Find Me On:
His “cred” is based on working with artists with their own “cred” who SOUGHT HIM OUT as their producer. Because they felt like HE was the guy to help them make a better record.
I’m not sure how that’s a slam. It’s actually a recommendation.
And you need to read his speech a little better. His own music (which is actually pretty well known) has been distributed almost entirely via independent labels.
Regardless of who he has produced and what deals they have signed, Albini’s own music career has been in opposition to the major-label system, period, full stop. It’s a fact whether you believe it or not.
(I can’t believe I’m rabidly defending Steve Albini.)
If what you’re saying is that we’d be lucky if 2% of musicians ever make enough money to call it a career…
…That would be the same as it ever was.
I’m not a Steve Albini music fan either, and I’ve always thought of him as kind of a git.
However, in this piece he hits it SPOT. ON. Especially how the Major Labels never DID, and never WILL, work in the interest of indie artists. They had their own monopoly, right down to price-fixing, that independents had to fight tooth and nail to get past.
For 95% of artists, there has NEVER been any money in music, period. It’s a hard, hard Red Pill to swallow for a young guy with a guitar who thinks the only reason he’s being held down is that Spotify is screwing him on the royalties he should be getting for his 258 listens, but it really is how it goes down.
Now the majors are trying to convince everyone that it’s the little guys who are the real victims here, so that random guys-with-guitars get behind their battle for moar profits.
That is, until the labels figured it out in the late ’70s/80s and started demanding big cuts of publishing money from new acts.
Peet’s has horrible quality control. (And they’re foreign-owned, if that part bothers you.)
In fact, I’d say that Starbucks major advantage is the fact that I can get a mocha in Seattle, New York or Tokyo and it will taste almost exactly the same.
I’d recommend neither, though, and suggest you do what a huge number of Seattle residents do: patronize your local independent coffee shops.
Let me quickly add my dick to the measuring contest: I’m personal friends with the singer/principal songwriter for a well-respected indie band from the ’80s/90s (you’d recognize the name, I guarantee it).
He had to keep his day job throughout the band’s most successful phase. He would joke about the tiny size of his ASCAP royalty checks. The band customized an old Econoline van to hold four guys plus instruments, and worked to crash wherever they could at friends’ houses to save money when touring.
Back then, That’s The Way It Was And You Liked It™.
They didn’t have a Spotify to blame it on – it was the taste of the major labels holding them down, if anything. But did he stop playing? No – real artists are defined by compulsion to keep creating.
His point is that the “old way” DIDN’T make small-time artists any money. It “didn’t work” THEN.
There were no “good old days” when you could pick up a guitar and make a living, or even pay your rent without having a day job, unless you were one of the lucky few who got to sit down with a major-label A&R guy and he actually convinced the bosses to let you work at a “new artist” rate of 3% of wholesale for five albums (only two of which you actually recorded before you were cut because you didn’t go Gold).
This concept of average indie artists being able to make decent money selling albums is an illusion, brought to you by billion-dollar industry leaders.
Actually, it’s a really good series. Really good.
Yes, it’s surprising.
Also, the Music Industry would like you to not notice that he said when he was young, “THERE WAS NO CAREER OPPORTUNITY” in music. You didn’t make money from selling albums. You TOURED and saved that money so you could record another album hardly anyone would buy, as opposed to the lucky 1% who got an actual major-label deal.
Now every idiot with a guitar thinks he’s entitled to make a living by selling songs, and the Evil Internet is standing in his way. Brainwashed by the RIAA.
If that’s how you define it, I’d say most of the world has a different idea of what that term implies.
Still usually not attempted murder, but still…