Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Payola Pt.2

A friend of mine and fellow musician Gentle Jones has come across a new kind of payola. The major labels are careful these days to be clever in the way they pay off radio and media outlets but the independent artist is getting fucked in a different and quite blatant way.  The internet, after all this time is still new territory for music.  Back in 1999 my band was cutting edges being on and Napster was still flying under the radar.  The industry has changed so much in 15 years and has steadily adapted and found new ways to rip off artists every chance they get.  Which is why many have elected to bypass the major labels. Some like Gentle Jones are going through smaller independent labels and some mereley do it themselves.  Technology has made creating and distributing music cheap and simple but there are apparently still obstacles. Jones's article highlights first hand what he's been dealing with in trying to promote a new album he's been working on with High Elders called Forest Of Pencils.

Exerpt from

I sent the video to several music blogs and the response was incredible! Hot Press Magazine called the video, "Stunning... Eye-popping... Fabulous!" However, among these blogs I emailed were several who directly asked me for money just to post the video! This type of payola is increasingly common online these days. Many of those payola blogs are just automated content retweeted by cheap twitterbots and of no real value to an aspiring artist because real people don't actually check the content. Here I've posted a few of the emails I got in response to the video just to give other artists and music fans an idea of what its like to be independent in today's music business and the sorts of predatory folks who will try and juice you, many of them openly admit they are using twitterbots to promote your content:

--Subject: Re: New Video! High Elders Surrounded By Lights

To: Gentle Jones 

$100 it'll be up by midnight and emailed to other blogs affiliated with me--


--Subject: Re: New Video! High Elders - Surrounded By Lights

To: Gentle Jones 

For general posts we charge a small fee of $10.00 for standard placement and $25.00 for featured placement which includes a 3 day tweeting of the video on our Twitter page personally.

If you are unable to pay we will put the video/song in consideration for placement. As we get 100's of emails a day for artist placements. If you are selected we will email you the link to the video on our site and will tweet it out one time after being posted.

If interested please send the payment via Paypal 


Man, what scumbags.

Check out Gentle Jones:
Twitter @gentlejones
Gentle Jones Facebook
Gentle Jones Youtube 

Watch the video for Surrounded By Lights here make sure to subscribe and let him know what you think.

Friday, March 22, 2013

13 Common Sense Guidelines for Playing In A (Punk) Band.

This article touches on some topics I've talked about here before. give it a read! 

13 Common Sense Guidelines for Playing In A (Punk) Band

When I was a young whippersnapper just starting out in punk bands, I had truly no idea how to be in a band. Oh sure, I knew enough guitar to play punk, and I could sing reasonably on key, but I had no idea the social complexities that were involved in being in a band. These 13 or 14 tips are designed to help those just starting out, but jaded dinosaurs like myself might also find some remedial usefulness as well.                 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Illusion of choice

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Record companies screwing over artists again

The sheer chutzpah of Universal Music is really quite stunning. As you may recall, in 2009, it came out that the major record labels had been screwing over musicians in Canada with a bit of sleight of hand called "exploit now, pay later if at all." The way it worked was that labels would put old works on compilations without getting artists' permission, then put the artists' names on a "pending" list, which was supposed to mean that payment to those artists was "pending." Except the pending lists were never touched and the royalties were never paid. Labels not paying artists royalties is a pretty common issue, but here they weren't even getting any credit at all. Pretty sneaky. Realizing they had been caught red handed, the labels "settled" by agreeing to pay the $45 million in royalties owed.

However, it turns out that Universal Music Group actually seems to think that its insurance company should be paying the $14.4 million it owes (UMG's share of the $45 million). It's now suing its insurance company for refusing to pay. If you think about it for a second, you realize just how insane this claim is. Basically, Universal Music is claiming that it can simply not pay any royalties at all, then wait to get sued... and if it loses and has to pay, it believes its insurance company has to foot the bill. Now there's a business model!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, June 25, 2009

P.O.S., tells it like it is.

its not often i come across a hip hop artist, who is a true artist and gets what it means to be original. P.O.S. gets it. Some of his sentiments in this article, are almost word-for-word what i've been saying for years.

here's some P.O.S. -Drumroll (we're all thirsty)

Friday, April 04, 2008

E-Music and Me

I just read this article on ABC's new site that's talking about big name artists Jay-Z and Madonna jumping ship from major labels, who apparently just dont get it yet, instead taking multimillion dollar deals with concert promoter Live Nation.

OK yea, I get it, people are addicted to ipods and itunes. CD's are overpriced and the labels are ripping everyone, including the artists off.

I hate major labels, yes. But where I have a problem with all of this is, I like record stores. And I'm not totally on the internet music bandwagon yet. Call me old fashioned but when I buy something I like to have it in my hands afterwards.

I guess I sort of have it set in my head that if music that is online, its music someone already went to the record store and bought.. and that gives me the comfort in knowing that there will be a physical copy I can buy for myself. A CD with artwork lyrics and stuff, in a record store where I can browse and thumb through other CD's.

I dunno, maybe I need to get with the times and realise music is just data and the concept of an album as a work of art is just no more.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

All Ages Movement

Here's a cool thing people can get behind. It's the All Ages Movement.

This is an issue thats pretty close to me. For almost all of my old band Fingertight's existence as a local band we've had to deal with the All Ages issue. Basically, teens like live music, but the only venues where live music can be seen is in bars or clubs that only allow "21+" as it was always posted on the fliers. Where do adults under 21, and more importantly, minors (who anyone in the scene knows are the ones that actually support bands)

Anyway, this group is trying to raise awareness to this issue. Check em out.

The Death of Hyphy

Not that I'm a fan or anything but this is a great example of how the powers that be can crush a local music movement. As I read this I kept being reminded of my feelings toward local radio for not ever supporting my band or other talented local rock acts.

Specifically, [KMEL]

• yanked local rappers with buzzworthy records from rotation over petty personal beefs

• made it difficult, if not impossible, for artists not aligned with favored promoters to get access to station personnel

• ignored the advice of its own DJs on potential hit records by local artists

• put the kibosh on efforts to spread hyphy in other regions

• engaged in blatant favoritism toward certain artists, alongside other activities that contributed to the fragmentation of the local hip-hop community

• employed a two-tiered promotion system for major-label and independent acts

its a good read. Rappers are lame but it still sucks when suits shut down the local scene for political bullshit.