Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Alte Götter fast plooked'

Some presumptuous thoughts, yet not born of frivolity...

So what if I'm just decrepit enough to remember the old industry, before the MBA's from Hooker & Blau took over. As a consequence, I witnessed how the wheels were greased and things got done for a steep rise and a long or short run.
Later, I watched from afar with an increasing degree of wariness regarding the spread of the eventual ripple effect, as an inevitable decline from an artistic model in search of due profit to a profit model exclu$ively took place.

I also know that massive amounts of talent waits out there to be developed and deployed - 'Everybody is a star' and they're not all tucked in their iPods yet...presumably.

Genre doesn't matter. But we have to realize globally as a singular yet collective force - known as the creators - that we are at the best time ever for control of our own destiny.

The old ways are not the only ways anymore, and don't mourn them, teenagers - I could tell you of personal anecdotes as a mere fast minnow in a vast ocean how one-sided and utterly dishonest the old game was, and continues to be as practiced by the hands of the unscrupulous.

"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven"
- Milton, Paradise Lost.



J said...

they're not all tucked in their iPods yet

Stevie McJobs, CEO of Music, Inc. Musicians of all genres now work for Stevie--tho' some probably bring in some scratch from mp3s--a Britney or Johnny Meyer's probably a chateau from 'em. But the real musicos playing ...well, weather report, 'trane or miles and bill evans tunes or even zappa--probably maitre d-ing it, or on welfare...or mort.

Laura said...

I've never really thought about any of this and in truth, no nothing about the music industry but I find it interesting what you both said.

It's better sometimes to just try something, admitting you don't know the right answer. Taking a chance pays off. I think that the reason why mainstream music is just so THE SAME, is because no one wants to take a chance.
Sometimes, when something different does break through.. we're all momentarily shocked!
What the hell is that????
Then, once it's accepted, mainstream takes it over.. and once again, it's all the same.

Don't get me wrong, I love mainstream. But, the older I get, the less patience I seem to have for hearing the same crap song after song.
I'm less moved by it, if at all.

Great post!


Laura said...

I really need to proof read before I hit send!! Arrgh!!!
Excuse my VERY poor spelling.

darkblack said...

That was no doubt the intent, J. - build a container and fill it with transitory content that is either 'owned' or controlled...The lesson learned by Sony (and by extension, every corporate provider of entertaining illusions) in the Betamax debacle who had a 'superior' format, yet lacked licensing of film titles to fill it with...and who consequently saw the inferior VHS format (which didn't suffer from such a deficit) clasped to the consumer breast.


Most people - I won't use the word 'consumer' in this context - don't think about it, Laura...And indeed why should they, as the average person has absconded from the responsibilities of making their own entertainment (for the most part) and outsourced that duty to third and fourth parties.

Music 'sounds the same' now because - bottom line - it's 'easier' to promote and distribute conformity.

It's 'easier' to get aspirant hopefuls seeking to grasp the brass hole to conform to market expectations and prefabricated performance roles...or else, no cookie for them.

It's 'easier' for risk-aversive executives with no fundamental understanding of art or culture to demand an increased quarterly ROI for their corporations in return for providing an uninterrupted stream of indifferent spew lapped up by conditioned consumers.

It's 'easier' for commodity providers for whom any differentiation between an incandescent talent 'captured on wax' and a flat of canned beans is irrelevant in the biblical sense.

It's just 'easier' all around. But music isn't necessarily supposed to be easy, now is it?


zencomix said...

My buddy Nate used to roadie for G. Love and Special Sauce back in the early 90s. On one of the tours that came thru town, Nate brought me an unmixed soundboard cassette of a tune they recorded with Dr. John. It sounded fucking awesome, just guitar + vocals,drums, upright bass, and Dr. John on piano for one of the takes, Hammond organ for another take. I thought, and Nate was in agreement, shit, it doesn't need to be mixed, just print it and go! We got to talking about the band AC/DC and the art of leaving recordings "wet".

Months later, the official recording came out on the "Yeah It's That Easy" CD, and I nearly cried. At the insistence of people at Sony, they'd added all sorts of junk to the mix (na-na background vocs, handclaps, etc) and Dr. John was buried in the mix under additional layers of crap. I still have a hard time believing it.

Randal Graves said...

Most people - I won't use the word 'consumer' in this context - don't think about it, Laura...And indeed why should they, as the average person has absconded from the responsibilities of making their own entertainment (for the most part) and outsourced that duty to third and fourth parties.

Ah, the dreaded "I listen to everything!" syndrome.

Given the outerworld fuckery that dominates the lives of most, fewer and fewer will make an art of exploring art. But as you said, great time for DIY, and if you don't suck, people will buy your shit. I'm very happy to fork over my not-all-that-hard-earned loot to bands I dig as thanks for giving me hours of listening enjoyment, and I'd wager that plenty do.