Friday, December 19, 2014

A Warning To Sony

This cannot be North Korea doing this.  It could be some kid in a basement, maybe.  BUT, the most likely – at least in my little mind, is that somebody who is beyond sick and tired of Corporate World’s bullshit (as I, and many other people are), hired a high level hacker to expose Sony.  Sony has its fingers in two major entertainment industries – Hollywood, and the Music Business.  That’s not to mention their electronics businesses – complete with sell, sell, sell, and planned obsolescence.  I’ve been noticing the past few years, in Hollywood, we have the same no talent actors and actresses doing the same old, tired B.S.  There are the “Funny men”, and “Funny women”, who are SO damn not funny that I can’t even see straight, and we've been force fed their unfunny crap for decades. We have mediocre talents, and no talents showing up over and over and over.  It’s the same Good Ol’ Boy bullshit in the music biz – the same old, no talent dimwits doing the same thing over and over and over.  It’s not only the “Artists” and bands, but the writers, the studio “Producers”, and the “Sessions Musicians” – the same old, no talent fuckups monopolizing the whole cheaply packaged mountain of crap.  It’s common knowledge that Billboard Magazine is the “Bible” of the music business, where record labels and mainstream radio are to do whatever Billboard dictates.  Well, I think it’s beyond that, it has become obvious (but without absolute proof) that all of it is owned and run by the same people.  No need for payola or favors, they all just do what needs to be done in order to grab and maintain total and absolute control.  All the "artists" are Yes Men and Yes Women, saying and doing whatever is scripted for them.  They go through their bullshit circus acts, with their phony onstage antics, clothes, instruments, and holy HELL phony back stories.  Remember the old days, when many of the artists were “Anti Establishment”?  Funny how none of these new Stepford mannequins will utter one word against the “Machine”, and when they do, it’s quickly shut down.  In the so called “Country Music” scene, it’s a bunch of no talents with fake accents, well…  fake everything.  There is one young female artist who actually does have some talent, but she is also one gigantic business plan – has been right from the start – from her pre-teen life.  Back in Hollywood, it's nothing more than ill talented actors (who are also nothing more than groomed and contrived business plans) and other related plants, whose jobs are nothing more than to decorate this horrid circus act so that the masses of gullible, underdeveloped minds will buy it.  Great actors are reduced to doing B rate movies, or disappearing altogether, while dimwits rule the TV and Big Screen.  Yes, Hollywood promotes the hell out of these worthless blockheaded works of non art, so they can fatten their foreign bank accounts and keep their jobs, but that doesn’t change the fact that not only are the movies themselves shamefully bad, but we’ve seen way too many talented actors and actresses being pushed aside to make room for mediocre talented pretty faces.  Just think about that for a minute.

So, my guess is that somebody finally found a way to fight back, to send warnings – to expose the flaming bullshit that is the entertainment business.
Funny thing about North Korea and the Kim family – American TV has been mocking, ridiculing, and insulting them for decades, that’s not to mention what Conservative Talk Radio has been doing – also for decades, so why this particular movie that pushed them over the edge?  Don’t think so.  AND, anybody who says this hack is uncool, life threatening, dangerous, and whatever else, what the hell do you call what Hollywood and the Music Biz has done to not only the buying public, but what it has, and continues to do to talented actors, actresses, bands, and true artists – for decades???  This is people's talent, their hard work, and LIVES that have been squashed by these narcissistic psychopaths.  It has controlled the ones who have slipped through the cracks, and they have squashed many who have real talent, appeal, who have worked their asses off.  All in the name of the Good Ol’ Boy network and their pathological need for power, control, and money.

If I’m right about this, then my hat’s off to whoever was able to pull this off.  If it was some kid in a basement in Detroit, well, not sure what to say about that, and, if it actually was North Korea, Kim Jong Un, well, I guess what’s good for the kettle is good for the pot.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Music - Nothing More Than A Corporate Business Plan

This is the latest from me, Fid
There's a whole bunch more at my website - link below.

It’s 1955, “Talent Scouts” are out looking for talent to sign to their record companies.  They look for talent, appeal, an appealing look.  They hear things, they go to where they know a certain band or artist is, when they locate them, they set up a meeting, if they think the artist or band will be a sellable item, meaning if they think people will like them enough to buy their music, they offer them a recording contract.

Fast forward to 1960 (or thereabout), Elvis and the Beatles are out there doing what they do.  The promotional teams for these artists, as well as a few others, decide to Hollywood these guys up a little – make them out to be actors as well as musical acts.  So, they pay young good looking girls to scream, cry, and act crazy – figuring that the rest of the girls will follow suit.  You see, it’s easy to predict the behavior of teenagers – one of the things they do so well is follow what everybody else is doing – feeling the need to belong to a crowd, to feel accepted, and to not feel like they’re missing something.  The screaming caught on.  Later artists and bands now had choreographers – showing them dance moves, teaching them facial expressions, and what to do with their guitars, or their drum sticks.  Yes, there were a few bands who told these sales types to go screw themselves, but many of them just did what they were told – with the promise that if you do what our knowledgeable team tells you, you’ll be even bigger sensations than you ever dreamed of.  They started to hire “Staff writers” writers who wrote for hire – writing cliché songs, with preconceived “hooks”, they hired studio session players – guys who played what they were told by the studio producers – doing so mostly with no heart or soul, it was “Play the lines”.  Around the late 60s, some of the artists and bands rebelled against this practice – especially the straight out rock and roll bands, as well as most of the folk acts.  The early 70s gave birth to Disco – which should have been aborted, but well, that was the record industry doing their beta test – to see just how gullible the record buying public could be, if they, the record companies – could pump out computer generated crap, dress the bands in polyester and sequins, put ridiculous hairdos on them, and see if it would sell.  Well, it did, beyond anybody’s wildest expectations.  There was still room for the rock bands on the airwaves, but by the early 80s, the corporate machine was seeing what it was capable of – which was putting out mindless, contrived white noise, putting barely dressed pretty girls on the stage to recite the lyrics, dance around provocatively (at least so to the little boys), and voila – another genre was born.  Yes, we could say that there were “sexy” girl singers before that, but it wasn’t till the early 80s when it really took hold.  I don’t know exactly when the whole “Boy Band” thing started, I’m guessing around the same time – early 80s – which was nothing more than more corporate bullshit.  The “Rock” scene was slowly but surely being iced out of their position in music – making way for more pretty young girls who couldn’t carry a tune if you gave them a dump truck, and more Boy Bands that made true music fans sick to their stomach.  This phenomenon carried over into the Country Music scene in the early 80s – with “The Urban Cowboy” movie.  This was the beginning of the destruction of Country Music.  “Pop Country” was taking over the airwaves, leaving room for less and less true country music.  The country artists and bands that had been around for a while – the ones doing true country music – were either being told to go Pop, or were losing their contracts.  I remember at least a few great country artists who started out doing traditional country sounding songs, went Pop, then quickly lost their footing with fans, and subsequently disappeared from sight, never to be heard from again.  By the late 80s, not only was there very little traditional country music still being played (if any at all), the Country Line Dancing craze was in full swing.  These were the leftover disco ducks – who were now middle aged, all of them divorced, hair permed, wearing gold chains and cologne, with their sickening, greasy demeanor even worse than it was when they were in the discos.  These greaseballs would monopolize all the good seating, as well as any female who would walk into the place.  The middle aged womenfolk were by now carrying around an extra fifty to a hundred pounds, guys not looking at ‘em anymore, angry, and demanding.  This horrid line dance crowd would order a bottle of water for a dollar, and wait, do you think that when they finished it, they would pay for another one, NOPE, they would go into the restroom and fill it back up – keep in mind, these were the people monopolizing the place, not to mention, demanding what the bands played.  About this time, though, DJs started to take over in the dance halls.  They would have monster sound systems, and they must’ve taken decades to learn how to press “Start” and “Stop”.  They were also usually the biggest greasebuckets in the place.  By the early 2000s, most of the Country dance halls and bars were gone.  From around 1990 till now, Country music has been contrived, phony, mindless, and performed by pretty faces dressed to the hilt - in country garb, fake southern accents, and ridiculous back stories.  More and more “Awards Shows”, and more and more country specials are all over TV, with the Music Biz bigwigs desperate to push their mindless noise to the youngsters – youngsters who know how to get music for free - which caused the music biz bigwigs to change their format..  From what I’ve observed, the whole music business is now set up pretty much the way television has always been – where the “music” is only the side show that will bring in the listeners to hear all the commercial bullshit in the form of ads.  They sell what’s known in today’s world as “Merch” – CDs, T Shirts, Jackets, cozies, and whatever other souvenir type objects that these gullible teenagers would pay money for.  They have their websites set up to sell, sell, sell, they have separate websites that are also set up to sell, sell, sell, the performers’ clothing, as well as their stage gear – all endorsement outfitted – with the somewhat more subtle, but sole objective of sell, sell, sell.  There is a certain gifted girl singer/songwriter who, right from the start, has been nothing more than one gigantic business plan.  Yes, she has talent, but her career has been carefully planned, paid for, and carried out – which to me, is a shame beyond anything I could have imagined when I was myself a 15 year old, waiting not so patiently for my favorite band’s next single or album to hit the music store – the difference then being that music was music, music was real – at least most of it was – and so were the artists and bands.  This whole corporate sham gets worse by the day, their sales/promotions teams, consisting mostly of trained psychologists and sales gurus, pushing their ever worsening white noise on the unsuspecting teenage customers, having long since squeezed out any real artists or bands, and alienating listeners who would actually pay for music if there was something out there for them to listen to.  I cannot begin to tell you how many 45+ year old people I’ve talked to at my shows, who have told me how sick and goddam tired they are of all this phony music.

Well, I don’t have a business plan, I don’t have the funds to pay my way into opening for major acts, or to invest in some part of the business in order to buy my way into being buddies with one or more of the music biz people.  I play music, I play ten instruments – and yes, I actually play them, as opposed to some I know who make the claim, but do nothing more than B.S. their way through a song or two, having to bury them in the mix so it will be harder to hear how inept they are.  And, don’t get me started on ukuleles and six stringed banjos.

As for me, I don’t know where I go from here.  My enthusiasm for playing music is all but completely gone – not by choice, but by being so damn fed up and disgusted with the corruption – not only in the music business, but in the world.  Short of hacking into all TV channels at the same time and beating everybody over the head with my music, I don’t see me ever getting past the place I’m at – meaning, I’m sure I will never get my shot at national exposure.

If you’re one of the folks who is disgusted by what I’ve talked about here, and you support the unsigned artist, that’s great, I shake your hand, and keep up the good fight.

Here’s my big sales pitch:  You can find me at:

I feel bad even doing that much.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sell, Sell, Sell, No Matter How Bad The Product

A friend of mine and I were discussing the horribly corrupt music business earlier, and among other things, including me thinking seriously about getting the hell out of this disgusting music business, he mentioned “Dumbing Down”.  "Dumbing down" is exactly right - people are being programmed, brainwashed, even bullied into listening to crap - mindless, talentless crap.  The songs wander mindlessly, there is no structure, no good melody, and mostly sung by pretty faces who wouldn't know an A from an F.  And yes, the music biz is so highly organized now - they have "staff writers" who mostly do "Work for hire", meaning that they get a flat fee for each song, while the record company gets all the royalties and other fees that should go to the artists and writers.  And yes again, it's quantity over quality - to the point of poisoning the product on purpose - for reasons of control, power, and of course, money.  It's very easy to attract listeners when they have psychologists on their sales teams who know exactly what to do and say in order to hook the youngsters - no matter how bad the product - present it to them in such a way, and they'll buy it.  It works much the same as cigarettes - hook 'em when they're young - tell 'em how cool it is to smoke - show celebrities doing it, show derelicts doing it, tell 'em that if they're not doing it, then something is wrong with them - that they are missing out on something wonderful and cool and hip - that they won't be part of the crowd if they don't buy their stupid product - and they'll fall for it, hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, and right arm.  There are also other ways that these horribly corrupt mega corporations make money - "Merch" being a big one - concert tickets being another.  Only a handful of major "Artists" and bands are doing the 10,000+ seater rooms, but with the tickets costing at the very least, $75, and up into the hundreds - they make a killing - not to mention the 500 seater circuit - where most of the other "Artists" and bands play.  There's online sales for this "Merch", and advertising similar to TV on sites such as Pandora and Spotify - with new ones popping up every day.  There are tons of new magazines - both paper and online versions - of music related crap - guitar magazines, ukulele magazines, bass magazines, drum magazines, celebrity magazines, "Secrets to Success" magazines, gossip magazines, and, endorsements - which brings billions in profits.  All these "Artists" and band members - everything they say is geared towards sales - all this scripted crap that comes out of their mouths is sell, sell, sell.  If you look at their Facebook and Twitter pages, it's "I'm SOOOO excited... please buy my CD, my touring jackets, my books, my concert tickets, my whatever else, and visit my website (where they have unlimited crap for sale)".

I got out of the business twice - both times in the 90s - once for six months, once for a year.  I got back in because people would say, "Just do the one night a week", or "Just do this one event", then it was right back in.  Those times it was conscious decisions to get out, but this time it's not that I'm deciding to to anything, it's that I can't bring myself (at least not at the moment) to play an instrument, to learn the songs that I just recorded, to sing, or to do anything relating to music.  As I said, it was drudgery to finish recording (in fact, I still have at least one more fiddle part to do, and I'm not sure I can even bring myself to do it), and the same to go out and do the video the other day.  (Blake Shelton is on Letterman right now in the other room and I have this urge to throw a 90mph fastball through the TV screen - can't stomach his fake southern accent, his ridiculous music, and all the phony bullshit that comes out of his mouth).

In the back of my mind, I have the thought that says I can't have come all this way - learning how to play all those instruments, learning how to sing; and how to be in front of an audience, how to connect with them, and whatever else - for nothing.  Then I see the reality that has been in front of me for no less than five years, and I have the mind to run for the hills.  Maybe this horrid feeling will pass, and I'll feel like playing again, but for now, the last thing I want to do is look at a guitar, or any other instrument for that matter.  As for encouragement, I've always been the one to give that to myself - it has always been the case where most people have done whatever possible to discourage me, take me down, stifle me, destroy my life, and then some - and as time goes on, it gets worse, not better.  It's never me that I doubt, but I do get damn tired of some of the vicious, despicable, and cowardly things that so many have blasted me with - always sneaking up on me from behind the bushes - and always with everything working in their favor.  It's much worse than the devil - these are live people who would stop at nothing to take me down, and if you think that doesn't get tiring after 35 years, think again.

Keep in mind, I wasn't born with this disgust - this is a result of decades of B.S., of being lied to, stolen from (tens of thousands of dollars worth - if not more), exploited, attacked from behind, and otherwise beat over the head with every brand of cowardly B.S. you can imagine - and a bunch that you couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams.

So, that's where I am as of now.  I take one day at a time, seeing how I feel when I drudgingly get out of bed in the morning.