January 28, 2004

a payphone was ringing; it nearly blew my mind

* Thoughtful Bob Mould post on "this business we call music." an excerpt:

"The conglomerating of media outlets, namely radio, shifted the power base to the outside concerns. The radio stations dictate success or failure for most artists, and have the record companies over a barrel. Feed the beast, and watch it grow. The song is not even important anymore; just the chorus, please, so that it can fit nicely underneath fantastically filmed images of Hummers racing across Antarctica, or wherever the hell they go. The music is now an accompaniment, not a centerpiece, of our culture and life; it's one of the few ways artists can make a few dollars these days - keeping the beat of the background alive.

"The companies wonder why people have chosen to 'steal' the one good chorus. Well, you fed the wrong beast. Instead of feeding the fans' never-quenched thirst for more, you sold out the art form to radio and TV concerns, forgetting about the traditional bind that is created when an artist tells their stories in long form, and the fans listen with their full attention. You, the stupid music business, wiped away 50 years of history by pandering and pleading for 28 seconds of airplay, or, even better, thousands of dollars funneled to individual radio stations for nothing more than an ADD, a false mention of a song being played on a pseudo-influential radio station. The music fan is not stupid - they will buy music direct from artists, if the work speaks to them. I try shareware, and if it works for me, I always pay for it. Music fans will support the artists, if we can find that way to connect, both artistically and through word of mouth promotion.

"Sadly, the days of 'the album' may be behind us. If so, music fans need to prepare for different 'formats': it may not look like an album, it may not feel like a song, but it will be the voice and vision of the artist, and we will ask you to compensate for our time and effort. If you choose to support it, the new system (whatever exact shapes it may take) will be one that bonds the artist and fan once again. Anything is possible now."

* Much missed Suck.com has put a lot of its archives up for review. [via the morning news]

* The Pictoral Madonna Review: On this site, if you are interested, you can look at pictures of Madonna dating back to 1958.

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