Thursday, November 10, 2011

My first college essay circa 2005

I found this today on my hard drive. My 19 year old self would be proud of me today.

Sounds Of the Underground. by, Shawn Rosenblatt

Just imagine going to see your favorite band of all time for only $8. Not only is the show so inexpensive, but you also walk into the venue and there are approximately 200 people there. The place is so small you can actually see the sweaty faces of every member of the band including the drummer without the use of binoculars or a big screen projector. Yes, this sounds extremely unlikely and, for the most part it is, but because I enjoy underground music so much, this is the scenario every time I go to see a band play. For those of you who don’t know, underground music (otherwise known as indie “independent” Rock) is a name given to artists and musicians who sign to very small record companies and not major labels (Capitol, Arista, Warner Bros., etc.). In doing this, they do not get airplay on the radio, a music video on MTV, or play those highly overpriced concert venues that I am sure you have attended before. Even though independent artists have to work harder to keep up a decent salary, they are entitled to complete and utter freedom and control of their own music and in the end have the longer and more successful careers than an artist who signs to a major label.
When Dave Mathews recorded his latest album, his record label actually rejected it because his CD had too many sad songs. The label in fact had him write new “happy” songs to put on the CD. When a musician signs to a major label, he is basically throwing all his freedom away as an artist. The label picks which one of the artist’s songs gets played on the radio, what he wears, how much money he can spend on things, and in some cases how he is supposed to act in public. That’s ridiculous! It has happened to almost every major label artist today and this is where the record company suckers a lot of really good musicians. Let's say an up and coming solo artist gets signed to Capitol Records. He gets a million-dollar advance with a promise that he will have a extraordinary career and right away he thinks he has made it big. The artist goes out and buys the Rolls Royce and the multi million-dollar mansion. Yet little does he know that when signed to a major label he will have to use that advance to pay for everything. This includes, the expensive music video, the ridiculous radio promotion cost, the North American tour, the limo rides, the recording time, the lawyers, the managers, and many other things that the artist didn’t think he would have to pay for just because he thought he hit it big on a large label. So if the artist didn’t score big on his first album or go platinum then he will most likely go bankrupt or have to try harder on their next album. This has happened to tons of musicians.
As for an Independent artist, he doesn’t have to worry about half the things a major label artist has to, due to the freedom and control he is given and not the million-dollar advance. Basically, when the artist doesn’t have to worry about making some ridiculous expensive music video, promoting his band for top forty radio, or trying to write the perfect hit to go platinum, he is actually being creative and writing mind-blowing albums. Aimee Mann a major label singer/songwriter from the eighties got fed up with her label and actually went on to an extremely successful career with an independent label she created on her own. When an artist has to drive a van to tour the country and play smaller venues, he is more in touch with fans and can come off as more of a normal person and not some stuck up celebrity. An indie artist will also have more time before and after shows to converse with fans since he doesn’t have a huge schedule of promotion. Regardless to popular belief, there is no such thing as hitting it big on a major label. The artist may one day get the platinum album, but that is done with tons of promotion and extra money and time not well spent. Although it seems like the major artist got it made, in reality the indie artists are the ones who have prosperous careers and go on to do bigger and better things.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Website, New Cassette Tape, and New Remix

Head over to Plus Tapes to pick up my first LP from the 50 songs 50 states project called Middle America. Kilo Records is helping me digitally release the record and also made this great website for me! Check it HERE

There you can stream and download a remix of the song Full of it from my Netherfriends does Nilsson album, which features Chi town rapper Show you Suck.