Saturday, January 22, 2005

Blanketed by inconvenience

So the snow finally hits... hard. Fucking great. I loathe the winter and nothing can irritate me more than a foot or two of snow... except a foot or two of snow while I'm ill. Which I am. This god-forsaken virus thing is still lingering around my office and worse, still lingering in my system. Fortunately, we were out the door at 8:30 this morning to do the run to Target in New Jersey and the groceries for my dad and for us. Made it home just as the snow started coming down. Thus, my mood remains cranky.

This gave me a laugh--

Go here:

Once again, those who currently "work" in the music industry remain as clueless as those who cost us our jobs (and are on the unemployment lines themselves for fucking it all up). It seems to those of us who are watching from the periphery can see that the "music industry"--the day of the traditional "record label"--is dead and there has yet to be a funeral dirge sung for it. Yes, there may be pockets of musicians and business veterans who carry the banner of tradition (and to them, I give kudos) but Sony-BMG, Universal, EMI and my alma mater, Warner Music Group have not grasped the notion that:

a) people--especially young people--are sick to death of paying (now) $16/17.99 (possibly more) for CD's (the mark-up/profit margins for the labels are somewhere in the neighborhood of 150%--I'm not kidding, I know)
b) no one's going to spend said money on a CD of substandard material, especially in this musical climate
c) the ease of downloading music is just that--easy. No one has to look for a record store (which is sad) or seek out that rare item, locate it and then pay for shipping and handling. Downloading is here and there's fuck all you can do.
d) music just isn't as important as it used to be--the younger generation don't see it the way people of my age group (40) and up saw it. It's just an additional commodity to them (which, on a greater scale, may be the real tragedy here).

Meanwhile, the dumbshits in the industry just continue to toil in obliviousness, filled with their bloated self-congradulatory backslapping and gladhanding of "gee, things are looking brighter for the music industry". Tap, tap, tap on the shoulder--uh, sorry, but NO. It's NOT. You're living on borrowed time, you idiots.

My own opinions veer from pro to con. As a music industry professional (and at this late date, veteran; I think 22 solid years of working within the music industry does qualify me, in case anyone thinks they can challenge me or equal my track record), I applaud the reaction from the consumers and the tech-wiz designers who have found the way to circumvent the rip-off factor of record companies. Of course, I also bemoan the loss of jobs for many good people (myself not withstanding; I've done alright) due to the collapse of the labels as we knew them. Then again, the mega-mergers didn't help one iota. Going back to a more old-fashioned ethic, think of this: when 45's still existed and were the backbone of exposure and success for an artist, you usually paid $.99 or so for a single--the "hit" on the A-side, the (most common) "throwaway" on the B-side. With creations such as the Apple iMusic store, et al, you can have two songs by an artist for $1.98. Sometimes you do have to go back to go forward. Now if the music companies would just come out of their collective coma, which they've been in since the onslaught of the fucking boybands and popsluts, there may be hope and a road built for compromise: download the songs for $1.98 and then you can go out and get the "hard" product if you actually like it. The record companies would do well to LOWER THE COST of the fucking CD's and make music accessible again by making it affordable. Oh, and FIND SOME REAL MUSICIANS. Not these lame teenage halfwits. REAL musicians. I hope everyone on American Idol burns in Hell (especially that Clay Aiken). I mean it. I swear, anyone who advocates their kids listening to dogshit like that stupid, arrogant and talentless cunt Ashlee Simpson, etc. should immediately be taken out and shot in the back of the head. No shit. Quick executions for spreading this aural filth and for turning your kids into bigger morons.

A cool thing happened yesterday. Got an e-mail from an old friend who was my counterpart at Roadrunner in the U.K. back in the early '90's. He wound up leaving Roadrunner not long after I did and moved over to Creation, where he was #2 to McGee for the duration. Good man, Andy. Always liked him. Glad to hear he's well and has his own PR firm in the Big Black Smoke. Hearing from old friends like him always pleases me.

Back to Year One (1979, the year I started playing guitar and writing songs). Listening to The Who and The Kinks non-stop. Townshend and Davies--the two single most important and finest songwriters to come out of the Motherland. Thank God for them.

By the way, if you think I was being harsh or judgmental, fuck you. I can be. I've earned the right to be. When you've worked for record labels, etc. for as long as I and some of my compatriots have, you can stick your two cents in. Otherwise, shut up and go away--you know nothing of which you speak. If you're offended, it must mean you're one of those peasants who would let their wretched offspring extol the virtues of Hillary Duff or some piece of shit rapper while you listen to Billy Joel or Rod Stewart. Go back to listening to WLTW Radio and fuck off. Read no further--this is way beyond your banal scope. Thank you.

That felt good. A verbal purging for the bile stored in my musical diet. Now back to the sofa to rest some more. Being run down is a misery.

More later when I feel physically better and the streets have been snowplowed.


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