STILL HERE, STILL PISSED

STILL HERE, STILL PISSED

SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2010

STILL HERE, STILL PISSED

The rumors of my demise are completely without merit.

There is no truth to the rampant activity on the message boards pertaining to the fact that Bonehead was no more, deceased, amongst the un-living, stone cold dead.  There was no funeral, no untimely passing, no illness, no worries, no fear.  I’ve simply been getting myself back into real “work mode”.  I’m pretty well settled into the new place and very much enjoying it.  Things are good – and my apologies for the dark Radiohead and dead Paul videos – I’m not depressed or dying, just trying to cover the fact that I can get sort of lazy sometimes.

None of this means I’m not pissed about something.  What’s going to roust the hard working Bone from the comfort of the sofa, remote and nearby beverage this evening?

I’ve ranted before about my current displeasure with the record industry and their incessant pestering of the radio industry to make more royalty payments to the record companies to fairly compensate the artists who perform the songs.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

This is the purest proof that the record industry has so badly managed itself into a never ending worm hole of shit that it now needs to look to charge it’s only remaining friend a performance tax for the privilege of trying to be a partner.

OK – I’ve been a radio guy now for almost three decades, so I’m partial.  But is it just me who looks at the fact that if it weren’t for radio, there wouldn’t be a record industry.  We sell the music, plain and simple.  If it weren’t for radio – how would people ever hear your music?  They listen, they like, we play it over and over, they like it some more…so much so, they go out and buy your album, cd, or single.  Then you use radio to advertise the fact that you’re traveling to my town, and send us some tickets with obstructed view to give away on air to help sell overpriced tickets to your sub- par performance in the local hockey arena.  Then we send all of our listeners running to your show where your merch flunkies sell my listeners poor quality t-shirts featuring your logo and work schedule or hastily produced pseudo-publications featuring photos taken by some hard workers who YOU probably never paid.  They gobble up your swag and fork over their money to help you in paying off your most recent meth connection. I’m talking about you Dionne Warwick, you dried up old cunt.

Seriously, this has-been has been one of the most outspoken proponents of the movement to abolish the performance royalty exemption radio has had for decades, and for good reason god-dammit.  We’re enabling their existence – should we have to pay for that right? Dionne Warwick hasn’t been relevant for nearly forty years – so now she’s looking for a pay day without doing anything new.  You know what, one time, about twenty years ago, I did a good job on something, and I got paid for it.  I’ve found that I can continue to get paid for things if I keep working.  I work, I get paid.  You know what Dionne – put down the weed and write a fucking song.  Then maybe you can get a radio station to play it – and in turn get someone to buy it, or maybe come out to see you perform it live.  Your crack-head cousin has set the bar pretty low with her failed comeback – why don’t you give it a shot.You know – she’d only gain monetarily if the radio stations actually played her songs.  Request lines around the country really aren’t lighting up with callers looking to hear “Do you know the way to San Jose?” ….just sayin.

Here’s a possible scenario taking place somewhere right this very moment…

Moose:  “Why the fuck would you go and buy a T-Pain cd?”

Syd: “I heard the song on the radio…”

Get my point?  No-one has a clue who the fuck you are without the radio.

You meet me on the street – you might say something like this… “But Bone – some of your favorites never got a lot of radio airplay and you bought their music?”

After asking you why you’re bothering me I might retort…

True, but I never would have found out about RUSH if I hadn’t first heard bands like Yes, Genesis and Emerson, Lake and Palmer on the radio.  I would never have found out about Warren Zevon if I hadn’t heard acts such as The Eagles or Jackson Brown on the radio.  I would never have found out about most of the music I enjoy the most without first hearing a similar artist on the radio.

Ultimately, it’s radio that has shaped my consumption habits of music.  And I’m not alone – it’s shaped you too.  Be it popular music, jazz, hip-hop, rock, classical or salsa – your musical tastes, most often influenced at a young age have developed your spending patterns as it pertains to the music industry.  Face it – what’s been the largest influence on the musical tastes and preferences of this nation?  Radio.

Remember the first time you ever heard your favorite song?  Might have been on the radio.  Chances are that you went out and bought it.  Might have been a single, or a cassette tape – maybe a vinyl LP or a remastered cd. What influenced your decision the most? The radio did.

Now imagine if you can a song you’ve never heard before.

That’s eventually going to be the only music you might ever hear on free radio.  Which may actually be a good thing if programmed properly – but that’s beside the point.

Nope, you see what’s really destined to happen is that these oppressive regulations if dispensed unreasonably against radio operators too small to manage the added burden, then those smaller operators will simply shutter their doors, or simply give up on their own programming ideals and take on a feed as yet another affiliate to air the blather of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or Don Imus – just what we fucking need – more access to the masses from the purveyors of political propaganda.

The record industry has failed again and again to address the changing manner in which people consume music.  They’ve brought multi-million dollar lawsuits against teenage girls for downloading songs.  With the record companies hoping that the settlements might help them to kick in a few pennies so Brittney Spears could afford a god damned pair of panties.

They’ve promoted, consistently, rotten music through the time honored tradition of begging radio station programmers to play the crap in the hope it might convince a few more consumers to fork over fifteen bucks on a cd.  It’s such a shame to me that there are so few record companies looking to break new talent that’s not “safe”.  For every Lady Gaga that comes along – there’s hundreds of lousy pop performers like Kesha, whose gift to the music world have been hits that she “sings” called “Tik Tok” and “Blah Blah Blah”.  Genius really.

And you’d think that by now the absolutely insulting technique known as “talk-boxing” would have been past history – yet abominations featuring pop “artists” who really can’t sing otherwise keep getting churned out by the record companies.

So – since they’re unable to fix their own problems they’re rounding up the uninformed to squeeze a few dollars out of an industry that’s already hurting.

To this point, over 250 members of Congress have come out in opposition to the so-called “Performance Tax,” but the top member of the House of Representatives is for it.  Seems House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stated last week; “The rights of performers are not forgotten. You have an army of advocates by your side — from both parties — on Capitol Hill.” There still remains opposition in both the House and the Senate, and from the NAB as well as station owners, who fear the tax could drive them to cut jobs and potentially shift away from music format to avoid paying the proposed performance royalty.

There’s already thousands of talented radio folks out of work – what’s a few more so long as Kanye West is being paid handsomely for his art.

Frankly, I would think that Nancy Pelosi has a few more important things to be focusing her time on these days.  Let’s get off the bullshit too that the record companies are looking to rape the radio industry in order to more properly compensate those hard working performers – it’s to save their own floundering asses.

See what happens when you get me started – I immediately start annoying people.  I’ll be back again someday, until then – support your local radio station.

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