Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Where Did the Music Go?

January 1, 2005

Where Did the Music Go?

What happened to the music industry? Yeah, I know, big boo from the peanut gallery, but I want to know, why where there so few decent albums released in ’04? I don’t think I bought 15 major label CDs this year, and that includes all the half decent albums I bought with gift cards from Christmas. Of those 12 or so albums only 7 or 8 of them were full-length albums- the rest were comps or EP’s. Of those 7 or 8 albums I think only 4 were 2004 releases. I know you guys don’t care about my music buying habits but I am getting at a legitimate point, eventually.

Along with there being very few good albums released in ’04 there were almost no moves by the semi-major labels such as Ferret, Trustkill, Victory, Razor and Tie, Vagrant and Drive Thru (even though I hate what Drive Thru stands for, they do have a few good bands). Militia Group is the only label that has made any moves. They picked up Cartel and three other bands around October of ’04. But they seem to be the only ones to have done anything remotely resembling major moves. This lack of movement has caused a backlog of quality unsigned bands, which in turn has caused this zine to be established- so I shouldn’t complain. But at the same time I still listen to music outside of what I review, so I want to have something to enjoy.

Though I feel this backlog of bands is due to stupidity on the semi-majors part, I don’t blame them. This problem is being caused by the major labels no making moves. The majors have decided that people steal so much music off the Internet it doesn’t matter what label the bands are on because the record executives won’t see the money. The majors believe that because the CEO’s of Atlantic, Columbia and Island won’t get their 1.5 million dollar bonus there is no point in moving music, which means they won’t pick up bands from labels like Victory and Vagrant- which means Victory and Vagrant are stuck with the same old bands.

In 2001 and 2002, labels like Victory, Ferret and Trustkill loaded up on new unknown bands. A lot of this was due to the popularity of Thursday and Thrice off Victory. Thursday and Thrice had been signed to Island after putting a single album out on Victory and Sub-City/ Hopeless. Other labels saw this and assumed the same thing would happen to a majority of the bands they picked up. Then the majors got even weirder than usual and refused to pick anyone else up, leaving the semi-majors over-extended and broke, which caused the semi-majors to freeze their signing of new bands. This puts us in the situation we are in now, with very few new bands coming up. You know the music industry is in a bad place when I’m only looking forward to the new Open Hand album on Trustkill and Victory’s only new band The Black Maria’s new album for ’05.

Scott Landis

redbassist66@Comcast.net

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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