Dear Rock Stars…

Pete Waterman holds a press conference, yesterday2010 is – rather tragically – shaping up to be the year when Rock Stars (and old-industry millionaires) complain about the state of music on behalf of ‘the little people’.

Here are three examples:

Peter Waterman, in an interview with The Times, said that Spotify was a terrible thing. It, he says

“devalue[s] our artists, they damage this country economically, culturally and morally”

Why’s that then, Pete?

“The big stars are a tiny percentage; the rest are broke, including a lot of well-known faces. Who is developing new talent? Without money, new acts are strangled before they mature. We all suffer.” Continue reading “Dear Rock Stars…”

Open Letter to the UK Jazz Community Pt III – recordings continued…

picture of Beth Rowley live at the Troubadour in LondonOne of the weird ways that a lot of the UK jazz players have been corrupted in their thinking by the pop world is the infrequency of their recorded output. As I said in my last post, cost has a fair bit to do with that. But the reason that cost has become a factor is that we’ve lost much of the spontaneity that made jazz so interesting, and instead have tried to match the production values of the pop world, where the life of a performance is wrung out of it, and then dropped back in by the ProTools surgeons… Continue reading “Open Letter to the UK Jazz Community Pt III – recordings continued…”

Open Letter To the UK Jazz Community, Pt II – do more recordings!

photo of John Lester and Theo Travis live at the 606 jazz clubSo, as I said in Part 1, the UK jazz scene is producing some outstanding music, but

  • Doesn’t seem to appreciate itself and
  • Doesn’t seem to have done much thinking about its future or even its place in the ‘present of music’.

I suppose I ought to define what I mean by ‘the UK jazz scene’ (should’ve done this in the first post, but still) – my thoughts here are based on conversations with a wide range of musicians, interactions with venue bookers, reading the jazz press here and talking to the people who run the labels. It’s all anecdotal, in that I’ve done no quantitative research, but the trends within my observations are pretty conclusive – the exceptions to them are there, but very rare…
Continue reading “Open Letter To the UK Jazz Community, Pt II – do more recordings!”

"Art First" – Why the 'Present of Music' is the Best it's Ever Been for Musicians

photo of clown art from the Urban Scrawl ExhibitionFrom Thursday to Saturday last week I was following Andrew Dubber’s tweets from a music industry conference in Finland called Is This It?

The premise of the conference is that it’s a ‘music seminar about music‘, though there was a baffling and conspicuous absence of actual musicians speaking at it. The overall tone, it seemed – as drawn from the various tweeted quotes – was that it was a bunch of music industry people desperately trying to come up with a way to continue ‘business as usual’ – marketing strategies, ways to feed more data to collection agencies to get paid, and the usual crop of should’ve-been-left-in-the-70s ideas involving scantily clad women as a marketing draw. So far, so heinous.
Continue reading “"Art First" – Why the 'Present of Music' is the Best it's Ever Been for Musicians”