Bankrupt Music Scene

The Kings of A&R has a post lamenting the rut they’re finding in the music scene. They claim there’s no originality left and then launch into a rant stating, “You really can’t blame anyone but the bands.”

I’d have to disagree on that point. Yes, there is a lot of unoriginal musicians out there that are just hacks of the groups that came before them. But it’s the label mentality that has created this moribund scene through their decades of following and capitalizing on trends. Let’s face the fact that major labels are run by Wall Street and therefore reflect the risk aversion and short term thinking that drives quarterly earnings. Signing the brightest talent, developing it over the course of several record cycles, and pushing niches is not what the labels are equipped for these days.

Pushing the next great thing on the backs of the old best selling thing has a lot to do with the mediocrity of music. You won’t get much attention from a major label by pushing the limits or breaking out of the mold. Hence the artists who have the best chances at being signed play it safe; the rest end up on MySpace.

Perhaps the collapse of the CD and emergence of the Internet will allow us to pursue more innovative artists that may be successful niche players. Because it’s clear that pursuing the mass market, lowest common denominator music is really what’s out of fashion these days…

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~ by Som on November 2, 2006.

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