Music Industry Problems: Maybe The Music Just Sucks

from the one-possibility dept

Well, it's good to see some of the more mainstream press picking up on this idea. CBS Marketwatch is suggesting to the music industry that maybe (just maybe) the music industry's problems have less to do with all this downloading activity, and more to do with the fact that, well, um, we hate to break it to you, but most of the music coming out these days really (no, really) sucks. The article describes "musical lulls" between great periods of music creation, where most musical acts are more about "McDonald's rock" - taking a successful manufactured act and copying it over and over again. The article also suggests that the world has fragmenting tastes. That is, not everyone likes the same music, and not everyone wants to be forced to listen to yet another boy band. This, of course, is the perfect situation for the internet, where the music industry could produce much more customized niche acts for all the varied audiences. However, they've grown so accustomed to producing for the lowest common denominator that now that this plan has backfired, they've turned around and started blaming (and suing) their own customers.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 3:52am

    big big picture in my opinion

    (This might be obvious to everybody but I'll babble it anyway)
    Whether the music industry are screwing the consumer or being screwed by the consumer I think theres a bigger picture.
    Record companies historically made their business by discovering or creating talent, then marketing the talent to millions, and finally distributing their product.
    As it turns out there is now something much bigger than them that can do all those things even better, more efficiently and in a more democratic process. I dont need to tell you what that is.
    But what will become of the poor millionaire musicians now if their music was freely traded? Well it turns out they make a LOT of their money from tours (so much the record companies try to get a piece of it)
    There probably is a hard limit to touring (factors of time and audience size) so Britneys unrealized extra millions will probably distribute out over smaller acts.
    This will hurt the talent that prefers to stay in the studio or maybe they can figure something else out after the boy bands are crashing and burning without relentless record company marketing and promotion.

     

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  2.  
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    noclu, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 5:52am

    poetic justice

    The Music Industry, artists and recording companies alike, grew rich over the last 40 years by corrupting the youth of the world. Their current troubles are an illustration of Karma in action. What goes around comes back to bite you in the butt.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 6:58am

    No Subject Given

    Mike, you really need to let go of this vehement attitude you have towards music companies and their policies. Yes, they suck. I constantly have this picture of you writing your take on articles concerning music sharing/RIAA etc and see you raving at your keyboard and getting worked up in a lather.

    Take a pill dude. The music companies will eventually get it or die. And if they die, you can dance on their graves then.

     

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  4.  
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    Joe A., Aug 25th, 2003 @ 7:15am

    Absolutely true

    There's no question that there are very few (if any) popular AND innovative music acts out there. You can only sell so much to the least-common-denominator audience before you've dilluted the potential for profit.

    It is my belief that the Internet is the only thing that can save music right now. If given a wider selection of music to choose from, the bigger audiences will find something novel to latch on to -- and then the music industry can snap up these new acts and bastardize them like they did with Dave Matthews. :)

     

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  5.  
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    Hillary Rosen, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 8:18am

    Re: No Subject Given

    If you're going to @ least bust Mike's chops for his opinion ... it would help to post your email ... or sign your name ...
    I may post anon ... but its usually just MY opinion and not ripping others for theirs ...

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 8:48am

    Re: big big picture in my opinion

    I agree completely. The record companies are realising that *they* are going to be replaced by P2P - the musicians don't need them.

    The "talent" can still make their money from tours and videos etc - hey at $40+ a concert ticket, they're making much more than $15 for a CD...

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 11:02am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I'm hardly 'ripping' mike for his opinion, just noting this is one horse he beats with a bit of extra venom.

    As for posting my email address ... nah, I've got enough spam coming in. I can hold conversation here on the boards and let others (such as yourself) chime in as desired.

    --RJD--

     

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  8.  
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    Mike (profile), Aug 25th, 2003 @ 11:06am

    Re: No Subject Given

    The vehement attitude is because it's stunning to me that an entire industry can have so much opportunity at their fingertips and not get it so badly.

    My posts are because I'm hoping that with enough pounding, some folks in the music industry will get it and do something about it.

    Anyway, it seems that with the entertainment industry's own publicity campaign convincing too many people that their views are correct, there needs to be someone pointing out the inconsistencies in their arguments. Besides, I try not to post the same types of posts over and over again, but pick up on different facets of what the industry is doing wrong.

    Anyway, I appreciate your input on what you like me to post and what you'd prefer that I skip. I'll keep it in mind.

     

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  9.  
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    Hillary Rosen is DEAD !, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 1:55pm

    P2P file sharing

    Please keep discussing the Music Industry & file sharing ... I not only like it, but agree wholeheartedly with your method of educating people so that change can finally be made ...
    Cheers

     

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  10.  
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    Jeremiah, Aug 25th, 2003 @ 3:41pm

    music, et al

    Y'know kids, there *are* (gasp) artists out here worth a listen AND YOUR MONEY....
    Mike: I appreciate the ear-to-the-ground Techdirt has on the music biz. We're in an interesting time for music artists, as a new medium (internet) is becoming the de-facto delivery infrastructure for a growing population of music lovers all over the world.
    What the exact implications are for business models (read: how money gets from consumer to artists and points in between) and artists themselves is yet to be seen. One aspect I find particularly exciting is how the web has given artists a great deal of personal control over how their music is marketed, consumed, etc.
    The immediate difficulty is one of physics. Literally, there is more recorded music in the human catalog than can be heard in a single lifetime. In other words: competition for your eardrums is significant. An accompanying difficulty (especially in the internet age) is finding new music and artists. Because the bar of entry to the musical marketplace is lower than ever before, more people are producing music and making it publicly available.
    Traditionally, it is the role of record labels and publishers to act as a filter - theoretically choosing only the most fit artists for public exposure. What has yet to emerge on the internet is a relatively consistent filtering standard, in the form of a rating system or simply a stamp-of-approval, that promises a potential listener they're not about to waste their time listening to some kid and his first foray into ACID loops.
    Currently, the best that's available is word-of-mouth (in the currency of the internet, that means hyperlinks).
    The last major piece of this puzzle to be figured out, however, is the money. Again, there's not really a reliable micro-payment system in place yet (PayPal is getting there) that allows patrons to directly support artists. We're still pretty much relegated to pressing our music onto shiny plastic discs and then selling the disc at a markup to create income. At some point in the near future, all these elements will fuse into *something* that will allow music fans to find new music that's listenable *AND* provide a simple, secure means for listeners to support the artists whos work they enjoy.
    I really, really look forward to that day.

     

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  11.  
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    krowe, Mar 18th, 2004 @ 9:14am

    Do nothing and nothing will change

    Every one needs a pill, but if we sit back and wait on the companies to "get it or die" the music industry, which is slipping fast, will be severly crippled in the process. Standing together for change is our only hope. Peace

     

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  12.  
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    Jamie Daugherty, May 4th, 2004 @ 5:23am

    Music Industry Killing Themselves

    Here is the deal. Around 1991 or 1992 the Music Industry changed for the worse!! Segrams (a beer company) Merged a bunch of Labels together so the first problem is you have a beer company trying to run the music industry! Second problem is the new era of the music business proves there is no need for talent to be signed! that in turn releases albums that cost the record labels money and not good enough for people to buy. Just look at the 70's and 80's, there were thousands of artist that were selling records. Why? because each artist had talent, they had songs that touched people and they all had a huge fan base. I have personally not walked in to a record store and bought a CD in the last 10 years!!! there has not been any new band come out that could compare to what has already been there. Take Bon Jovi for example (being that they are still selling out huge stadiums and not stae fairs)There is not one new band that can compare with the talents and songwriting abilities these guys have! Record Labels want to place the blame on the internet downloading but the real problem is they are releasing pure shit! Country Music labels are not complaining, they are still selling records. It is the rock industry that has been flooded with Rap, Kid-Rock and other non talented dumb asses. Until the record business wises up and starts chopping off their rosters and start signing actual good talented bands they will suffer for some time to come!

     

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  13.  
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    john, Jun 9th, 2004 @ 9:42pm

    the anti intellectual movement and music

    These people who run the music industry and media are not very intelligent, and the public who is supporting this non art is just a dumb.
    There is something very wrong when mc.donolds is on every corner, and applebees. there is no indivisuality.
    I know of a singer songwriter who really has a amazingly beautiful voice, but that is why she isn't signed and is the real thing...
    she should get support, but people keep talking about commerical crap, because they love it.
    She has a corkboard filled with interesting links to other real artists and virtuosos.
    www.marissamarchant.com
    She is unique.
    but people are closed minded to non commerical music.

     

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  14.  
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    Keenan Thompson, May 11th, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOUR ISSUES ABOUT THE MUSIC IN

    MY NAME IS KEENAN THOMPSON AKA KTEE, I AM THE CEO OF AN NEWLY EMERGING LABLE, EATNGOOD ENTERTAINMENT INC. "feeding the hungry artist". OUR SLOGAN COMES FROM THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SO MANY TALENTED ARTIST OUT THERE, WHO HAS LOST THEIR DRIVE FOR RECOGNITION, BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF SUPPORT AND PROMOTIONS OF THESE BIG TIME RECORD LABLES. TODAY IN THE INDUSTRY, IT IS ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW , AND WHAT TALENT YOU POSSES. WE HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES, A LOT OF THESE ARTIST THAT ARE IN THE LIMELIGHT, ARE REALLY OVER- RATED, AND THEIR MONEY, SHINY JEWLERY, BIG CARS, AND SEXY WOMEN, IN THEIR VIDEOS IS A COVER UP FOR THERE LACK OF PURE, RAW TALENT. AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE SO MANY HUNGRY ARTIST WITH REAL TALENT, THAT WILL BLOW A LOT OF THESE ALREADY ESTABLISHED ARTIST OUT THE WATER, BUT THEY HAVE YET TO FIND A LABLE THAT WILL STICK THEIR NECK OUT FOR THEM, AND EXPOSE THEM TO THE THE PUBLIC. EATNGOOD ENT. WANTS TO QUINCH THE HUNGER THAT THESE ARTIST POSSES TO BE HEARD, WE ARE A LABLE THAT CATERS TO THE HUNGRY ARTIST, WE WANT TO PULL THE DRIVE OUT OF THE BELLY OF THAT ARTIST, AND PUSH HIM/HER TO THEIR HIGHEST POTENTIAL. I MYSELF AM NOT AN ARTIST, I AM A BUISINESS MAN WITH A DREAM THAT IS ALREADY COMING TO LIFE, I BELIEVE IN MY PROSPECTS, AND THEY WILL BE HEARD.
    MY COMPANY IS DEEPLY INSPIRED BY THE LATE LABLE OF MOTOWN RECORDS, THEY FOUND TALENT AROUND THE CORNER, AND MADE THEM HUGE STARS, EATNGOOD IS FOLLOWING THAT TRADITION. THAT IS WHY WE ARE GROWING AT SUCH A RAPID PACE, SO IF THERE ARE ANY ARTIST THAT WILL BELIEVE IN ME, JUST AS I BELIEVE IN YOU, EMAIL ME @ KTEE.EATNGOOD@YAHOO.COM WE ARE ESTABLISHED IN SAN DEIGO. HELP ME BUILD THIS FRANCHISE, THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE INDUSTRY, AND WE CAN ALL EAT GOOD TOGETHER. LOOK OUT FOR MY GOLDEN GROUP'' SOUTHERN EXPOSURE'', WE WILL BE HITTIN THE ROAD REAL SOON. ALSO, IF THERE ARE ANY HUNGRY ARTIST, OUT THERE, WHO HAS A CD OR DOWNLOAD, EMAIL ME AND LETS GET CONNECTED, THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING VERY HUGE, AND I WANT EVERYONE TO EAT OFF THERE TALENT. I WARN YOU, WE ARE A VERY SINCERE ABOUT THIS MOVEMENT, SO DONT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS YOU BY, BECAOME A PART OF THIS DREAM. EATNGOOD ENT. WILL BECOME THE DOORWAY BETWEEN THE HUNGRY ARTIST AND THEIR DREAM.

     

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  15.  
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    Jon, May 17th, 2006 @ 11:26pm

    Re: I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOUR ISSUES ABOUT THE MUSI

    I think that the idea of starting alternative lables is great. However I can only giv you the best of wishes in compeating with large companies like Columbia Records. And in saying so I do not dought that you could open a grand venue for the real artists of this world. Infultrating(advertising to the general population), as well as re-edjucating the culturally inept and blind millions would be a daunting task and may take nothing short of a revolution to accomplish.
    With the limmited choice of music available I find people.(espesially the youth of America) have no idea what music is about. It is sad but true. Best of luck to you. I hope that your label not only takes off but also that you can bring new life into our "Cultural Dark Age"

     

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  16.  
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    Patrick Hosey, May 5th, 2007 @ 5:39pm

    Music Is A Dieing Art

    It's really sad because I know first hand about the trouble of the industry. My band didn't want to be the duplicated band and because we didn't, we condemned ourselves to sleeping in a van the rest of our career. Friends of ours got signed to majors and were kicked out of their own bands by the big guys calling the shots. Bands now are put together and not discovered. Making it in music the way you want to is almost like a meteor crashing into a baseball field during a night game. I'm sure it might have happened before.

     

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  17.  
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    Jack Abbott, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 11:40am

    It's all in the creativity

    Sluggin' it out in the 60's, 70' and part of the 80's was a boone to the creativity of the music scene. The political forces of the major cities recently have discouraged the growth of art and music by limiting the participants to sponsor oriented shows where the politicians could collect their baksheesh.

    The record companies are getting exactly what they deserve for inflicting the public with the horrible crap they have been releasing since the 'corporate' types realized there was real money to be made and the radio stations are in cahoots with their "play for pay" standards.

    With sooooo many people playing instruments and the great variety of music available today, I do often think there HAS got to be new good music that could make a big difference if it could get radio airplay, but like Patrick above, I do agree, like in his case, I'd rather be lucky than good, but I'd really rather be good n lucky. That's all ya' need.

     

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  18.  
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    Sweet Talk, Nov 29th, 2007 @ 2:01am

    Having just signed up to study music at university I have found this forum very interesting. It has spanned over four years and is a great insight into the progression made with the rise of music downloading. I have to say that although a lot of new bands/solo artists that have immerged into the music scene of late are (painfully) non-talented, there is still a lot of hope for the future of music! With new bands such as The Killers, who have amazing musical talent and sound like they have been around an eternity, and old artists still producing very good and exciting stuff, like U2, for instance, I really don't agree that the music industry is "dying" any time soon, if ever! Music downloading is the way of the future. Just like in many industries, musicians will have to come to terms with the rise of the powerful internet, and so, should try and take advantage of this as much as possible. iTunes I think is a great success for the music industry. Artists can benefit from receiving good publicity and at the same time can track really well how their sales are doing. There is still a lot of money to be made out of this process. Having said that, however, there are loose ends that need to be tied, and maybe there always will be, but resolutions can be found. It's all about working towards the future and following the trends of technology.

     

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  19.  
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    Tommy, Aug 9th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Music Business is just that!

    The music business is just that, a business. There in lies the problem. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against business. It is important. There just has to be a balance! As someone from the inside once said, "The problem with the music industry is that it is run by businessmen and drug addicts! If it was run by musicians, it would be everything we dream of and more because the music would come first!!!!. As long as the Music conglomerates control the radio station, MTV (what does it have to do with music anymore anyway?) and put out dumming down guitar hero, the public will continue to be held hostage to garbage! They decide what we hear!!! And that sucks. Once upon a time there was balance. Talent, Money and variety. Now the music industry has become this talentless, narrow money machine that people who don't know better simply buy up without question. Bottom line, until the musicians can take over radio & TV and put out a quality product, sadly nothing will change! -Power to the Musicians!!! We control our destiny!!!!!!! Rock On!!!!!!

     

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  20.  
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    kap freebird, Apr 17th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    ahem

    hey peeps I'm Kap I'm a singer songwriter and i just wanted to say, numero uno the industry has always been about money, capitalism and the extortion of both the artist and the consumer, this has and always will be the case for the popular music industry as long as the people who run and are in control of it are business men and women who have no talent themselves and practically no understanding of music or any other art form other than how to make the most profit from other people's talent and creation. The music industry is full of blood sucking illiterate philistines who happen to luck into positions of influence through blind sighted bluffing and verbal diarrhea mixed with sycophantic networking and sickly saccharine wordplay (most of which makes no sense and is 100% subjective). Music is art not produce and should be treated as such. How can the manufacturing of art be a good thing? Secondly, and most importantly the internet (however much i personally hate technology myself) is a fantastic medium for art to be distributed for public viewing and as it takes away some of the control from the big companies it seems like a great thing to me. Anyway having said that to reply to a previous comment a record Co. owned by a beer company? :O how much more rock'n'roll can u get! woop woop

     

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  21.  
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    Kdawg, Apr 17th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    Re: poetic justice

    hey leave the artists alone! i agree with the industry and companies screwing up the youth but not the creators! the artists have been extorted by the disgusting industry goons for years and don't deserve to take blame for any of the corruption that has turned the world into a seething bit of junkies and animal rights protestors

     

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  22.  
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    tanner, May 21st, 2010 @ 6:41am

    FUCK LADY GAGA

     

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  23.  
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    Jackie Jones- Artist since 1976: Fan since 1966, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Re: Music Industry Killing Themselves

    Thank you Jamie (Daugherty) for writing the MOST truth that's EVER been spoken since the 80's. There is no reason for me, or most of us anyway, to add anything to that! Too bad the majority of people still don't understand (or just wont say it) The industries philosophy is basically: "Why pay for REAL talent when brainwash marketing, and cheap, shallow "Mc Formula's" continue to work wonders on the stupid, valueless masses of today" A real quote from an "inside" acquaintance of mine by the way. (It just goes to show what these people REALLY think of us) Your words are truth my friend!

    Cheers! Jackie

     

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  24.  
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    Jackie Jones, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Sweet Talk

    I admire your positive attitude! And hopeful outlook; the world needs more of that! However, most of us have been around a LONG TIME, and therefore have a perspective that, quite frankly, Collage students cannot yet see. That having been said, The world (including the music industry) did not come into existence when you took notice of it. These issues have been problematic for quite some time, and require a much more serious analysis than "I'm here NOW,and I SAY such n such!" That's why there are so many thoughtful comments on this issue. Mabee you should listen to "OLD GUYS" like me, and others here. But what do I know? I,m just a washed up Veteran of this "SPORT".

    Cheers! Jackie

     

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  25.  
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    Jackie Jones, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Tanner

    I think that's what she's trying to say, Tanner!
    Remember, When musical talent fails, just rely on pornography, it will allways sell! LOL

     

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  26.  
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    Jackie Jones, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Music Is A Dieing Art

    Ladies n Gents! Patrick has just showed everyone the cruel truth!

    Jackie

     

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  27.  
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    Jackie Jones, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: No Subject Given

    I love your passion, but they hear the cash register, not you or me.

    Cheers Jackie

     

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  28.  
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    Jackie Jones, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: music, et al

    Y'know kids, there *are* (gasp) artists out here worth a listen AND YOUR MONEY.... No offence et al, but how can you possibly explain the constant promotion of SampleLoop Crap-Hop, American Idol, DisneyPop Garbage, exc. to the absolute EXCLUSION of ANYTHING that even SMELLS like it might be ORIGINAL, GENUINE or (G-D forbid) OLD SCHOOL! What do we have to do? Go back in time, and get all the people who played the Live Aid concert in 85 to join us in the phone booth? LOL Or start digging up all the dead MOTOWN artists and proping them up on stage? Why can't we AT LEAST have some choice instead of being FORCED to listen to the same GENERIC sounding industry manufactured CLONES, and look at their phony CONTRIVED image on the video? I tell you Al, we better start remembering what USED to be good, or things ARE gonna get worse than a Sci-Fi parity! Remember The Demolition Man! What about Orwells 1984! Our society is becoming just as stupid and brainwashed! Think about it friend..

    Cheers Jackie

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 5th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    you shouldnt even have this blog. music does not suck these days, if anything its growing dumb bitch

     

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