News You Can Use

Embrace streaming. Complaining about it, forwarding stories about it, getting caught up in the minutiae of it is a rearguard action that is only hurting yourself.

Either swing for the fence or own your marginality. It’s about influence. You can be on Patreon with 100 fans keeping you alive or you can try to reach millions. Just don’t be the one on Patreon with a miniscule audience bitching that you’re not reaching more and preaching that you make a difference. If you can sustain yourself, more power to you. But the game is in mass. To deny this is to delude yourself. Not only do you want to make money, you want to have an impact.

The money comes with a price. Art is about freedom of expression. Anybody who invests in you will compromise that vision. If you need to do it your way do it independently. Or amass enough juice that you can write your own contract. If you’re just a cog in the system, take the cash.

The more credibility you have the longer your career. You can take the sponsorship, but it’ll shorten your shelf life. If you’re just using music as a springboard to further riches, by all means sell out. But if you’re first and foremost a musician…

Derivative is death. That’s what killed rock. Which is why Greta Van Fleet is doing so well. It sounds like Led Zeppelin, instead of sounding like a mutation of what once was.

Exposure is trumped by quality. This is what Amazon has wrought, you’re only as good as your reviews. Prior to the internet you could snooker the public, have a turntable hit, but now everybody knows the truth.

Sour grapes is a reflection upon you. No, they’re not keeping you down, you’re just not good enough, you haven’t figured out a way to make it work.

Find what you do best, followers fail.

There is no music business authority. “Billboard” has blinked and gone consumer and Pitchfork is too inside and the best and the brightest don’t write about music anyway. And those who do are influenced by the powers-that-be, all that hogwash about Taylor Swift’s shows being successful because of the pricing and not selling out. THEN WHY ARE THE CHEAP SEATS STILL AVAILABLE???

Forget the faux pas. Mistakes are plowed under by the relentless tsunami of information. Ignore those calling foul, don’t even respond.

People are looking for an enemy, because they feel powerless. Apple was killing their old phones, all kinds of hogwash. I’m not saying the corporation is always right, but the public is never satisfied, it always believes it’s being screwed.

You’re not as big as you think you are, no one is. When you read that someone’s a superstar take it with a grain of salt. We are going to have more ubiquitous superstars in the future, within the next five years, it’s part of the inexorable march of consolidation, but we are not there yet. If you’re playing the long game, learn how to write, sing and play, and if you can do none of these three, GET OUT!

Social media is overrated. It’s a playground for the wannabes. Sure, people want to be able to find out information about you, but if you’re a musician, focus on the music.

Those talking about Blockchain are those who can’t make hit records in the new economy. Nothing wrong with a tracking system in the future, but it’s a diversion now. Music is inherently fuzzy. That’s why it’s hard to capture.

You’re either a businessman or an artist. Decide which one. They’re two different personalities and they rarely merge. If unsure, follow the money if it’s most important to you as a businessman, or walk into the wilderness as an artist.

There are no guarantees. You can put in all the time and still fail. You can be great and still fail. Own this.

Life is long. Winners know this. If you’re tattooing the name of today’s hit band on your arm…you’re gonna have regrets in the future. Winners keep their options open.

U2’s album has already failed. They got usual suspect press, but fail to realize they’re out of synch with the times. When time passes you by you retreat to who you once were, you become sui generis, you don’t follow trends. We live in a world where Tom Waits has more credibility than Bono, because Tom Waits is always sure who he is and never veers from it.

You can miss the festival. None of them are must-see anymore. It’s more like a vacation, going to summer camp, getting high, having an experience. As for the acts, no band has ever broken from a festival.

You don’t have to leave the house for entertainment. This has hurt burgeoning live music. Who wants to go to a bar to hear overloud unknown music? Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m contemplating this. But the key is not to bitch about this truism, it’d be like those complaining about MTV airing no music videos.

Comments are closed