old news still applies

Business related issues revolving around Independent Music.

old news still applies

Postby cjdenecia » Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:31 pm

http://rdstreets.hubpages.com/hub/Top-1 ... is-Failing

this article, brought to my attention by another independent artist promoter, may be partially old news but there's still a lot of truth to it.

#8 is something we tried to address at indieNetunes (the defunct website I was a founder of that WAS a music filter) but we found that without the money for marketing, no amount of good ol' fashioned A&R work mattered ....

the other 9 reasons are certainly valid too - and we simply need to figure out a way to return to basics on at least a few of them before music will mean what it once did to the general public.

I especially appreciate the ones that talk about how the industry has fallen apart due to safe music and a lack of musical talent being pushed as talent. and unfortunately, that holds true big as life in the indie arena too. talent is highly underappreciated anymore.

ya think?
Last edited by cjdenecia on Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: either my browser messed up and didn't post the link or I did. either way ..... oops ....
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Re: old news still applies

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:34 pm

la la la la ....
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Re: old news still applies

Postby ingolee » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:29 pm

cjdenecia wrote: we simply need to figure out a way to return to basics on at least a few of them before music will mean what it once did to the general public.

Yes, but it might not be "basics" that accomplishes that end. One trend that has repeated itself many times in the past is that when "talent" and "skill" are in control, the music becomes more sophisticated and you get avant-garde classical, modern jazz and prog rock, all of which lost touch with the average audience and led to punk rock, "smooth jazz" and disco; and if you think about it, early '50's rock too. Whatever becomes popular has to be something new that still relates to the average listener.
cjdenecia wrote:I especially appreciate the ones that talk about how the industry has fallen apart due to safe music and a lack of musical talent being pushed as talent. and unfortunately, that holds true big as life in the indie arena too. talent is highly underappreciated anymore.

ya think?


Depends on how you define "talent" .
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Re: old news still applies

Postby cjdenecia » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:38 pm

ingolee wrote:
Depends on how you define "talent" .


it's far easier and probably more productive and certainly less time consuming to define what isn't talent.

and that's normally pretty obvious. a lack of ability to write musically, melodically and lyrically. except where they are purposely omitted to express a particular statement AND that is normally well accomplished by those who actually can do. bad chord combos, non chordal inventions ... boring and unremarkable melody - which shouldn't be confused with dissonance nor non conventional melody.

awful performances .... pitch problems with singers, intonation problems with playing and tuning, out of key playing and/or singing. poor timing by one or more players ... lazy lyrics, bad lyrics, cliched cliches. which is not to say all cliches, just lazy overdone ones ....

the list goes on and on actually. as I said, it's usually obvious. and it's frequently one integral aspect that ruins it all but as well, there are plenty out there who can truly destroy the concept of music in every way. and that's all right, music should be for fun no matter how bad - but it's the promotion of it as great or listenable that tears down an entire group of musicians.

and no, not everyone is gonna be great but they can still show talent and ability. I just wish we didn't have a niche that seems to highlight not being able to actually write, play or sing. having listened to thousands and thousands of indie songs over the years has exposed me to some really terrible stuff. hell, I guess I'd have to admit recording some horrid songs myself. but - once written and once over the love of self, I've been able to admit and acknowledge those as ugly ducklings.
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Re: old news still applies

Postby ingolee » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:21 pm

A couple of thoughts about talent. You point out how we can intuitively judge musical ability in people and how a lot of it is obvious. A couple of things I think about a lot on this subject:

We all know obviously talented people who accomplish very little, and people with modest talent who accomplish a lot, musically or otherwise. A lot of this has to do with management I think. I'm sure you can name lots of artists who had good careers because they did the right thing at the right time. Whether or not they figured it out for themselves or had some promotional wizard helping out, the result was the same. You might say, "that makes it harder for the truly talented groups to get a break" and there's certainly some truth to that, but if the net result is people enjoying music of whatever quality, as you say, that's not really a bad thing. I think everyone who considers themselves to be an artist has the responsibility to look at their life and understand what the important choices are, and not avoid making those choices. I'm sure we could all use some help with that task.

The other thing is being able to recognize talent looking forward, not backward. In 1967 there were a lot of successful jazz guitarists who listened to Hendrix and said he had no talent and would be a failure. The jazz guys based that judgement on many years of knowing very talented and successful musicians, but they couldn't look forward, which is a handicap we all have. Is there a way to avoid making that mistake? Probably not, but I think about that a lot.
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Re: old news still applies

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:25 am

ingolee wrote:A couple of thoughts about talent. You point out how we can intuitively judge musical ability in people and how a lot of it is obvious. A couple of things I think about a lot on this subject:


actually, I didn't say "we" can judge musical ability ... at the risk of arrogance, I said we need to get back to using good filters - and it just so happens that I believe a limited number of people are capable of being those filters - and I guess I include myself in that pack. as long as what we're trying to do is filter songs/bands/musicians that have the best chance of gaining wide acceptance once exposed. I don't pretend to be able to filter niche styles, genres and such - just what the most people would find great, or at least good. and once again, it's far easier to hear what won't work for the filter, usually within around 15 seconds, 1 minute at most - the rest of the success that happens with those surviving that cut is simply luck and being at the right place at the right time with the right sound. as you said, more or less - forecasting ...

and one problem so many indies have - the most talented in fact, is that they have so much ridiculous musical integrity, false pride and basically - snobbishness, that they belittle the very songs they write and record that have the best chance at this success because they feel like they are promoting their lesser work. I know of one of our own who simply chucked away one of his most accessible songs (apparently removed it from any online presence) because he felt it was just so beneath his talent. stupid. it was simple. completely. and completely accessible. and simply a great pop song with the right ingredients to attract loads of fans.

so that plays into your idea that we need to make responsible decisions about our music. the beatles didn't get to be creative and off the wall until they were the "beatles" - not before. same holds true for so many big stars and supergroups of all time. the simple hit single, whether acoustic ballad or fun rocker or whatever came first, artistic freedom and musical integrity later. hell, my own biggest chance at making it to the game was through a song me and my partner didn't want to showcase. but it was the song the indie label was willing to get behind and sponsor. they recorded it and produced it with the soul interest of shopping it to the major labels. we didn't want to do that song but knew we owed it to ourselves to suck it up and give ourselves a chance by saying yes and doing it. we didn't have a chance at success cus our timing was wrong and we had a schmalzy pop song just as grunge hit the mainstream but if we'd been 2 minutes earlier - we had as good a chance as anyone to become the next big thing. and that's all you can hope for - a chance.

except now, who's the filter? network tv? simon cowell? or some yokel with a 1 million marketing budget with no barometer of talent or music?

this filter thing was bigger than we knew - those making those choices about what music had the best chance somehow became obsolete as suits took over completely and started to promote only cookie cutter/yesterdays news tracks. in fact, instead of paying these talented ears, they went cheap and used public volunteers to filter. with tiny demographic choices .... both radio and labels used this tact as the music world started to tumble under it's own profiteering agenda. why pay joe the hit see-er when they could get 30 people to volunteer to feel like A&R people for free???

cus those thirty people couldn't hear for another 3000. much less 300,000. but joe could. that's what he did. accurately. joe knew what worked for john q public and he knew why. and he could hear what was new and exciting and why it wasn't as new as it seemed but why it seemed that way - and he knew when he did hear something that worked that angle, how to best bring out it's strong points.

so - that too, is an absolute talent. we love to think we're all so original and clued into what's cool and what is old and tired but we do depend on solely what we know that we love. some listen to what everybody really loves and figures out why. it is not a job for everyone and really, certainly no job for the actual average talented musician. we're all too in love with ourselves and what we love.

we need the real filters. and we need to listen to them.

We all know obviously talented people who accomplish very little, and people with modest talent who accomplish a lot, musically or otherwise. A lot of this has to do with management I think. I'm sure you can name lots of artists who had good careers because they did the right thing at the right time. Whether or not they figured it out for themselves or had some promotional wizard helping out, the result was the same. You might say, "that makes it harder for the truly talented groups to get a break" and there's certainly some truth to that,


I would NOT say that makes it harder for anyone. the modest talented people are still talented. it's not physics. or higher math. or world diplomacy. and there's room for one hit wonders and long term legends. hell, there's even some room for the novelty star. but there's not enough room for everybody to flood the air with shit that doesn't even please their girlfriends (or boyfriends) but gets well marketed and accepted cus they fit a physical profile or fill an oddball image silhouette in ways unrelated to music.

case in point, when did DJ's become musicians? headlining festivals and filling venues with nothing besides somebody elses stuff with them being some sort of actual superstar? that's just messed up .... that's radio gone bonkers. where some twits wild personality became more important the music itself. granted, that's entertainment so no argument there but it's not the music and it shouldn't be allowed to replace the music. but, it has.

but if the net result is people enjoying music of whatever quality, as you say, that's not really a bad thing. I think everyone who considers themselves to be an artist has the responsibility to look at their life and understand what the important choices are, and not avoid making those choices. I'm sure we could all use some help with that task.


absolutely. we could use that help. that's some of the basics I spoke of. but it's bypassed these days by networking sites and trends based on me me me ideas. 3 million views on youturd ... tweeted as a joke but going viral and turning to serious money and false validity. picked up by a starving press with no real stories to tell cus nobody is able to corral the real deal and package it like happenstance does with technology today. we are victims of our own advancement. brings to mind the old adage of "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it". well, we have and look at the state of our "it". john q public is as bad at this game as the record companies became. rehashing yesterdays news with clones of what was hot last week. flooding the earbuds and 1/2" phone speakers with what? bubble gum sweetened with poor sugar substitutes and hip hop that makes the pioneers wince. with tech geeks fabricating the backing tracks and non voices recording what is in reality, the cgi of sound.

again, much of this is legit entertainment but it ain't music. and few care. cus they haven't been moved by the music cus they haven't heard the music that can move them cus it's so well hidden under the hurricanes of incompetence and the volcanic lava of shit. they don't miss what they don't know.

The other thing is being able to recognize talent looking forward, not backward. In 1967 there were a lot of successful jazz guitarists who listened to Hendrix and said he had no talent and would be a failure. The jazz guys based that judgement on many years of knowing very talented and successful musicians, but they couldn't look forward, which is a handicap we all have. Is there a way to avoid making that mistake? Probably not, but I think about that a lot.


avoid that mistake? easy really. learn to write, learn to perform. do the time, live the crime. the creative souls will rise to the top eventually. and they will call on all they know from this education to move ahead. using the past as a stepping stone. that's what has always happened. cus it's natural. what we have done is call upon what isn't natural to fill our organic needs. and it ain't working out for them or us. so - back to basics.
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Re: old news still applies

Postby ingolee » Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:40 am

cjdenecia wrote: so - back to basics.

I'm trying. So who's the ding dong that deleted his best song?
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Re: old news still applies

Postby cjdenecia » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:38 am

ingolee wrote:
cjdenecia wrote: so - back to basics.

I'm trying. So who's the ding dong that deleted his best song?


I'd rather steve stay anonymous.
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Re: old news still applies

Postby ingolee » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:16 pm

cjdenecia wrote:avoid that mistake? easy really. learn to write, learn to perform. do the time, live the crime. .

And be open-minded to new ideas. The good old boys didn't give Hendrix a chance. But Miles Davis, John McLaughlin and Chick Corea did and they became popular while swing music became a niche market item. Not to say one style is better than the other, as Duke Ellington supposedly said, "there's only two kinds of music, good and bad."

And as a "filter" that's something you do all the time, balance indy wildness against the polish of established artists.
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