Internet music guru Ian Rogers challenges the hit-making aspirations of the traditional music industry in his latest post on FISTFULAYEN: Does The New Business Of Music Change The Way Music Sounds?
I was on a panel at Bandwith Conference last week and the “Who is going to play The Staples Center in five years?” question came up again. I answered (again), “Who the fuck wants to see a show at The Staples Center?” Do we judge the health of the music business by how many people are pulling half a mill in a single show at a terrible venue? I don’t. Let me be clear, unless your sole source of music discovery is network television and Radio Disney, I hope you never have to see your favorite band at The Staples Center. I saw Bob Dylan there once. It’s a bummer, only fun for the people counting the money.
Rogers calls up Radiohead, the Dandy Warhols, Rod Stewart, and Paul Westerberg as examples of what happens when artists make music for their fans vs. “making it for a hit in the limited radio marketing channel.”
Niche vs. zeitgeist, I guess. Will there ever be another band that appeals to everybody, both the casual radio listener as well as the discerning music snob? Does it even matter?