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  1. #1
    Mutant from table 9
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    My new favorite band, Or why I hate the Music Industry

    I know that it is passe (sp?) to rail against major labels, the RIAA, and corporate radio. And I know I won't say anything that hasn't been said before by the Lester Bangs of the world. But that won't stop me from flapping my gums anyway.

    Someone here was kind enough to send me a Yo La Tengo triple disk. (Can't say who, lest the Men In Black show up ). To say it flipped my wig is an understatement. With each track I kept hearing my some of my favorite bands show up. I was playing this great game to "This sounds like...." Teenage Fanclub, Redd Kross, Stone Roses, Jesus and Mary Chain, and various shoegazers.

    Why didn't I clue into them before? I knew who they were. At least I did enough to know why this is funny: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/27870 You could say I only have myself to blame and that there presence on Matador should have been enough for me to pick it up. But I just never did.

    Sure, Yo La Tengo was around long before the current state of music industry. But I just couldn't help but thinking about it as I listened. If the industry put as much effort into encouraging music sharing as they did into suppression, no kid would go off to college without a Yo La Tengo record in their pile. And the industry would be better for it. But as it stands there is no way to "discover" them (and countless other bands) without someone saying "Hey man, check this out." Which is difficult since I haven't lived in a college dorm in like 10 years. You're not going to hear them on the radio or see them on TV. And even if you do, you likely to get only one track which will not hip you to the band very well. It just pisses me off.

    In my circle of flesh and blood friends, I'm the guy with the impressively large and eclectic music collection and knowledge. Both of which are dwarfed by 99% of the RR regulars. With a music industry that is intent on making the most money on as few records as possible what is a guy like me to do other than rely on the kindness of others.

    Thanks for letting me rant. And thanks for the education Bobsticks.
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  2. #2
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    Someone here was kind enough to send me a Yo La Tengo triple disk. (Can't say who, lest the Men In Black show up )
    Why on earth would Will Smith care?

  3. #3
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    Someone here was kind enough to send me a Yo La Tengo triple disk. (Can't say who, lest the Men In Black show up ). ... And thanks for the education Bobsticks.
    Oops! Cat's out of the bag. Quick Bobsticks...hide!

  4. #4
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Millions of great bands like Yo La Tengo that didn't find a wide audience in the 70/80/90s too. The Velvet Underground, The Clean, The Feelies, and Galaxie 500 just to name some of the Yo La Tengo influences. Way more bands get a chance today than ever before. And college radio still plays most of the bigger indie bands like YLT. Today a band can effectively be their own PR machine if they are adept at using the internet to their benefit. I don't really get the point you make about suppression of new artists, you can still freely sample most, but I don't care much if the major label music industry dies, there is a much bigger industry already spread about around the world it that is run by thousands of people (instead of just a handful) who care about music.

    Of course, someone needs to preserve all of those old recordings in the vault, so don't let the industry die all the way. Just die as a source of new music. It kind of has for me already.

    Blue Line Swinger is the best song ever

    Prisoners of Love (3-disc Yo La Tengo retrospective)

  5. #5
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    I don't really get the point you make about suppression of new artists,
    Sure, that's a fair observation. Also your overall point is well taken. Bands can now "directly inject" right into my ear from the internets. But this is what I mean:

    1. First, the music industry is a developement and delivery system. Market and deliver the product to the consumer freeing up the artist to be an artist. Once the band is signed, they (ideally) don't have to worry promoters not paying, whose minding the merch table, whether the pressing house is shipping that batch of 7 inches, whether anyone has updated the website, ect.


    2. Between the 1970s and 1980s, FM went from free form album tracks to straight top 40. Lots of college radio stations even went commercial in the nineties as universities looked for evermore sources of revenue. Telecom act of 1996 stripped markets of there diversity and rock radio went into a death spiral. Combine that with the consolidation of the major lables in the 90s to the big five lables and you have recipe for monotony.

    Examples:

    Between 1973 and 1979, Aerosmith put out a new record every year exept for 1978. Now, 3-5 years between studio records is standard. The same patern happened with lots of other bands.

    Billboard Hot 100: In 1969 there were 17 songs that peaked at at number one. In 79 there were 26. In 89 there were 33 that peaked at number 1. In 99, three years after label consolidation, there were 15. By 05, only nine, thats right nine, songs peaked at number one. That means less artists, less songs, less diversity.

    The lable are relying on fewer, but bigger selling, albums to keep them afloat. Now, I understand that quantity doesn't necessarily equate quality. But come on, nine?!?

    Sure, that doesn't mean much to a kid at an Electric Six show. And, your right that to a certain extent there is more availablility than ever through web. But that is regressive in a sense in that it is requiring a DIY ethic on the part of bands that is unprecadented since the 1950s and 60s when major lables were slow to support that communist rock n roll.

    The Music Industry has become like a spice company that only sells salt, pepper, sugar and cinnamon.
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  6. #6
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    Sure, that's a fair observation. Also your overall point is well taken. Bands can now "directly inject" right into my ear from the internets. But this is what I mean:

    Billboard Hot 100: In 1969 there were 17 songs that peaked at at number one. In 79 there were 26. In 89 there were 33 that peaked at number 1. In 99, three years after label consolidation, there were 15. By 05, only nine, thats right nine, songs peaked at number one. That means less artists, less songs, less diversity.
    But the next year it was back to 19. You could probably find a year in the 70s when the singles chart was dominated by just a handful of songs. You're right in that the majors are banking their stockholders on a very few huge sellers, but your example doesn't really make that case.

    Your first post was about Yo La Tengo who are on Matador. How are the majors keeping you from hearing them? The main product of the majors isn't rock and roll anymore, things change. But they weren't playing Brian Eno on the radio in the 70s either, or a thousand other bands we had to seek out when we were growing up. That's actually part of the allure of music nerdism. Embrace it

  7. #7
    all around good guy Jim Clark's Avatar
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    So Slumpy's well on his way to indie hipster elitist snobdom. Cool! The way he worked in an Electric Six reference cemented the deal. Hey I picked up on Electric Six from Nobody straight from this board. I think Senor Smoke smoked dried up hippo balls but that first one was killer. I'd rather have it that way, someone around here or friend or whoever turn me on to a band. I'm kind of glad things are the way they are with regard to the big music industry as a whole. If I had to spend time and money on their stuff too, I'd be broke and wouldn't have any idea how to find more listening time in a day.

    jc
    "Ahh, cartoons! America's only native art form. I don't count jazz 'cuz it sucks"- Bartholomew J. Simpson

  8. #8
    Forum Regular nobody's Avatar
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    Yeah...after the first one, I wasn't so impressed...but they're coming to town in a couple weeks, so I may still go see 'em...they'd probably be fun live.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular MindGoneHaywire's Avatar
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    I didn't see any kids at the Electric Six show I saw. I liked parts of Switzerland and the other one, though, yes, the debut was tops. I think most of the original band was dispatched after it though?

    When I saw Yo La Tengo they bored me to tears.

    I don't like others.

  10. #10
    Mutant from table 9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey
    Your first post was about Yo La Tengo who are on Matador. How are the majors keeping you from hearing them?
    Yeah, their not. Which brings me to this:


    Quote Originally Posted by SlumpBuster
    I know that it is passe (sp?) to rail against major labels, the RIAA, and corporate radio. And I know I won't say anything that hasn't been said before by the Lester Bangs of the world. But that won't stop me from flapping my gums anyway.
    But, they slashed their rosters in half. They would be making it easier for me to hear new music, not harder. Like I suggested, "I'm just ragin' against the machine, man." (say it in the voice of The Dude) Good catch on the 2006 number, I thought I could get away with that chicanery. :P

    I'm glad ya'll liked the Electric Six reference. But I can't take credit. It was easy for me. They are a Detroit band, I'm from Detroit.
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  11. #11
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    Oops! Cat's out of the bag. Quick Bobsticks...hide!

    What?...Who are you guys?....Occifer, it wasn't me...

  12. #12
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Slumpy, if you're saying that it's a bit harder to find the good stuff these days I agree to an extent, meaning you can't just turn on your TV and expect to find much. Course that's why we've all got to stick together and that's what makes a place like this invaluable. There are several of you out there that I hold responsible for the monster that is my growing disc collection

    Yeah, the majors may not be making it more difficult for you to hear new things but I don't think their working on the smartest business model either. I suspect we will continue to see many bands eschew involvement with big labels. If you could get more and better regional support from a smaller label and effectively promote yourself via the web why sign your life away? Remember the GooGoo Dolls and their triple platinum album and the resultant $150,000 debt? No thank you.

    I was talking to a music rep at BB the other day and she confirmed what was alluded to earlier, that the big shots aren't even pushing rock right now. Rap and Country are where the promotional dollars are going. I found this humorous because one of the other sites at which I occasionally lurk is a little bit younger, a little bit hipper, and a whole lot more urban. They too embraced the topic of the new Talib Kweli/Kanye West releases, and while our version drew a few meager responses theirs gathered several hundred posts. Nine out of ten openly admitted planning on buying neither but downloading one or both. Great focus bizoids.

    If I were in development I would be focusing more on a variety of genres and talents, god knows there's enough out there. I think for the majors to prosper they're going to have to think outside the envelope. Take a huge website like ebay, buy adspace and include a link to a couple of free singles--and do it enough ahead of the release date to let public discourse work its magic into anticipation. Create a stir. Obviously nighttime radio and magazine give-aways aren't doing the trick.
    Hell, it could be done on this site. We buy stuff and we're prolific enough to elicit all the bad porn and fugasi cellphone spam--we could be industry leaders...





    ...or maybe not. Forget I said anything.

  13. #13
    Mutant from table 9
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    So not to bring back my zombie thread or anything, but here is some wierd serendipity.

    The Universe wanted me to discovery Yo La Tengo.

    I watched the movie Shortbus last night. This was a great movie by John Cameron Mitchell who also did Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the greatest play/movie about the power of rock and roll in the last twenty years except for maybe Almost Famous and Heavy Metal Parking Lot (jk). Hedwig is one of the few movies I own and the only one that I have both the DVD and soundtrack for. Although because of the hardcore (read closeups and moneyshots) sex (both gay and straight) Shortbus should only be watched by those that know what they are in for.

    So I'm watching the movie and the soundtrack is noticably phenomenal. I was thinking "This is great. I'm buying this action." On one of the first closing credit cards: Original Music and Score by Yo La Tengo. Even if I hadn't recently been introduced to them via RR, watching this movie would have hooked me into YLT. The Universe is gonna get you one way or another.
    ______________________
    Joyce Summers: "You've got really great albums!"
    Rupert "Ripper" Giles: "Yeah... they're okay..."


    "Tha H-Dog listens easy, always has, always will." - Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.)

    "I lick the mothra moniters because they pump up the base!!" - Dusty Beiber

  14. #14
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Audio serendipity, as it were.

    Remember that old USA "Up All Night" with the documentary on the left coast's punk scene, in particular highlighting a little band of miscreants called Social Distortion? Not being old enough to drive and stuck in the midwest "Mommy's Little Monster" was an impossible find...imagine my surprise when "Ball & Chain" broke.

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