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Value in Your Listening Experience

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Topic: Value in Your Listening Experience
Posted By: Xanadu3737
Subject: Value in Your Listening Experience
Date Posted: June 14 2011 at 20:37
Value in Your Listening Experience: A Collectorís Case for Buying Music
- Nicholas R. Andreas

Letís start by saying what this is not. This is not a legal case for why you should buy music. This is not a moral case for why you should buy music. I will refer to illegal downloading in this piece simply because it is unquestionably illegal, and whether it should or should not be legal is a moot point when discussing current realities. I say this to explain that I do not use the term not as a guilt trip, but I simply believe calling it anything other than what it is helps lead to the act being even more socially acceptable than it already is. This is a case for music lovers everywhere to embrace their passion and help add value to music by supporting the art they profess to love. Itís important to note that when I speak of value throughout this piece I do not mean personal value or sentimental value, but rather true economic value which can not only invigorate the music industry but give individuals a greater satisfaction and appreciation of the music they enjoy. Letís start with a bit of my story.



Like many of todayís music listeners I grew up in an age of Napster, Limewire, and other new and exciting file sharing programs. Those programs quickly became known for several things; porn, viruses, and perhaps most of all ďfreeĒ music. I can remember at a young age I was given CDís such as The Division Bell, Dark Side of the Moon, and Breakfast in America. As a kid around age 7 I would look through the booklets, try making sense of some of the lyrics (and failing miserably) and often fall asleep to a lot of music I still love today. From then on for a number of years I just listened to the radio whenever I need music until a point when I decided I wanted to have all my favorite songs together on mix CDs. I would download 15-20 tracks at a clip and burn them onto a CD, and I continued doing this till I had at least a dozen of those mix CDs. Eventually I became more serious about music and I wanted to start learning more about particular artists, hearing more tracks than just those that I heard on the radio. I would salvage some listening experiences from my fatherís music collection, but rather than simply downloading a few artistsí discographies my musical life would take a much different turn in October of 2003. I can still remember heading out to my local Best Buy, and after browsing the CD selection I decided to purchase best of collections from Blue Oyster Cult, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rush.



The Rush compilation was The Spirit of Radio and it would change my life forever. A week or two later I scraped up some more money and decided to return to Best Buy to see what other Rush I could find. As luck would have it there was a display set up for a brand new release from the band, Rush in Rio. After taking those discs home and listening I truly became a Rush fan. I was able to get the albums Fly By Night, Moving Pictures, and Counterparts from my father, and quickly had the rest burned for me by a friend. Despite having the music I worked over the next few months to get more and more of the actual albums, each one costing me money that could have gone towards movies or anything else a high school senior might do. While I became obsessed with Rush I also started checking out and purchasing some other music as well. A major breakthrough came after graduation in í04. I decided to take some time off before college, got myself a nice full time job, and started making some serious money. While I should have been saving up for college I instead used a ridiculous amount of my paycheck on music. I was buying Rush and Dream Theater rarities off of Ebay and Amazon while buying oodles of new music both locally and online. Since then my financial situations have shifted for better and for worse, and there have been many other changes in my life, but through it all one thing has remained quite constant; Iíve always managed to set aside some money for music.



I tell you all this because it will tie into many of the points I hope to make. In the end buying music is not only the right thing to do, but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and one that will certainly allow an individual to value the music they love so much more.



Letís hit on a subject that everyone seems to love, bashing record labels. I will begin by saying that record labels have made a lot of mistakes over the years. While it is fine to hope for an ideal world in which music is as hard to steal as a pair of pants the fact is that is simply no longer the reality, and the labels were certainly late in acknowledging and adapting to that reality. Another huge mistake was how they originally chose to prosecute a select number of people an insane amount of money. Sure it may have delivered a large dose of fear to people but it was in no way fair. But let us face some facts. For decades it has been most bands dream to get signed to a major label, and that is because they can be very beneficial for a band. For decades a label was the major vehicle for finances and promotion for a band, and they still play that role for many bands today. Many accuse labels of hogging the money from record sales, for short-changing artists, but I donít believe that to be the truth. Donít get me wrong, as with anything there will always be a few bad deals and in this case a few horrible record execs, but for the most part labels serve a very important business function. I see them as a specialized bank that invests money into a band in hopes that they produce music that can be successfully marketed for a profitable return. Is there anything truly wrong with that? As with any contract I think that as long as an agreement between a band and label is understood then both parties can benefit. Labels today are not what they used to be, major labels seem more and more interested in big name big money superstars while smaller labels seem to reach out to most bands. While some see this as a victory for artistic freedom itís important to understand that everything comes at a price. These smaller labels cannot provide nearly the financial or promotional means that a major label can.



We continue this decline in resources when we talk about bands who have taken to releasing material themselves. Bands like Marillion, Spockís Beard and Nine Inch Nails, to name a few, have funded releases directly through their fans. While this may on the surface seem like a trend every band should pursue one must realize what nearly all bands having success in this manner have in common, they have all built up their current fan base with label support. Most bands going this route have little success generating new fans and instead are simply riding out the wave created by successful past deals with record labels.



But why does any of this matter to you, why does any of this mean you should purchase music? Because independent, minor or major label music is fueled by money, plain and simple. In an ideal world musicians and artists could make as much art as their hearts desired without a care in the world, and people could have and enjoy any art they wanted for free. Of course we donít live in that world, not even close. Some artists are wealthy from other endeavors and truly donít worry about money. Others have already made enough money that more may not be a major concern of them. But letís face facts, for every artist like Iíve just mentioned there are hundreds that cannot come close to supporting themselves through the music they make. When it comes to artists making music, one side of the equation is their ability to write music, but the ability to be able to get that music out to fans and new ears is just as important. The more money a band and their associates (labels, most notably) make, the more demand there will be for that band and their music. If a band sells fewer albums than expected, makes less money than expected, then it will be harder for that band to continue to produce new music.



When we look at the musical economy as a whole we must understand that it works under the same general principles as any other type of industry. For example, for several years now nurses have been in high demand in the United States. Many find that the work of a nurse is highly rewarding and somewhat of a payment in its own right, but we have still seen money spent on nurses go higher and higher over the past few years and the result has been that more and more people are going back to school to fill the demand present in the health care field. In much the same way we as a musical industry must create demand for music. Simply really looking forward to the new album from any given band does not put food on that artistsí table. Much like many nurses find their work rewarding, many create music naturally and wish to continue for the sake of the music. However it is one thing to create music and itís another completely to get a quality recording of that music and to tour and play that music live. There is no question the music industry has suffered a lot in the age of illegal downloading, and now it is growing increasingly difficult for bands to get the kind of money they need for quality recordings, tours, and promotion.



Up to this point we have discussed practical economic reasons people should support the music industry and put their money into it, but now letís look at how the decision to do so can generate personal satisfaction. Many people can claim to love music, but at the end of the day I ask them to put their money where their mouth is, and here is why: A dollar is nothing more than a tool for bartering; we use it to determine where to spend the fruits of our labor. We decide what is important to us and take our hard earned cash and use it on those things that matter. When we purchase music we are making a sacrifice, we are foregoing other goods and services we could be purchasing. What this does, in quite a simply economic sense, is give value to the music. Letís consider a scenario. When all else is held equal, Person A has $15 to spend and chooses to illegally download an album and go see a movie in theaters that night. Person B buys that new album with his $15 and waits a few months to catch that same movie on TV. While I will not claim that person A canít love the music he has illegally downloaded, I think itís clear in this scenario, with all else held equal, that Person B clearly values the music more.



Itís important to remember that every time we illegally download an album, whether it is out of convenience, habit, or lack of funds, we are making a decision that other things are more important than supporting music. Of course it is at times the case that people have to make a choice between basic necessities of life and music, and in those cases one certainly shouldnít fault people for valuing food over music. On the flipside, how many people know college kids who get by with little income, constantly downloading music? Surely if they truly valued music they could find work part time and support the artists they claim to love.



As I said earlier, many fault the record labels unjustly for all that is wrong with the music industry today, but quite simply itís the consumer who is to blame. We have by and large turned our back on the industry, said it is not deserving of a portion of our income, and it has moved towards death as a result. And where are we now? We still see genre leaders, icons, and pop stars doing just fine while lesser known bands stand nearly no chance in working hard to achieve success in todayís world. Those who find success are often commercially fabricated stars such as Justin Bieber or Hannah Montana. The industry has always had this type of star, but today the money seems to flow to them and little else. Our investment in music reflects what we see in music today. Often it is the background noise, the commercial pop radio and the American Idol singers. Rarely can bands in todayís market work hard, and go through tough tours and actually come out of it all with much to show for it.



Thankfully some of the same technology that is causing problems is also making recording and marketing easier and cheaper as time moves on, allowing lesser known bands to have some chance in this mess. But let me be clear in saying that bands being able to record par-quality albums at a reasonable price is far from a justification for illegal downloading. A stronger musical market will help everyone. It helps big bands do even more over the top tours, but it also helps smaller artists get their name out and other artists produce better sounding albums than they otherwise would have. The adage goes that you get what you pay for, and while prices might be getting cheaper thanks to technology we must realize that if we all pay nothing then no matter how far technology comes weíll eventually find ourselves getting exactly what we paid for.



Perhaps I digress from the point this half of the paper is trying to make. The industry can die or rebound, but what does that mean for you when you purchase music? While many will consider some of these comments to be materialistic, egotistic, or elitist, as someone who has been buying music for many years I canít imagine someone who has downloaded an equal number of albums having such pride in their music as I do. I sit here knowing how many countless hours I worked in order to obtain the wall of CDs at my back, and I canít help but chuckle when someone with a full hard drive of stolen MP3s claims to value music as much as I do. Steven Wilson, whose comments in the Insurgentes movies were a large part of the inspiration for this piece can be paraphrased as saying that music that can be downloaded at the click of a mouse can be just as easily thrown away and disregarded. I fully agree. When I buy a CD I may not like it at first, but Iím certainly going to give it a shot, listen to it a few times, hope it grows on me and search the booklet for anything that might spark my interest. In my entire collection Iíve maybe considered trading or selling 5% of it. So much of it, even that which Iím not in love with I feel the sacrifice and experience that went into buying it and truly love my collection. On the off chance I get to meet an artist I love I consider it fortunate if I have a booklet of theirs with me to be signed, as that album then becomes something I will treasure even more. I ask, how many of those with a hard drive of stolen MP3s will walk up to some of their heroes and ask them to sign it?



I take great personal pride in my collection, and it makes perfect sense that I should. It is a basic fact of psychology that we value more those things we work to obtain. Generally speaking the same item given or worked for will always be valued more by the person who worked for it. I ask, how many of you toiled at a low rate job when you were 16 to scrape together enough money to buy a decent car? And then how infuriating was it to see someone you knew have their parents buy them a brand new Mustang for no apparent reason? There is no question there is some envy in play in this example, but I think we all understand that those who have worked for everything they have value what they have more than those who have had everything handed to them. And not only is satisfaction generated by working for and buying music, but I also find great satisfaction, as many do, in having the actual physical CDs. Itís one thing to have the music, but itís another completely to have it in a high quality format that comes as a complete package. Unlike those who illegally download their music and can make it an invisible part of their computer, my CD collection has become a part of my dťcor, a part of my life and who I am and it is a visual representation of my love of music.



While I personally will never buy digital music I fully applaud those who do. It is a true show of supporting the artist without any materialistic perks attached. The difference between illegally downloading music and legally downloading music is usually clicking one site as opposed to another and putting out $10 for the exact same digital music files. By doing this you forego the physical collection myself and many others enjoy but you still support the artists and the industry. While I think certain value benefits are lost when acquiring music digitally I understand there are those who donít find value in those elements. What is truly important is supporting the artists and the industry and so I find the entire digital buying market weíve seen grow over the years, and those who buy that way as a great thing. It is simply one more option, and I for one am always up for a bit more choice.



I would like to take a moment to address two questions that were presented to me in the course of discussing this paper with people. One friend asked me why so many who champion the buying of music find it perfectly acceptable to illegally download something like porn. While it may be a crass subject itís a good point. While there is no moral grounds on which to stand here there is a good reason for it and it gets straight to the heart of the matter I am presenting. Quite simply put people who are buying music and illegally downloading porn value music more than they value porn. I can say that if the illegal acquisition of both was impossible and I had to choose just one I would be saying a sad farewell to porn, and so would many others who truly love music. Another question that was brought up, paraphrased, was, ďSo youíre saying that if I buy music and donít donate money to poor starving African children I value music more than those children?Ē And my answer is unquestionably yes. It may sting a little to phrase it in this matter but donít worry, music lovers are not alone in this type of greed. Every day millions of people show with their wallets that they value music, other entertainment, vacations, and everything else over the suffering of people either close to them or a whole world away. For the most part we all are concerned with our own self-interests, and perhaps the interests of a few very close to us. There are a few truly great people out there who value the health and safety of people they donít even know over their own personal luxuries, but truth be told these folks are few and far between and I canít look into the mirror and tell myself Iím amongst their ranks. So for me and majority of people like me we see what we value by looking at what we have bought for ourselves. Finally, I would like to say that I have often taken this paper to extremes at times, but I would like to acknowledge some grey areas. If you spend your money going to shows and buying band merchandise even though you donít buy music traditionally I applaud you. Itís not ideal, but at least it shows some initiative towards supporting the artist and is certainly better than nothing. The same can be said for those who ďsampleĒ music by downloading everything under the sun and buying what they enjoy most. While I think the wealth of samples, free (legal) songs, and reviews on the internet can lead anyone to smart buying decisions when it comes to music this once again is far better than completely foregoing the buying of music at all.



If I have tried to explain anything here itís that buying music will add value for the listener and also benefit them tangibly by improving the market for music. Some like to live in magical world where art is completely pure, but the truth is engineers need to be paid and performers have to eat. While some may end up eating caviar every night Iím okay with it as long as it means other artists can focus more time on making the music we love in nice settings and less time in other endeavors scraping together the funds to put out another home recording. Next time you think of how you will get that brand new album, I just want you to ask yourself, ďWhere do my priorities lie?Ē


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Replies:
Posted By: Alitare
Date Posted: June 15 2011 at 19:07
That's like, your opinion, man.


Posted By: Xanadu3737
Date Posted: June 15 2011 at 20:06
If your username didn't speak to my inner Assassin's Creed fanboy I would be raging so hard right now!


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http://www.wpapu.com" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: Henry Plainview
Date Posted: June 15 2011 at 21:14
 
Originally posted by Xanadu3737 Xanadu3737 wrote:

If your username didn't speak to my inner Assassin's Creed fanboy I would be raging so hard right now!

Alitare =/= Altair, feel free to rage.

I'm not going to pretend I read all 3,000 words of this, but here you go. 

Quote Many accuse labels of hogging the money from record sales, for short-changing artists, but I donít believe that to be the truth. Donít get me wrong, as with anything there will always be a few bad deals and in this case a few horrible record execs, but for the most part labels serve a very important business function.

There are countless stories of major labels doing just that. I'll agree that you should support many independent labels, but the major labels are solely predatory organizations. http://www.toomuchjoy.com/index.php/2009/12/my-hilarious-warner-bros-royalty-statement/" rel="nofollow - These are not isolated incidents.
Quote As I said earlier, many fault the record labels unjustly for all that is wrong with the music industry today, but quite simply itís the consumer who is to blame. We have by and large turned our back on the industry, said it is not deserving of a portion of our income, and it has moved towards death as a result. And where are we now? We still see genre leaders, icons, and pop stars doing just fine while lesser known bands stand nearly no chance in working hard to achieve success in todayís world. Those who find success are often commercially fabricated stars such as Justin Bieber or Hannah Montana. The industry has always had this type of star, but today the money seems to flow to them and little else. Our investment in music reflects what we see in music today. Often it is the background noise, the commercial pop radio and the American Idol singers. Rarely can bands in todayís market work hard, and go through tough tours and actually come out of it all with much to show for it.

Major record labels turned their backs on me. As much as I like to complain that popular music has always sucked (because it has), even I am forced to acknowledge that there is no way Free Jazz and Ascension would be released on Atlantic and UMG today. 
Quote Steven Wilson, whose comments in the Insurgentes movies were a large part of the inspiration for this piece can be paraphrased as saying that music that can be downloaded at the click of a mouse can be just as easily thrown away and disregarded.

Steve Wilson is a t**t. 



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if you own a sodastream i hate you


Posted By: Earendil
Date Posted: June 15 2011 at 21:53
Well, I actually read all of it and rather enjoyed it. You make some great points, especially about where peoples' priorities lie.

I found this about how much artists actually get from sales, and it's really interesting: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/" rel="nofollow - http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/how-much-do-music-artists-earn-online/


Posted By: Alitare
Date Posted: June 15 2011 at 22:51
Originally posted by Xanadu3737 Xanadu3737 wrote:

If your username didn't speak to my inner Assassin's Creed fanboy I would be raging so hard right now!

Well, it IS his/her opinion. I don't claim to be right or wrong in what I do or do not do. I only claim that I do it.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 01:14
The question I pose to this general argument is if piracy alone is to blame for music's present state, why does Avatar rake in the millions? Why do kids rush to get their copies of Harry Potter/Twilight? I am not trying to talk up their quality, just asking how is that writers and filmmakers can still access a large audience in the same economic and social conditions as musicians? There is no doubt that illegal copies take away from the income of labels and artists but it is the major record labels who pretty much destroyed music culture as far as the mainstream goes and professional critics have played along like third rate conmen. 
 
How can labels and critics pretend that people don't like any kind of challenging music when Radiohead, Tool, Mars Volta have all done well?  They have attacked the very heart of expression in music so relentlessly, unreasonably and cynically (by basically dubbing most, if not any, attempts at adventure as pretension or elitism or snobbery or what have you) that only the most vapid, hollow and shallow music can reliably and regularly make the cut for the charts (and be thankful for the few exceptions).  It is not as if this was never the case before but every now and then exciting artists were pushed and they shook up tastes and renewed music culture. It's pretty obvious that a hollow music culture cannot capture the imagination of the public the way it could in times gone by and hence the current decline of the music business.  Besides, with so many more means of entertainment and distraction now available to people, it is even easier for most people to ignore music except as something to play at dance parties.
 
And here's the thing that a lot of prog listeners don't appreciate given they are habituated to scourging the underground for good music:  it is very very important to have a healthy mainstream to support the volume and size of the music business as it is today.  It is huge and cannot depend on royal patronage unlike in the common practice period so it must engage and enthrall the audience to remain relevant. Otherwise, music is on the fast track to getting relegated to one of man's less significant activities. It will obviously survive in some form if it has survived since time immemorial but the current music industry set up is not looking viable. 
 
I entirely endorse the passionate appeal to buy music but other than giving a bit of encouragement to the concerned artists (hopefully!), it won't achieve much more or 'save music'.


Posted By: Henry Plainview
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 01:27
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

The question I pose to this general argument is if piracy alone is to blame for music's present state, why does Avatar rake in the millions? Why do kids rush to get their copies of Harry Potter/Twilight? I am not trying to talk up their quality, just asking how is that writers and filmmakers can still access a large audience in the same economic and social conditions as musicians?

Well reading a book on a computer sucks, and you can't repeat seeing Avatar in 3D on your computer screen. Music is the same no matter where you get it. I think we'll start seeing more widespread book piracy as digital reading devices take hold in the market. And movie companies are suffering hard from piracy, or at least people not going to theaters anymore. I can't find the link now, but I read that theater attendance in the US has stayed more or less flat even though the population increases. 3D has excited Hollywood so much because the same amount of people would go, but pay more money for tickets. Fortunately, http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/05/24/sluggish-pirates-3d-box-office/" rel="nofollow - people seem to be getting tired of this.  
Quote Otherwise, music is on the fast track to getting relegated to one of man's less significant activities. It will obviously survive in some form if it has survived since time immemorial but the current music industry set up is not looking viable.

That's ridiculous. The current music industry is in certainly trouble, but does not at all imply music will be " relegated to one of man's less significant activities". 
 
Quote it won't achieve much more or 'save music'.

I don't think the author thought 3,000 words would have a significant impact on anything either. 


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if you own a sodastream i hate you


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 02:39
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

  Well reading a book on a computer sucks, and you can't repeat seeing Avatar in 3D on your computer screen. Music is the same no matter where you get it. I think we'll start seeing more widespread book piracy as digital reading devices take hold in the market. And movie companies are suffering hard from piracy, or at least people not going to theaters anymore. I can't find the link now, but I read that theater attendance in the US has stayed more or less flat even though the population increases. 3D has excited Hollywood so much because the same amount of people would go, but pay more money for tickets. Fortunately, http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/05/24/sluggish-pirates-3d-box-office/" rel="nofollow - people seem to be getting tired of this.  
 
This here has been put forth for a long time and it hasn't happened yet, especially with regard to e-books.  It is still possible for a film like King's Speech to do well at the BO but it's become much more difficult for any music made with serious intent to (and irrespective of quality because no two people can agree on how good or bad a work of art is and that would take this discussion nowhere) access a large audience in the first place, let alone do well commercially. And record labels are a big part of the reason why.
 
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

  That's ridiculous. The current music industry is in certainly trouble, but does not at all imply music will be " relegated to one of man's less significant activities". 
 
If it is not significant for a good majority of people, it's not significant, period.  How significant it is for A particular individual is not my concern because that does not reflect the overall picture.  I don't see how a shrunk, niche music community would have much relevance in society and that's what I see things getting to eventually if 'mass music' collapses.  Of course, that's just me and my general disdain for post modern sensibilities. 


Posted By: Henry Plainview
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 03:18
Quote it's become much more difficult for any music made with serious intent to (and irrespective of quality because no two people can agree on how good or bad a work of art is and that would take this discussion nowhere) access a large audience in the first place, let alone do well commercially.

I think most if not all pop music is made with serious intent.  
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

  That's ridiculous. The current music industry is in certainly trouble, but does not at all imply music will be " relegated to one of man's less significant activities". 
 
If it is not significant for a good majority of people, it's not significant, period.  How significant it is for A particular individual is not my concern because that does not reflect the overall picture.  I don't see how a shrunk, niche music community would have much relevance in society and that's what I see things getting to eventually if 'mass music' collapses.  Of course, that's just me and my general disdain for post modern sensibilities.

That's not what I'm saying. I am saying that I don't see any reason to think people care less about music than they used  to. Music fanatics like us have always been rare, but the people who truly don't care about music at all are even more rare. I think you are incorrect to link the collapse of the major labels with how much people care about music. The major labels survived for so long by gouging people, if/when they fall it will be because people have found a replacement for them, not because they've come to prefer silence.

I have no idea what post-modern sensibilities have to do with anything. 


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if you own a sodastream i hate you


Posted By: Sean Trane
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 03:30
QUOTE=Xanadu3737]

Value in Your Listening Experience: A Collectorís Case for Buying Music

[/QUOTE]
 
 
You're not exactly preachiong in a desert here... Most progheads are still buying music via cds, sometimes byuying the same album for the fifth time (I just bought the matest Bitches Brew and Grey & Pink deluxe editionsEmbarrassed; although i admit I won't do that for entire catalogues
 
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

 
 
Quote Steven Wilson, whose comments in the Insurgentes movies were a large part of the inspiration for this piece can be paraphrased as saying that music that can be downloaded at the click of a mouse can be just as easily thrown away and disregarded.

Steve Wilson is a t**t. 
HP, I think we can finally agree onto somethingLOL
 
 
But I'll check whart that t**t did with Caravan's grey & pink in 5.1 tonight
 
 
 
 


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 03:56
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:


I think most if not all pop music is made with serious intent.  
 
 
I disagree and if anything it is rare that that is the case.  Most pop music is an attempt at second guessing the public's tastes and trying to give them what they ostensibly like. That is not serious intent, but maybe I just used a wrong word to convey what I meant.
 
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

  That's not what I'm saying. I am saying that I don't see any reason to think people care less about music than they used  to. Music fanatics like us have always been rare, but the people who truly don't care about music at all are even more rare. I think you are incorrect to link the collapse of the major labels with how much people care about music. The major labels survived for so long by gouging people, if/when they fall it will be because people have found a replacement for them, not because they've come to prefer silence.
 
What the major labels sell is the primary window to music for most people.  If the major labels fall, they will take 'commercial' music with them.  Sure, there was a certain time when the recorded album as a unit of 'saleable' music didn't exist but at that point, television and computers didn't take up our time either.  The future will not always follow the precedents of history and I don't see how music is going to penetrate the consciousness of most households if music as a big business collapses (and you need the big labels to sustain big business with the current model).  Music's only point of reference in society outside the business is basically people learning or teaching music and performing it for recreation. The numbers of these too will shrink more and more. If there is nothing to expose a child to music in some or other form, he won't be fascinated by it and take it up as whatever, be it a pastime or a career.  And if it's a household where people are not interested in music, the chances of that get high. 
 
And I disagree with you there, I do believe music is really not very important at all to a lot of people these days. It is already less important than Farmville or Baking Life to a lot of people these days and more and more distractions will emerge to elbow out music from everyday existence.  We must recognize that these means of distraction didn't exist in music's 'glory' days so it was possible to get away with less than glorious efforts but  that is no longer the case. The industry needs to wake up and do something to re-engage society but at this point, they appear to be least concerned with it and are wallowing in the past, like the record sales of Dark Side or Thriller which will not be matched in the foreseeable future (and of course the convenient punching bag of piracy to blame everything on). My relatives, acquaintances, colleagues etc etc myriad groups of people I come into contact with day in day out are far less clued into music than they were 10 years ago so it is getting relegated as a means of recreation, which is all it is for most people at the end of the day.
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

 
I have no idea what post-modern sensibilities have to do with anything. 
 
I kind of assumed you would say something along the lines of music will be relevant to at least someone so how it can be irrelevant and that is a post modern stance. As it turned out, you had a different line of argument.


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 07:35
Unlike many of today's listeners, I grew up in the age of radio, LP, cassette, and yes, 8-track and reel to reel.  Never had any rtr it was dieing out at the time.  Though I've been enjoying recorded music since an early age I never became a serious collector until I got into prog in a big way.  You had no choice but to collect because the music rarely made it to radio.  There was the occasional sharing in the form of making a copy of something a friend had on cassette.  Most of my albums were bought used.

As far as the music industry goes, I have no respect for it.  They embraced prog to a certain extent early on, but it was wrong to push musicians to produce stuff that they thought would have more commercial success rather than just making good music and achieving success by that means.  Some progressive music did make it to the radio and achieved commercial success on it's own merit.

These days I am glad for the opportunity to explore many more artists than was possible but it has become a bit of an overload and I had to put the brakes on exploring collecting.   I'll always be a hard copy kind of guy.  It isn't always about just the music, but the whole package.  You can't beat a great album cover or CD package.  It's an important part of the listening experience.  And these days make it a point to order as directly from the artist as possible whenever possible.

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Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...



Posted By: Xanadu3737
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 22:35
Originally posted by Alitare Alitare wrote:

Originally posted by Xanadu3737 Xanadu3737 wrote:

If your username didn't speak to my inner Assassin's Creed fanboy I would be raging so hard right now!

Well, it IS his/her opinion. I don't claim to be right or wrong in what I do or do not do. I only claim that I do it.


I wrote the article, fyi. Just seemed like you are under the impression myself and the person who wrote it are not one and the same.

The reason the phrase annoys me is that it's overused and practically useless. We can all tell opinion from fact, no need to point out that there were some opinions used!


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Posted By: Xanadu3737
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 22:42
On the subject of why TV shoes and movies still seem pretty healthy. I think it's two fold.

Firstly a lot of money is not made directly from the sales of DVDs. TV shows make a lot of their money from TV commercials and movies make a lot of money at the box office, as someone had already pointed out.

The other reason I think is that it is more difficult to download and manage TV shoes and movies and there is often a much more recognizable quality loss with this material. While those who download music a lot don't really care about MP3 quality or claim there is no difference between lossless, anyone who watches a small video file of something is going to notice it does not look as good as it did on TV. Either that or they will download full quality and the demands on bandwidth and storage will be much more prohibitive.


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Posted By: TheGazzardian
Date Posted: June 16 2011 at 23:07
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

And I disagree with you there, I do believe music is really not very important at all to a lot of people these days. It is already less important than Farmville or Baking Life to a lot of people these days and more and more distractions will emerge to elbow out music from everyday existence.  We must recognize that these means of distraction didn't exist in music's 'glory' days so it was possible to get away with less than glorious efforts but  that is no longer the case. The industry needs to wake up and do something to re-engage society but at this point, they appear to be least concerned with it and are wallowing in the past, like the record sales of Dark Side or Thriller which will not be matched in the foreseeable future (and of course the convenient punching bag of piracy to blame everything on). My relatives, acquaintances, colleagues etc etc myriad groups of people I come into contact with day in day out are far less clued into music than they were 10 years ago so it is getting relegated as a means of recreation, which is all it is for most people at the end of the day.


I have to agree with Henry here, although very few people I know are into prog, everyone I know is into music of some type, be it punk/acoustic/singer song-writer (my wife), rock (my dad), alternative/core/punk/country/rock/pop/whatever (my brother), pop/rap/techno/rock (my best friend), video game music and linkin park (one of my high school buddies), core (a cousin), country/classic rock/musical theater (my mom), classical/jazz/soul/blues/early rock (another highschool buddy), lady gaga/pop/classical (my best friends girlfriend), metal/indie/industrial/alternative/acoustic/comedy/classical/chiptunes/etc. (the artist for some of my games), indy/folk (an old co-worker), nu-metal/christian rock (another old co-worker), radio rock (another old co-worker), extreme metal (another cousin), etc...their tastes were wildly disparate but all these people I know care deeply about music. 

Even those who don't actively seek out new music have many favorites, new and old, that they enjoy listening to.

The problem is a number of these people do in fact pirate with very little concern and only one or two of them other than myself are interested in collecting music in any format. The rest just like to listen to it, however they can. 


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: June 17 2011 at 01:26
Originally posted by TheGazzardian TheGazzardian wrote:


I have to agree with Henry here, although very few people I know are into prog, everyone I know is into music of some type, be it punk/acoustic/singer song-writer (my wife), rock (my dad), alternative/core/punk/country/rock/pop/whatever (my brother), pop/rap/techno/rock (my best friend), video game music and linkin park (one of my high school buddies), core (a cousin), country/classic rock/musical theater (my mom), classical/jazz/soul/blues/early rock (another highschool buddy), lady gaga/pop/classical (my best friends girlfriend), metal/indie/industrial/alternative/acoustic/comedy/classical/chiptunes/etc. (the artist for some of my games), indy/folk (an old co-worker), nu-metal/christian rock (another old co-worker), radio rock (another old co-worker), extreme metal (another cousin), etc...their tastes were wildly disparate but all these people I know care deeply about music. 

Even those who don't actively seek out new music have many favorites, new and old, that they enjoy listening to.

The problem is a number of these people do in fact pirate with very little concern and only one or two of them other than myself are interested in collecting music in any format. The rest just like to listen to it, however they can. 
 
Well, I guess then things must be very different in these parts but not many follow A scene anymore and not many are into music per se.  Yes, people do play stuff at parties or on the car stereo when travelling in groups but that IS a less significant role for music.  Not many listen to artist or albums like they would watch films anymore.  Also, old habits die hard and the older generation would make room for music in their lives because they are accustomed to it but the kids have found other toys to play with.  And we are still talking of a generation which would have likely been exposed to music in a big way in their formative years but with the passage of time, more and more kids are going to grow up without coming into contact with music as much as before. And I would certainly say the number of people I have met who CARE about music is relatively much lower than ten years or so ago and I do include people who listen to the top 40 here. I have met people who really love to listen to popular music and it's their choice but even the numbers of these are dwindling.  When Ipods entered the market, the novelty of the device probably revived interest in music to some extent until people found they could also watch movies on Ipods with bigger screens.


Posted By: Anderson III
Date Posted: June 28 2011 at 02:22
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

Quote it's become much more difficult for any music made with serious intent to (and irrespective of quality because no two people can agree on how good or bad a work of art is and that would take this discussion nowhere) access a large audience in the first place, let alone do well commercially.

I think most if not all pop music is made with serious intent.  



Modern pop music? I think none of it is made with serious intent! Well, there is the intent of entertaining 10 year old girls, but I don't see what's so serious about that. Plus, I don't think it's the music itself that's supposed to entertain, but the whole multimedia package. There's for instance choreography, visual art, and most importantly an IDOL for the kids to worship. The music is a tiny part of this package, and many producers of pop music have publicly stated that they don't personally enjoy the music. It's made for children!


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"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent" - Victor Hugo


Posted By: Siloportem
Date Posted: June 28 2011 at 02:39
Originally posted by Anderson III Anderson III wrote:

Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

Quote it's become much more difficult for any music made with serious intent to (and irrespective of quality because no two people can agree on how good or bad a work of art is and that would take this discussion nowhere) access a large audience in the first place, let alone do well commercially.

I think most if not all pop music is made with serious intent.  



Modern pop music? I think none of it is made with serious intent! Well, there is the intent of entertaining 10 year old girls, but I don't see what's so serious about that. Plus, I don't think it's the music itself that's supposed to entertain, but the whole multimedia package. There's for instance choreography, visual art, and most importantly an IDOL for the kids to worship. The music is a tiny part of this package, and many producers of pop music have publicly stated that they don't personally enjoy the music. It's made for children!


The fact that some music is made as a part of a multimedia idol/x-factor package does not mean that it wasn't made with serious intent. Mind you, I prefer the prog approach, just playing devil's advocate here.

Imho the reason the music industry is in worse shape than during the golden years (70s) is because back then, there was no multimedia. There's much more "stuff" to draw away the attention today.

Regarding the original topic: it comes down to a moral decision for me. I enjoy this music a lot so I am prepared to pay for this support the artist. But it can be difficult, painstakingly hunting down a rare cd while I can instantly download it. The fact that I'm no real audiophile doesn't help here. If I was, then a cd would be even more valuable to me.

And in the past I have gotten angry at stores giving me wrongful information and thought "screw it all" and just downloaded.


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Thanks !! Your topics always so good and informative. I like you talk.


Posted By: AtomicCrimsonRush
Date Posted: August 14 2011 at 07:45
I scanned portions of the OP and found there to be a case here. In any case in order to listen to as much prog as poss, the obscure stuff is impossible to obtain and demands to be downloaded, but I will buy as much as I can when I can. There is no harm in listening online before buying though to ensure the album appeals. 

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Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: August 14 2011 at 07:57
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

I scanned portions of the OP and found there to be a case here. In any case in order to listen to as much prog as poss, the obscure stuff is impossible to obtain and demands to be downloaded, but I will buy as much as I can when I can. There is no harm in listening online before buying though to ensure the album appeals. 

That is troublesome that you can't get reasonably priced hard copies of some stuff and yet still encouraging that you can obtain it through buying a download.


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Released date are often when it it impacted you but recorded dates are when it really happened...



Posted By: Starless
Date Posted: August 23 2011 at 10:22
When I was 11 I bought my first LP with my own money (Are You Experienced - a degree of purchasing hipness not to be repeated for a few years). Back then over here in the UK we had 3 TV channels in b&w, and music was the only outlet for the bored teenager. There was no social networking, computer games, skate parks, you name it. Now, with all those other distractions, music although still all around us is much more peripheral to the life of the average teen than it was in my day, and in that aspect the author is right.
 
As for major record labels if you do your research properly you will find that virtually all of the first wave prog bands (and any other genres of bands from that era for that matter) were ripped off by their labels at some point. so the author's defending of them is entirely misplaced, but I'll put that down to naivety as he is very young! Major labels are in it for one thing only, and it ain't for any high-faluting notions of artistic integrity I can tell you! Modern pop is made with serious intent...serious intent to make money.
 
My attitude to downloading is that where the more esoteric bands that we're all into on this forum are concerned, the absence of the internet would render 99% of those bands almost entirely invisible, and indeed a lot of these bands deliberately upload their wares as a means of getting exposure. My maxim is that if you like something enough you'll either buy the cd, assuming they have one out (mp3 and even FLAC are inferior to a cd played on decent hi-fi, and only the cloth-eared would argue otherwise!) or go see said band live thereby supporting their existence.


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Beware of the flowers, cos they're gonna get you yet!


Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 23 2011 at 14:28

Originally posted by Alitare Alitare wrote:

That's like, your opinion, man.

I should get some royalties for that.

Meh.... Warner Brothers probably stole it all. In fact, the Coen Brothers are so poor now, they had to sell Frances McDormand on eBay.

Back on topic.......film piracy is affecting the film industry to a similar degree as music piracy is affecting the music industry, it's just that the film industry has generally higher value. It's a trillions of pounds/dollars industry rather than a billions of pounds/dollars industry, so it isn't hurting so bad (yet).

The OP makes a good point about we who buy the music valuing it more than the free downloaders, but it's not like they care (if they were the sort of people who cared about that, they wouldn't illegally download in the first place). The bolg isn't aimed at anyone. 

The whole philosophy of a person who illegally downloads is that they must justify it by whatever means possible. Of course, every single one of them is aware of the law, aware of the moral issues, aware of people like us ranting about it, but none of those things are enough to change their habits. Presenting them with what is right and wrong clearly has no effect, because they never would have started downloading in the first place if it did. These people already know what is right, but there is no punishment, no side-effects, no repercussions for them; and, given that we are discussing what people value, it only takes for you to value your own financial situation more than the music industry for illegal downloading to seem perfectly justifiable.

It's not a question of valuing other forms of entertainment over music (if they were easily obtainable for free, exactly the same categories of people would be exploiting that fact), it's a question of valuing oneself over the success of others, including the bands you like. It comes down to selfishness, a kind of selfishness that no shame is felt about, and one you can make excuses for, in the face of the angry opposition. On a general scale, I value "the economy". I value industry of any kind, at least enough not to steal any product or service. Someone who doesn't have this value is someone who either thinks stealing is morally good (unlikely), or thinks that their small contribution is having no effect on a large scale. When there's millions of them, it does.

The problem is, when one stops, there are still millions of them. What reason can we give somebody, who has no interest in the welfare of musicians they don't know, or no interest in owning physical packages with little extras, to pay for their music?

The answer: there isn't one.

The industry must die, and be reborn with a completely different model. It seems unfair for the morally justified side to back down, but it's the only option. Most businesses go out of business because of lack of demand, not because of large-scale stealing...... but that's life. We can't arrest them all. I mean, we should arrest them all, but no government is efficient or practical enough to carry that out. It's just impossible. A crime can only continue when punishment is out of the question.

Wow..... that turned into a really long rant. Hats off if anybody read it!

Some people have theorised the solution (i.e. the new business model) to this crisis. The one that looks the most tangible to me can be found in http://parth.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/the-future-of-music-manifesto-for-the-digital-music-revolution/" rel="nofollow - this book .



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Posted By: Starless
Date Posted: August 24 2011 at 03:25
Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

.....value your own financial situation more than the music industry .....

Surely everyone values their own financial situation over the music industry, or any other industry for that matter? if someone values an industry more than their own personal situation, it's them who are being selfish to their family who rely on them for support? Or, maybe they are just a bit mad!
Although I can understand what you're saying, nothing is as black and white as you make out. What about the point I made earlier where bands who would otherwise be nigh on invisible deliberately make their music available on filesharing sites in order to gain exposure they would otherwise have no chance of getting? Can you honestly say that every new band you've dicovered in the last ten years has been through entirely legit means? Maybe personally, yes, but I'll bet a good proportion of them were discovered by someone further up the chain from you who did so by dubious means, assuming the band didn't put their wares up there in the first place. Doesn't make it right, I know, but we're all culpable.


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Beware of the flowers, cos they're gonna get you yet!


Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 24 2011 at 06:28
Originally posted by Starless Starless wrote:

Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

.....value your own financial situation more than the music industry .....

Surely everyone values their own financial situation over the music industry,

Musicians don't........ well, they are one and the same to a musician. But yes, most people would value their own finances over any industry's. My point was that some people see this as a complete justification for downloading music. I value my credit rating more than value that of any band, but just not enough to steal from them. People who pay for their downloads obviously agree. Some friends of mine think its a stupid "compromise" that I make, just because I am going into the industry myself. Since when was 'not stealing' a compromise?!

[/QUOTE]

 Although I can understand what you're saying, nothing is as black and white as you make out. What about the point I made earlier where bands who would otherwise be nigh on invisible deliberately make their music available on filesharing sites in order to gain exposure they would otherwise have no chance of getting? Can you honestly say that every new band you've dicovered in the last ten years has been through entirely legit means? Maybe personally, yes, but I'll bet a good proportion of them were discovered by someone further up the chain from you who did so by dubious means, assuming the band didn't put their wares up there in the first place. Doesn't make it right, I know, but we're all culpable.

[/QUOTE]

The exposure is a good thing for bands, but it doesn't get them any money. This is a whole different argument, but basically, it just leads back to the first problem: When the free file-sharing earns the band enough popularity to actually start making money out of music, they go and get a record deal. But given that their audience and fan base is a digital one, why would anyone start paying for the music at this point? Again, this is off-topic, but I'll just add here that more and more money from CD sales is also being taken away from bands by the record companies who can't do maths...... or just want to screw you over. They've always been like that, but more so now that they are losing the battle against illegal downloads. If Band X this year make a million dollars less than last year, guess who doesn't get paid? The musicians. Warner will just make up figures to recoup their losses..... and no one is fighting for them because everyone knows they're still stinking rich. (I'm sure there are exceptions! Probably the smaller record companies....... what they call cottage industries??)

I personally have only ever discovered a band by a legitimate means, but that's mainly because I'm still working my way through a list of 70s prog bands who don't have a myspace! If a modern band doesn't have a CD out, I don't own any of their music. Digital music is great, just not for me. It would be even more great if bands were actually able to get any money from it. Spotify have the right idea: charge people for the right to access music rather than "per track" or "per album"...... then leave it to Spotify to distribute the royalties according to download figures (it's not like they, as an independent company, have any wish to screw musicians over.... although they will take their cut of course). The trouble is, Spotify have a free version..... and the people I described above would still rather sit through ads than pay anything.




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Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 24 2011 at 22:21
Let me bring in another dimension to this debate.  I intend to get into writing in a big way and I have thought about this subject because in my country, printing of spurious copies of books is rampant and there is nothing much you can do about it.  And yet, there are popular writers who get hundreds of thousands of advance copies printed and have been able to acquire property in a city like Mumbai, no mean feat given the prevailing rates of real estate.  There is the odd film that runs to packed houses for nearly two months in spite of piracy.  As for music, concerts for all kinds of music get good audiences, better probably than ever before.
 
I feel that over and above the battle artists have to fight against piracy, they also need to recognize hard realities of the post modern condition.  There is no inherent value in art anymore that the artist can proclaim.  Value is solely in the mind of the audience. Or, to use a more commercial term, consumers.  For art to be commercially viable, it must find takers. And that means you need to understand what the audience want.  It's possible that sections of the audience would be ready for something if it was offered but because such a proposition doesn't exist, they don't even know it is a 'need'.  The artist must have the foresight to understand what such a value proposition could be and see how he could deliver it. If that means changing one's business model, that should be par for the course. 
 
We are still caught up in selling an old business model, especially so in music. We have not appreciated the fact that we need to sell a product first and foremost.  The other problem is that artists feel squeamish about merely the mention of words like "selling". Well, if you don't sell something, you don't get to make money, as simple.  And it is also not necessary that you must dumb down to sell. On the contrary, offering something "different" and more "authentic" can also be a value proposition.  You know, like premium, branded apparel or luxury cars.  However, this "something different" necessarily needs to be something that people other than you would like to listen to. I really commend you if you want to play fusion in the vein of RTF because Chick Correa inspired you to play the keyboard but please do recognize that that may not get you anywhere because such a pursuit is culturally oblivious and irrelevant.   The market offers you the choice of being contemporary, cutting edge, snob or retro and find your niche within those or create a new one. But the problem fundamentally is that in, ironically, the post modern age, artists especially music artists attach too much importance and sentiment to what they play.  You must speak the language of melody, harmony and rhythm and not genres and that may help you overcome mental barriers to certain formats that you may have.     


Posted By: himtroy
Date Posted: August 24 2011 at 23:17
I wouldn't be into prog if not for downloading music.  Fact.  I never would have heard of anything I listen to without it.

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Which of you to gain me, tell, will risk uncertain pains of hell?
I will not forgive you if you will not take the chance.


Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 06:15
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Let me bring in another dimension to this debate.  I intend to get into writing in a big way and I have thought about this subject because in my country, printing of spurious copies of books is rampant and there is nothing much you can do about it.  And yet, there are popular writers who get hundreds of thousands of advance copies printed and have been able to acquire property in a city like Mumbai, no mean feat given the prevailing rates of real estate.  There is the odd film that runs to packed houses for nearly two months in spite of piracy.  As for music, concerts for all kinds of music get good audiences, better probably than ever before.
 
I feel that over and above the battle artists have to fight against piracy, they also need to recognize hard realities of the post modern condition.  There is no inherent value in art anymore that the artist can proclaim.  Value is solely in the mind of the audience. Or, to use a more commercial term, consumers.  For art to be commercially viable, it must find takers. And that means you need to understand what the audience want.  It's possible that sections of the audience would be ready for something if it was offered but because such a proposition doesn't exist, they don't even know it is a 'need'.  The artist must have the foresight to understand what such a value proposition could be and see how he could deliver it. If that means changing one's business model, that should be par for the course. 
 
We are still caught up in selling an old business model, especially so in music. We have not appreciated the fact that we need to sell a product first and foremost.  The other problem is that artists feel squeamish about merely the mention of words like "selling". Well, if you don't sell something, you don't get to make money, as simple.  And it is also not necessary that you must dumb down to sell. On the contrary, offering something "different" and more "authentic" can also be a value proposition.  You know, like premium, branded apparel or luxury cars.  However, this "something different" necessarily needs to be something that people other than you would like to listen to. I really commend you if you want to play fusion in the vein of RTF because Chick Correa inspired you to play the keyboard but please do recognize that that may not get you anywhere because such a pursuit is culturally oblivious and irrelevant.   The market offers you the choice of being contemporary, cutting edge, snob or retro and find your niche within those or create a new one. But the problem fundamentally is that in, ironically, the post modern age, artists especially music artists attach too much importance and sentiment to what they play.  You must speak the language of melody, harmony and rhythm and not genres and that may help you overcome mental barriers to certain formats that you may have.     

Clap This is exactly what I have been thinking about, for how I'm going to pay off my university fees (recently rocketed here in England) once I do music full-time. I am perfectly happy to save the really "out there" stuff for after I've managed to make a living. I don't really understand why some musicians turn their noses up....... some of them now think that just releasing a single is "selling out"....... even if it performs poorly on the charts!



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Posted By: Starless
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 11:03
himtroy - Well said that man! Exactly my point from earlier. If no-one d/loaded music there are literally hundreds of bands out there that you, me and the man in the moon would never ever get to hear of, or more likely would not exist at all as they would have no audience.
 
thehallway - Again, spot on. Most musos I know do what you might call "day job" music to earn a living and treat the stuff they really want to do, the more esoteric stuff, almost as a hobby, unless of course they get lucky.
 
rogerthat - So, to follow your argument the fewer people buy a musician's music the more it should cost to the buyer, for that's essentially what a premium brand is. I think not! Also, I hardly think playing fusion in the style of RTF is "culturally oblivious and irrelevant"! I think your analysis is far too clinical. Remember, although the likes of Sony treat music as a business it is still essentially an art form despite your attempted deconstruction. Normal commercial rules do not apply to art or those who make it, and never have, otherwise Van Gogh would have not died in poverty.


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Beware of the flowers, cos they're gonna get you yet!


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 12:13
Originally posted by Starless Starless wrote:

 
rogerthat - So, to follow your argument the fewer people buy a musician's music the more it should cost to the buyer, for that's essentially what a premium brand is. I think not! 



It does not work with STUDIO releases so well but I have definitely seen evidence of this in concerts.  Fewer but costlier seats for a classical concert and cheaper but many more tickets for a light music programme.  Again, the billing too comes into play. We like to automatically slot anything esoteric or serious as premium and anything mainstream as, well, basic but that's not necessarily the case and it often doesn't reflect the economic reality. The fact is some stuff that we might be tempted to label pop trash gets a big billing and that is premium, whether we like it or not.  Premium or not is a perception and is to be gauged from market demand, not musical analysis.  

Coming back to studio works, yes, specially packaged releases or so called limited editions cost a lot more so there are music products sold in fewer quantities that cost more to the buyer.  But it depends again on the packaging and positioning rather than the spread of appeal. Simply making something too esoteric in its appeal will not make the music premium.

Originally posted by Starless Starless wrote:

Also, I hardly think playing fusion in the style of RTF is "culturally oblivious and irrelevant"!


I am sorry but it is, as much as I wouldn't personally mind a band that attempts something like that so much. Music has moved on and something like what I proposed above is essentially harkening to a bygone era rather than affording a fresh experience to the listener. I think that implication was very clear anyway from my analysis. I am not saying something with a measure of influence of RTF is culturally oblivious but yes, to attempt to tribute RTF is because it has a very limited appeal as of today.  Ok, I was on post modernism and theoretically appeal to A single listener is valid enough and every member of the audience can have his own cultural zone. But that unfortunately does not address the issue of critical mass of audience that is necessary for the sake of commercial viability.  You still have to find the golden middle that appeals to large sections of the audience.

Originally posted by Starless Starless wrote:


I think your analysis is far too clinical.



It is an analysis of the business of music rather than music itself, so it has to be.

Originally posted by Starless Starless wrote:


Remember, although the likes of Sony treat music as a business it is still essentially an art form despite your attempted deconstruction. Normal commercial rules do not apply to art or those who make it, and never have, otherwise Van Gogh would have not died in poverty.


I have not said that music is not an art form but we cannot talk about musicians being impoverished in the same breath as remaining oblivious to commercial realities.  The fact that Van Gogh died in poverty perhaps also underlines that if an artist wishes to more than subsist on his art, he must recognize these realities.  Some artists follow their heart and still win much commercial favour, that is just destiny and not something that can be perpetually repeated. I am not saying people should not make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of art and on the other hand I admire such people. But you cannot then grumble about the lack of commercially viability for those who choose to make the music they desire to on their own terms. It's as simple as, if you want to make money as a musician, you have to understand the rules of making money and it is not enough to understand the rules of art alone.

Aside from all this, I am not convinced at any level that making art that is true to your values must necessarily always entail divorcing yourself from commercial considerations. It is more that artists are poor at marketing and positioning their own work and fear that they would be perceived as sellouts and lose a small but loyal audience.  That is understandable because they specialize in making art and not in doing business but the commercial world and the art world are not necessarily polar opposites and those who understand the rules of the former often get the best of both worlds.


Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 13:35
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

 
I have not said that music is not an art form but we cannot talk about musicians being impoverished in the same breath as remaining oblivious to commercial realities.  The fact that Van Gogh died in poverty perhaps also underlines that if an artist wishes to more than subsist on his art, he must recognize these realities.  Some artists follow their heart and still win much commercial favour, that is just destiny and not something that can be perpetually repeated. I am not saying people should not make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of art and on the other hand I admire such people. But you cannot then grumble about the lack of commercially viability for those who choose to make the music they desire to on their own terms. It's as simple as, if you want to make money as a musician, you have to understand the rules of making money and it is not enough to understand the rules of art alone.

Aside from all this, I am not convinced at any level that making art that is true to your values must necessarily always entail divorcing yourself from commercial considerations. It is more that artists are poor at marketing and positioning their own work and fear that they would be perceived as sellouts and lose a small but loyal audience.  That is understandable because they specialize in making art and not in doing business but the commercial world and the art world are not necessarily polar opposites and those who understand the rules of the former often get the best of both worlds.

The concepts of art and business indeed are not polar opposites, however, they don't have enough in common to ever avoid compromise (except in extraordinary cases like The Beatles), which means that, yes, even though people well-trained in both can make a decent financial gain from their art, it also means that they will never be 100% satisfied (unless their entire artistic desires happen to be exactly the same as what sells millions in the charts, which, given that that kind of music is fabricated by producers, record execs and calculating "hit-writers", and never the musicians, is unlikely). I hope that long sentence makes sense. LOL

You're saying that compromise is necessary in order to make any kind of practical living out of music, which is totally and unquestionably true. I just don't like it. It's not fair. It makes me grumpy! I'm sure if you've met any passionate artists, you'll know how they dislike compromise. A vision, a goal, a statement..... these things need to come out, and the harsh reality that you'll probably live in poverty if you don't compromise it in some way, sickens me. I wouldn't mind if it were even a poorly paid job, one that literally allows you to scrape by..... but it isn't, it's literally £0.00 (unless you start compromising). My own musical aims are not completely commercially infeasible, I guess, but they aren't exactly mainstream either. In ten years time I'll let you know how I'm doing! If I need a second job, so be it...... I think I would rather earn money by other means and keep art separate. If the current trends in art change in my favour however............



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Posted By: lucas
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 14:07
Originally posted by AtomicCrimsonRush AtomicCrimsonRush wrote:

There is no harm in listening online before buying though to ensure the album appeals. 
exactly. It's always risky to buy an album without having a glimpse of its content.

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Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 20:16
Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

 

The concepts of art and business indeed are not polar opposites, however, they don't have enough in common to ever avoid compromise (except in extraordinary cases like The Beatles), which means that, yes, even though people well-trained in both can make a decent financial gain from their art, it also means that they will never be 100% satisfied (unless their entire artistic desires happen to be exactly the same as what sells millions in the charts, which, given that that kind of music is fabricated by producers, record execs and calculating "hit-writers", and never the musicians, is unlikely). I hope that long sentence makes sense. LOL

You're saying that compromise is necessary in order to make any kind of practical living out of music, which is totally and unquestionably true. I just don't like it. It's not fair. It makes me grumpy! I'm sure if you've met any passionate artists, you'll know how they dislike compromise. A vision, a goal, a statement..... these things need to come out, and the harsh reality that you'll probably live in poverty if you don't compromise it in some way, sickens me. I wouldn't mind if it were even a poorly paid job, one that literally allows you to scrape by..... but it isn't, it's literally £0.00 (unless you start compromising). My own musical aims are not completely commercially infeasible, I guess, but they aren't exactly mainstream either. In ten years time I'll let you know how I'm doing! If I need a second job, so be it...... I think I would rather earn money by other means and keep art separate. If the current trends in art change in my favour however............




Let me put it this way. You try to make the art you want to and THEN you look at how best you can position to to get the best possible audience. There are two mistakes commonly made here: one is trying to second guess what people like and deliberately dumb down your art. The other is in assuming that anything accessible or with wide appeal is dumbed down and necessarily compromised (hence a true artist must make something esoteric, inhabiting a rarefied sacred place). Neither positions are correct in my view. 

A case study here, which I have always been fascinated by, is Iron Maiden.  During their long career, they hardly changed their style (though they got more ambitious within it around Powerslave-SSOASS and again Brave New World - AMOLAD) and they did not depend only on radio airplay for success. They have seemingly mobilized or galvanized legions of metalheads all around the world and filled stadiums time and again on tour. Not just back in the 80s but even in the decade gone by, and they still found YOUNG fans, not 40 somethings feeling nostalgic for childhood or teenhood favourites. And if one were to ask Steve Harris, he would not say he had to compromise to ensure the band lasted longer. On the other hand, he would say they remained 'true' to metal ideals.  There is, as such, much to learn from the concept of 'true' in metal.  They could never convincingly sell something like that in rock because it was too mainstream from the get-go but 'true' is everything in metal.  Iron Maiden quite miraculously added new fans to the legion all the time while never alienating loyal, die hard metalheads.  I don't think it is a historical accident, it's just excellent positioning. 

Another thing is I have never felt convinced that merely making something accessible and appealing involves a compromise. I would personally want as many people as possible to read my work and same goes for music. I don't really understand how snobbery derives from making it out there and difficult.  If somebody WANTS to explore new horizons and the results of that would not be so appealing in the near-term (Stockhausen or Schoenberg's innovations, for example), I fully understand that but I don't know that one has to necessarily be out of bounds of the mainstream to be true to art.  Sure, people do compromise but I strongly feel that if artists tapped into many, er, non musical factors that influence the listener's preferences (and I don't mean anything dirty or unethical here),  they would not have to compromise on their work and still find a good audience. 

Lastly, I am not saying you said that but I don't think embracing contemporary sounds and technology in music is a compromise. It makes it sound 'different' but that is not objectively a bad thing.  In all honesty, I am at a loss when aspiring musicians talk about what "sounds good" because that is a highly opinionated and close minded way to look at music. I am strongly influenced by early 20th century fiction but I try to use specific words that are very commonly used nowadays without resorting to 4chan.  When I submit non fiction articles to websites, I use much shorter sentences than what I do on such internet forums LOL and attempt to communicate the same thing thus (and it is a fascinating challenge and learning exercise in itself). You must speak the same language as your audience, that being my point earlier about cultural oblivion.  The 'classics' that are admired by many rock listeners were all cutting edge for their time, be it Beatles or Led Zeppelin. They were 'with it' and pushed rock into new directions at the same time as they achieved commercial success.



Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 20:28
One related point I omitted in that long-ass post is that commercial viability can actually fuel ambition by providing the means and resources that an artist would be otherwise denied. That's what happened in the 70s when bigger was actually better. When lack of resources makes you pare down your ambition and scale, that also affects how exciting (or not) your music is.  


Posted By: darkshade
Date Posted: August 25 2011 at 20:54
Originally posted by Henry Plainview Henry Plainview wrote:

 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

The question I pose to this general argument is if piracy alone is to blame for music's present state, why does Avatar rake in the millions? Why do kids rush to get their copies of Harry Potter/Twilight? I am not trying to talk up their quality, just asking how is that writers and filmmakers can still access a large audience in the same economic and social conditions as musicians?

Well reading a book on a computer sucks, and you can't repeat seeing Avatar in 3D on your computer screen. Music is the same no matter where you get it. I think we'll start seeing more widespread book piracy as digital reading devices take hold in the market. And movie companies are suffering hard from piracy, or at least people not going to theaters anymore. I can't find the link now, but I read that theater attendance in the US has stayed more or less flat even though the population increases. 3D has excited Hollywood so much because the same amount of people would go, but pay more money for tickets. Fortunately, http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/05/24/sluggish-pirates-3d-box-office/" rel="nofollow - people seem to be getting tired of this.


No time to go through this whole thread, but I just wanted to add, that pop music (-aka- anything that is shoved in our faces on TV/radio/internet/etc) still sells by the buttload. Maybe our beloved prog bands and jazz artists are getting hit, but pop is still thriving; as it gets more and more bland...

But on the bright side, our beloved prog bands and jazz artists are making more money touring than they were in the 90s (generally speaking)


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Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 26 2011 at 04:40
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

 

The concepts of art and business indeed are not polar opposites, however, they don't have enough in common to ever avoid compromise (except in extraordinary cases like The Beatles), which means that, yes, even though people well-trained in both can make a decent financial gain from their art, it also means that they will never be 100% satisfied (unless their entire artistic desires happen to be exactly the same as what sells millions in the charts, which, given that that kind of music is fabricated by producers, record execs and calculating "hit-writers", and never the musicians, is unlikely). I hope that long sentence makes sense. LOL

You're saying that compromise is necessary in order to make any kind of practical living out of music, which is totally and unquestionably true. I just don't like it. It's not fair. It makes me grumpy! I'm sure if you've met any passionate artists, you'll know how they dislike compromise. A vision, a goal, a statement..... these things need to come out, and the harsh reality that you'll probably live in poverty if you don't compromise it in some way, sickens me. I wouldn't mind if it were even a poorly paid job, one that literally allows you to scrape by..... but it isn't, it's literally £0.00 (unless you start compromising). My own musical aims are not completely commercially infeasible, I guess, but they aren't exactly mainstream either. In ten years time I'll let you know how I'm doing! If I need a second job, so be it...... I think I would rather earn money by other means and keep art separate. If the current trends in art change in my favour however............




Let me put it this way. You try to make the art you want to and THEN you look at how best you can position to to get the best possible audience. There are two mistakes commonly made here: one is trying to second guess what people like and deliberately dumb down your art. The other is in assuming that anything accessible or with wide appeal is dumbed down and necessarily compromised (hence a true artist must make something esoteric, inhabiting a rarefied sacred place). Neither positions are correct in my view. 

A case study here, which I have always been fascinated by, is Iron Maiden.  During their long career, they hardly changed their style (though they got more ambitious within it around Powerslave-SSOASS and again Brave New World - AMOLAD) and they did not depend only on radio airplay for success. They have seemingly mobilized or galvanized legions of metalheads all around the world and filled stadiums time and again on tour. Not just back in the 80s but even in the decade gone by, and they still found YOUNG fans, not 40 somethings feeling nostalgic for childhood or teenhood favourites. And if one were to ask Steve Harris, he would not say he had to compromise to ensure the band lasted longer. On the other hand, he would say they remained 'true' to metal ideals.  There is, as such, much to learn from the concept of 'true' in metal.  They could never convincingly sell something like that in rock because it was too mainstream from the get-go but 'true' is everything in metal.  Iron Maiden quite miraculously added new fans to the legion all the time while never alienating loyal, die hard metalheads.  I don't think it is a historical accident, it's just excellent positioning. 

Another thing is I have never felt convinced that merely making something accessible and appealing involves a compromise. I would personally want as many people as possible to read my work and same goes for music. I don't really understand how snobbery derives from making it out there and difficult.  If somebody WANTS to explore new horizons and the results of that would not be so appealing in the near-term (Stockhausen or Schoenberg's innovations, for example), I fully understand that but I don't know that one has to necessarily be out of bounds of the mainstream to be true to art.  Sure, people do compromise but I strongly feel that if artists tapped into many, er, non musical factors that influence the listener's preferences (and I don't mean anything dirty or unethical here),  they would not have to compromise on their work and still find a good audience.

Lastly, I am not saying you said that but I don't think embracing contemporary sounds and technology in music is a compromise. It makes it sound 'different' but that is not objectively a bad thing.  In all honesty, I am at a loss when aspiring musicians talk about what "sounds good" because that is a highly opinionated and close minded way to look at music. I am strongly influenced by early 20th century fiction but I try to use specific words that are very commonly used nowadays without resorting to 4chan.  When I submit non fiction articles to websites, I use much shorter sentences than what I do on such internet forums LOL and attempt to communicate the same thing thus (and it is a fascinating challenge and learning exercise in itself). You must speak the same language as your audience, that being my point earlier about cultural oblivion.  The 'classics' that are admired by many rock listeners were all cutting edge for their time, be it Beatles or Led Zeppelin. They were 'with it' and pushed rock into new directions at the same time as they achieved commercial success.

I don't think it's intentional that a lot of musicians see commercialising their music as a compromise. It is inconvenient that the art people want to make rarely fits with mainstream tastes....... inconvenient but not desired. If the two variables aligned such that no compromise was necessary, I would love that! But as I said, it only happens to the lucky few, The Beatles, Iron Maiden....... You could try to say that these two bands were very shrewd at business, that they were marketing geniuses and were able to "tap into" audiences, and furthermore that their music aligned perfectly with this business model and they had perfect careers........ but that's untrue. The last part is true, and the rest is luck. I honestly don't think Iron Maiden knew what audiences want, it's more like audiences happened to continue liking whatever the band wanted to create that year.

I'm not making excuses.... or trying to say that it's out of our hands and hence, we are allowed to moan. But I also maintain that: in cases when the artist does feel they have to compromise their art, it isn't snobbery. It isn't that we only feel we're making true art when it isn't mainstream. Anything I create, I view as true art (whether it's truly good or truly bad!)...... and sometimes I feel it has an audience, but all too often that audience is nobody but myself. You could say I'm just not 'with it'. In addition, the loftier a goal is, the less likely it becomes commercially viable; probably why Prog isn't too popular. If your life's artistic goal is to get people dancing (and no, I don't think that that isn't "true art") then it is safe to say this is easier to achieve than getting people to sit and contemplate difficult metaphysical concepts. The more successful people have easier goals, which is fine..... hats off to them! But the loftier goals are not only harder, but they less often sync up with pleasant financial situations. Yeah, it's a stereotype, but sadly it's true.

Also, how can you tap into non-musical factors when making music?



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Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 26 2011 at 04:47

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

One related point I omitted in that long-ass post is that commercial viability can actually fuel ambition by providing the means and resources that an artist would be otherwise denied. That's what happened in the 70s when bigger was actually better. When lack of resources makes you pare down your ambition and scale, that also affects how exciting (or not) your music is.  

This is a case where I am happy to compromise, if I can reap the benefits later by using all the cash I've earned to make the art I couldn't afford to make when I first started out. It's just another unlucky trend in genres like Prog and Metal, that the best albums and the best shows are typically the most expensive ones (just look at Pink Floyd's lighting bill........)!



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Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 26 2011 at 06:35
Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

I don't think it's intentional that a lot of musicians see commercialising their music as a compromise. It is inconvenient that the art people want to make rarely fits with mainstream tastes....... inconvenient but not desired. If the two variables aligned such that no compromise was necessary, I would love that! But as I said, it only happens to the lucky few, The Beatles, Iron Maiden....... You could try to say that these two bands were very shrewd at business, that they were marketing geniuses and were able to "tap into" audiences, and furthermore that their music aligned perfectly with this business model and they had perfect careers........ but that's untrue. The last part is true, and the rest is luck. I honestly don't think Iron Maiden knew what audiences want, it's more like audiences happened to continue liking whatever the band wanted to create that year.

Well, I think Steve Harris certainly is quite shrewd and knows what he wants on an Iron Maiden album. Yes, the first big break had destiny written all over it but he consolidated on it really well, which is a trick the rest of the NWOBHM crowd missed.  And generally speaking, metal musicians at least as of today know what metalheads want and serve it on a platter. Which is why it is one of the most networked and thriving underground music scenes. 
 
And with regard to compromise, it is all about how much importance one attaches to what aspects of music. I have personally never seen pop music inherently as a compromised effort, it is just that some or in fact a lot of pop is extremely 'manufactured'. But there is nothing wrong in my view in writing something appealing and memorable, whereas I have heard people from the art music crowd abhor the very presence of hooks.  It in fact takes a lot of skill and creativity to write something that is fresh and finds its mark in all of four minutes or so.  And I believe that, regardless of what IS the eventual commercial success of such music, a musician does give himself a much better chance of finding an audience when his music is very accessible and appealing. Rather than a compromise, I see it more as tapping a different dimension of compositional skill and a difficult one in my view.
 
So I do wonder if sometimes say the prog rock set wilfully avoid writing something memorable because they have already set out to write something 'difficult'. Certainly, Dave Stewart's observations made with regard to National Health's Of Queues and Cures suggests something of the sort. I am all for musicians writing with clear goals of expression in mind even if said goals take the musician in a not too accessible direction but  for all that I like prog, I have never been comfortable with the difficult-simple dicohotomy and don't like to look music in such terms.
 
You can write something lofty AND memorable too.  Beethoven's symphonies may not be pop music, but the motifs used are unforgettable and the music reveals a throbbing pulse when given the chance. I cannot say that all the 'lofty' music I have heard is necessarily driven by such clear goals and direction as the maestro's works.  So, while I do appreciate ambition, musicians need to be mindful of its pitfalls. It is not necessarily only a question of compromise or honesty but also a question of skill and limitations thereof. I have no objections whatsoever if an artist constructs an entire 50 minute long instrumental with barely any memorability and simply passages of music melodically leading into one another but I also don't see why a piece cannot be memorable and the moment it is, chances of it being well received improve. 
 
 
Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

Also, how can you tap into non-musical factors when making music?

 
Well, things like attitude, personality and such. There are many other aspects to it so I wouldn't want to reduce it to generalizations. But, for instance, Guns N Roses's success was driven greatly by how AXL was projected to the audience. I find the notion that they represented a break with the era of slick, cheesy glam metal barely convincing but the band were projected as bad boys and won much favour. To this day, their songs like November Rain are hailed as rock classics, so it is now a flourishing franchise and a legacy.  It may not be the most inspiring example musically speaking but it is again an example of tapping into things the audience cares about which may not have anything to do with the music. I have sympathy and admiration for the likes of Hackett who quietly play their music with a smile and do no 'more' but what again is the damage done at all in projecting oneself well and aptly to win more favour IN ADDITION to great musical talent? Why not?  John Lennon, I'd argue, is better remembered than Macca because of such non musical factors.


Posted By: thehallway
Date Posted: August 26 2011 at 14:20

"I think Steve Harris certainly is quite shrewd and knows what he wants on an Iron Maiden album."

Maybe he is. I don't know enough about the band to even know who that is. In any case, musicians being shrewd is rare. Robert Fripp comes to mind but not many others. Often it is a record exec or A&R guy that is shrewd, and that is when the compromises come in; whether they benefit or taint the music is just luck, the aim of these people is purely financial.

 "I have never been comfortable with the difficult-simple dicohotomy and don't like to look music in such terms."

Me neither. I was referring to the difficult-easy dichotomy, and regarding one's aims, rather than the music itself.

"I don't see why a piece cannot be memorable"

It can...... of course it can. If a musician creates something according to their artistic maxim, and it is memorable, then great. Win win situation. What I've been trying to get across is that, if a musician creates something according to their artistic maxim, and it is not memorable, then any attempt to take that music and alter it's memorability, can be defined as an artistic compromise. Even if it actually improves the music, and the music still makes its artistic statement, it is still changing a piece of art for financial gain. I'm all for being business-aware, but I just feel that the whole marketing process should be done after any music is completed, i.e. not overlapping with the actual creative process.

It's all to do with how music is made, I feel. Let's say I sit down with the goal of writing a number one hit single. If, when it's finished, I think to myself that the song actually isn't single-worthy, then I change it accordingly until the goal is achieved (or until I give up), then that's all fine. Chances are, the song may be worse than it originally was on other terms, but it succeeds in it's only purpose, which is to get to number one. This artistic goal happens to coincide with financial gain, so you can see how there would never be a need to alter this song on purely financial grounds. However, let's say I want to write another song that represents the sadness of unnecessary death in war, a protest song perhaps. Again, I can change it's musical elements at any point in order to help achieve the purpose of the song. But if I want to make money out of the song, and I find that it isn't a natural money-maker, I will have to change it more, and in other ways. If this still aligns with the artistic goal, then great, but it is unlikely. When it doesn't align, you have compromised one for the other. For me, the artistic goal is more important, which is why I am uncomfortable with such compromises, even if I have to make them from time to time in order to avoid poverty.

And, regarding the non-musical factors....... again, you're right in saying that having a particular personality can earn you money, while your music can remain safely unchanged by greedy hands. But Lennon was born with his wit and his charm, but if you happen to have a non-media-friendly personality, then it's just tough luck. Your personality isn't really something you can choose.

 



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Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 26 2011 at 21:06
I don't deny that it is tough to write a memorable piece and further that what a musician may find memorable may still not get such a good reception from the audience and also that you may not be born with a great personality. But I also feel artists in general, and not just musicians, could work on these things and give themselves the best chance of succeeding.  I mean, we surely recognize that not all actors were born with macho presence and not all actresses had drop dead looks when they began to knock doors in the industry? Grooming can take you places and the need is much less for a musician so it could well be cultivated without much expense or expert advice.  We know that Peter Gabriel was an introvert and not even  comfortable being the frontman of Genesis(which is why the role was initially given to Anthony Phillips).  For the sake of the band, Gabriel began to wear masks and talk and such and eventually became one of the legendary theatrical frontmen of prog.  Personality is everything for metal frontmen and again not all of them were brutal from the time they rocked the cradle. LOL   

So, my point really is that, yes, business savvy, the ability to write something memorable, and the ability to present oneself charmingly, these things may not be easily acquired but you can "make your luck" to some extent by putting efforts in this direction too.  It would not bother me one bit how the musicians look, as in even apart from physical features, do they exude confidence on stage. I really don't care about those things but a lot of people do and  and, sorry to say so, a lot of people who I'd otherwise consider very erudite and open minded about music attach too much importance to these things. So it's essentially a losing battle if you don't understand what the audience wants and rather than hoping for favourable circumstances, a better approach imo is to adapt and see to what extent you can improve on these things without compromising on your artistic values.  Speaking of which, the other big marketing coup of rock is Sex Pistols and to this day the legend of Never Mind the Bollocks is unshakable though I'd personally much rather London Calling or Marquee Moon and find it rather boring.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 27 2011 at 01:28
Originally posted by thehallway thehallway wrote:

What I've been trying to get across is that, if a musician creates something according to their artistic maxim, and it is not memorable, then any attempt to take that music and alter it's memorability, can be defined as an artistic compromise. Even if it actually improves the music, and the music still makes its artistic statement, it is still changing a piece of art for financial gain. 

Well, my view may be hardline on this count but I think as long as music is made with the intention of finding some audience, memorability is under all circumstances an imperative and making it more memorable, except where it's achieved by rather forced and artificial constructs, makes the song better. And writing the best song possible is more important than one's artistic maxim.  When I write, I try to write the best I can. I don't know what is objectively the best and what is it that the audience would like more but I can judge if a line here or there is unwieldy or too verbose or simply not getting the point across.  A passage of music without initiative is similar to that. Maybe it flows out of the artist's style but that means the style itself needs more improvement.  If we look at Beatles here, for example, their flexibility was a great strength. They adapted and went with the flow and did not cling to 'ideals' as some artists seem to.  It may have been destiny that Beatles revolutionized rock and made an unprecedented impact on music culture but they also got a lot of things right.
 
Now, of course, if the artist makes art for himself first and foremost,  there are entirely different considerations and he may write absolutely as he pleases, aware that he does not care at all if it will find any takers. But if you desire an audience for your work, 'sharpness' is a must. The prog crowd loves to justify noodling on the grounds that 'others' don't have the patience but the fact is a lot of times, noodling doesn't really achieve much and it is just that we patiently wait for it to resolve and make way for something better while others won't. 


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: August 27 2011 at 01:30
I am saying...don't think about what the audience will like or whether it is ideal for a no.1 hit or such. Just think about whether it is sharp, crisp and hits the bulls eye.  An artist has to be detached enough to be able to judge his work in that light and work harder if he feels he has failed on that count.


Posted By: leonalvarado
Date Posted: November 28 2011 at 21:43
Having read some of the posts here, I'll throw my two cents worth. Yes, labels are basically evil entities and yes, they do have some very talented people working for them. People who are great at combining the right producer with the right talent and the such.

I have been involved in the music industry in many capacities for over two decades. I have done work directly through some bands or through their record label. In the past I mostly did album cover artwork but today I find myself in the middle of things with two released CDs and a third one on the way. Over the years I have worked with, or done work for bands such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Peter Gabriel and King's X to name a few. I have also done album covers for Atlantic records, Word records and Priority records. As a musician, I have recorded with the talents of John Goodsall (Brand X), Billy Sherwood (Yes, CIRCA) and Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson). In creating my music, I have worked with Abbey Road studios and Metropolis Mastering in the UK and Rivendell Recorders in the US.

Technology has allowed us to reach goals that seemed unobtainable before. However, technology is a double edge sword. The other side of technology is what allows people to illegally download the intellectual property of others. Unlawful downloading happens at the cost of the artist's back. Many people operate under the misconception that if a person has an album on the market, then they must have lots of money. This could not be further from the truth.

In actuality, composing, recording, producing, manufacturing and placing an album in the market still cost many thousands of dollars. Sure, the costs are much less than what they used to but to make a quality product will still run into the thousands. Independent artists have to be in-charge of budgeting their own projects. That means getting the money from somewhere. Then, they have to find the proper studio and pay studio time, the cost of a sound engineer, equipment rental, mastering studio, the artist who prepares the artwork, the manufacturing, the distribution deal, the shipping, etc.

When people download music illegally, they don't think of whatever it took the artist to create the music. They don't think (and in many cases don't care) that the artist might have sank his or her savings into the project. One CD often costs less than a cheap lunch and yet, many people are hesitant to even pay that. On top of being an artist and a musician, I am also a record collector of sorts. For example, I have all the Genesis albums on CD but also have all the new box-sets (of course, my name is on the live one listed as a photographer so I had to get that one). Most likely, I spent a small fortune on the stuff but it's not like I bought them all in one day. Besides, why wouldn't I support the band that has brought me so many good times throughout the years? I feel that is the least I can do.

We live in different times. We live in a society of instant self-gratification regardless of consequences. We do many things that in the long run will hurt us but we still do them because is the order of the day. Hacking the web is cool even though it produces nothing good and is at best, a childish accomplishment. To expect for people to understand the value that music has is not something that equates well with the current crop of consumers.

Music is not the only part of the entertaining industry that suffers but it is the major one that does. Lower music sales equal higher concert tickets costs. So, it would probably be safe to say that many of the people that have illegally downloaded any Pink Floyd or Roger Water music will not be going to see the current The Wall tour which carries ticket prices from $100 up to $300 and above. One would assume that if you are not willing to pay $15.00 for the music, then paying those astronomical prices for the concert would definitely be out of the question. So, you can thank all the pirated music for elevating the cost of seeing a concert to the point that only your parents could afford.

Greed is everywhere. Record labels are greedy, of course they are! they are run by corporations who's main purpose is to prop up their stock value. Some artists are greedy, true but many are only trying to keep up with the lifestyle that they were once used to, (and I can't blame them for that). And now, we have greedy fans too! People who want all the music they can get without paying a cent for it.

All in all, there is a disfunction that permeates through the entire segment. Eventually it will get hammered out somehow. In the meantime though, the recording artists pay the big portion of it.

My personal projects are titled "Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff" and "Strangers In Strange Places". The holidays are approaching and I feel is a good time to help those who are in most need. Somewhere in this forum somebody mentioned starving children. I can't end starvation among children but I can help and all of you can help too. Form now until December 31st, I will donate a portion from the sale of any of my CDs sold through CD Baby to UNICEF. I will also match the amount with my own money to double the donation. You could help poor children across the world as well as help fight illegal downloads in one swift move. I will let people know of the proceedings through my facebook page which is listed here http://www.facebook.com/Leonplaysmusic" rel="nofollow - http://www.facebook.com/Leonplaysmusic . To may purchase the CDs here: http://https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LeonAlvarado" rel="nofollow - http://https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LeonAlvarado  Not everybody is greedy, I'm not looking to get rich out of this neither. I figure we can do something good through something we all have in common, music.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: November 29 2011 at 03:05
Originally posted by leonalvarado leonalvarado wrote:


We live in different times. We live in a society of instant self-gratification regardless of consequences. We do many things that in the long run will hurt us but we still do them because is the order of the day. Hacking the web is cool even though it produces nothing good and is at best, a childish accomplishment. To expect for people to understand the value that music has is not something that equates well with the current crop of consumers.

 
I am afraid starting out with such an assumption is in itself not going to make much headway in overcoming this issue.  It beats me why musicians and music lovers both are unable to grasp the problems of too much fragmentation. I'd bet anything that piracy is much more rampant in the case of 'indie' films and hurts them much more than commercial filmmakers.  Pirated copies of commercial films are also made and circulated on the internet but access to the real thing is much easier so there is at least some group of consumers who will still go and watch it on the big screen.  Piracy is therefore not driven necessarily by greed but simply the desire to find out and explore, as Dean once put it.  The option to access it immediately than to look hard for it in a pursuit that may ultimately even be fruitless is too tempting for a lot of people.
 
The same applies to music.  People just don't have access to and information about lots of bands.  I and one of my friends now use an online portal that saves us shipping on imported CDs. It's a big boon and we are very happy to be able to order more CDs and have them delivered at our doorstep rather than hunt for them in poorly organized racks in stores.  But these alternatives are not always available nor are we always aware of it.  I know there are people who would not buy at any cost and believe in extracting every penny out of piracy if they could, but they are not necessarily the majority.  If people could buy AND they wanted to listen to a particular album, they will do so. 
 
The problem is, all this while more and more piles of recorded music has accumulated and the experience of discovering new recorded music is in itself no more as alluring as it used to be. And in the meantime, people have got a plethora of options to spend their time and are, in some cases, possibly more excited about it.  I don't really know what is the future of the recorded music format and I think the chances of faring better live are more favourable provided, again, musicians can come up with an experience that enriches the audience. It is tough, goes without saying, and the mountains of music that we can now listen to whenever we choose to (instead of attending a concert as in the pre-recording era) is not going to make this challenge any less difficult.


Posted By: Starless
Date Posted: November 29 2011 at 03:56
The story of Johnny Downloader (JDL)...
 
JDL's love of music lies mainly in the pursuit of the new. He has all the old classics, but apart from one or two long standing faves, prefers to hunt down obscurities by bands he has never heard of, usually on the strength of a review on PA and other sites. JDL has a busy life so he cannot spend inordinate amounts of time sitting in front of his computer listening to streaming from myspace etc.
 
Shock! Horror! He illegally downloads FragileOn The Edge by Scandinavian proggers Shaky so he can listen to it in his car as he drives around in his work.
 
He falls in love with the album, buys the CD from the band's website, and is pleasantly surprised at the much better sound quality than his ropey download (now relegated to his mp3 player), He also buys a t-shirt, and will undoubtedly buy their new album and has already bought their previous releases.
 
All because of one illegal download - so it's not all bad is it?
 
I suggest there are a lot of fans, particularly of obscure music, be it prog or any other genre, that have done this. Without fans like these and the delights or otherwise of the interwebby, "Shaky" and their ilk would remain a secret (which might be a good thing, but that's another story!) . On the other hand, people who illegally download music by established artists are killing the mainstream music industry it's true, but when said industry  thinks we all need a seventh version of Dark Side Of The Moon complete with all sorts of useless ephemera at a ridculously inflated price, you can't blame Joe and Jemima Public for being a bit pissed off, can you? Particularly when they discover that the thing they really want, the live concert, is split between DSOTM and WYWH. Who is being greedy here? Mason's argument boils down to "it's there if you want it" is a) wrong and b) shows how out of touch he is with the hard times we live in,


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Beware of the flowers, cos they're gonna get you yet!


Posted By: leonalvarado
Date Posted: November 29 2011 at 22:28
The self-gratification society is not just an assumption. It is a very palpable thing. Rogerthat made some good points regarding how much music is out there. However, greedy fans do exist and the allure of acquiring something for free is greater than spending the time to listen to it with the required attention. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes. As a father of three kids with ages ranging from 23 to 4 years of age, I've seen plenty of the behaviour from my older kids and their friends. Even though they very well know my position on the matter.

I think I eventually got through to my children but I can attest for their friends. Trying to get away with illegal downloading of music seems to be a much bigger motivator than the music itself. This mere action has changed the perception of the true value of music in newer generations.  Subsequently, they do not think of whatever it took to create the music, nor do they care. I think to automatically assume that one is entitled to own music without paying is ludicrous and greedy.

How much does it affect the industry? Well, just today Universal announce that they are acquiring EMI. That leaves the world with only three major record labels (Universal, Sony and Warner). As a result, people will loose their jobs and bands will be let out of their rosters. In order to try capturing the buyers money, we are starting to see more "special issued" box sets of single albums. Pink Floyd (which I love), has the immersion set of some of their albums. Such sets include some ridiculous amount of material that we wouldn't have cared to listen to when the original album came out. Something like six CDs, a booklet, a DVD, etc. For God's sake, the original album was the best stuff out of all that and it lasted only 45 minutes!

The point I'm trying to make here is that the remaining labels are trying to come up with material that has more than what is available  by downloading. Thing s like books, art prints, postcards, tickets replicas, etc. All in one box set for the buyer's convenience. The one major problem, it is way too expensive.

Without Illegal downloads, the record industry would still be moving right along. The need to hike-up concert tickets prices to the levels of today would not have happened so sudden. The ultra-expensive box sets (U2 has one going for over $500), would not have happened neither. If only everyone would pay for the right to buy their music.

Rogerthat mentions that people would buy an album if they could. Well, if they can eat at a MacDonald's and pay for a friend's lunch too, then they can. Most CDs do not cost more than a cheap lunch (box sets excluded : D). Yet, people insist that they don't have the money to buy music. Well, maybe not enough money to get the entire Led Zeppelin CD collection but certainly enough to get at least one a month.

I will have to say that if you, (the reader), can't afford to spend $15.00 a month in music, then your troubles are so big that you wouldn't even have a computer to listen to illegal downloads. After all, computers are much more expensive than the music in them. And, let's not forget the cost of internet access, electricity and whatnot.

Call me cynical but I actually find it hard to believe that most people can't buy a CD now and then. Not even the CD! Just buy the song! At 99Ę per song I doubt it that it will really break anybody's piggy bank.

I will agree with Rogerthat in the sense that the experience of discovering new recorded music is not as alluring as it used to be. The amount of music available today is staggering. Because of that, independent artists such as myself find it very hard to make people aware of our music. Many like me, seek the help of the internet searching for people with similar taste in music. As a result, we end up in forums such as this one which allows us to participate in conversations such as this one so that other people can at least understand where we come from.

As far as the future of recording music goes. Who knows? Whoever has the right answer will become a very rich man/woman. As for me, I will keep releasing music until I can't anymore but, it would be nice for the whole endeavour to be able to at least pay for itself. So far that's not the case but I'll keep doing it because I love doing it. Simple as that.

Perhaps when the full damage is done (as is often the case), people will go back to pay for the pleasure of listening music. Musicians should be able to make a living (and I'm not talking living like kings neither). Illegal downloads steal from their ability to make that living. I don't know of anyone who likes for their means to an end be taken away by a total stranger. Musicians are no different.


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: November 29 2011 at 22:58
I don't contest that there are people who download because the thought of getting music for 'free' is thrilling. But I agree with Starless that such people more likely fleece commercially oriented music.  I don't think such people would make the effort to track down, say, your albums and then download them.  Most people who care enough about music to venture into stuff like prog rock would eventually buy these albums.  For such music, I don't think the dent of piracy is significantly more than in the days of duplicate tapes and such.  Yes, because somebody can now upload the file on the net for others to access makes it more widespread but:
 
a) The demographic it caters to is still relatively small.
b) A good number of people who accessed these uploads would have probably never accessed the music in any other way back in the day.
 
The assumption usually made is if all the volumes of illegal downloads were converted to sales, the industry would still be doing just fine. But I think the answer to that lies in your suggestion that many of them thrill in the act of illegally downloading it. Ergo, they wouldn't have bought actual copies anyway.  On the other hand, because P2P and youtube gives much quicker access to music for many people, there are potentially more people who would buy albums.  And they do and most likely, whatever money you see is only on account of those who do buy CDs/LPs as applicable. I know of people who were not buying when they were in college but once they started earning, they began to collect.  The grim reality though is numbers of these fans for any given fragmented niche of the music industry are not huge and loyalties get further divided amongst bands.  In a more broad based musical climate, things may have been different, who knows.
 
I really don't think the industry has been wise to the changing lifestyle patterns and the steep increase in expectations of convenience of consumers in the last 10 years. I once thought of ordering GG DVDS directly off their website because I thought it would be a good idea to send the proceeds directly rather than route it through websites and possibly reduce their returns from it?  Well, the price of DVDs off their website was actually higher than say off CD Universe. Plus, most band websites don't give too many options other than paypal whereas with online portals, you can use credit cards. Maybe there are logistical difficulties with regard to this, but it is a problem for us consumers also when most obscure albums are not available in stores.  However, in the last one or two years, I think bands have started to use their websites better to promote their music and engage their fans more and also have a presence on social networks.  Perhaps, all this will bear fruit down the line but I don't see sales returning to 70s levels simply because the socio-cultural climate is in itself very different.  There are plenty options for people to spend time with and that has dented music's potency as an avenue of entertainment. 


Posted By: harmonium.ro
Date Posted: November 29 2011 at 23:03


Posted By: Proggernaut
Date Posted: November 30 2011 at 00:06
How about this scenario - JDL (apologies to Starless) tend to buy most of the music that he enjoys, yet really wants a copy of something that was only ever produced in a very limited run - say 500 copies - by a band that doesn't sell their music on iTunes (yes they do exist) so he downloads it illegally. If he hadn't done this he might have to wait years for a copy to show up on ebay as almost all of the original copies went to hardcore completionist prog enthusiasts. So now he has 'stolen' music he would never otherwise get the chance to hear.



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Proggernaut (Noun) - one who is exploring the endlessly expanding universe of progressive music.


Posted By: leonalvarado
Date Posted: December 05 2011 at 00:58
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

I don't contest that there are people who download because the thought of getting music for 'free' is thrilling. But I agree with Starless that such people more likely fleece commercially oriented music.  I don't think such people would make the effort to track down, say, your albums and then download them.  Most people who care enough about music to venture into stuff like prog rock would eventually buy these albums.  For such music, I don't think the dent of piracy is significantly more than in the days of duplicate tapes and such.  Yes, because somebody can now upload the file on the net for others to access makes it more widespread but:
 
a) The demographic it caters to is still relatively small.
b) A good number of people who accessed these uploads would have probably never accessed the music in any other way back in the day.
 
The assumption usually made is if all the volumes of illegal downloads were converted to sales, the industry would still be doing just fine. But I think the answer to that lies in your suggestion that many of them thrill in the act of illegally downloading it. Ergo, they wouldn't have bought actual copies anyway.  On the other hand, because P2P and youtube gives much quicker access to music for many people, there are potentially more people who would buy albums.  And they do and most likely, whatever money you see is only on account of those who do buy CDs/LPs as applicable. I know of people who were not buying when they were in college but once they started earning, they began to collect.  The grim reality though is numbers of these fans for any given fragmented niche of the music industry are not huge and loyalties get further divided amongst bands.  In a more broad based musical climate, things may have been different, who knows.
 
I really don't think the industry has been wise to the changing lifestyle patterns and the steep increase in expectations of convenience of consumers in the last 10 years. I once thought of ordering GG DVDS directly off their website because I thought it would be a good idea to send the proceeds directly rather than route it through websites and possibly reduce their returns from it?  Well, the price of DVDs off their website was actually higher than say off CD Universe. Plus, most band websites don't give too many options other than paypal whereas with online portals, you can use credit cards. Maybe there are logistical difficulties with regard to this, but it is a problem for us consumers also when most obscure albums are not available in stores.  However, in the last one or two years, I think bands have started to use their websites better to promote their music and engage their fans more and also have a presence on social networks.  Perhaps, all this will bear fruit down the line but I don't see sales returning to 70s levels simply because the socio-cultural climate is in itself very different.  There are plenty options for people to spend time with and that has dented music's potency as an avenue of entertainment. 

Nobody knows for certain the future of the music industry. Otherwise, they would already had acted accordingly to stop the bleeding. The overall loss in sales affects all genres. Yes, the most commercially available get the biggest hit but then again, they also generate the most sales. Percentage-wise all genres have suffered from lack of sales. Record labels are moving fast to make more special re-issues and expensive box-sets because it is the only way the have figured out how to make a quick buck. I personally think that the strategy will eventually bite them back because the asking price for these products are astronomical. That's not even mentioning the fact that most people who will buy those box-sets already have the record to begin with. Call it a sign of desperation. Expect concert ticket prices to keep climbing ridiculously for the next few years. Many bands (myself included), are being more active in social networks and have better websites but that also takes a lot of time and effort. More so than people may think. I know, it is part of the new "doing business" but still translate into extra work outside of creating music.

The potential to sell more albums exist but so does the competition. P2P and YouTube offer so much stuff that to make oneself stand out becomes harder and harder. The major labels still control what plays on the highest rated radio stations and have the capacity and the capital to push records like no one else can. On the other hand, I think even some musicians should get use to the idea that the industry as a whole will not be as lucrative as it once was. I do feel strongly that musicians should be able to make enough to live comfortably but not necessarily live like royalty. Making a living as a musician is almost a luxury these days. They should feel lucky to be able to make a living without having to go to a regular office setting or a factory, (etc.) like most people do. Hey, but that's another subject matter.

There is no doubt that things in the industry are changing and we still far from seeing them settling down. I'll feel lucky just to be able to keep putting music out. The day when that becomes unfeasible will be the day I quit.


Posted By: tamijo
Date Posted: December 11 2011 at 05:00
So musicians will not be able to get the same size Castle that Jimi Page could, some will have to play on a simi amateur level (some allways did), more acts will be playing in smaller places where the audience can actuale c them without looking at a TV Screen. But on the other hand, much more acts will get out to a wider "geografical" audience. Not a big catastrophe is it ?
Its ethicaly a problem that the music are stolen from its owners, just like stealing from Mcdonnalds is not ok, even if they do make too much money, but i dont actualt think its bad for "music" in itself.
 


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Prog is whatevey you want it to be. So dont diss other peoples prog, and they wont diss yours


Posted By: tamijo
Date Posted: December 11 2011 at 05:04
Originally posted by Proggernaut Proggernaut wrote:

How about this scenario - JDL (apologies to Starless) tend to buy most of the music that he enjoys, yet really wants a copy of something that was only ever produced in a very limited run - say 500 copies - by a band that doesn't sell their music on iTunes (yes they do exist) so he downloads it illegally. If he hadn't done this he might have to wait years for a copy to show up on ebay as almost all of the original copies went to hardcore completionist prog enthusiasts. So now he has 'stolen' music he would never otherwise get the chance to hear.

The circumstances dosent change the fact that its a crime against the right holder.
As such we should keep this kind of thinking private, even if we agree.


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Prog is whatevey you want it to be. So dont diss other peoples prog, and they wont diss yours


Posted By: moshkito
Date Posted: February 10 2012 at 18:27
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

The question I pose to this general argument is if piracy alone is to blame for music's present state, why does Avatar rake in the millions?...
 
Bingo ... and the answer is NO.
 
The thing that riles me, though is people thinking that just because it is a "business" or a "company" that it is any more honest than you and I are. And from the experiences that I was next to ... I'm going to tell you that ... it's not even close!
 
There used to be a saying ... where there is money there is corruption and there are liars and thiefs.
 
But we have this image that because someone is rich or a label is big ... they are honest.
 
Times change ... and the American way that was defined by the movie "stars" in the 50's created a system that basically promotes "stars" and is discussed more fully in the Tom Dowd DVD which has the greatest history of American music you will ever find ... if you are progressive enough to want to check it out! And there it is ... your example highlighting the "millions" ... not discussing the music itself!
 
Basically, they turned their actors into singers and then made everything look bigger and better as a way to sell more and get results ... and it was against this that the 60's started fighting back.
 
So it took 30 more years and the Internet was finally the last piece that killed the star ... but we still have not gotten rid of the top ten thing ... which kinda tells you that we're still "guided" (or "controlled") by the Star or Chart thing ... which you and I really do not have any idea is actually true or not! 
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

... There is no doubt that illegal copies take away from the income of labels and artists but it is the major record labels who pretty much destroyed music culture as far as the mainstream goes and professional critics have played along like third rate conmen. 
 
This used to be the discussion in the 70's about the bootlegs.
 
But what made Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead and many other bands famous in concert? ... you got it ... their bootlegs showed a band that was far and above superior in concert ... than it was on album ... which always suggested that there was a measure of control around them, and in a situation like this, they had more control than the record company would want you to have.
 
In the end, the band that sold the most bootlegs, is one of the richest ever ... The Grateful Dead. The 2nd most important number of bootlegs belonged to Bob Dylan, and you already know why ... there was never a same version fo the same song, and many times he changed lyrics on purpose and came up with something different. His "Basement Tapes" is still considered one of the best selling and picked up bootleg ever in the business, and I remember someone at _____________ in Berkely one time saying ... we can't keep enough of them! I don't see Bob complaining about not getting his money.
 
In the end, it was the "greed is good" generation that came up with this lawyer thing that made you and are familiar with became really famous on the Napster thing that Metallica tried to kill. You know what they did? ... they made downloading and mp3's famous instead. It was all about greed and Hammett on the "Behind the Music" once replied to the comment "... you have sold out ... " and the answer was ... "yeah. every night!". So you know they are happy about the money and have enough to allow lawyers to go around and get it for them .. why? ... because these guys can pay for themselves? ... I doubt it ... but when you are bringing in so much everyday ... who cares, right? Now you know why I do not respect Metalica ... music is fine but it is not a person, or entity I wish to meet or know.
 
Of course, this is also another problem ... you do know that Gong, Tangerine Dream, and a bunch of other bands have been trying to sue Branson/Virgin for some serious millions that he did not pay them yet on, right? But he can go fly his balls ... and we think it's great ... of the backs of how many other slaves, right?
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

... challenging music when Radiohead, Tool, Mars Volta have all done well? ...
 
It can be done now, because you can sell hundreds of thousands of records and only a stupid record company would not show up at Dream Theater, or Radiohead's door and say ... can we distribute your records? ... so they can also gain a dime from it! This is the main difference today ... the distribution conglomerates canalso make 50 cents per CD if they distribute it. But they also set their own price, because you sold them an X number of CD's out front, and what they (or K-Mart for example) charge on the disk is not your concern!
 
It was always there, and very visible in Europe that had a much more vibrant and outspoken attitude towards these things, because in those countries there is (still) a reasonable respect for the arts ... there is NONE in America and in England it is also almost NONE as well, as it is starting to fall into that commercial side and banter of things again ... there is no alternative media and too many internet sites are simply kissybum star things that do not help the arts or the artists ... it's become YouTube or Facebook ... and no one knows, or cares what the quality of the stuff is anymore.
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

...
And here's the thing that a lot of prog listeners don't appreciate given they are habituated to scourging the underground for good music:  it is very very important to have a healthy mainstream to support the volume and size of the music business as it is today. 
 
I agree to an extent.
 
I disagree when the so called "business" becomes your boss and you think it's good because everyone got sucked in by the advertisement and think its kewl and good. And you can easily go after Harry Potters and many other movies ... which are, essentially ... taking away from the smaller and more independent films.
 
I love hearing that the music is dead or the film is dead ... there has never been a time when the independent and true lover and dedicated film maker did not have a chance like they do today ... and on top of it, you have some visibility where 30 years ago I had to pray that the folks in Portland, SF, LA, Seattle, or some god-foraken place (at the time) like Sundance, even got a chance to read my scripts or see my two films ... today I can put them on Youtube and Facebook and tell all those festivals to go ________ themselves, and I can say out loud that Robert Redford is a jerk and what not ... because I don't need them, and above all ... I don't want them!
 
But I do not EVER fault Bob ... when he says what kind of idiot am I when someone is offering me $10 million dollars for 20 minutes of work and I am done?
 
Some of the patronage is good ... but you are not seeing this patronage at the Met or at the other places and music and Jazz and other musics are not doing as well as they could or should ... and I hope to see this improved on the Internet before I go from this ball of confusion and hatred.
 
 
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

I entirely endorse the passionate appeal to buy music but other than giving a bit of encouragement to the concerned artists (hopefully!), it won't achieve much more or 'save music'.
 
I have never bought a single mp3. For a very different reason. As you well know I am into the fidelity of things and the high quality of the sound and the music, and have had AMT HEIL's since 1975 ... and a Turnable with a $275 dollar cartridge from Stanton bought in 1978 (yep .. that EEE is that old!) ... and there was a massive difference between a lot of that sutff and 90% of all the mp3's or iTunes stuff that I ever saw that is a cheaper recording than any AM radio hit I have ever heard in my life.
 
That's not to say that mp3 is not good. I do my own on mp3 and don't have issues with it, but the stuff at iTunes and on most mp3's across the internet are not quality and what's more ... the majority of the people that copied them don't even know what the quality word means!
 
Will I buy an mp3? ... yes ... because I have over 500 albums that will never see the light of a CD or digital unless I rob the artist, and I simply will never do that.
 
But would I buy Daevid Allen talking about his days in the 60's with the Beat folks? ... you bet I would!


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... none of the hits, none of the time ... now try finding your own mirror/art! www.pedrosena.com



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