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Ripe for the Picking

Posted: November 23rd, 2005 | Author: Brian | Filed under: Life in General | Comments Off

As I grow older, it seems as if the bands that I listen to get younger (much like the quote from Dazed and Confused, but with a twist). And until today, I had no idea why.
Technically, I never really gave it much thought. And honestly, it’s not as if it’s some earth-shattering revelation or anything. But it makes sense that it all comes back to money and record companies. It always does.
I was playing with Google Video yesterday and ended up watching a Holister video of a Fall Out Boy in-store performance. Yes, Holister is what caused the mighty Apple of Gravity to knock some sense into me.
The way I figure it, record companies are simply out to make as much money as possible. And how do they do this? By getting as much product on the streets, with as little overhead as possible, right? Well in order to do this, they find hard-working bands that are willing (and have been for years) to drive their own vans, keep the same gear, have their free-loading friends as a road crew, etc. Pretty much the entire “emo” and punk scenes thrives on this. They are road dogs, hungry for life, and willing to drive all over tarnation to play gigs.
In come the record companies, swooping in to pay a pittance for record production and road costs, and placing them strategically in in-store appearances, on Abercrombie CDs that are played and sold in malls, give the band some swag. The teens eat it up, and the bands are getting their music out. Everyone’s happy. So what’s the catch?
In order for these bands to be marketable to the largest purveying group of music consumers (teens), they have to *be* teens themselves. Or at least slightly older. They have to be accessible in their appeal, not too old to be sexually attractive all the while still fueling the “hey they’re our age! I could do that too!” machine. An appearance on the OC and a cut on the PacSun compilation and you’re golden.
So instead of finding truly talented bands, regardless of age or “sound niche,” the recording companies find the style of music that’s hot at the moment, then scramble to fill the market with a million clones, and placing product in as many places as possible. <*cough* current "hip-hop" *cough*>
And all the while, I just thought that all the bands worthy of contracts were young kids.
Oh someone shoot me with a dose of reality more often.

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