Music Zen!

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Music vs. the Internet

with 4 comments

Music and the internet have been long time enemies. Well, maybe not music. Music itself and the internet get along very well. In fact, the internet has only been beneficial to the spreading and developing of music. Without the internet, over half the bands most people listen to would have never been heard by them. Some bands wouldn’t even exist (ever hear of the Foreign Exchange?).

It’s the music industry that doesn’t get along with the internet. The music industry is like a white mom in the 60s that doesn’t want her son to hang out with the black kid (the internet, in this well thought out metaphor). Music doesn’t know any better and only sees the internet as something good that can help music serve its ultimate purpose. The industry, however, sees the internet as something that’s trying to rob music of its just deserts ($$). You follow?

My point here is that the times, they are a-changin’. As MC Lars says “did you know in ten years labels won’t exist?” Probably true. At least, not as we know it. However, the music industry is having trouble opening up to this new phenomenon. File sharing is going to happen. People might lose potential money that way, but is that really what’s important? I realize that the music industry is a business that needs to make money, but I feel like its prime focus should be not money making, but music spreading. The truth is, most artists don’t care, and would rather have fans hear their music for absolutely free, as long as they hear it. Some musicians, though, are tight wad douche bags (Metallica), and refuse to give any ground in a new direction.

Artists have begun to go around the once all pertinent record label, though. MC Chris, finding himself short of a label, produced his own first album, Life’s a Bitch and I’m Her Pimp, and gave it away (yes, for free) on his website. It’s sill available for free, legal download today.
The point of all this is that the music industry should just let go and die. Let the artists get their music out, without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or something like that. I don’t know. It’s sort of late.


Written by Jacob Z

June 7, 2008 at 1:42 am

4 Responses

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  1. Henceforth, we shall refer to ‘the internet’ as ‘the negro.’

    I agree, though. The internet could be a great distribution tool for labels. iTunes has proven this. Doesn’t it sell more music now than stores like Wal-Mart? Or is it in second place? Either way, because of their obstinacy, the labels have boxed themselves into a bad position. They’re taking it out on pirates and p2p services because they were slow in adjusting to this new technological realm. Really, the labels are a bunch of squares and they can’t figure out how to be hip. It’s going to take a new generation of execs to figure out what to do — MC Lars is right, I think, in that it could take up to 10 years. But things like Myspace let bands sell their music directly. Harvey Danger and, until recently, Brian Jonestown Massacre released really great CDs for free. The Dandy Warhols just offered a screaming deal on their new CD + accessories thanks to the label they just started. Trent Reznor; need I say more? Bands and artists are slowly figuring out they have the power to defy the industry and they are totally going to break free of it one day, I think. Honestly, the best bands are on small labels and have great creative control. That’s not indie snobbery, it’s just a fact that when bands can choose what they want to say and play, they put out better material than when Clive “Moron” Davis says that artists should concentrate on writing hits before anything else.

    People like Davis are what’s wrong with music and why labels are dying.

    Anyway, I’m sort of going on and on. But nice entry, man.

    Marshall B

    June 7, 2008 at 2:34 am

  2. To be honest, If I ever become a musician, I would just give away my albums for free. The thought of living off my own music seems like a bummer to me ya know? It eventually just becomes a job to you, kinda like how its a job for Metallica to play live and make music.

    Metal as a whole has become a one big file-sharing community in a way. I don’t know if its happening in other scene/genre, but File-sharing to metal is as legit as the classic 80’s tape trading.


    June 7, 2008 at 3:23 am

  3. Oh yea, this is also from Exodus who is in a fairly big metal record label.

    “You can listen to some of the songs from the new album on our MySpace page. We hope you check it out! Buy it, download it, steal it … just tell all your friends, send out a bulletin or a message to them and help us spread the word about our new album around the world.”

    The album sucks, but you get the point hehe.


    June 7, 2008 at 3:32 am

  4. Agreed about musicians not living off their music. I think that definitely subtracts from their ability to really write what they want and not what people want to hear. Then again, I’m just some guy. It’s obviously not up to me how bands should behave. Seems like I had something else… Uh, I dunno. I’m half asleep anyway.

    Marshall B

    June 7, 2008 at 5:05 am

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