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The EvO:R-Pedia Musicians Tips Section
Welcome to the EvO:R Tips Section. We call this section EvO:R-Pedia because it is like a complete
reference library for Indie musicians...Just about every tip has been used so you won't find false
promises and a series of books to buy after reading each tip. This section was put here by musicians
so that people that followed can take this knowledge and use it's power.
Is Rock Deader Than Dead?
By Edward Szczepaniak
It is significant in our time of musical degeneration to consider whether or not, as famed artist Marilyn Manson raged, rock music is really "deader than dead." When the musical genre blazed onto the scene in the 1950's it was new, fresh, loud and inspired millions of young people. Still, as with anything that is so popular as to go mainstream, a certain amount of corporate control came into the mix. Then came the age where "hit makers" were seeking to create the next big thing, and manufactured bands, which were mostly all flash and no substance, were the order of the day. So did the business of rock kill the music?
Popular bands like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails seem to demonstrate that the opposite is true. You see, in the past, the business of rock may have stifled the art form. Corporate control of music meant a certain level of the recording companies deciding what people wanted to listen to. Many talented, original artists never got their shot. Even popular acts like Radiohead and Courtney Love didn't get their due, but the internet changed all that. Now any artist could create what they wanted to create and post it on the net for all to hear. This opened the door for even the largest acts to circumvent the system.
Radiohead set the bar by offering their latest album with a "set your own price" scheme for the digital downloads. Many considered this a dangerous gamble and the news media, often owned by some of the same companies that own major record labels, tried their best to downplay the move. Still, while the news media kept harping on how 62% of downloaders payed absolutely nothing for the album, they seemed to ignore the 38% that payed an average of $6 for the music, and that's 38% of a supposed 1.2 million downloaders in the first week alone. You do the math. Under the standard record label contract, a band is lucky to get a few cents per CD sale, while the label and distributors take the lion's share. In this new market, Radiohead made millions in a single week and they pretty much get to keep it all.
Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails followed suit releasing their own set of "set your price", or donation based, music downloads. They also met with amazing success compared to what was possible under the corporate record label scheme. Now many new and original bands are catching the wave and releasing their music free on the internet in order to capture fan support, or sell concerts and even merchandise. Indie rock bands are using social networking sites like Myspace.com to promote their original music, live shows and sell T-shirts, hats and other gear. Bands that might not have been considered by the major labels now have a voice and they are being heard.
The face of rock music has begun to change, but this is only the beginning. It's only a matter of time before we bear witness to a band that rises to stardom and riches on the net. The music is seeing a rebirth. Far from being dead, in this digital age, rock music is alive and kicking.
Ed Szczepaniak is focusing on rock t-shirts to remember cultural changes and great Rock heros. Defining rock era with stunning vintage rock t-shirts designs (http://www.bandtshirtdesigns.com).
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