Friday, October 26, 2007

The Music Capitol of the World

I live in Los Angeles, the hub of the music industry.

I came to LA in 1969 when the rockin' bands were the Doors, the Byrds and Zeppelin. Radio was free form. It was album driven and the DJs were able to play whatever they wanted. Any cut. Any band. Any album. The focus of music shifted from AM to FM. Commercial free FM radio played deep into the night. What I never understood was that LA radio hardly played any Dylan apart from "Like a Rolling Stone" or more of his pop stuff.

Now LA Radio rocks to the beat of Clear Channel. The local stations play what sells and they sell out on what should really be playing. Mostly, I find the best music on XM Satellite listening to Fred, Ethel and Lucy. Several podcasts from around the country play some incredible indie bands. Accidental Hash is a great podcast to find out what is brewing beyond the walls of the music industry and the controlled atmosphere of Clear Channel.

I am glad we have choices. Clear Channel is necessary. However, LA radio fails to give the listener much choice. A few alternative rock stations exists-KROQ and several college based stations. Yet this is the music capitol of the world. I love the music industry but the moguls need to start listening to what the people are listening and not to what the tweenies are buying. The good music will survive . . . it always does.


Jonathan said...

My solution. The music industry needs to take all the recording equipment out of independent artists homes and say, "People like you shouldn't be allowed to record songs." Everyone who has an apple computer or has $50 to blow on a little recording device can record a whole album and do it themselves. The distribution, the marketing, etc. There is sooooo much bad music out there today. Only the best bands were given the opportunity to record a record. That day is gone.

Louis Lapides said...

One of the problems is that there is such a proliferation of independent bands today. How in the world can the "scouts" in the music industry ever discover these people? If not for the internet and podcasting these garage/pro tools bands would never be heard. Are record producers at Sony and Warner looking for this kind of raw, edgy rock or are they still looking for the next Kanye West or Justin Timberlake. The musicians I speak to who are recording in their living rooms feel the music industry is not hearing them. I would hate to miss out on another potential "Beatles" band because the record companies aren't looking or these indie bands don't have the finances to ever be noticed by the talent agents.