I grew up reading Time Magazine once a week, religiously. I don’t remember it being a particularly well-written magazine, but it certainly never stooped to this low-level of quality.
The basic angle of the above article, written by a pair of brothers, is that it costs $100,000 to pursue “rock ‘n roll stardom.” The pair make it entirely too easy to poke holes in their argument, which seems to be written from the perspective of a combo that cares more about the “fringe benefits” of music than the music itself.
That is self-evident in reading the piece, so it would be a waste of valuable internet space to rant at length about what a reprehensible and inane perspective the piece offers.
The one paragraph that sticks out to me the most is, as follows:
Once upon a time, the suits at the record labels funded the enterprise. Your band would play local clubs in a major city, make a buzz, and an A&R (artists and repertory) guy would sign you and write you a blank check. …These days, you have to build your own following first: Produce music, and prove you can sell it.
Well shit, we should all have been so lucky to be aspiring musicians then. The pair make it sound as if record contracts grew on trees, as opposed to today, where internet culture makes it easy for the most mediocre talents to have their fifteen minutes.
That’s besides the point- what they’re actually talking about, accidentally, is how empowered musicians are nowadays. It’s lazy to blame the internet for plummeting record sales without also praising it for the power it gives musicians.
The work in developing their “brand” (I feel dirty for using that term, but fine) that they refer actually speaks to the power that musicians have nowadays. It’s possible to “break” as an artist without so much as leaving your bedroom. It seems, more and more, artists don’t “break” nowadays anyway: they go viral.
These misguided youths appear to be missing the point; spending the amounts of money they’re talking about is gratutious. Bombing “hip blogs” with spam is a waste of time when you can easily use the power of the internet to *gasp* book gigs and network, without leaving your bedroom.