When Rock and Roll started, oh so many moon ago... it was about feeling, expressing, creating, living... it was about the music. It was about the unique connection between musician and fan who loved the music. Of course, the record companies were involved in efforts to control the acts that they signed from the very beginning but there was little choice for artists who had no way to distribute their creations.
Today so many record label execs and the old school music press do not understand that in the creation, distribution, and listening to music we have had a shift of vast proportions. And, of course, it has been years since the big magazine mattered, now we go to smaller magazines and fanzines. Hell, we go to MySpace and some artists websites. We got to E-Music to avoid Digital Rights Management - DRM- where we can listen to songs without having to get permission (I am talking to you iTunes and record label websites!).
***I know that DRM is not the stranglehold it was just a few months ago but still... if you pay for a download you should not need permission to play it.***
It is nice to see some musicians get the Radiohead experiment as well as the realization that everything about the music industry does need to change! Trent Reznor even told his fans to steal his music. And with so many fans involved in let's just say questionable downloads, the music industry needs to embrace the technology not fight against it!
The era of Giant Record Label total domination and absolute control is over. Although the effort to push 360 degree (also called Equity) contracts are just a last gasp of a dying model -- where the musicians sell their souls to the record company.
Given the summer concert season -- not nearly as good as expected sorry, but even given some big tours concert hauls did not do nearly as well as industry insiders thought -- and the fact that more and more venues cannot support live concerts in the same way as the past, it is time to embrace new models for the creation of music and more importantly new ways of getting that music into the ears of the fans.
And maybe the musicians and artists can do this without all of the bloatware, bad deals, and over-pricing of record label execs who get paid for doing virtually nothing. Remember, in the end whether we like a particular artist or song... it is supposed to be about the music.