I also think that removing a "farm system" and "tastemakers" may be considered more "democratic,"
but it leads to a big pile of junk clogging access to the few nuggets of talent. Who CARES if you
now have instant access to a zillion options of low-talent garbage made in people's basements? It's
not useful in finding talent, it's just a way to waste time listening to the rabble. Back in the
day, there was a "farm system" where people honed their sound and their musical skill BEFORE they
ever got in front of a recording mic. This involved a lot of live performing, in church or in clubs
or in school productions or at community centers, etc. For classically-trained musicians, it
required years of lessons and solitary practice. Then there were "filters" or "taste makers," A&R
folks at the record companies -- music nuts who had ears for what a mass audience would appreciate,
or a niche audience (hence regional/specialty records). The point was, even a mediocre A&R man would
reject a talentless bunch of rank amateurs. Nowadays, these amateurs can be "YouTube Stars" the
first time they pick up instruments and make a stupid video with a cellphone. Now how is that
helpful to people serious about music? There's too little talent out there, too much non-serious
presentation, and when "American Idol" passes for taste-making, you know the end is upon the music
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 01, 2010 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Media Timeline - Death of music business
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From Aaron Luis Levinson: "... It is not about formats nor is it about
>> choices. It is about the elevation of mediocrity and the corporatization
>> a field that was once led by people whose consuming passion was music all
>> else followed from that..."
> The production of music recordings is probably the least corporatized that
> it has ever been!
> The elevation of mediocrity is largely because access to a music career has
> become available only to the upper middle class. There is no longer local,
> totally listener supported music. Almost everything we hear is either
> fulfilling some corporate patron's wishes or else a vanity project funded by
> the performers.
> The economic class who used to have the most to gain from putting really
> hard work into their music can no longer get in the door. That leaves just
> the hobbyists who'll take the easy way out using technological crutches
> because they mostly want to look kewl and consider a career to be purely a
> stroke of luck or corporate favoritism. Passion and talent are both
> necessary but meaningless when so many can no longer afford to provide the
> sweat equity that is always behind real musical excellence.
> Music used to be a meritocracy. Today it's a rich man's hobby.
> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
> 615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com http://www.thewombforums.com