Who’s Side Are You On Anyway?

In this morning’s news thread via MSN Music News http://music.msn.com/music/newthisweek/ was a post by an indie musician who is clearly attempting to get a career off the ground. The article dishes on the touted careers of Sara Bareilles, Interpol, Stone Sour, Robyn, and Jerry Lee Lewis – all of whom are associated with power players in the music industry:  Major labels, notable recording studios, and producers.

I look at examples of this sort of behavior all the time and ask, “What are you doing to yourself?”  Why do indie artists promote the legacy of the music industry they rail against with a vengeance?

It’s human nature to align a burgeoning career with the sort of aspirations one wishes to achieve. But I simply do not understand in the current music climate, why true indie musicians fall in line promoting the raging machine that will likely keep them from achieving a sustainable career.

I’ve seen emerging indie artists accept large arena bookings with LiveNation allowing the behemoth’s evil twin, Ticketmaster, to sell tickets for them. Really, now. Isn’t this the height of hypocrisy in a political music war?

This year Lilith Fair held a competition soliciting indie female artists to join the renown annual tour supporting girl power. What they ended up with was rather tasteless. The tour was promoted and supported by the Axis of Evil when indie music is screaming rape in a undemocratized society of working class musicians.

Over the years I’ve worked with musicians who were under contract with major labels, then kicked to the curb and blamed for declining sales. Royalties were rationed at rates less than their legal contracts stipulated. Musicians were understandably livid at being undersold, then hung out to dry.

At this very moment, some of those musicians are at conferences across the country seeking out another industry deal. What? Are you kidding me? This is akin to PETA and Green Peace killing polar bears to make fur coats to drape across the shoulders of America’s royalty. It just doesn’t make sense!

Reaching across party lines is one thing when circumstances are political. Commerce is political, but he who has the most money wins. In this commercial climate any musician can be pistol whipped with their own money at the hands of  those who refuse to democratize an art form this country clearly needs to bring people together.

The commercial music industry has often been called a mafia, and that’s not far off the mark. But it’s a well-known fact once you sign up with any kind of lynch mob, you can never leave unless they find a way to be rid of you.


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About scout66

2017 marks the 33rd year of Janet Hansen’s career as a music marketing specialist. With three Grammy award-winning campaigns to her credit, Hansen has also contributed to the legacy of two of history’s most popular songs. “Classical Gas” by Mason Williams is the most-broadcast instrumental tune in history; and “Louie, Louie” by The Fabulous Wailers is the most-recorded rock song in history. In 2009 Hansen launched the unique music platform Scout66 to encourage reviews of live shows from the ticket-buying public. You may contact Janet at Scout66PR@gmail.com for information on consulting, campaigns, and tour support. Please follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/scout66com
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4 Responses to Who’s Side Are You On Anyway?

  1. Renagade says:

    In todays age of techonlogy and with so many people willing to give their all to actually help Indies achive their dreams, I wonder how the glitz of the bigger players in the industry hasnt tarnished.
    It is not only up to the musicians not to sell their soul to the mafia devils, but it is up to the angels they call fans to help lift them up by supporting their faves with attending shows, BUYING the music, and calling the radio stations, music stores etc and requesting the music.
    By working together the choke hold and shackles placed on Indies by the unsavy ones within the music world will be broken.

    Great piece Scout!

    • scout66com says:

      Knowing you are one of the angels…it is difficult to reconcile illogical decisions some in this business make. It brings me closer to believing that music should not be a business. There aren’t many who can use the left and right brain to great effect….it’s not impossible; but it’s very rare!

  2. Scout

    It has been the bane of my sometime unheard shreeks in the night all the way from Australia. Why do the indies that are rallying support from the curious and truly music thirsty listners then turn there back on the roots that they originally sold them selves on. In my indie state of mind I support you and all others like you who dare to challenge the mob at there own game. I promice you that when i am hussled and my legs are broken for not conforming I will rember this blog and bleed out with a smile. Knowing that the end climbs ever closer for the Majors. Sure they have bought me artists that i have grown to love but now i stand in all my glory knowing that when someone listens to me: live or recorded it was proudly bought to them via blood sweat and tears generated by me and the friends i have made along the way and we are not for sale.

    DC

    • scout66com says:

      Damien, It is with thoughts of hard working and talented musicians like you for whom this is written. We MUST stand up for what we want and believe in and never, ever, sell out. It used to be, arguments between the top brass and artists were over creative control. That issue PALES in comparison to what is happening right now.

      We are talking about MUSIC…this beautiful thing that somehow emerges through the heart and soul of countless well-intentioned and creative people. How can such a brutal form of abuse and control be used against what I believe, is really a divine gift.

      Be well my friend…and always take the high road.
      J

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