Music For The People, By The People
The music “business” was created to make folks rich. Typical benefactors include lawyers, agents, music label execs, and (oh yeah) every now and then, an artist or band that goes along for the ride for a short while before inevitably being discarded like yesterday’s news.
I’d like to go on a diatribe about the business that has seemingly forever corrupted an art form channeling the purest sensory experience – literally hitting our eardrums out of thin air.
But instead of focusing on the negative aspects of an industry that can’t come to grips with the fact that the physical product that has defined it is disappearing forever, I’d rather appreciate the success stories of bands like The Posies, working the road and crafting out careers despite operating far from the epicenter of the “business”.
NPR put together a nice piece this week titled “How Do Bands Make Money Now?” that featured The Posies as a modern-day success story. And success story they are with a solid annual income and nobody getting rich off the music at their expense.
Ironically, the band is actually doing better now financially than in their heyday of the early ’90s, when albums like Frosting On The Beater (named one of Magnet Magazine’s Top 15 American Power-Pop Albums of all-time) gained The Posies their greatest acclaim.
It is unfathomable that the money from the sales of those Geffen recordings goes right back to the label to this day. Perhaps bands like The Posies can pass along their knowledge to the next wave of artists looking to make a career out of writing, recording, and performing their music with minimal interference from the leeches of the past.
In a perfect world, we’d someday see a “Commissioner Of Music” who had the best interests of the artists AND the fans in mind, without a concern as to how to make a handful of industry insiders obscenely rich. Back in the real world, it’s nice to know that bucking the old system and making it work may just someday become the norm.