This weekend I attended the LA Times Book Festival at U.S.C's campus. Unfortunately, I only made it to one panel, but the panel was very informative. It was called In Flux: The Music Biz featuring: Randall Roberts, Dan Charnas, Fred Goodman, and Simon Reynolds. Roberts was the moderator but the other three are authors. They wrote/write about the music world and how its changed, and its relation to society. Anyways, the panel was discussing the Internet's effect on the music biz. On the positive side: A wide variety of musical creativity is available to anyone with Internet access. The consumer has more power than before. Independent artists now can reach a wide audience without the aid of record labels that at times, hamper creativity. On the negative side: Through the Internet, people have access to free music on illegal or "legal" sites. For better or for the worse, the major record labels are struggling and have to tap into the artists' touring money and any acting career the artist may have. Also, artists are financially pressured into making cheaper tracks. Little money is to be made by their music so, they have to spend time working, that could have been used in developing their craft. Bands that want to focus on their music pretty much have to "sell-out" in some way. Even then, its a losing situation because selling-out often affects music quality, negatively. The point: Good music is worth paying for. If we aren't willing to pay for music, less artists will be able to produce quality music or even reach their musical potential.
One of the authors, Im 95% sure that it was Simon Reynolds, is shortly going to be releasing a book called RetroMania. It talks about how there was a trend in the 1900s of constant evolution in music. But, now in the 2000s, people are going back to the classics and reinventing them. An example, one of my favorite bands, Dirty Gold. (Yes, I discovered them in Teen Vogue.* Laugh Out Loud* ). Their sound is very Beach Boys, but, their take is softer and more dazed. My personal Dirty Gold top pick is Sea Hare. But, California Sunrise is their most popular song, for good reason. It's the perfect song for starting the summer