Reasons Why Live Music is Better

During occasions and special events, music is something that keeps things lively. In all honesty, even at casual times of our lives, we simply cannot imagine it without music. Have you ever heard of the song ABBA’s “Thank You For The Music”? Parts of the lyrics had mentioned, “…thanks for all the joy they’re bringing. Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty, what would life be? Without a song or dance – what are we?” So, indeed, we say you for the music. We may not be exactly able to trace who started it or how was it invented but one thing is for sure, music has existed for as long as humans did.

Abba Thank You for the MusicAs years went by and technology has developed quickly, there are lots of things that changed. Entertainment started it out through live performances of singing and dancing. Then, cameras, recorders, radios, and televisions came along. They offered us motion picture and recorded music that we can hear and watch again and again so we can enjoy it even more. Now, you can see young millennials doing almost everything while listening to music. They do a simple walk or a job with their earphones on, they wake up with their favorite song, and they would even listen to music as they let the time pass by on the train. It is a great joy to all of us that we can bring music anywhere we go.

In times that we celebrate, music also comes along, and it has been a dispute whether it is better to put on a recorded and a perfect song or hiring a performing live band or musicians is better. People have so immersed with the availability of music at hand that it seems like they’ve forgotten about eh beauty of hearing it being performed live. Do you still remember when was the last time you listened to a live band play?

There are lots of reasons why we should pick live music and why it is better, especially during times that are important to us like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Sure, having a recorded one keeps mistakes at bay, but a live performance brings more magic to it. Adam from Around Town Entertainment knows this has got something to do with what we hear and see. Hearing each instrument and that melodic voice turning into harmony is just very heart warming. But now, imagine getting to hear and see it at the same time: how the guitar is strumming, the ivories of the piano clicking, and that beautiful sound from the singer’s mouth- it just becomes an entirely fantastic vision. We somehow get to feel the music even more because we see the emotion that is given as the singers and musicians perform.

Live music also offers interaction. Besides the interpretation of emotions or feelings that are portrayed, seeing them in front also provides communication between the performers and the audiences. You get to see each other eye to eye and sometimes these kinds of moments are just unforgettable. Unlike something on your CD or within your storage, live music is something that nobody can repeat and have a memory of it makes it more precious and valuable. In weddings, for example, the first dance is one on the most important moments of the event.

A recorded music will surely keep it smooth, but a live band will feed more of the energy that they see in the couple. They can easily adjust according to the mood and the pace, and therefore, things become incredibly intimate and sincere. Isn’t that something that we’d all look forward to in our weddings? Live music may not be exactly perfect but compared with anything else; it is a lot way better.

How the Music Industry is Cutting its Own Throat

Throughout most of the 80’s the Major Labels were all about consolidation. Top 40 was their invention. What they wanted was everything neat and divided up easily. They wanted to be able to tell people that these are the top R&B songs. These are the top country songs. These are the top mainstream songs. That’s all you can listen to because that’s all we want to sell you. They tried to minimize the number of artists and the number of albums. That maximized profits. What they hated was when there were thousands of little bands, each with a loyal small following. Consolidation was the best way to minimize costs. Once you had an album, it’s cheaper to run 5 million copies of one CD. It’s just a matter of scale. The more copies you make of a unit, the cheaper each unit is. That’s something anyone who’s ever had business cards or t-shirts printed has found out.

MTV became popular in the 80sThe plan was coming along well.

Then the record industry was struck with a one-two punch. Hip Hop and Nirvana ruined the whole thing.

First hip hop came along. Sure, it had been around since the 70’s, at least. But it was put out on its record labels. Little indie labels that the big boys only noticed when they would occasionally buy one of their producers or pick up one of their acts.

But MTV put on Yo! MTV Raps in 1988. While it had been big before, now Hip Hop blew up. Instead of sticking to their plan of releasing a million Milli Vanilli and Tiffany clones they had to change their strategy. There were a lot of rap acts suddenly making money, and the record industry wasn’t getting their cut. So they had to sign all the big rap acts, or they had to buy the indie labels that hired them.

Then Nirvana came along, with a thousand little moderate punk bands with them. The labels had to do the same thing with the white music. This mostly destroyed top 40 as a genre. Kurt Cobain called 1991 “The Year Punk Broke,” well Rap broke about the same time.

But, little by little, the recording industry did it again. They bought lots of little labels and just folded them into the more prominent company. They created their own small fake indie Labels, like Interscope. See, Nine Inch Nails had a contract with a little indie label called TVT. Something went wrong with the negotiations when a big name tried to buy them for their wonderboy, Trent Reznor. So they just had him break his contract, gave him his fake label called Nothing Records under another phony label called Interscope. They dared anyone to say anything because they knew they had the meanest lawyers in town. Interscope was just started in 1990 and released such greats as Gerardo’s Rico Suave. It was always owned and distributed by Atlantic records or a subsidiary.

They also signed a lot of indie artists from Sub Pop (name some others). They were initially offered outstanding contracts. Then later, in the mid-1990’s these contracts weren’t renewed. Michelle Shocked had her name stolen from her. The record label claimed they owned her name and wouldn’t allow her to record it for ten years. Juliana Hatfield had her contract just dropped. She found that the album she had only recorded didn’t belong to her and her label refused to release it. Even though, it was finished and already paid for. They still hold the album God’s Foot hostage. Fortunately, you can find some static-y copies on Pirate Bay. Some fans say it’s her best album ever.

Again and again, this pattern was followed. Buy or create an “indie” label. Cherry pick the musicians you want and drop the rest. It worked, and few noticed.

Popular 90s singers Christina Aguilera and Britney SpearsFinally, their plan worked. Everyone was paying them. The companies had their fingers in everybody’s pie. In the late 90’s they had managed to cut down their roster of musicians to just a few. It was mostly just Britney, Christina Aguilera, and the boy bands. It was a horrible time for music. MTV didn’t play videos anymore. Radio didn’t play anything new unless it was by one of the approved artists. The underground music scene, which had been around since the Beatniks, was underground. You didn’t hear about a band that wasn’t one of the majors.

Then downloading came along. It was nothing new. The record labels had been aware of the possibility since the 80’s. They saw it as a content delivery system, though. Their vision was that you would go to the record store, tell them what album you wanted, and instead of them having it in stock, they would download it and burn it for you. The Record Store as we knew it would just be an empty store where you could have anything you wanted.

The labels couldn’t wrap their head around it. Every metric in their system, all the accounting, was based on shipping units of CD’s, cassettes, LP’s whatever. They had split themselves up into several units. One of these was distribution. If you cut them out where would all those VP’s and Presidents of distribution go? How would they make their cut from the indie stores?