expense of record companies to participate in the annual Grammy Awards show. The musicians also are hoping to take advantage of the media spotlight to promote their crusade during the industry's weeklong celebration.


Proceeds will be used to help the coalition launch a legislative assault against the Big Five music conglomerates to stop what some artists call unconscionable business practices used to deny musicians their fair share of royalty earnings. The political campaign follows bitter legal disputes by Courtney Love and the Dixie Chicks, who have accused their labels of exploiting them and other acts with corrupt accounting tactics.


Record companies maintain that the economic structure of the industry is fair to music acts. Companies say artists voluntarily sign industry standard agreements and are paid fair royalties based on "time honored industry practices."


Some label executives were incensed at the notion that artists would use concert proceeds to fund their campaign against the record industry power structure.


"It's ironic, don't you think?" said one executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The record companies are the ones who helped these artists get to the point where they could sell tickets and play arenas in the first place."


The concerts appear timed to jab label executives over contracts and other issues during a week when the industry's power brokers typically gather to celebrate their accomplishments for the year.


The Feb. 26 fund-raisers are expected to be the first in a series of benefits to help the coalition build a war chest to lobby lawmakers for better contracts, beefed-up copyright protection and free agency status that could rewrite the economics of the music business.


Grammy chief Michael Greene, whose organization will sponsor an estimated 73 official Grammy activities that week, said he is supportive of the concerts. He said he was told that the musicians are interested in improving conditions for creative and technical people.


"I would absolutely not support this if I thought it was just an in-your-face thing against the labels."


Artist rights advocates have hired two high-profile lobbyists to champion their cause and have met with California state Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City), a former music agent. This fall, Murray called for hearings to examine a music industry-lobbied amendment to the state Labor Code that keeps recording artists tied to contracts longer than other workers. Murray is expected to file a bill to repeal the amendment Jan. 7.


To drum up support for passage of Murray's bill, the coalition is planning an Artist Lobby Day in late January. And artists are expected to return to Sacramento during Grammy week to testify about Murray's bill, organizers said.


Repealing the Labor Code amendment is just the beginning, say Eagles' singer Don Henley and other stars. Artists plan to testify at hearings on other industry practices, such as accounting, auditing and payments for health care and pension funds.


This is good stuff y'all...Really.

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