The music industry has kinda been in the crapper for a while now, right? Well, I don't really think so. All that this consolidation within the music and radio industry has simply done is to force the perhaps not-so-average-joe to work a little harder. If you can't find anything interesting on your local Clear Channel station (meaning just about ANY of them), you go to the internet. You go to see bands you may never have heard of. You try satellite or cable or internet radio.
And for those artists trying to be heard, they look for that not-so-average-joe. They put their music on the internet. They play as often as possible. They try to get their music on just about any alternative programming they can reach.
Somehow, we all find each other. In the wake of massive label consolidation (aren't there only like, three majors these days?) and radio consolidation, the little guys are having more and more luck. For example, since Warner is dropping all their interesting acts these days after the dissolution of Elektra, what lucky indie label is going to get to handle Stereolab, a recent victim? One great band on a small label can do wonders for the label and the other bands lucky enough to share that space... Just ask the folks of Berkeley's Lookout! (original home to Green Day, Rancid and the Donnas) or Omaha's Saddle Creek (Rilo Kiley, The Faint, Bright Eyes).
And now the shameless plug: some (more) friends of mine are starting a label. It's called Stereotype, and they want to reach us indie "kids" who are not so into screamo and more into lyrics and cut our teeth on the Buzzcocks and Japan and Sebadoh and Acetone, so we like it to rock or be dreamy. And they've got all that on the label. Check out the site, and give Rick Stone a listen. His voice is dreamy, and his songs are just flat out beautiful. And if you like it, come on down to their label launch party at Mr. T's in Highland Park this Saturday night. I'll be there, probably drinking more than I should. I always get into a little trouble when that Rick Stone is around!
Shameless plug part deux: Internet radio rules. Especially when someone pirates it for you! I've been mixed up in a little something called Little Radio, which steams indie rock & hip hop all the darned day, and features DJs at nights and on the weekends. I'm on Saturdays from 12-3pm, so tune in to our streaming broadcast or try 87.9FM in the east LA area if you live here. I'm bringing a box of stuff to play, and in my box is a little Kinks, RJD2, Bailterspace, Bauhaus, Ike & Tina Turner, Mellowdrone, Rocket, Phyllis Dillon, Rondelles, Big Black, Guided By Voices, and some Patsy Cline. I can't remember what else I put in there, so you'll have to tune in to find out!
Oh yea, and Little Radio does showcases on Wednesdays at Fais Do Do in LA. This Wednesday the 16th, we'll have Black Hills... led by former Freewheelers Luther Russell and Chris Joyner. It's indie in that Pete Yorn/ Matt Pond PA sort of way, and those boys are extremely talented musicians (and very cute, ladies!). Joining them for a mini set will be Sarabeth Tucek, who has done guest vocals for Smog and the Warlocks, and more who I just can't remember right now.
So are you ready to rock? Let's go!