Strange Days

- Im having a prolonged discussion on the merits of intellectual music with a friend of mine in MI. He plays with an amazing free jazz group, with real quality tunes and character. MI has a great tradition of jazz and experimental music, and yet, after an initial period of interest on the college campuses at their gigs, attendances have now dropped right off, and record deals are just a dream. Even though there is always another artist who deserves recognition, and another sob story round the corner, I can't help but feel this is a bad thing for the business. That they believe they can afford to ignore many 'fringe' musics in favour of the pop mainstream is doing a terrible dis-service to the industry as a whole, to the scene at large.
While we are all encouraged to constantly buy new artists, the choice becomes narrower and narrower. The total unwillingness on behalf of the majors to release any amounts of [more obscure] old music is also a crime against those artists and musics, as we can't buy them even if we wanted to. The fact that 90% of downloading probably consists of old music and film that is often unavailable anywhere else is widely overlooked, focussing attention instead on new release downloading, which by it's nature infers improper use of digital rights etc etc, thereby creating the legal sh*thole that everyone now finds themselves in.
The monopoly of CD pricing [in all territories, in different ways] is also killing music. The very stores that would carry all the 'other music' are closing on an unprecedented scale, and no one seems to notice/care. These stores are the life blood of an ever increasing diversity of scenes and cultures, constantly reinventing themselves, and in the process allowing the possiblity of money to be generated.

If the desire for majors to only sell their product through the large chains and megastores, then they are doing a great job. It means for them, an easier way to control who is getting what, and ways of tracking that - the promo copies especially - and then to control the amount of supply in order to control the price. Perfect, apart from the fact that it has alienated the very people who are supposed to be the customers, and are also inadvertantly the original suppliers, by virtue of being the artists. It doesn't compute at all, on a long term basis. It sucks.

these lot seem to know what they should be doing:


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