Lady Gaga Plays SXSW: 'You Don't Need a F--king Record Label"
03-18-2014, 06:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-18-2014, 09:31 AM by Miguel.)
RE: Lady Gaga Plays SXSW: 'You Don't Need a F--king Record Label"
(03-15-2014, 07:29 AM)Miguel Wrote: More quotes, from Rolling Stone:

... she said, most of all, it was the pressure to perform that got her down in recent months. "The sad part is, at some point, you have to look at those people who believe in you and say, 'My talent matters more to me than the money does,'" she said. "And what I have to say matters more to me than the money does. I know that it's fun being on top and I know it's fun having everybody wish that they were Number One, but having people envy you really isn't fun at all."

Another perspective from the NY Times from SXSW on how aligning with major brands may be what's next for music. As discussed, making a living in the music industry today is complicated and I am sure Haley is trying to navigate the waters to find a way. But as noted below, "The consumer wants all the music that he or she desires — on demand, at a cost of zero or close to it — and we now live in that perfect world."

From NY Times:

Full Story: A New Model For Music
Quote:"In a streamed world where music itself has very little value, selling out is far from looked down upon, it’s the goal.

Don’t blame Lady Gaga, SXSW or even Doritos. The consumer wants all the music that he or she desires — on demand, at a cost of zero or close to it — and we now live in that perfect world.

It doesn’t feel perfect, though. At this year’s festival, historically a place of artistic idiosyncrasy, music labels were an afterthought and big brands owned the joint. Venues were decked out with a riot of corporate logos, and the conference’s legacy as a place where baby bands played their little hearts out to be discovered seemed quaint in a week in which Jay Z and Kanye West kicked it for Samsung, Coldplay headlined for Apple’s iTunes and Tyler, the Creator played a showcase for Pandora.

This new order evolved because when music moved into the cloud, not much of the revenue came with it. CD sales are a fraction of what they once were, and the micropayments from streaming services have yet to amount to anything meaningful. It’s a grim state of affairs, but corporate America, in search of an elusive demographic, has been more than willing to fill the breach."
03-18-2014, 09:52 AM,
RE: Lady Gaga Plays SXSW: 'You Don't Need a F--king Record Label"
Interesting article.

Quote:No one will miss the stranglehold the large music labels had on the industry, but having shoe and snack food companies decide what is worthy could strangle the new, unruly impulses that allow the music business to prosper.

You hear a lot of the Ramones on commercials these days, but if the suits were in charge when the band was first playing, you never would have heard of them at all. (Anybody who wonders about the impact of big companies as cultural gatekeepers need only go see a studio blockbuster.)

...And in a move that might seem redundant given the irony that she had already coated herself with, Lady Gaga invited the performance artist Millie Brown on stage to drink a bottle of neon green liquid and vomit all over her. Her actions — to happily shill for Doritos, then deliver a lecture on the importance of independent thought — perfectly encapsulate the conflicted state of the industry.

(You could say it was a new low, but last year, I saw Public Enemy, musical heroes of my youth, perform “Fight the Power” inside a mock Doritos vending machine.)

…(Ad agency vice presidentSmile “The willingness of artists to partner with brands happened because revenues dried up from physical discs,” he said. “The labels are not going to get a lot of sympathy because they were not very good to artists. At least when a brand is involved, there is an understanding that we are borrowing the cachet that the artist has built and we try to make high-quality projects that give value to both the client and the artist. ”

The problem here is the big brands want to borrow the cachet associated with the artist. That means you need to be an already established star or have a current hit. They're unlikely to "break" a new artist.

Quote:There is another way, albeit much tinier. While Lady Gaga was doing her thing for Doritos, I was down the street at a showcase for Merge Records. Founded in Durham, N.C., 25 years ago by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance, Merge persists by carefully picking the bands that it works with, keeping costs low and producing almost artisanal merchandise — CDs, vinyl records, T-shirts and posters — that fans want to buy. Every once in a while, a small success becomes a giant one, as it did with Arcade Fire, the label’s biggest seller by far.

Mr. McCaughan, whose band Superchunk still records and tours, says he is still in the business of selling music, not chips.

“You can’t guilt people into buying records or get them to stop just grabbing MP3s, you have to give them something they want to support,” he said over breakfast on Thursday. “We have to sell records to make money and to do that, we have to work within people’s short attention span for music. Doritos is trying to get you to look at one thing, and we are trying to get you to look at another thing.”

It is, he points out, a great time to be a music fan. Obscure reissues, B-sides, live performances are all there in friction-free and sometimes plain-old-free formats. But for bands, it is attention amid the clutter that has become expensive, especially at SXSW, where 2,000 acts are looking for love in all the same places.

Haley seems to have a good eye for style and photography, so if she remains an independent artist, I think she should think about "producing almost artisanal merchandise." She could enlist the help of a talented graphic designer and produce Haley-related materials (t-shirts, posters, album art, etc) in limited runs.
03-18-2014, 10:34 PM,
RE: Lady Gaga Plays SXSW: 'You Don't Need a F--king Record Label"
^^Thanks for posting this RMD, and Miguel. I love reading about all the music industry stuff. Fascinating and scary at the same time. I can't believe what an artist has to go thru. It's scary to be on top. it's scary to be on the bottom.

Even though Lady Gaga is at the top of her game, she is still just a vehicle for these companies to make more and more money. She mentions all the pressure for her to perform. It's a sad world...use em up and spit em out.

And if your a new artist, and don't sell mucho albums out of the gate, well, bye bye to you.....and by the way, you owe us (the label) some money too.

It's sad...
03-18-2014, 10:56 PM,
RE: Lady Gaga Plays SXSW: 'You Don't Need a F--king Record Label"
It sad in general and a difficult period of transition. As far as Gaga goes, it's often a matter of choices. She could settle on being a star as opposed to a superstar.

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