THE NEW, IMPROVED I WRITE THE SONGS- REALLY?”Featured ArticleMusic
My old friend Scott wrote in recently about the need for songs- you know, ones with real melodies, soaring choruses and with words that make sense and lines that rhyme.
In his email, Scott mentioned all those legendary Brill Building Songwriters- Carole King, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin etc- and how a duo like the Jayesslee need some damn good A&R and new, original commercial songs as opposed to some quickie release of covers. A record like this would be the kiss of death for these talented girls.
Sadly, after about a week of “trending” with their “sexy ladies” version of Gangnam Style, it’s been pretty quiet on the Jayslees front.
Somewhere, somehow, the perception is that something is either not working for the duo or “trending” has started and ended as another “YouTube sensation”. The more I hear and learn of these, the more more suspicious and cynical I become of “views” for the very simple reason that they can be manufactured.
Remember the views and hype of Michael Geyson Chance and his cover of Paparazzi?
And where’s the kid today and his supposed recording deal with Ellen DeGeneres’ record label- eleveneleven? Is eleveneleven batting zero? Where is it?
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Getting back to Scott’s email, we can all lament about the good old days, the devaluation of music and consumers who think that this art form is theirs for the taking.
So why have we reached this point? We who could have, did bugger all to respect music and artists and the lunatics took over the asylum and one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
It didn’t help when the genie was let outta Pandora’s Box around a decade ago. And in this day and age of new technology, the virus has spread and keeps spreading while an industry is lost as to who are the guys wearing the white hats and those who are part of the problem.
Is Spotify, for example, good for artists from a monetary point of view? Sorry, but Daniel Eck’s Spotify might talk a good story, but he could never answer how file sharing helps artists.
Ek should be put on the spot- ify and explain how artists earn a dime from his service- and which music fans need to understand.
Why support something that does fuck all- financially- for artists?
All this constant chatter from organizers of music conferences about artists- new UNSIGNED artists- performing for free being “good for promotion” doesn’t wash with me, either. I keep wanting to know if the cheque is in the mail and when artists- and songwriters are artists- actually get paid for their work.
Think music companies will allow their SIGNED artists to perform for FREE? Ha! And yet, they support these gabfests as do those saviors of the Indie, pork and Mindy world.
Looking back, music companies got screwed royally by GIVING AWAY their content to MTV, which the channel would package and sell to their sponsors as “new programing”.
Did the artists get anything outta these packages? Of course, not.
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Some of these lawsuits flying around today against this and that dotcom, kinda doesn’t make sense as, on one side, it’s okay for there to be streaming with one company, but not with another.
Same goes for downloading whereas music publishing is in such a damn mess with so-called entertainment lawyers lost in the lawlessness of cyberspace.
So what chance is there for unknowns writing songs to even get a cursory glance by those in charge of finding songs for artists today?
Add to this, agism, a closed shop and A&R people going to the same “credentialed” well for songs which is hardly the Brill Building or Lamont-Dozier-Holland. It’s all about beats first, beats second and the stylist being the puppet master.
Why take risks? Stick with the hit making names, damn the music fans and let’s stick with those artists that are brands.
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One then listens to the songs of Alicia Keys, Pink, Bruno Mars- brilliant songwriters- and, for me, recently, Ceelo Greene featuring Lauriana Mae and the track, Only You- to think that there is still hope for real songs.
Longing for the good old days is futile because, whether we like it or not, progress has killed those days and music fans are, no matter how “indie” they might think they are, being hyped and led by their noses.
It’s all a very docile world- and key- happy for people to be led from here to there and back to here again. Why? Simply put, music is no longer important. It’s just part of life’s buffet.
Session men? Songwriters? Who cares when it’s all about celebrity and getting the total package out there led by styling and branding and personalities like Rihanna, Kei$ha, Gaga, the Bieb and Justin Timberlake- featuring Jay Z.
Seriously now, is this current number one a great song? To me, it’s utter jive ass crap. But, hey, it’s Justin Timberlake- AND Jay-Z- so it MUST be good. Really?
Here’s what confuses and astounds me: In a world of television singing contests, there is not even ONE show for songwriters- NEW songwriters- to have their music heard? ( Oh, yes, as my friend Jens reminded me, Kara LeGuardia Airport started one but it was DOA.)
Perhaps the answer is too scary to face whereas songs have been relegated to playing second fiddle and music fans believing all they are allowed to hear and damn the consequences.
It’s no joking matter, but all of us made things happen and arrive at where we are today and with there appearing to be no turning back. We fucked up, people. Let’s not continue to do so.
(Source: Web Development Nebraska)