“Back in the day”, the keyword for many musicians was “D.I.Y.” – or, Do It Yourself. A lot of rhetoric in those years was focused on “killing the music industry”… and with the advent of cassette tapes (which was the medium I started with, so that shows you how dated/old I am – lol!!), then easily accessible CD recording and other digital methods that let a musician go all the way from creation to release – we made a lot of progress with that D.I.Y. ethic in mind.
On the other hand, once we started releasing CD-R’s, and then ultimately (just) .mp3 files, the “B-I-G music” guys started lobbying (really HARD) to “outlaw” indie artists… kids today may not even remember the battles that ensured over NAPSTER, other file-sharing services & means for getting our music out there.
SO – are the monster producers (i.e., the “big music guys”) dead yet? Ah, I don’t think so… but, to paraphrase a true leader in independent music (Frank Zappa) – they sure “smell funny”. Of course, I’ve no doubt that they are sitting in their towers coming up with Machiavellian schemes for how to take it all back.
When I talk with my son here in Washington about music, he says that he (and his friends) are more inclined to “make their own”… & with their MAC’s, a mike & a few wires – they are all over it! I’ve listened to music recorded and performed by both my boys – & there’s no doubt they ARE able to make their own now. If they need feedback to tweak something, they just shoot a crunched file out to a friend on their I-Phone, or I-Pad… hear what they have to say, make the tweaks & 30 minutes later, they’ve got a WRAP – and I can tell you – some of what they are putting together digitally is FAR better than the “big guys” ever thought about producing!
By the same token, sites like YOUTUBE allow that same type of peer evaluation on a WORLD scale… it’s actually pretty cool when you think about it… a kid that was making trax in his bedroom gets enough “hits” that he goes viral, and – A STAR IS BORN! If all they were producing was “squeak & squak” (like some of US were doing on those 4-track recorders), I’d say you could write my thoughts off about this… but, like it or not, it IS a “whole new world” out there, folks!
I believe, pretty firmly, that those “old days” of total control by record labels are indeed over… what exactly they will be replaced by, I can’t say for sure (& doubt you can either). On the other hand, I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this, so please feel free to use the COMMENT box at the bottom of this post (or, if you’d rather just express your opinion privately to me, use the CONTACT form on the right side). Have a good ‘un… & come back for more soon!