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"Children Of The Apes (update)"
If a child is raised by apes,
can he know he's being deprived of civilization?
If a generation is raised on bad music,
can they know what they're missing?
No. Ignorance is a lot of fun.
People don't know what they like,
but they like what they know.
And as humans, they have no idea what they don't know.
Their musical options are limited
by what comes over their radio and TV,
and that is controlled by some bottom line guys.
Empty suits are running the old corral.
The major labels like to buy a round piece of plastic for a dime,
and sell it for $16.95.
They don't care what's on it.
The "sell" is more important than the song.
They give each other awards, throw big events, create excitement,
and teach the listeners what to like.
They charge all expenses to the artists:
The studio, the musicians, the manufacture, promotion, distribution,
and their girlfriend's nose job.
And yet, the record companies still own the masters.
These are sharp guys.
Independent labels aren't getting significant airplay in the US.
I don't know if they even send records to many American stations.
Maybe they did, until they found out they weren't getting played.
When the horse dies, get off.
Maybe they weren't getting played
because some of the independent records weren't good enough.
Indie labels have to be what we used to call service labels.
To help their best artists, they must survive.
And to survive they must take on a lot of not-great stuff.
It's a trade off.
Some indie labels do low budget sessions
and flood the market with junk that detracts from the well produced
The DJs get immune and stop listening.
It's only fair to mention:
There are indie labels that do care about quality.
They are making slow but sure headway
by putting out the best product they can,
and making it better all the time.
They are the ones who are gaining credibility.
If you pay attention you will begin to see who the good ones are.
And it isn't easy for them. They don't have Sony budgets.
They are earning the respect of radio people,
and their product is listened to.
A problem facing indie artists is how to make a living at it.
The artists are here, and the audience is overseas.
There are a few tours going over, but not enough.
Maybe the indie labels and artists should relocate
and record in Europe, or wherever their fans are.
But that's not likely.
Certain European country artists,
Hermann Lammers Meyer, for instance,
have what we used to have in the States:
A situation where they are near their fans, and can draw crowds.
American airplay is needed.
"How to get it" is the thing to work on.
The indies are up against a powerful bunch,
but stranger things have happened.
If a few brave American stations start playing the best indie music,
it may be contagious.
The ape children may get a glimpse of what they've been missing.
Copyright © May 10, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. Updated version © January 17, 2002
by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.