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 Post subject: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 12:45 am 
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I was just reading how Indie musicians mostly get income from the general labour market. Doing part time jobs. It's daunting. I recall John Denver just went out and did music, after doing Beatles covers and practising guitar. Once John got a hit or two he was doing vinyl albums and concerts. Only much later was he dropped by EMI as trends changed. By that time music had made him millions. Anyway, I always loved music. Mostly pop and rock but also progressive jazz, classical guitar or disco (such as Gino Soccio). Whenever I try to talk about anything music related, people around just look lost and change the subject. I still sometimes play keyboard but there is no-one I can share ideas with. Not locally. What bugs me most isn't that people into music rarely make any money but the feeling of apathy and lack of interest you encounter. This makes you wonder why bother? Sure, playing piano or guitar feels great and is a way to relax. Yet, it's like being somewhere else. Nobody has the same interest. What you do get around here is karaoke which is truly awful as alcohol messes up your pitch, the same as balance and reaction. So the karaoke is pretty loud and not so great. Lately I think that even if vintage radio is a minority interest, at least the time spent on it pays something back. I mean, you can apply the electrical theory to other things like solar power or household repair. Music however (or mention of it) seems to not resonate with people at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 1:01 am 
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Where I live everyone is supposed to carry a spanner and drill. I have lots of spanners. I have soldering irons too. There is no art, however. Nobody would come up to you and say, "I just bought this guitar. Any idea how to play a chord or two?" People even give me unwanted keyboards. Someone gave me a Yamaha although it didn't impress me as much as Cassio. Anyway, I will say this. I have seen world class performers. I saw classical maestro Andres Segovia play live. I saw Judie Tsuke. I feel sure if I really practised hard, I could improve on guitar and piano. Yet it feels like you could wind up just an odd ball. There's no feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 2:30 am 
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Location: Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.
Yes and no. I was just in a musical play at church. The director was a mid 20s (her age) opera wannabe (and maybe successful some day). She wrote the play and included some interesting lines in it. Like how you could get someone to accompany you on piano by giving him a sandwich and how professional musicians don't make enough money to buy anything. She said those came from her own experiences.

At the cast party, various people played her piano while others sung. She also showed us various YouTube videos including Queen. (She has wide ranging tastes.)

At the Ihop we frequently dine at, they play music in the background. It's mostly modern stuff but occasionally goes back to the '70s. I've heard the wait staff singing along.

So I guess it might depend on where you live or who you hang out with.

We have three oldies AM stations here, although one is daytime only.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 3:16 am 
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The newest piece of music I have in my MP3 collection is Jeff Lynne's ELO - When I Was A Boy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfH8EJA-hg0 from 2015. I think that is the only music I have from this century :shock: . Everything else is from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 3:29 am 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
One of my neighbors is business law attorney and litigator. He has a large collection of guitars, tube amplifiers, and effects pedals. He does play on bands and sings. Unless you live on the middle of nowhere, there are opportunities. Move to a place such as southern California, and there are opportunities up, down, right and left. What about churches in your area?

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Last edited by FStephenMasek on Nov Mon 25, 2019 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 2:22 pm 
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I may be wrong about this but it looks to me that Paul Mccartney's very talented son.James has backed off from a music career. I say that because some months ago the press and media were covering appearances and interviews. There was a small tour of the USA. All of this just stopped some months ago. No new album releases by James or tours with a band. Needless to say, what I heard to date music-wise was good. Great guitar and good songwriting. I just think being a musician these days is risky. Ultimately it boils down to time being put into a venture that may yield no positive result. In James's case, he had one or two interviews where all the interviewer wanted to discuss was The Beatles. No mention of anything relevant to the actual imput of the artist. It boils down to a juxtaposition of liking music but existing in limbo. I actually wrote one of my best songs one day called "No-one To Sing To". It's unfinished. As to the matter of churches that was raised, I still quite like Larry Norman. I thought he had a great voice and the songs were not overcomplicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Mon 25, 2019 2:37 pm 
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My current approach is not to put too much focus into music. I will do it in bursts when I feel I've been active enough doing other things. It may even be the case that the known association between musicians and depression is aggravated by the frustrations they face - if music is their sole modus vivendi. Even the legendary icons of pop and rock suffered the downsides. Apparently Pet Sounds got overall bad reviews at the time of release, despite being a superb creative album. Funnily enough quite a few elite musicians only did music for a limited time and then changed direction. Classic case, Lyle Mays the talented piano and synth player. He quit music and became an architect. He stated his reason as wanting a reliable income. And that comes from a prog music icon who made it in the industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Nov Wed 27, 2019 3:03 am 
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All (I had most where all is but the reality is that it's all sterilized in a computer before it's released) commercial music today is made on the computer and it's somewhat controlled by the music labels. Couple that to the extremely short attention span of people today and music becomes a tough business. Pick a genre, you can go back and find hits that are still listened to today. The music literally lasts decades. Todays "works" don't. I listen to a lot of different genres, including the "pop country" stuff that people of my generation love to hate, like Luke Bryan. My current listening preference is Eric Church and Luke Combs, with some Luke Bryan sprinkled in. 10 years from now I doubt if they'll even be remembered. Even people that don't listen to country music today know who Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, etc are.

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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Mon 02, 2019 8:25 pm 
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Mike6158 wrote:
All (I had most where all is but the reality is that it's all sterilized in a computer before it's released) commercial music today is made on the computer and it's somewhat controlled by the music labels. Couple that to the extremely short attention span of people today and music becomes a tough business. Pick a genre, you can go back and find hits that are still listened to today. The music literally lasts decades. Todays "works" don't. I listen to a lot of different genres, including the "pop country" stuff that people of my generation love to hate, like Luke Bryan. My current listening preference is Eric Church and Luke Combs, with some Luke Bryan sprinkled in. 10 years from now I doubt if they'll even be remembered. Even people that don't listen to country music today know who Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, etc are.

Music is in decline today I agree. Sometimes I may get some nice chord sequences and wish I had someone around like Brian Wilson to ask "What do you think?" Where I live there is just no interest. People may happily sing the Xmas hits of 20 years ago but not much new is on the horizon.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Thu 19, 2019 7:34 am 
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Yes the creative interest in music today is sorely lacking between individuals...I'm actually thinking of moving out of northern California for that very reason and the city/suburban areas of the U.S. look like no place to go to find anything relating to shared songwriting or composition these days
The corporate control of the "simulated noise" does not promote the joy and wonder of hitting "the big note" with others playing real instruments.

I've written and recorded songs since the early 1980's,on through the '90's in the hills off of a gas generator and still had musicians come out of woodwork and out of their way to jam and recorded interesting original music out there.

When I moved closer into town and on the power line (or the highways) back in 2011, I thought perhaps more musicians would be involved especially since I was running a performing band at the time, but no... I haven't shared/mixed/ worked on parts with others on valued music parts since 2010!
Most of the musicians I know still around from the old days just want to mix and record in a flat dead lifeless box (ugh!)
and I'm much more intrigued by what a inobtanium 1947 tube compressor amplifier would sound like mastering to stereo RTR!

It's a "paint by numbers" world out there now, get your coloring book ready!

Hence my renewed interest in test equipment, old radios, etc in the last ten years and learning about them, my creative energies have to go someplace...
Of course I prefer ARF to FB for exchange of ideas today!
-Kent


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Tue 24, 2019 7:03 pm 
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ampstamp88 wrote:
Yes the creative interest in music today is sorely lacking between individuals...I'm actually thinking of moving out of northern California for that very reason and the city/suburban areas of the U.S. look like no place to go to find anything relating to shared songwriting or composition these days
The corporate control of the "simulated noise" does not promote the joy and wonder of hitting "the big note" with others playing real instruments.

I've written and recorded songs since the early 1980's,on through the '90's in the hills off of a gas generator and still had musicians come out of woodwork and out of their way to jam and recorded interesting original music out there.

When I moved closer into town and on the power line (or the highways) back in 2011, I thought perhaps more musicians would be involved especially since I was running a performing band at the time, but no... I haven't shared/mixed/ worked on parts with others on valued music parts since 2010!
Most of the musicians I know still around from the old days just want to mix and record in a flat dead lifeless box (ugh!)
and I'm much more intrigued by what a inobtanium 1947 tube compressor amplifier would sound like mastering to stereo RTR!

It's a "paint by numbers" world out there now, get your coloring book ready!

Hence my renewed interest in test equipment, old radios, etc in the last ten years and learning about them, my creative energies have to go someplace...
Of course I prefer ARF to FB for exchange of ideas today!
-Kent

I wonder why it is I have Jefferson Airplane on my phone while everyone else is playing rap or x-factor music. The other day I actually got a complement. A girl in a shop I've known for years. I played her me doing the daytripper riff and she listened, looked bemused and then said, "Great!" It was kind of an amusing interaction. With a microphone and at the very least a digital recorder I could knock out lots of tracks. There appears to be nothing to do with it though. I can only imagine not even Jefferson Airplane could be popular today.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Wed 25, 2019 11:59 pm 
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It has me baffled. Where I live every passing car plays rap. Not the good rap of Kurtis Blow or the Sugarhill gang but just boom, boom, boom, boom and profanities. The same beat, the same lyrics over and over with no flicker of change. I know it sounds snobby but the listeners seem clueless and the sound they blast out is about status and inclusion. Isn't the swearing cool and macho!
Now I know this isn't entirely new. When George Harrison went to San Francisco to meet the hippy Beatle fans it came as a huge shock. Those guys were just getting stoned and they liked The Beatles because the latter were in the thick of counter culture. Yet George was stunned to see the fans were pretty musically clueless. He showed the crowd a couple of chords and fled. This was the same bad vibe John got when live shows were being drowned out by screaming fans. I figure for music to.work the musicians "need" competition among a selective and demanding fan base. As happened when The Beach Boys, Stones and Beatles tried to up the game. And fans slammed the Magical Mystery Tour film and shunned.The Stones Satanic Majesties LP. I reckon vinyl helped a lot as albums would sell and only studio supported bands were in on the act. You had to be good to get that promotion. The Beatles barely made it from Hamburg strip clubs to a real label. It's amazing so many novices can now make recordings - I was using just a mobile phone voice recorder set at a distance. This is good in itself but the interest isn't to be found. Nobody where I live plays guitar or keyboard. DJs meantime are still playing the Bee Gees or Madonna as there are no new bands to replace groups like The Police or even The Sex Pistols.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 12:23 am 
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I may be wrong but it seems to me Mccartney's son has back-tracked on the pop career he launched at least two years ago. He was touring the US low-key and starting out as Wings did. One interview he walked out as he was frustrated to always be asked about The Beatles. Not an interested interview addressed to his own music. Not fair on any musician really. Thing is this era is 180 degrees different to the sixties. What would John Lennon be doing had he been born 20 years ago? A graphic artist? An actor? A score writer? A busker and street entertainer? A paperback writer? I suppose too you could ask the same about Stan Lee. The time to make comic books with superheroes was perfect. A truly great idea at the time and the fan base was huge. Doing that today would be technically easy but the snag is kids don't relate to Dr Doom or Mysterio or The Lizard.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Thu 26, 2019 1:13 am 
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For many years from the 1920s thru the 1960s, musicians were oftentimes paid a flat rate or a lump sum for playing their tunes, and that was it. Some very famous hit tunes, still played today.

Rock bands like the Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, made serious hay during a very lucrative time period in the 1960s and 1970s where much more favorable terms were negotiated, particularly in the case of Led Zeppelin, who retained the very large Peter Grant. I think they were getting 90% of the gate at live shows, which was completely unheard of prior to that. They also had $100,000 in cash stolen during a stay at Madison Square Garden, a considerable sum in those days.

But, those days are long gone, at least in terms of commercial record sales or recordings themselves. Sometimes when you see some of the old big pop names touring, at your state fair or casinos, it may in some cases because they need the money.

A really nice (I expect) feature of a society that protects copyright and things like that is maintaining publishing rights, when you write a tune that gets covered by other artists, you get paid every time it gets played. This can be a very welcome source of additional income.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Fri 27, 2019 12:41 am 
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I tend to repeat myself but we need to be very careful of the direction in consumer technology. I was watching a sixties horror movie last night called Night Of The Eagle. It was the reel tape recorder and mechanical typewriter that made me think. People were paid to type and make reel tapes. As well as man offices. The economy relied on people skills. I think the vinyl singles and the charts worked well. Same goes for record labels. I don't know why even by the late fifties pop and rock musicians were so big. Jazz had been pretty trendy but the rock bands became culturally massive. Hand on my heart, in many ways it was a better period excluding the Cold War and perhaps more social injustices. Not just music but I think film and media was better too. I mean, stars got well paid in cinema and TV. Films got direct cinema sales. Rock groups got revenue from album sales. Much of this economy has been replaced by downloads and so forth but younger consumers seem content with pretty shallow background noise. I believe this to be true as I struggle to get people to give some opinion on pop or rock. What I do know is a few younger kids are rediscovering vinyl. Many figured out pop was pretty good decades ago. If you ask me, anyone in their 20s can find awesome music on vinyl. Hendrix, Fire, Jefferson Airplane, Louisiana jazz or even some of the 80s New Wave bands.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 28, 2019 3:07 am 
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The cultural remark you made in a earlier post about music being more about "status and inclusion" these days seems pretty spot on!
I can't recall the last time someone talked about a "new song" they heard somewhere or a new star(s) because of their sound...
However there is hope in some of the youth rediscovering the real live sound of analog as opposed to the "mathematical simulation of noise"
so prevalent today.

One of my daughter's old HS friends is in/out of a punk/rock? band(s) in Portland, OR. and all the musicians involved in the "scene" up there
manufacture and print their own cassettes they sell and trade at all of their shows.
None of the groups have anything to do with CD's and only a few distribute their music through download.
Not sure if this is happening in other remotely "music related" urban regions or not, but is a good sign that some are capable of thinking for themselves
and not wanting to have anything to do with corporations and music.

I think Capt. Beefheart prophesized this happening to music back on his last album in 1982 in a piece called, "Ink Mathematics", from the LP, "Ice Cream for Crow"


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Sat 28, 2019 9:39 pm 
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ampstamp88 wrote:
The cultural remark you made in a earlier post about music being more about "status and inclusion" these days seems pretty spot on!
I can't recall the last time someone talked about a "new song" they heard somewhere or a new star(s) because of their sound...
However there is hope in some of the youth rediscovering the real live sound of analog as opposed to the "mathematical simulation of noise"
so prevalent today.

One of my daughter's old HS friends is in/out of a punk/rock? band(s) in Portland, OR. and all the musicians involved in the "scene" up there
manufacture and print their own cassettes they sell and trade at all of their shows.
None of the groups have anything to do with CD's and only a few distribute their music through download.
Not sure if this is happening in other remotely "music related" urban regions or not, but is a good sign that some are capable of thinking for themselves
and not wanting to have anything to do with corporations and music.

I think Capt. Beefheart prophesized this happening to music back on his last album in 1982 in a piece called, "Ink Mathematics", from the LP, "Ice Cream for Crow"

I think it's internet related which is also a paradox. For a start, when The Stones appeared on TV shows in the early 1960s all they had was a drumkit, bass and electric guitar and harmonica. My synth is a few years old and I have several pianos and guitar sounds to do just about anything. From there it will have developed from Prophet synths to built in studio digital processing. Given my synth is 15 years old or more, there is no memory card. I just have to memorise my tracks (helps to record on my phone). Possibly what happened is it got too easy. Having it all on a plate takes away drive and creativity. The best way to start off is definitely to learn actual instruments and to practise real singing like John Denver did. Not maestro level but just semi decent guitar and keyboard. I recall Barry Manilow started with an accordion as he couldn't afford a proper piano. I very much admire his first big hit Bermuda Triangle. Simple, sweet and witty. Very talented guy as was John Denver. I also followed a group from Wales called Scritti Politti. Judie Tsuke I saw perform and the song Stay With Me Till Dawn she wrote as a teenager. There will always be musical talent but it is hard for the new Manilows or Denvers to find appreciation. Indeed, John Denver lost his record label when his kind of music became less marketable.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Sun 29, 2019 12:20 am 
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Denver was a unknown for years busking all over the country subsidized by a high ranking military Father....
It wasn't until he hung out in DC after a coffee shop gig with Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who turned him on to their song,
"Take me home country roads" that he broke big...Another right place, right time scenario...not much to do with actual songwriting
or performing talent...Not a knock on him in any way , but just another corporate seized opportunity in the "back to the land" movement era
to make money.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Dec Tue 31, 2019 8:33 pm 
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ampstamp88 wrote:
Denver was a unknown for years busking all over the country subsidized by a high ranking military Father....
It wasn't until he hung out in DC after a coffee shop gig with Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who turned him on to their song,
"Take me home country roads" that he broke big...Another right place, right time scenario...not much to do with actual songwriting
or performing talent...Not a knock on him in any way , but just another corporate seized opportunity in the "back to the land" movement era
to make money.


I detected a possible link between Sunshine On My Shoulders and Here, There And Everywhere. A bit like what you get with God Only Knows and Penny Lane. John did a cover of the Mccartney song from Revolver so it probably influenced him. Denver was awesome though. A great songwriter and loved nature. Sad he died before his time.


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 Post subject: Re: Are Would-Be Musicians Doomed?
PostPosted: Jan Fri 03, 2020 12:34 am 
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This is a mystery. What has happened to James Mccartney's music career? I rechecked his website and zero updates. Even clicking on the news tag shows nothing. When James embraced a music career it all went quite well musically talent-wise but at the time I thought it must be tough today. I mean, The Beatles era was totally different with such a huge interest in pop and rock. Today my own experience is most people don't get turned on by music. And James was physically very close to The Beatles via family history as were Sean and Julian Lennon. It's possible James disappeared underground to just do his own sound without the pressure of The Beatles influence. Or did he get discouraged? Astonishing nobody has even noticed but myself I have definitely noticed (probably because I relate to how unappreciated musicians are today). I read the renowned Lyle Mays gave up his synths and gigs to do other things to make a living.


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