Friday, August 1, 2014

Music Is Not Art - It Is A Business...


Variations on a theme / Beating A Dead Horse

Artists continue to lash out at music platforms such as Spotify due to the poor distribution of funds. Artists spend amazing amounts of time on social media posting on the political and social hot buttons of the day including the evils of capitalism...

O.K. so we have a group of individuals that cry about the inequities of a business that is handling their product and the economic system that can and does promote their product yet the musician does nothing on his or her own to better their own lot. The music business is dead. The major label deals of yesterday don't exist. It's a fact. If you are lucky enough to land with a label such as Concord, Blue Note, or Sony then you better hit it out of the park on the first release or you are finished. Why?

Music is a business. Music stopped being art a long time ago.

As a critic, I have looked at more than a dozen artist web sites each month that contain no new release information or even a jpeg of the cover of a pending release yet I have the information sent to me from a publicist. Meanwhile the artist is on social media because they feel their opinion on discrimination, gay marriage or socialized medicine is far more important than their own brand. Their opinion does not make them money...Selling a copy of a disc does. People can, do, and will continue to pre-order but the artist doesn't seem to get this very simple concept. In improvisational music, jazz or whatever umbrella term allows you to sleep better at night there is a small window of opportunity to cash in. The time to start is at least 60 days before the release drops.

While jazz continues to keep both feet firmly planted in the past, other genres continue to move forward. News flash...Miles Davis ain't coming back. Much like the Beatles, Miles will never go away either so let us move forward.

While musicians rant on the evils of capitalism they will in the very next breath beg you to buy a copy of their new album. The hypocrisy is mind numbing especially with the lack of effort most artists have in promoting themselves. If you aren't making money don't blame Spotify, don't blame big business or a bad economy. Blame yourself. When was the last time you updated your web site? When was the last time you read anything on entertainment law? When was the last time you made the effort to reach out to radio stations on your own to promote yourself? Don't bitch about the money because all of this is FREE. Meanwhile we get to read that you are outraged about discrimination or whatever soap box you choose to climb on that day...Getting the picture?

Let me deconstruct this idea to the very foundation...

Ain't nothing noble about being a broke ass musician...or critic.

I also found this interesting piece written on Nicholas Payton...


http://frakathustra.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/the-payton-bait-n-switch-nicholas-payton-in-grand-rapids/#comments