Another one about the music industry

There’s this idea on the internets the last few years that if you’re a musician you must give your music for free, and then try to make money off of live performances and special packages for fans who are collectors. I personally don’t share this idea. I don’t believe that anyone can be a Radiohead or NiN. These bands are already established with a known number of fanatic fans who would buy anything. But the reality is that for the 99.99% of the rest of the artists, this won’t work. I, and anyone I know, would never buy collector’s items. It’s not our style, I guess. We follow a musician for his music only (ok, and for those dreamy eyes).

Live performances only bring so much money too, and all we know how bad music sales are these days. So, you ask, how can the music industry survive? And my answer is: it can’t, and it won’t. Why is it so hard to acknowledge that times changed, and no matter what, only a handful of artists will make it big, and the rest should keep their backup jobs? The age of rock’n’roll and Hollywood glam are over. Just like being a weldor was a cool job back in the Middle Ages, and it’s not anymore. Times changed.

Just the other day I was reading on BBC what journalists and music industry specialists suggested that should be done in order to save the music industry. They suggested from subscription streaming, to universal licensing, to anything else you can think of. And guess what: none of this will work. Nada. Reasons being: 1. Over-saturation of the market, 2. There’s already enough legally free music out there, 3. Streaming a problem in a non-100% internet-connected world, 4. Piracy.

In my opinion, trying to be a musician that can sustain a family financially, is a very difficult thing to do, and it’s only going to be more difficult. And if you happen to have a drug habit, well, good luck with your cheapo MacDonalds daily diet and still look young & sexy in your ’30s. However, if you still feel that you want to give it a try in that industry, here are my suggestions.

Production

1. Experiment with new sounds, new instruments. If you’re just another 1 guitar, 1 bass, 1 drums, 1 vocals band, well, good luck with that. Oh, and stop seeing rock with keyboards as “pop/disco” (and therefore “bad music”). Keyboards is just a tool, it can be very flexible sound-wise, and so use that to your advantage. On the other side of the spectrum, violins are still cool.

2. Chances are you’re not a new Elvis or Nirvana. Therefore, you’ll have to play within the constraints of the current market. This means that you will have to write music people WANT to hear — even if you don’t. Oh, shut up already with your “I won’t sacrifice my artistic integrity” bullshit. Do you think Leonardo daVinci only created the stuff he wanted to create, or did he also got side jobs for governors and the church, and had to abide within the rules and needs of these employers? Because, he totally did, and you’re no different. Today’s “employer” are the consumers. And today’s consumers are so overrun by their hectic life, that they simply have no time to decode your experimental/avant-garde/whatever-weird-shit you’re writing. They need HOOKS, melodies that their brain can hold on to after a SINGLE LISTEN. The rule of thumb here is this: if you can imagine your neighbor being able to sing your song in his shower, then you have a marketable song. If not, go back to drawing board and rewrite it. Now, I am not saying that you should only write “pop” music (by “pop” I mean “easily understood”, it could be any genre, including heavy metal or punk — more explanation on all this in the comment section below). But you need to write such music in order to make a BUCK, so you can then produce the music you REALLY want to make available (e.g. Blitzen Trapper took off when their last two albums became more accessible musically). You can do this via two ways: have 3 out of the 10 songs on your album being the music you really want to make, and poll your customers what they thought about it. The other way is to give away your not-very-commercial music via your web site, and then see the reactions of your fans. If that kind of music sells, consider it for your next album. If not, keep making “pop” music, write the music you want on the side, and give it away for free, and await for another 20 years until it gets appreciated. If you’re not willing to do that, then I wouldn’t consider you a wise professional. There’s no shame in making a living. The shame only comes when you are a musical fanatic, a “purist”. Nothing good ever came out of fanaticism.

3. Learn how to use recording software, e.g. Logic, Pro Tools etc. It is absolutely possible with today’s equipment to record in very high quality on your own home. You will only need professional mixing and mastering to be done by others.

4. Design your own artwork. If you’re a true artist, it doesn’t matter if you’re a musician and not a painter or a Photoshoper. Let it come out. Improvise. Or, ask your fans to do art for you.

Business aspect

1. Avoid label contracts (including with indie labels), unless you’re 100% you are getting a good deal. Majors never offer a good deal btw, avoid them like the plague.

2. Avoid managers. If you need to be told what to do then this is not the right profession for you. Being a professional musician today means more than just writing music. If you’re only interested in writing/play music, then keep a day job, and play music on the weekends. Do employ a manager/helper when you become too successful and can’t take care of the daily business all by yourself anymore.

3. Hire a PR company to do specifically the TV/magazines/radio promotion for you (there are 5-6 good ones in the US), a live-show booking company, a licensing company, a distribution company (e.g. CDBaby, who will also get you to Amazon, iTunes, Spotify etc). If you’re successful, also get legal counsel.

Your side of promotion, online

1. Send ONE mp3 to music blogs from your new album. IF you can give away more, give away up to three mp3s from your album, but there has to be a 1-2 months of space between the freebies. Otherwise, overloading listeners won’t work well, and you might give the wrong impression that your music doesn’t worth much to give it away so easily. It’s a bit of a mental game. You will have to keep listeners think “oh, I remember these guys, they had this other mp3 a couple of months back“. Very important: always tag your mp3s properly, including with album art.

2. You must spend time to find the top-100 music blogs out there to send your info, mp3s for reviews or for freebie promotional reasons. The top-5 such blogs will probably ignore you, but the rest 95 probably won’t. If the top-5 can get you 1000 new fans, and the rest 95 combined can get you 2000 new fans, it’s still a good plan despite the extra work. As for the top-5, that’s why you hired the PR company suggested above.

3. While commercial FM radio might be inaccessible to indie artists (even with a PR company is difficult), college & internet radio are not. Send your free CDs or mp3s to these radios. There are hundred of thousands of listeners in these radios these days. This should also include services like Pandora and Last.fm which are not internet radios with the normal sense of the word.

4. TV is also inaccessible for indie artists, but Youtube/Vimeo are not. And I am not talking here about just shooting a music video or capturing a live performance. Instead, contact top amateur videographers and ask them to make videos off of your songs. The band Barcelona became more known in the last few months just because a videographer used their song for his video (currently, the most “liked” HD video on Vimeo ever). The interesting thing here is that this is NOT the best song off of the album, and yet, AFTER that video became popular, that song became their No1 sale on iTunes. One big thing that ticks the music industry is the unauthorized usage of RIAA music by amateurs. This is a major point that the indie artist should use against his major artists’ competition! If they don’t allow people to use their music with their random non-commercial videos, then the indie artist should! All you need to ask is for attribution, so your new fans will know who plays that song.

5. Always maintain at least a Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter account. Twitter must be updated regularly. It’s very important to actually reply to your fans there (I personally unfollow bands that don’t reply to fans). Then there’s Imeem, purevolume, hypem, ilike etc. You can use a web site like ArtistData to manage them all at once. And of course, have a main band web site, that uses NO Flash. Flash takes ages to load and it doesn’t work with mobile phones. Keep it simple, and accessible. Also blog.

6. Do shoot 2-3 official music videos from your album. There are amateur videographers out there in your area that do want to shoot your official video, for free, or for very low cost. They get to brag that they shoot real music videos for artists, and you get a music video. And if the outcome is not stellar, it’s still better than nothing. Upload to both Youtube and Vimeo.

7. Sign up for sessions with Daytrotter or HearYa, then make these sessions known to your fans so they can download them for free. Just the other day I bought the EP of ‘Magic Wands‘ after I heard them for the first time at Daytrotter.

8. Tell your label or your PR company to give away for free 1-2 mp3s to mp3 manufacturers. If you can get 1 of your mp3s onto the Sandisk players (which usually come with a few mp3s for free), or an Android or Nokia phone, then you will get *millions* of new listeners, for free. Bay Area’s Loquat made a name for themselves by giving away their single via the Sandisk players.

9. For the top-5 or top-10 of the music blogs/mags, along the CD send an actual mp3 player with your top-3 songs in there, asking for a review (and mentioning which one of the 3 songs is to be given as a freebie for the blog/mag’s audience). See, if you send just a CD, no one will rip it, it will be ignored. If you send an attached mp3 on an email, it will get wiped out by their firewall. If you send a link to an mp3, most probably it will be ignored too. But by sending an actual mp3 player, no one will say “no” to a free gadget. They will feel compelled and *obligated* to listen to what’s in there. These days, you can buy a cheap 512 MB mp3 player (which is way bigger in storage than what you need anyway) for $10. Geeks.com had some a few weeks ago for $7+tax+shipping, they are out of them now. But they might still be available elsewhere.

10. Do shows. A lot of shows. And don’t shun the rural America, since most bands don’t go there, and so you can get new hungry fans there, while you least expected it to. Not everyone’s listening to country over there.

And finally: look good. The ladeez like seeing good looking men up on the stage. Sorry mate, part of the job too.

21 Comments »

ypesh wrote on November 30th, 2009 at 9:49 PM PST:

what an excellent post, with lots of useful information – thanks alot Eugenia!! 🙂


Dominique wrote on November 30th, 2009 at 10:16 PM PST:

You’re inspiring my dear.

There’s some good ideas in there for my business too.


Jani wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 12:39 AM PST:

What you say about artistic integrity and pleasing the customers… is just horrible. In my opinion that kind of attitude is exactly what is killing the music industry. Trying to make the kind of generic dumb music that attracts the widest possible audience for at least long enough to sell lots of records before they get bored of it… aargh. You simply cannot please everyone, hell, not even half of the potential audience at the same time without pissig off a lot of people. Personally I have always liked bands that do something different, such as Garbage, Curve and The Geraldine Fibbers. Sure, I also like Green Day and while they may seem very popular they are not liked by everyone, not even close.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 1:06 AM PST:

Jani, no what I write is simply realistic, and you didn’t quite understood what I wrote there.

I didn’t say to write POP music. The word “pop” was in quotes and was even explained. What I said was to write ACCESSIBLE music — “easily understood music with the first listen”.

There’s a huge difference between Britney Spears’ pop music, and Green Day’s post-punk music — and yet, both artists offer ACCESSIBLE music. “Commercial” music. Music that someone can listen to it at a random moment on the radio, and instantly “get” their melody — even if it’s not their cup of tea in terms of genre. That’s accessibility.

For example, you write industrial rock music? Consider a sound like Linkin Park’s. You write pop music? Consider a sound like GaGa’s. You write metal? Consider a sound like Metallica’s. These artists write music that’s easily understandable because their songs have STRONG HOOKS (and writing strong hooks, is an art in itself, most musicians CAN NOT do that).

And within these limits, do innovate. Don’t be a copycat of Gaga or Metallica. But do offer a product that’s recognizable. Do offer your totally-weird-inaccessible-experimental music either for free, or as addons to your normal albums. But DON’T COUNT on selling that stuff as your MAIN product. And the last time I checked, you’re human and you want to eat, right? You need money for that.

And yes, I’m talking about it as “a product”, because from the moment you get money for it, and you’re considered a professional, it IS a product. If you don’t want your art to be considered a product, give it for free under a Creative Commons “Attribution” or Public Domain license. If you’re doing it “just for the art”, go ahead, give it for free. I wanna see you do that! But if you want to charge money for it — or any other services around your public image as a musician — then you should realize that you need to offer music that people WANT to hear. It’s not about what YOU want, but what your customers want. It’s marketing 101, since 4000 BC in ancient Egypt. You’re no different. Don’t flatter yourself.

So it is my very strong opinion, that artists SHOULD offer accessible music. They can still innovate, but within the limits of what’s considered accessible, and they can still do their thing, *on the side*. They should USE that potential commercial success to enable them to write the music they want to write.

Otherwise, in my book, they’re losers. They won’t get points from me and say “wow, what a true artist, sticking to his guns”. Instead, I’d be thinking “what a freaking idiot”.

In Greece, we have a “common wisdom” saying: “οι καλιτεχνες πεθαινουν στην ψαθα”. This means, in free translation: “artists die homeless and penniless”. Maybe 1% of actors/musicians make a good-enough living. Even a plumber has better percentages of success. So don’t talk to me about art. Having food to eat every day, is more important — especially if you have a family. Only when you have financial freedom do the things you want to do. It works the same way for any other company too: Apple wouldn’t be innovating and making the iPhone if they were in the same financial shit they were in the mid-90s. They would still be fighting with “sure” products instead, like the Mac, and the iPhone platform would still be a dream at Jobs’ head. The true innovations only came after Apple was able to stand in its feet financially.

You’re no different. Just because you label yourself an “artist”, doesn’t mean that you get to bend the rules of the market.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 1:50 AM PST:

And something that happened just right now, that will help me explain my position better:

A few days ago I bought the first single of Allison Iraheta’s first album, called “Friday I’ll Be Over U”. I was thinking, if the rest of the album is like that song, I’ll get the whole album.

Tonight, the album was finally released on iTunes. I previewed it. And I hated it. The music IS generic. And generic with the whole meaning of the word: you can spin that pop music to easily sound like country given a different singer.

This is not what I am suggesting artists to do.

What I do suggest is to innovate and be fresh, but within the limits of what’s accessible. From Allison’s new album, there WAS a single song that DID achieve that: “Holiday”. I ended up only buying that song instead of the whole album tonight.

There’s definitely a fine line that artists have to walk. And that’s an art in itself:

Be Arcade Fire, but don’t be Beirut.

Be Magic Wands, but don’t be Dirty Projectors or HEALTH (or be like that as a side job).

Of course there are fans of Beirut, HEALTH & Dirty Projectors around (I personally like a few HEALTH songs myself), but these bands will never hit it big. They just won’t.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 4:10 AM PST:

Heh! And I just found out that Iraheta’s “Holiday” is actually a cover of this song. The best song on her album is actually not written for her (since her label used songwriters to make her an album). Double fail. ;P


ojimenez wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 8:00 AM PST:

“Righteous Babe” records was started by Ani DiFranco out of her home in NY. Ani’s music remains a “cult” following in many respects. She embodies, I think, the anti-establishment, anti- “music industry.” Independent artists, independent labels, independent thinking, will prevail regardless. Ani DiFranco, a serious ARTIST, not only bent the rules of the market, she kicked all the executives’ asses in the process!
(P.S. cool blog)


Janet Hansen wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 10:41 AM PST:

Let’s face it folks, very few are meant to be recording and performing artists. Once again I agree with everything in this post save one specific item that contributes heavily to the over saturation of music. The mass availability of Pro Tools et al have led an enormous flock of sheep to believe they could be the next big thing in music. My theory is this: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

What’s worse is many music industry insiders are following the flock off the cliff. Regularly, I hear “influencers” rave over a voice, a song, a collection of songs, that is really best kept as a gift for Grandma.

Once the influencers quit being blown away by mediocrity, then healing process of a broken industry can begin. Time and again it’s proven to me, it’s about the music. And it’s got to be better than good.

Janet Hansen
Scout66.com


Jim wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 5:24 PM PST:

I will post a more detailed reply tomorrow, but I am in a position to know how the music industry was and is. The fact most musicians have always have performance as income only except for a very few and had day jobs. You did too good of a job with this post to give a brief answer to so will let it stew tonight and will reply tomorrow, but I disagree with some of what you have said, but agree mostly on the present situation.


refe wrote on December 1st, 2009 at 7:30 PM PST:

Great post Eugenia, as usual. There’s a lot of good stuff in here that artists would be wise to think about implementing. There are also a couple of things that I’m on the fence about.

As an artist I can see how your paragraph about accessibility could induce a cringe or two. It just feels like a betrayal of integrity to openly admit that we want our music to be liked by as many people as possible.

But you’re right – writing music that ventures too far from convention makes for a challenging listen. Not everybody wants to be challenged like that. There needs to be something for a listener to latch on to, which usually means something familiar. Writing hooks does not translate directly into the sacrificing of one’s artistic integrity. It takes an incredible amount of skill to balance innovation and originality with enough familiarity to hold it all together.

Also, I don’t recommend that all artists avoid hiring a manager. There are talented musicians who do need some help with the business side. There’s nothing wrong with that. DIY music is a team sport, now more than ever. A solid manager focuses that team and keeps them moving forward. I do, however, strongly agree that most artists should wait as long as possible before going out and getting one.


memson wrote on December 2nd, 2009 at 5:35 AM PST:

Live does bring in a lot of money. Touring generates purer revenue that indirect sales through vendors. My wife and I saw 3 bands play last night, two of which were new to us. My wife walked away with a T-Shirt from the second band. £15 – and it wasn’t even a particularly good quality shirt – I would say £3 tops, including printing.

You say “[t]here’s already enough legally free music out there”, but this is actually not exactly true. Yes, if you are willing to compramise and listen to bands you otherwise might not. No if you like a specific artist, unless they are NiN or Radiohead and give their music away for pretty much nothing. I like specific bands. I have an open mind, but I don’t find a lot of free stuff that I feel suits my musical tastes. I do however listen to Spotify free streaming – which I guess if paid for by ads, so therefore that model seems to be working here.

Production:

1) Rubbish. I have seen enough bands live to know that it has little to do with which instraments are beiong played and absolutely all to do with ability to play music in general and real talent for writing musical compositions. To paraphrase an English proverb – “Bad work men blame their tools”.

2) Sure. But not everyone likes Elvis or Nirvana. Limiting yourself is not inovating and inovation is what drives music.

3) I would put forware Reaper ( http://www.reaper.fm ). Good low cost and competent DAW software. Now if only they could get the Mac version polished, I could use it again over Garageband. Logic is obtuse and archaic. Never used Pro tools, but Ableton Live is quite good too.

Business:

1) Agreed. Bands often make most money in the long run if they self produce/release and then that recording is re-released by a larger label when they get signed. The more of the performance and recording rights and copyrights you own, the more ryalties you earn overall.

2) Wrong. Avoid managers at the low levels, but managing a touring band is pure hell. As you say, you need a manager once running the band takes up all the non sleeping time the management acting band members have off stage. This will happen pretty much as soon as you begin to tour.

3) No! PR companies suck money worse than managers. There’s no good/perfect way to promote a band, but nothing beats word of mouth. Touring and support slots to larger bands brings good promotion. The Internet is another good tool. The truth is, being in a bottom rung band isn’t going to pay the bills, but only hard work makes you rise throught the ranks. Manufactured fame is shortlived. The worst crime a band can commit is assuming they a famous because they can sell out a large home town venue.

On the lowest rung, booking agents are poinless. The best way to begin is to get in to the local scene. Play local shows. Make friends. Build up you local following – who will begin to promote you by virtue of word of mouth. As you get a local name, you will meet promoters. In turn you’ll get higher profile gigs and be offered gig shares to out of town venues. And from there, the world is your Oyster. Bare in mind, 80-90% of bands are not good enough for this to work – they are never going to make it, end of story.

Your side of promotion:

1) Sending music for review is an extremely good way for getting free publicity – but only if you are actually any good. This has nothing to do with that publication/site then giving that music away. Free MP3’s generally don’t work unless the music is outstanding. I can’t think of a single band I have come to from a covermounted sampler CD or online MP3 download that didn’t hook me on first listen.

3) College radio doesn’t exist outside of the US. FM is dead in the UK and will not exist at all in a couple of years.

4) Agreed. A classic example is the “Hey clip” on Youtube. Over 20 million views. The song is by the Pixies, but it is not a well know one, nor are the Pixies particularly well known outside of Indie circles.


Jani wrote on December 2nd, 2009 at 2:51 PM PST:

One more thing, about making the kind of music people want… How do people know what they want? OK, they’ve heard something they like and then they want more. I can understand that. BUT. Here’s the problem: If they’ve never heard the kind of music you – the artist – would like to make, how do they they know if they would like it or not? What if they would like it but you never make it, thinking that nah, nobody wants to hear this. So there’s a kind of chicken and egg problem: which comes first, the product or demand? So what I’m saying is that artists should just be brave and do their thing, there will be audience for it. A small one perhaps but anyway. Don’t quit your day job and fsck the rest.

And btw back in the 90’s I was more active in the music circles and know a bit about how these things work, it’s really all about two things: connections (people you know) and word of mouth. If you want to get your band signed to a label, that is. And for the record, I’m not in a band but have helped out a few, free of charge, whenever I was in a position to do so. And I was in a position to do so. And sure, yeah, not all people in the biz are nice.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 2nd, 2009 at 5:05 PM PST:

RE: Memson

>PR companies suck money worse than managers.

If PR companies can get you to the top-5 of online music blogs, and if they manage to get you to SOME commercial radio/tv/mags, then it’s a success. Negotiate their prices.

>I have an open mind, but I don’t find a lot of free stuff that I feel suits my musical tastes.

I think you’re just not looking hard enough. I just checked my library. I have 1750 AAC purchases from iTunes THIS year, and over 2500 legally free MP3s. And these 2500 downloads are actually songs I like, not random stuff. I usually download 1/10th of what I find online.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 2nd, 2009 at 5:06 PM PST:

RE: Jani

>If they’ve never heard the kind of music you – the artist – would like to make, how do they they know if they would like it or not?

That’s why I said you give away for free that music, or as non-single parts of an album, and then you POLL your customers to find out what they think about it, and continue based on that marketing research. But you’ll have to start with a safe bet.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 2nd, 2009 at 7:30 PM PST:

RE: Refe

>Writing hooks does not translate directly into the sacrificing of one’s artistic integrity.

Exactly. And besides, if you’re hoping for international success, you have to have hooks. 90% of the non-english speaking world doesn’t pay attention to the words (even myself I rarely do). It’s very difficult to understand a foreign language when it’s singed, even if you can speak that language, so most people just don’t bother. The only thing you can do to get these customers too, is to have an irresistible tune/hook.

Fine example here are The Decemberists. They have US success mostly because of their lyrics and stories these tell, not necessarily because of their musical melodies. That kind of act would have a hard time in mainland Europe.


Jim wrote on December 3rd, 2009 at 12:42 PM PST:

Well, I have had some success in music. I have been part of the Peavey Artist Endorsement program for over 25yrs and have made some great money in the past. It has always been rare for musicians to make any money from selling records. Used to be that musicians were part of big bands and small combos and there were bars that would hire you. In the 60s you could make a middle class income as a solo artist in a bar. The drunk driving laws changed things and so now musicians cannot even make enough money to pay expenses in the Seattle area. The key to making money is in corporate parties, but these are all disco oldies events. There are Indian casinos that pay well, but here again one indian casino a year will not cut it. On the other hand musicians have not tended to business, they could form internet radio stations with other recording artists, create their own concert venues and work together to make money, but musicians are a solitary lot and mostly will not advance themeselves and see other bands as competition not partners. The most I made in music was $600 an hour and that was 1970. Now to do it again, I would need to bring 100 people to the place I am playing, if you cannot bring 100 hard drinking party people to an establishment you do not have the aptitude to make it in music. 100 people is easy. George Thurgood sold 17, ooo cassettes at his shows prior to getting a recording contract. Most musicians are too warn out to tend to publicity and business, but that is what you have to do to make it.
Now if you play a bar and have a gate charge and have cds, t shirts, coffee cups and other crap to buy, you will likely make enough to make it worthwhile. I am acquainted with “Magical Strings” who live in Olalla, WA. They have traveled the world, put their kids thru private school and kept it together for 30yrs or more, but they also teach music as well as tour. They told me they never have made any real money with recording despite being on a major folk lablel and they also build musical instruments. I think it is unrealistic and has been unrealistic to make a living from performances alone since the 60s. I don’t know anyone that has been supported solely by recordings. This has always been supplemental income and in fact even for major artists, having airplay etc recordings are an expense to enhance concert performance.
If I were to form a band today and I was alot younger, I would form Internet radio stations and seek to network with other musicians to create our own venues. As a band, I would have some members that handle business even if they are not musicians, but should be considered part of the band. Selling band crap is the best way I know to make income. There position should be revered, because their job will build excitement and interest in the band. A band blog and involving fans is vital then and now and if you can attract 100 hard drinking, cash spending rabid fans to venue, then next year you should be able to make that 200 and away we go


jeff wrote on December 3rd, 2009 at 2:14 PM PST:

Some musicians spend months just working on 1 song. The turmoil after having that song fail must be devastating. I just want to do it once so that I can have a great respect for musicians and know what they go through. I’m learning on Magix music maker. I can’t afford or am allowed loud instruments where I live. I’m happy so far with the sound quality of synthesizing. However, I cannot see myself learning every instrument by myself.


PhillC wrote on December 4th, 2009 at 2:38 AM PST:

A weldor would still be a pretty cool occupation. Sadly, there’s just not enough call for yellow dye these days and Reseda Luteol isn’t as common as it used to be.


Jim wrote on December 4th, 2009 at 11:01 AM PST:

I used to be on the Renton Technical College Welding advisory board and a Steel Fabrication Training Coordinator. The best employment you can expect is about 3 months a year as a welder right now and as a new welder you have to compete with out of work welders who have decades of experience. You can go to work for small shops for substandard wages, but if you do that you need someone to subsidize you. I went from music to shipbuilding and repair. At the time it was a good decision. Right now even before the current depression, there are too many skilled welders for the amount of work available.
BTW, for my next cd (Sheepless in Seattle) I will be having many world class musicians playing, due to all the out of work in the music industry, there are so many wonderful musicians out of work. I think that if Jeff has some good music to record the best thing he can do is find some money to hire these guys who now work for cheap. For musicians and welders frequently better to work cheap than to not work


memson wrote on December 4th, 2009 at 2:52 PM PST:

The problem with compromise within musical integrity is that once you commit to something – a sound if you will, it’s extremely hard to move away from. Many bands fail after their first album because of this. They are pushed and coerced in to doing material the aren’t fully in to, then expecting to have more control in the future. Once they get control, the music they produce is not up to the standards expected/anticipated, mainly because the standard was a lie. Integrity is a hard thing to manufacture and even harder to regain once lost.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on December 5th, 2009 at 9:42 AM PST:

I fail to see how an artist would lose integrity if he/she makes more accessible songs. I never suggested he does Madonna/GaGa-pop music. I suggested he does accessible music — and experiment on the side. And there’s absolutely nothing shameful about that.


Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.