We’ve all heard the mewling and puking about the music business – it’s not about talent, the labels no longer care about artists, good music goes unheard while media conglomerates push prole drivel down the throats of the public, Clear Channel/Infinity/Whoever have killed radio’s power to lead the public to talented new artists with their computerized market segmenting and overly tight play lists, etc., yadda, so it goes….Let me begin by disabusing you of some of these notions:
1) “It’s not about talent.” Folks, it’s never been about talent. I’d remind you of the famous communique sent to Brian Epstein (for our younger readers, Epstein was the manager of a group called The Beatles who had some small success in the music business):
Groups with guitars are on their way out. – Dick Rowe, Decca Records A&R
2) “The labels no longer care about talent.” The labels have never cared about talent. Want to know who the hottest group of 1969, the watershed year of “classic rock” was? Look here. Want to know who was second, the group who won all the Grammies that year? Look here.
3) “Good music goes unheard while media conglomerates push prole drivel down the throats of the public.” We all know that media conglomerates probably hold less power over the listening public than they ever have since T.A. Edison sang “Mary Had a Little Lamb” into that inverted megaphone all those years ago – that’s why Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Reuben Studdard, Clay Aiken, et. alia, have sold only millions of units for their corporate puppet masters. But to hear some guys in the know tell it:
Thereâ€™s been an incredible democratization of the music world. Mainstream critics mean less than your buddy. – Bob Lefsetz
4) “Clear Channel/Infinity/Whoever have killed radio’s power to lead the public to talented new artists with their computerized market segmenting and overly tight play lists….” Well, first there’s this. Then there’s this. And for those who thought satellite radio (and its merger) might open the way for talent discovery to again be a part of radio, read this. So who knows what the hell radio will do – or be – in 5 years?
So we’re left with our new old best friend the Internets. Thanks to, among other sites, YouTube, we can find out about new artists and share them with each other. Here are three I’ve found lately. Maybe you’ll like them – maybe you won’t. But the nice thing is, all of these are about talent, not media orchestrated hype, not anything but our old friend, music:
This not ready for MTV guy is Antony with his band the Johnsons:
Learn more about Antony and the Johnsons.
Next up is a cool band out of Nashville just doing their own thing very well, Swan Dive:
Learn more about Swan Dive.
Finally, George Harrison’s son Dhani is in a terrific band. Hey maybe there’s something in that genetics thing (if you’re a Boomer, don’t worry, you’re not flashing back – he looks a lot like his dad):
Learn more about thenewno2.
Categories: Music/Popular Culture