Perusing the local trade magazines or attending a music based conference can lead a musician (or someone who works with musicians) to believe that Armageddon is truly here. If we hear one more speech or read one more article about the end of the music industry as we know it, we will certainly collectively go nutso.
The truth is the entire economy is in the crapper. We don’t know one industry that hasn’t been touched (well, maybe crime, if that is an industry). Music has certainly not been immune. However, we here at L4M are here to say that Debbie Downer needs to turn her frown upside down. While the days of multi-multi platinum records and huge advances are certainly on death’s doorstep, the savvy musician can do more than just eek out a living. Here are some things we think musicians should be happy about:
1. The Internet. Long hailed as the assassin of the music industry, the world-wide web offers more opportunities than it does problems if you know how to ride the waves. Not only has the internet introduced the fan to new (and mostly legitimate) ways of finding new music, collaborative websites now allow musicians a means to create, promote and distribute their music. Sites like TopSpin, BeatPort, BandCentral, SoundCloud and Facebook have become essential and typically inexpensive methods for sharing talent, ideas and product. If utilized properly, the internet’s social media platforms can completely replace a label based pr system. Access, affordability and a global reach are definitely something that the Internet provides to the musician willing to navigate it.
2. Music Festivals. Music festivals breath new life and huge opportunities to major label talent as well as emerging bands. Bringing great music to enormous crowds coupled with innovative festival organizers oftentimes bring great results. Not only are festivals bringing tremendous revenues to musicians and the organizers, they offer great opportunities to buzz bands to play in front of huge crowds and important taste makers. On top of that, every festival brings with it industry parties, opening slots for after shows, and tons of press. Emerging bands who strategically plan ahead for a visiting festival can really cash in (maybe not as much as Perry Farrell, but still…).
3. Music Licensing. It used to be that in order to get your music licensed your label or publisher would have to cozy up to a music supervisor. With the amount of media content around the world growing at a record pace (think tv, radio, satellite radio, internet programming, commercials, film etc.) there is a matching need for quality music. Jingles are a thing of the past. Ad agencies with unlimited budgets for music is also rare at best. Quality music that may originate from lesser known musicians but do not carry with it the rigors of publisher and label demands has become imperative. Musicians who work to get their music to savvy music libraries can make money on both up front music licensing sync fees as well as the oftentimes lucrative performance royalties.
4. The Remix. Want to resurrect an old single? Want to make some money as a producer by resurrecting that old singer? Never before has the remix been more important. DJ’s like Skrillex and Guetta have become über rich by making a name for themselves as talented remixers as well as great djs. For popular musicians, remixes by producers or other bands can lead to revitalized sales of a falling single. The remix is a handy promotional tool as well (Lady Gaga will be ever-present again for a while as she announces the release of an entire remix album). Another means of collaboration, oftentimes between artists who would not otherwise work together is definitely a trend that we can all be thankful for in 2011.
5. Vinyl. The LP appears to be back for good. Collectors as well as a new generation of music purchasers appear to be favoring holding something cool in their hands and not just in an electronic file living in an Ipod. While still expensive to manufacture, vinyl sales in 2011 continue to defy the rest of the industry. A positive trend that began several years ago, there does not seem to be a slow down to the sale of the old school vinyl record.
What about you? What are you thankful for as a musician or a music fan in 2011? Please comment below. Let’s stay positive and bring in the joy during this holiday season. Having trouble doing so, slap on the collector’s edition of Justin Bieber’s Christmas album. We have no doubt that you will soon be smiling!
We are at it again over here at L4M headquarters. Seriously, how many lawyers do you know who can negotiate a contract in the morning and organize a show like this at night? “Working 9 to 3am, what a way to make a living”.
Our last show was pretty sweet, and this one is set up to be even sweeter. After Matt Walker and of1000faces blew everyone away at the last show, there was no doubt they would headline our next shindig. For this November 12 (that’s a Friday!) show we expanded our reach to bring some of our clients from different states and countries. Elephant Stone will be crossing our northern border to bring their Canadian charm to Chicago. If you don’t know the Stone, get to know them and get ready to be impressed. Next be ready to be impressed by The Idle Hands. Irish folks who have transplanted to a city that is near and dear to your author, Minneapolis, will ride their buzz as a band to watch all the way to the Bottom Lounge. Finally, a local Chicago band that has caught the ear of critics all over the country, The California Wives, will definitely get the crowd moving.
We at L4M represent musicians from all over the country. Yet, deep down, we have a special affinity for Chicago musicians. Is it because we live in Chicago? Well…yes, duh. Anyway, some of the best music at some of the best venues happen here in the Second City.
The time has come (again) for Chicago artists to get the attention that they deserve. L4M and the Bottom Lounge has teamed up to present a “This is Chicago” music series featuring many of our clients at one of the best Chicago music venues in the city.
The first concert will be SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 at 8:00pm (doors) and feature Blah Blah Blah, of1000faces (featuring Matt Walker), The Blind Staggers and DJ Yours Truly. It’s five bucks online with code: Blah or eight bucks at the door. Please come out and support goood music, a good musical venue and some decent lawyers. We want to make this a regular event, so let’s pack the first one.
Here’s the Bottom Lounge’s Promo Page:
BLAH BLAH BLAH • THE BLIND STAGGERS • of1000faces
CHIRP RADIO WELCOMES: Thursday, September 16, 2010 – 9:00pm
BOTTOM LOUNGE AND LAWYER4MUSICIANS.COM PRESENT
Doors 8:00 PM / 9:00 PM.
17 & Over