The end of the major labels

Music spending graph

From the late 80s until a few years ago, the recording industry rode high on explosive music sales, which many observers credited to the invention of the compact disc and the willingness of consumers to replace their vinyl libraries with CDs. All that has come to an end. Mashable Social Networking News cites new predictions by eMarketer of continued decreases in recorded music spending worldwide, with a 20% decline over the next four years. Continue reading →

The “Hustle and Flow” of music and dreams

The 2005 movie “Hustle and Flow” is about a small-time Memphis drug dealer and pimp who yearns for something bigger. Being a movie about both dreams and making music, I was naturally intrigued. It’s an amazing film, even if rap isn’t your favorite musical genre, and writer/director Craig Brewer captures an emotional authenticity that keeps the story realistic and engaging. While it might sound like a typical, predictable “struggling artist realizes his dreams” movie, this is not “Krush Groove.” Continue reading →

Musicians are getting screwed

Just about everyone knows how the major labels have screwed musicians over the decades. A gold record, selling 500,000 copies and grossing $7.5 million, nets the artist only $40,000 — which would be $10,000 each for a four-member band. Jazzy Jef, who co-wrote hits with Will Smith, recounts how, after winning a Grammy for a hit record, he went out to his car and cried because he only had $500 to his name.

But even with the opportunities afforded by the Internet and inexpensive home production, musicians are still getting screwed. Continue reading →