Blog 2. Hopefully not equatable to "Christmas Story 2", which I never watched given my love of #1. After letting everyone know how this dream came about in post #1, specifically the motive behind our operations, I figured I might talk a little bit about how we are operating, and what we've encountered. (Little more editing, but still subpar grammar. sorry.)
First off, What the f&%! is up with the music industry? How does it work? Who runs it? How lucky, or unlucky, are artists in general? Where and how does someone catch a break? Does talent even matter anymore? Do labels have a purpose? Are people really buying cassette tapes??? Do you have to have a red E behind your single for the iTunes loyalist to care about you? Can the licensing agencies prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are effective? Does ANYONE make more money than the attorneys* in this business, or any business for that matter? Did video really kill the radio star?
Clearly, way to many topics to cover in a brief, 2nd stab at blogging. So how about a simple topic: Does talent even matter?
Well, what I've figured out is it depends on who you are asking. For example, a room full of super cool kids, that can play any instrument, can recite song 7 lyrics from ANY album played on "underground" or "Outlaw" radio from the past 84 years, who see Emmis & IHeart as the devils, will say no. WHY would these super talented "Emo" or "Gazers" or "what-evs" say that? One, because they do. And two, because they are pissed.
What else I've figured out is this... The system is rigged. The system is archaic. The system is so convoluted* (see Attorney comment above) that people (myself included) with experience in navigating their own industries, including all of the legalities & regulations & in's and out's, with moderate success, when asked to figure out some basic operating principals of the music industry, literally are dumbfounded. How would an individual, with little to no business experience, no contract negotiating skills, little or no basic legal IQ knowledge, WHO ONLY CARES ABOUT MAKING ART, have a chance in this business??? They don't. At least not in a fair capacity. Talent & Work Ethic are a distant 2nd and 3rd to LUCK. Within "Luck" is the reality that if you don't have connections it doesn't matter anyway.
So, what do we do about it? Simple. Change the rules. But how right? I'm not sure. The music industry, specifically managers, labels, publishing houses, and to varying degrees ad agencies, music directors (buyers), are literally acting as "PAY DAY LENDERS". Somehow the operational "Org-Chart" of the music industry needs to eliminate about 32 sub channels so the path between artist and the general public is shorter and more transparent. There seem to be efforts out there to simplify that process, but much of that is still convoluted given royalties, and licensing, and this and that, that is still a nightmare. There needs to be a system where the creator / performer of the "art" is ALWAYS paid more than anyone else combined for their work. That's fair.
We are trying to change those rules. In our eyes, TALENT matters. A lot. Equally as important is work ethic and attitude. Our goal is to focus on the fundamental principles of good art first, personalities and work ethic second, and then look to manipulate the system in order to eliminate layers of "stuff". The goal... fair pay for all, WHILE having a shit ton of fun. "Shit Ton", by the way, is more than a lot.
If you made it this far, and feel you are talented, a good person, and have work ethic, call us. We might have a place for you to be treated fairly while making the art you love. Really.