Recently, I read the last sad story about the demise of the music business I care to read. This latest covered how once proud metal guitarists have been reduced to singing 80s pop to make ends meet, tragically left to decompose in ignominy at the bar mitzvahs of the greater Jersey metroplex. Not a week before, I read about this guy trying to Kickstarter yet another movie project about how the music industry is broken and the music will all die and everything will be sad forever, waah.
I have had enough of all the doom and gloom about the music industry in the past fifteen years. There is something indeed very wrong, but the current analysis misses what is really going on in music, culture, America, and the world. I am fed up with the same entitled whinging and would like to get onto a more productive discussion about where music is heading.
What, you ask, are my credentials to prognosticate on the future of the music industry? For one thing I am a life-long, committed, sick-in-the-head musician, a veteran of 1500 gigs, several records, too many basses and guitars, thousands of dollars in string purchases alone. I am also a strategic analyst for corporations and governments, and occasionally I manage to predict things like the financial crisis of 2008 and that Iraq will suck and that solar energy will come around. Also, I’m that guy who kicked the Guitar Center in the nuts a few months back, so there’s that. But nothing is especially authoritative about my platform on the music industry, so take it with a grain of salt.
I recently managed to get my kids into Star Wars, another successful 20th century thing that began to suck in the new millennium, so my thoughts on this matter shall be organized into a trilogy. [Continue reading]