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The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.)

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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby scntfc on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:55 am

alex maiolo wrote:David Lefstz's response:
Some stuff.
Interesting and, I'm sure, controversial take.

-A


if by "interesting" you mean "barely coherent", and by "controversial" you mean "barely has a grasp on the issue at hand", then... yes, yes it is!

what i gather from skimming this horrible excuse for prose is that if lowery wants to make money he should shut up and make better music? like lady gaga? and then it will be on spotify to make money for investors because he should have invested in it in the first place?

the NPR intern letter was somewhat shameful; lowery's response is equally misquided, but this lefsetz piece takes the cake.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby tbone on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:00 am

tocharian wrote:I really really really miss the old paradigm of pre-internet independent record labels. I feel like there were barriers to hype/too much exposure too soon in place that made for much better quality control.

You had to win over some pretty exacting audiences before you could become a nationally or internationally popular indie rock band. Not any more.

To paraphrase Ian Svenonius, the internet has shown that music is not for everyone.


Yeah, except for the fact that there was a shitload of horrible music put out by major labels for years and years before the Internet. And also there are a ton of amazing bands I have discovered through the Internet decades after the fact who were commercially unsuccessful and broke up due to label problems.

I wish there was something in-between. A barrier, but not necessarily a commercial one. Something like a spam filter but for bands.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:05 am

tbone wrote:
tocharian wrote:I really really really miss the old paradigm of pre-internet independent record labels. I feel like there were barriers to hype/too much exposure too soon in place that made for much better quality control.

You had to win over some pretty exacting audiences before you could become a nationally or internationally popular indie rock band. Not any more.

To paraphrase Ian Svenonius, the internet has shown that music is not for everyone.


Yeah, except for the fact that there was a shitload of horrible music put out by major labels for years and years before the Internet. And also there are a ton of amazing bands I have discovered through the Internet decades after the fact who were commercially unsuccessful and broke up due to label problems.

I wish there was something in-between. A barrier, but not necessarily a commercial one. Something like a spam filter but for bands.


Yeah, some sort of peer-reviewed triage
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:11 am

twelvepoint wrote:
tbone wrote:
tocharian wrote:I really really really miss the old paradigm of pre-internet independent record labels. I feel like there were barriers to hype/too much exposure too soon in place that made for much better quality control.

You had to win over some pretty exacting audiences before you could become a nationally or internationally popular indie rock band. Not any more.

To paraphrase Ian Svenonius, the internet has shown that music is not for everyone.


Yeah, except for the fact that there was a shitload of horrible music put out by major labels for years and years before the Internet. And also there are a ton of amazing bands I have discovered through the Internet decades after the fact who were commercially unsuccessful and broke up due to label problems.

I wish there was something in-between. A barrier, but not necessarily a commercial one. Something like a spam filter but for bands.


Yeah, some sort of peer-reviewed triage


Or a trustee system that keeps the crap outside the gates. Could also do this for reader comments on news sites, which are, of course, the most horrible thing on the internet.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby jimmy two hands on Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:22 am

If you want to make money making music, or any type of art, you need to bust your ass, work really fucking hard, bang your head against the wall over and over, etc., and perhaps one day shit starts falling into place, and even after that you gotta keep busting your ass and banging your head against the wall. The point isn't that you make money though, the point is that you make the art, because you have to. To paraphrase a conversation me & the missus had with Jodi, art should be like breathing, like you will fucking asphyxiate if you don't do it. Of course you should be fairly compensated for your work, but you have to figure out how to move your product and that involves a lot of banging your head against the wall and dealing with assholes and busting your ass. I have been making music and playing shows for something like half my life now, and I think the money I've made off of it might have covered the cost of all the equipment I've bought at best. I've been making stupid comic books for maybe 6 or 7 years now, and I've made enough money off those to pay for maybe half a month's rent, but if I don't do both of those things I'll fucking go insane.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby alex maiolo on Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:53 am

scntfc wrote:
alex maiolo wrote:David Lefstz's response:
Some stuff.
Interesting and, I'm sure, controversial take.

-A


if by "interesting" you mean "barely coherent", and by "controversial" you mean "barely has a grasp on the issue at hand", then... yes, yes it is!

what i gather from skimming this horrible excuse for prose is that if lowery wants to make money he should shut up and make better music? like lady gaga? and then it will be on spotify to make money for investors because he should have invested in it in the first place?

the NPR intern letter was somewhat shameful; lowery's response is equally misquided, but this lefsetz piece takes the cake.


I don't think he says you need to make music like Gaga. Might need to reread that. He uses her as an example of how even Jobs can't make a bad model work, and it takes someone like her to point that out sometimes - powerful person to powerful person.

I think the takeaway, if you get around the vitriol, is that you can fight the tide or you can work hard, adapt, and be optimistic that things will work out for you if you do. I don't like Lefsetz's methods or delivery, but I think it's important to make that point, and to bring up the fact that Larger Forces are at work - it's not about Spotify or anything else, it's about selling you other shit.

Plus, at the very least, it's a response and I'm interested in responses.

-A
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby jimmy two hands on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:01 pm

alex maiolo wrote:
scntfc wrote:
alex maiolo wrote:David Lefstz's response:
Some stuff.
Interesting and, I'm sure, controversial take.

-A


if by "interesting" you mean "barely coherent", and by "controversial" you mean "barely has a grasp on the issue at hand", then... yes, yes it is!

what i gather from skimming this horrible excuse for prose is that if lowery wants to make money he should shut up and make better music? like lady gaga? and then it will be on spotify to make money for investors because he should have invested in it in the first place?

the NPR intern letter was somewhat shameful; lowery's response is equally misquided, but this lefsetz piece takes the cake.


I don't think he says you need to make music like Gaga. Might need to reread that. He uses her as an example of how even Jobs can't make a bad model work, and it takes someone like her to point that out sometimes - powerful person to powerful person.

I think the takeaway, if you get around the vitriol, is that you can fight the tide or you can work hard, adapt, and be optimistic that things will work out for you if you do. I don't like Lefsetz's methods or delivery, but I think it's important to make that point, and to bring up the fact that Larger Forces are at work - it's not about Spotify or anything else, it's about selling you other shit.

Plus, at the very least, it's a response and I'm interested in responses.

-A


My biggest issue with his reponse is this:

You want to make a difference?

MAKE GREAT MUSIC!

Then the doors open.


There are a few underpants gnome bullet points missing there after the "make great music" step.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby cneutron on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:27 pm

The most interesting thing about the recent Lowery article is being glossed over by most folks:
"Why are you* ok with Apple or Comcast getting your money but ambivalent, at best, at the bands you love having to fuel the van on hugs."

(*not you obviously)

Cynicism disguised as critical thinking, thoughts on artistic goals as a working musician and actually well reasoned commentary are all fine and dandy. But to me that's the real conversation.

To be clear: I have no solutions for that at all, but it's a great question that i'd rather hear discussion of rather than: blah, blah, blah... music as a job, yelling at clouds, echo chambering it up.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Angus Jung on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:33 pm

skoz wrote:
Mark Lansing wrote: A friend of mine who's released a rather large number of difficult non commercial records over the last 20 years often says that all he ever wanted was to be a poor artist making challenging music and he's not capable of doing that now that music is treated as disposable. I think his music has suffered as a result of not having the funding time or personnel to create complex composed music. What a shame.

Tell Weasel to stop whining.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby steve on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:41 pm

cneutron wrote:The most interesting thing about the recent Lowery article is being glossed over by most folks:
"Why are you* ok with Apple or Comcast getting your money but ambivalent, at best, at the bands you love having to fuel the van on hugs."

Because the internet is a service we pay for. On that service we do a lot of things, so it's worth it to pay for that service. Oh, there's music on there? Cool. Not the reason I pay for it, but thanks.

And the very question presupposes that selling recorded music is the only (or at least only "legitimate") avenue for income for a band. It's antique and insulting to the people who've been busting their balls to make the new paradigm viable. It's bullshit framed as a question that tries to raise a nonexistent ethical conundrum.

He might just as well have tacked the power grid onto his question, because we need that to run the evil boxes we steal music with. "Why are you okay with the electric company making money?" Well, I'm not really, I'd prefer public utilities, but I'm going to use the power grid as it is because that's what comes out of the socket in the wall.

All of these shame-based arguments are childish. Or rather Sunday school for children-ish.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby BadComrade on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:00 pm

Angus Jung wrote:
skoz wrote:
Mark Lansing wrote: A friend of mine who's released a rather large number of difficult non commercial records over the last 20 years often says that all he ever wanted was to be a poor artist making challenging music and he's not capable of doing that now that music is treated as disposable. I think his music has suffered as a result of not having the funding time or personnel to create complex composed music. What a shame.

Tell Weasel to stop whining.


So good.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby skoz on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:08 pm

BadComrade wrote:
Angus Jung wrote:
skoz wrote:
Mark Lansing wrote: A friend of mine who's released a rather large number of difficult non commercial records over the last 20 years often says that all he ever wanted was to be a poor artist making challenging music and he's not capable of doing that now that music is treated as disposable. I think his music has suffered as a result of not having the funding time or personnel to create complex composed music. What a shame.

Tell Weasel to stop whining.


So good.


Ha Ha, I'm sure I don't have any idea who you're talking about. Regardless it's hard to get people to work on difficult music 7 days a week for free.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Angus Jung on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:14 pm

Weasel is awesome, btw. It was great when we lived in the same city.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby skoz on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:18 pm

Angus Jung wrote:Weasel is awesome, btw. It was great when we lived in the same city.

I wouldn't say that too loud.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby cneutron on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:20 pm

steve wrote:
cneutron wrote:The most interesting thing about the recent Lowery article is being glossed over by most folks:
"Why are you* ok with Apple or Comcast getting your money but ambivalent, at best, at the bands you love having to fuel the van on hugs."

Because the internet is a service we pay for. On that service we do a lot of things, so it's worth it to pay for that service. Oh, there's music on there? Cool. Not the reason I pay for it, but thanks.

And the very question presupposes that selling recorded music is the only (or at least only "legitimate") avenue for income for a band. It's antique and insulting to the people who've been busting their balls to make the new paradigm viable. It's bullshit framed as a question that tries to raise a nonexistent ethical conundrum.

He might just as well have tacked the power grid onto his question, because we need that to run the evil boxes we steal music with. "Why are you okay with the electric company making money?" Well, I'm not really, I'd prefer public utilities, but I'm going to use the power grid as it is because that's what comes out of the socket in the wall.

All of these shame-based arguments are childish. Or rather Sunday school for children-ish.


To me it just seems like there is a lot of cheerleading for tech companies and these services and a sort of aggressive ambivalence towards even a modicum of support towards bands. Yes, yes... :smt022

Part of that is the culture of where I live, deep in the heart of the technology that's making all of this possible. A lot of my friends work for these places. It's ok to pay for these pseudo vampiric services, a smart phone, and ipad, it's ok to pay for a phone bill, internet service, etc.

(BTW: Municipal WIFI, great idea... there was some movement on that in SF for awhile, nothing really came from it though, shock and amazement... can you guess why?)

I do agree about the selling music being the only avenue for income for a band. That's a losing argument if ever there was one. And that's the part of the article that I find tiresome and rehashed: Makes me think of this:
Image

Still there has to be a middle ground between shaming people into paying the "poor beleaguered artist" and just saying "fuck it" altogether.

Most of these music services are great for serving people up what they already know.
Whatever though, this is a circular conversation and this isn't about discovery. It's about the dude from Cracker trying to give a lecture to clouds. It's the world we live in. Personally: I'm always just overjoyed if anybody listens to our stuff at all.

Heck. If not for the internet I'd never know the sounds of my friend Lu Zwei's band and he would not know ours. That's pretty rad.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby projectMalamute on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:35 pm

twelvepoint wrote:
tbone wrote:
tocharian wrote:I really really really miss the old paradigm of pre-internet independent record labels. I feel like there were barriers to hype/too much exposure too soon in place that made for much better quality control.

You had to win over some pretty exacting audiences before you could become a nationally or internationally popular indie rock band. Not any more.

To paraphrase Ian Svenonius, the internet has shown that music is not for everyone.


Yeah, except for the fact that there was a shitload of horrible music put out by major labels for years and years before the Internet. And also there are a ton of amazing bands I have discovered through the Internet decades after the fact who were commercially unsuccessful and broke up due to label problems.

I wish there was something in-between. A barrier, but not necessarily a commercial one. Something like a spam filter but for bands.


Yeah, some sort of peer-reviewed triage


You are posting on it right now.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby BadComrade on Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:00 pm

Angus Jung wrote:Weasel is awesome, btw. It was great when we lived in the same city.


He did a short-lived `zine in the `90s with a friend of mine (which Johnny13 also contributed to), and I only ever met him once. I've run into him online a couple of times and had conversations with him (I think one of the times was when he was posting every live Luttenbachers show on dimeadozen.org) and he seemed to be a decent guy. I think I only ever saw him play twice: Once in a very early incarnation of the Luttenbachers (when they had 2 horn players) and once in the Motley Crue cover band Too Fast For Love (who did the entire album live; he played bass).

Did you play with / record with him ever?
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Mark Lansing on Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:10 pm

Angus Jung wrote:
skoz wrote:
Mark Lansing wrote: A friend of mine who's released a rather large number of difficult non commercial records over the last 20 years often says that all he ever wanted was to be a poor artist making challenging music and he's not capable of doing that now that music is treated as disposable. I think his music has suffered as a result of not having the funding time or personnel to create complex composed music. What a shame.

Tell Weasel to stop whining.


For the record, somewhere down the line in quoting and re-copying, the statement about the guy making non-commercial music got attributed to me, not Skoz. I agree with what he says, but Skoz said it. Credit where credit is due and all that.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:00 pm

projectMalamute wrote:
twelvepoint wrote:
tbone wrote:
tocharian wrote:I really really really miss the old paradigm of pre-internet independent record labels. I feel like there were barriers to hype/too much exposure too soon in place that made for much better quality control.

You had to win over some pretty exacting audiences before you could become a nationally or internationally popular indie rock band. Not any more.

To paraphrase Ian Svenonius, the internet has shown that music is not for everyone.


Yeah, except for the fact that there was a shitload of horrible music put out by major labels for years and years before the Internet. And also there are a ton of amazing bands I have discovered through the Internet decades after the fact who were commercially unsuccessful and broke up due to label problems.

I wish there was something in-between. A barrier, but not necessarily a commercial one. Something like a spam filter but for bands.


Yeah, some sort of peer-reviewed triage


You are posting on it right now.


Right! Basically a big C/NC engine for anyone's art: music, poetry (prob 99.998% Crap), photography, decoupage, reader responses to news articles - you name it, we can C/NC it!
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby John Eppstein on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:00 pm

Hey Steve, there's something I don't get about your attitude on this - you slam David Lowery pretty hard for his friendliness to the majors (and indeed knock the majors at every opportunity).

What the heck is so wrong about getting the money up front to cover your costs, living expenses, and even a little money in your pocket?

I've been working on an album for around 3 years now - I've had to finance every cent out of my own pocket, including recording gear the total stands at somewhat more than 30 grand. I've lost key band members due to financial difficulties and delays. Production had taken at least three or four times as long as it should due to the problem of lack of discipline among musicians working in an environment where we're not "on the clock". Producing it myself makes things tyake longer than they should because I can't make good production evaluations at the same time as I'm playing -= I have to give it a period of days before I can evaluate my own performance objectively. It's been a bloody nightmare and it's not over yet. And then when it's done - unless I can find a label to pick it up - I'm going to have to pay the costs of manufacture (Yes, I believe in hard copy), distribution, and promotion myself (and I'm horrible at promotion. I can't sell anything worth a hill of beans.) Not to mention pay up front if I'm going to put the band on the road.

I would give my left nut for a contract with a decent advance and tour support. I've worked with signed bands before and even with all the crap they have to deal with from a label it's still better than this. If I had done this project even as recently as the mid-90s most of the difficulties I've had and continue to have would have been non-problems, I'd have one or two albums out and be on the road.

I'm not inexperienced - I had many years in the biz on the technical side (primarily live sound) as well as being a musician for decades. My lead guitarist is among other things, a member of a fairly well known punk band that is in the HOF.

So please explain to me just what's so great about being broke, paying for everything yourself, and not being able to pay your musicians enough to stay in the band?
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