Monday, October 15, 2007

All Hype and NO Talent

You know, it really irks me- yeah I said "irks" when I stumble upon (not the site) some new indie band that's supposed to be musically interesting/amazing/incredible as raved about by several bloggeurs, and then I finally get a listen and they're complete garbage nowhere near the hype. More like miles from it, millions of miles. Terribly out of tune vocals, barely musical, with hardly passable musicianship- is that what we're reduced to nowadays? Major label acts use gratuitous auto-tune. Indie acts with the same lack of talent don't use it. What happened to people being talented...or at least able to sing and write? Is that really too much to ask? Is it?
Maybe I'm coming off as a hater, but you know what? I'm gonna hate with love. Yeah. So fans, whenever you read this, be it months from now or a year, just know that I promised you an album full of good music, and I delivered. Nuff said.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Will we need record labels in two years?

Here's my guess. No. They'll be pointless as Radiohead's In Rainbows will demonstrate, but they'll still exist, at least until all the legacy acts that literally need them die off. Especially since they're just high interest banks anyway. Oh but wait, at least you can put money in a bank and it'll give YOU interest.

I bet you're thinking, "oh no.. I don't want to hear that..oh Stephen Matthew, you're ruining my dreams of a label coming down from the heavens on a golden chariot and sweeping me off my feet to live happily ever after!" Maybe if you're a shitty band like the ones they sign now, that juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust might happen if you're super lucky, know the "right" people, and if you spew the appropriate combination of shittyness and flavor of the week looks.

Or, you could do it yourself, take matters in your OWN hands, and make all the money, just like Scarface.

Seriously what do we need them for anymore? 1. An advance? 2. Marketing? 3. Distribution? 4. Maybe publishing if you write that kind of material- otherwise I consider song placement to be marketing.

Okay 1- you only need the advance to cover all the expenses of all the other overpriced shit they do. With 290482094 studios per square mile, you can do it for far less than their BIG advance can. 2- Most bigger $ marketing is placement and co-branding. Dont' worry about that. Hit the real media for credible stories. Once you're big enough, call Regis and Conan. Then call Leno and Letterman. Or hire a PR firm! 3- I give CDs at most five years, but the prime target demo, about two. #4 Contact music supervisors, sign up for a music placement service or get into a publisher. And there you have it, kids.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Engineers of oulde!

Whatever happened to classic, lovable engineers to the caliber of Andy Johns and Eddie Kramer? Okay, maybe the the industry killed them. Or bigger picture, culture killed them. Or maybe they were just at the right place, right time and swept up in something bigger than they were. Curiously, the stellar talents they worked with are no longer (really) around either. Contributing their talents to classic albums by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, etc, they helped shaped the sound of rock and roll, and that means something.
Here's Andy Johns evoking so much Spinal Tap

And look at what Eddie Kramer has to say. Ironically, where's Jet today?! Nowhere, that's where.

Is it me, or does it seem like engineers and production "professionals" today have some weird chip on their shoulders? I know it's not just the drugs, they've always been there! There's a distaste for "home" recording, and some weird elitism in the air as if they're so beyond integral. Well I say, those days are over, buddy! Just because you can recall a preset "faster" than the next robot doesn't really mean that much to anybody. Be creative and likeable, not just some chimpanzee button-pusher.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Radiohead's Ballsy Move Teaches Us a Lesson

Call me a prophet, but it looks like my predictions of the recording industry disintegration are coming true, exponentially by the day. And of course, they're my OWN predictions and no one else's...

::Traditional labels are increasingly unnecessary. With distribution almost a non-issue, you can make all the money from your music::

So, great marketing move with In Rainbows, Radiohead. By cutting out all or most of the middle-men, and using your label-bred notoriety, you'll probably really rake it in tomorrow. You've done the requisite PR, and your fans love you.

I know you're making a statement, and that's great, it needs to be done to show the world what could be done or at least shake the labels up a bit. But selling your music exclusively on your own site isn't exactly ground breaking or new: plenty of artists have sold via their sites even before the whole mp3 thing got started. But, having consumers set their own price IS. (okay, aside from a few bands with free downloads who take Paypal donations)
It's one giant experiment, and really the first of its kind on such a big scale.

I think the lessons smaller bands can take away are the following:

  • You can sell on album online and make money
  • People will pay what they want to pay
  • Effective publicity matters
  • You may never have to bother with CD's again

The results of this will be interesting...

Oh, and I hear Oasis and others like Trent Reznor might be doing the same. I'm calling it now.