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Who Are The New Mentors

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by BarilkoLives, Aug 14, 2003.

  1. BarilkoLives

    BarilkoLives Guest

    I noticed that the Music Industry forum has bit the dust, or is on sabbatical, so I'll post my question here as it is more of a general interest topic.

    I recently saw "Standing In The Shadows Of Motown" on DVD and I must say: Holy cow, was I ever living in ignorant bliss! These musicians are incredible and are now my role models as far as playing and performing goes.

    Now, obviously those guys are one-of-a-kind originals that could never be duplicated. But my question to y'all is: Where are the new James Jamersons, Benny Benjamins, Johnny Griffiths, "Pistol" Allens, etc. going to come from in the musical climate we are in right now? Who are the innovators of today and will it take another brash, upstart independant label to bring them to the fore? Has multi-tracking capability slowly lowered the musical bar?

    Things that make you go hmmm....
     
  2. BarilkoLives

    BarilkoLives Guest

    Disregard the opening lines of my post.

    It's been one of those weeks apparently.... :d:
     
  3. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Hey Daniel,

    Hmmmmmm... good question.

    I guess the only answer I can offer is... When people start wanting and listening to REAL MUSIC! I personally can't stand 90% of the crap thats out there these days. If some of the songs I hear didn't actually fade and end between songs I would swear they are all the same song/band.

    I am currently working on some stuff right now that I think is very musical but I am sure that a major label would pass whole heartedly on it because of it's lack of mass appeal. Hell I would be happy just to have it released on some obscure little label in Europe or somewhere.

    But considering that everyone is looking up to the guys with their pants hanging down around the cracks of their asses, wearing car ornaments around their necks and boozing on gin and juice. Or the pearltoolstained I hate the world and my mother and father stop holding me down bands. What do you expect? We eat what they feed us and nothing more.

    Which brings me to the question. When is this so called Independent Label that Chris asks about starting going to take off?

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;
     
  4. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    :) Daniel, and JD: Some of the best music I have heard of late has been here in these forums, and links. Some of these people have amazing talent. Truly good songs, and performances.

    I know there will be an RO label, but Chris and RO management wants to do this right, professionally, and produce something of outstanding quality with (state of the art) detail. A reference for everyone to enjoy. You just can't rush into something like this, everyone involved would have a vested interest, and everyone involved should be happy, if not delighted with it.

    I believe it is worth waiting for. People that work that hard on their productions and performances deserve great recognition. These things can be timeless. There is a little something from everyone here to make this happen.
    All in good time,

    --Rick
     
  5. Guitarman

    Guitarman Guest

    Rick,

    I was not commenting specifically about the members here at the RO. I was speaking about the mass public. I would hope that all of us here truly respect great musicianship and music.

    The last part where I questioned the RO label probably read in a different tone than I had intended. I would hope that when it's all said and done that the label would do things in the "Best" interest of the artists it signs, i.e; fare publishing splits etc. If they ultimately wind up being like every other label out there by getting rich while the artists starve then it would prove that greed is every where.

    It is a fact that in todays market it takes "REAL MONEY" to put any artists on "the map". From having to pay DJs to spin(payola, yes that still exists) on radio to mass media promotion. It is a vicious game where only the strong or should I say wealthy survive.

    But at the other end you have places like CD Baby who warehouse your product and ship it for you. The rest is up to you to promote. I rather like that idea because it brings out the truly creative minds to get the word out, or the most persistant. To make $3-10 per sale of your CD where you control the rights or publishing is a great deal.

    I think I would rather see $10 per cd and sell 10000 copies then hope a record company doesn't shelf a project because Tommy Matola didn't get laid the night before the release. Or the stock is down and now your project is not viable any more. Oh yeah,and now you owe a fortune from advances and the masters... forget that, the company owns them.

    I guess I started to rant once again and I'm sorry. But I am sure I am not saying anything you don't already know. dededeThat's all folks!

    Best wishes,

    JD( o}===;;;
     
  6. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    I hope this doesn't come off as one of the way to common "corporate music sucks ..." diatribes. Without trying to be "judgemental" about it, I'd say the national music industry has changed greatly from the days of motown's hits (OK, that one was obvious but bear with me). The changes include managerial, technological, and financial.

    It is easy to focus on the managerial changes. Larger corporations bought record labels, larger corporations bought those, and now large segments of the music industry are small portions of large entertainment conglomerates. The idea that an act has to be a big hit right out of the box makes sure we'll keep getting Mandy Moore's and Jessica Simpson's for every Britany Spears. It will also make it tougher for acts like Springsteen to get three albums to finally hit big. Blue Note, CTI, Alligator, Blind Pig and probably a lot more where started by guys that wanted to put out music they liked, they'd do what the could to help a "good" act because they knew good music in their genre. The guys at the very top of all the decisions, at whom the buck stopped, ultimately got into this because he liked the music. The fact that they succeeded has more to do with the balance with in themselves between business and art. Honestly, can the same be said for the CEO of Sony or any of the other big coporations. In a sense, the buck don't stop at the CEO of Sony, they just keep flowing in. This is the same as food: does anyone think the CEO of MacDonalds really thinks that is a great burger?

    Technological changes has enabled "producers" to get what they think they want more cheaply and quickly, and perhaps even more reliably. I watched the Standing in the Shadows too, and my distinct impression was that the "producers" and arrangers knew precious little about music, and the musicians played what they knew could be played in the spot and fed off of each other. If today's technolgy were available back then, the Motown musicians would probably have remained local jazz musicians.

    Financial changes are sort of related to the managerial changes, but in some cases big record labels are small portions of much bigger companies. Hit records have as much to do with what part of the fiscal year the music is being promoted and how much budget is available, what promotional tie-ins are there, what sound track is it tossed into, how can the people making the desicions be convinced that the project will make money. The trend for homogenation in movies and music and everything else (like politics) has as much to do with seeking a broader audience as it does with meeting with the prejudices about that broader audience in the minds of those making decisions. Take Rap (before it was Hip Hop). when it was in the Bronx, Queens and Englewood it reflected the full spectrum of life as experienced both by the audience and the performers. It made money for some people (Sugar Hill), because that audience had been completely underserved by the largest players in the music industry. Once bigger and whiter business people got into the business of making rap records it was "Good Bye Digable Planets, Hello Gangsta's." This had less to do with some kind of "gangsta" reality and more to do with the perception of the people making the decisions about what to sell. Violant and vulgar African-Americans were less offensive than positive, socially-conscious, politically aware Rappers. Besides, only so many records are bought by people attending block partys in the Bronx, the real audience became teenagers with disposable income.

    With such influences how can "good" music stand a chance, let alone a good and experienced musician have in impact like the Motown musicians?
     
  7. BarilkoLives

    BarilkoLives Guest

    You are absolutely right, Musicalhair, about producers and technology and business. So, how does good music stand a chance? The same way it always has, with people brave enough, smart enough, and talented enough to see the market for what it is and take it in the direction it already wants to go, even if it's against the wishes of a monolithic corprate monster.

    RIAA and the labels are trying to crack down on illegal downloaders, who have been having a field day because they have been released from the confines of an overpriced distribution system, with not enough of the pie going to the real creators of the music. How can you own a copyright on a piece of tape for god's sake? If what is on the tape is music, shouldn't the artists that create that music own more of the profits than the guys who paid for that music to be fixed to a piece of plastic? I mean, really, that's like saying the guys who brought/bought Michelangelo his marble helped carve out David, and should get paid more because of it.

    In a sense, what you've said about producers is true: they know considerably more about music, technology and what they want. But the other side of that coin is that they don't trust the musicians to come up with something good on their own. Good music comes from good musicians, and they are simply being left out the equation more often then I care to think about. The ability to play a song from beginning to end IS the art of music, and having the ability to chop and slice, even during the recording process, is dilluting the talent pool as we speak.

    So, with that in mind, who are the great musicians of this era? Who are the up-and-comers? And by musicians I mean people who can actually play an instrument with deftness and inspiration.
    People that Berry Gordy would have appreciated...
     
  8. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    Actually I think the producers at Motown would have created the same stuff we're complaining about in todays music if they had the technolgy available to them.

    I sort of left out an idea in my previous post. There is plenty of great music out there as their always has been. Groove Collective, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials are New York bands that are astounding. They have way too much athentic flavor of the streets though to get suits to mass market them. And that is a shame because when that stuff was new it was astonding.

    When I was giging regularly at clubs like Kenny's Castways and The Spiral and Elbow Room I saw great new music every single night. There were my influences right on small stages infront of me. When I was in Boston and in New Orleans I was knocked out by the local original music scene. I've met bands from Conneticut and Rhode Island in clubs in NYC and they were great, I think that speaks well for their local scenes. The best band I've seen in a club was Psychodelic Breakfast from conneticut. They are planning a national tour and I think they have two records out. They were great musicians with great songs. Like a progressive funky jam band.

    When I was in LA I was disappointed in the music scene (maybe I din't know where to look), but the last time I was there visting the smaller radio stations were playing some great stuff, maybe there is a great scene there too. Also, the local music in San Fransisco has to be a delicacy: from Jefferson Airplane to Santana to TOP, to SVT and MK Ultra and The Brian Jonestown Massacare: great music seems to come from there. And remember the Seattle scene when it blew up. That was good music because it did speak to an audience that was underserved by major music sources.

    Great music is local, just like great restaurants, and movies. The best movies in New York are at the Film Forum not at some place owned by Lowes. The best music is on Bleeker St. or The Darkstar or on Houston St. not MSG. The best restaurants are on side streets not screaming at you around Times Square.
     
  9. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

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