Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Value of Interns

In an interview with Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs, he allegedly called Uptown Records in the early nineties to ask about internships. He contiuned the story by saying that they hadn't heard of 'internships'. Combs said, "It's where I come work for free for experience.". Uptown Records and many other entertainment related business jumped on the internship bandwagon.

As a student pursuing a career in the music business, I know all about internships. I've done a few of them. My tasks ranged from picking up after the bosses dog to planning a national radio promotion for a multiplatinum level recording artist. All for free. I feel that interns, especially in the entertainment business should receive financial compensation for there efforts.

The logic behind the, "work for free" phenomenon is due to the shear numbers of people who would love to work at a record label or concert company. It disgusts me that so many people who lack the passion for the music business attempt to enter the business, and it devalues my passion and work.

I can understand working for free maybe once or twice for experience to get a paid job, but as a college junior, I've done this dance 4 times and nobody will offer me a paycheck. The offers have been for pretty interesting good positions that require a high amount of skill. Hiring someone to arrange a national radio promotion is typically a $25 an hour job. I also did some on site work at major concerts working with sponsors, work that usually fetches $150 per show, for free.

I'm mostly just venting right now, as a poor college students, who has spent nearly $80,000 in pursuit of a passion who is fed up with being taken advantage of by companies. I know my value as a worked, and anyhow, I thought slavery was abolished in 1865.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Best Music Website Ever! A playable music search Engine!

Sorry about the last post. I do want to write about something extremley positive, though. The greatest music website to ever exsist ever!

Imagine sitting in your office/cubicle and being bored while working. Internet radio is getting stale, and you really, really, really want to listen to "Love Me Dead" by Ludo or "No Handlebars" by Flobots. Bam, enter is a playable music search engine. I'm pretty sure this website violates international copyright law, but it's still pretty cool. Basically, you can stream basically any major song and create playlists, all you need to do is search. It's perfect for curing a musically craving, or listening to songs before you buy them or steal them, or whatever you like to do. I'd be remiss to not promote a great website that got me through 400 internship hours, jamming out to Katy Perry.

Terrible Muic Makes it Mark

I'm sorry I haven't written anything new in a while. I've been swamped with tests lately. To change gears in this next post, I wanted to post an e-mail I wrote when I was a talent scout at a certain major label. I was asked to check out a band called, "Mercy Mercedes" in April of 2008 on behalf of the label.

I just wanted to give an update about the 'Mercy Mercedes' show. I went with a music industry buddy and my girl friend's sister to get a range of opinions. The very first thing that we noticed was that these guys had on very colorful clothing, and played very colorful gear, including three neon colored boxes they could jump around on.

As a band, they are very tight and had a very energetic performance that caught on to the crowd and was entertaining to watch. Musically speaking, it didn't catch me all that much. There were two songs that could be potential singles, but I still wasn't really buying into it.

There were only 20 or 25 kids at the show and I was able to speak with many of them and I asked some of my other friends at the show what they think. After the set ended, the band got universal positive reviews from nearly everyone I talked to. I asked if they liked the songs or the performance more, and people said they liked the songs just as much as the performance. Although the general consensus was this band was a talented bunch of guys, I still don't think the songs really wowed me all that much.

I spoke with the band after the show to ask a few questions and they told me they sold around 2,000 copies of their EP which doesn't include Itunes or online order in about 6 weeks of touring. This is huge and maybe their live show allows them to win over fans. If they did warped and sold albums at the gig, I bet they could sell 20 – 30k in a summer, which may well be how this band succeeds.

My female friend told me these guys were cute and dressed well which I guess is important. Overall, I wasn't impressed by the tunes although there are one or two songs that have strong hooks. The show was good enough to win over the entire crowd, and apparently this allows the band to sell merch and CD's. I probably wouldn't recommend this band to be signed because overall the songs are just not strong enough for radio or video play.

Not too scathing right? This band is signed to the Militia Group now, they had 10,000 plays today on myspace which is pretty significant, and they're EP is in every Hot Topic store in America.

Since when do 14 year girls have such terrible taste in music? At least I accurately predicted they're ability to succeed. I'm just being a bit self indulgent. I hate it when my professional is proven wrong by hard facts.