Sabado, Sabado, Sabado!

Another guy’s take on how the music industry is killing music

One of the best things about the Web is the opportunity for serendipity. You can follow a trail of links, end up someplace you’d never expected to go and find something that you’d never have looked for. Case in point: this essay about the record industry by comic book writer Steven Grant, who wrote this blurb as part of his Permanent Damage column in Comic Book Resources. Check it out (by the way, I added in some “linkatorial”)…

I’m told last year was the worst in decades for the record industry. They’re all wailing and moaning (and trying to figure out how the soundtrack to O BROTHER WHERE ARE THOU became a Grammy-award-winning hit (go, T-Bone!)) and blaming their losses on Internet file trading despite study after study indicating people who swap MP3s are likely to spend more on recorded music, not less. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that what they’re sinking most of their money+ into sucks, and is so lukewarm and programmed that the audience has been running like it’s the Chicago fire. (Two words: Mariah Carey.)

One of my relatives is a pretty hip 13-year old girl who just a couple years ago couldn’t stop talking about popular music and bought all kinds of CDS, and now she never mentions it because everything’s so boring. (She only listens to Spanish music stations on the car radio now.) Instead of actually trying to find out what music might actually interest an audience today, the record industry has been trying to ram draconian anti-technology and anti-competitive legislation through Congress and taking even more steps to make musicians de facto work-for-hire employees. After decades of creative bookkeeping and screwing artists out of royalties, the music industry actually has the gall to claim they’re trying to look out for the artists’ interests when battling MP3s and wide dissemination of new recording technologies and crippling the applicability of their product.

Meanwhile, potential buyers are left to turn their attention and wallets to other things or scrounge to find interesting material that falls between the cracks of the music industry’s pigeonholing and demographic biases, while executives refuse to consider the possibility that the world is changing or they’re just wrong.

The Pain

I’ve had a couple of days with my trainer at my new gym, and every muscle in my body is killing me. The things I do just to fit into my old pants…

Mike, my trainer, is built like a Mack truck. He has biceps that look like Volkwagen Beetles. He caused a bit of a commotion when he loaded the leg press sled to the max (about two dozen 45-pound plates) and did his workout. On top of that, he’s also the guitarist and backup vocalist for a KISS tribute band! He probably looks more like the hyper-muscled Ace Frehley action figure than Ace himself ever did.

It’s never been called that before…

Some guy on the street, pointing at my accordion: Hey man, that’s a really cool…uh…xylophone…?

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