Saturday, April 17, 2004


And while browsing the News, I came across this article by Don Henley about the sorry state of what we call "the music industry" these days. I don't agree with everything he says, and particularly not his conclusion. Washington is where you go when you want to find the problems, not the solutions. (Also his assertion that artists are at the "bottom of the food chain" -- no, Don, consumers are at the bottom of the food chain.)

But he raises some good points about how consolidation and "corporatization" of broadcast venues has really turned radio into a big, shitty wasteland. Nobody I know who cares even a little about music listens to commercial radio anymore. Even "average" people I talk to are in unanimous agreement that corporate radio is abject, worthless garbage.

I think it's partly because of this widely recognized reality that alternatives like satellite radio and Internet broadcasting have arisen to fill the void. In fact, as I type this I'm listening to Q105 radio, a "station" broadcast via the 'net out of some guy's basement in Novi. Check out his web site; he works in radio and acknowledges that it sucks. (And thanks to my pal Steve for alerting me to this site.)

I don't know what the answer ultimately is. I would like to feel guilty and bad about occasionally downloading MP3s of songs I like that used to be freely available on the radio. But I just don't. I just don't feel like I'm depriving some poor band of a hot meal. I feel instead like I'm giving the middle finger to the arrogant, soulless entities that are stifling music and attempting to absolutely control how it can be enjoyed and when and by whom and in what medium. Maybe it's just my anti-authoritarian streak speaking, but that to me is a gratifying feeling.