Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Crying About the Dying Cassette"

Ian Rogers, the head of Topspin (the company responsible for the incredibly well-considered release of David Byrne and Brian Eno's new album), posted his recent keynote speech to music industry bigwigs at the GRAMMY Northwest Musictech Summit 2008.

His words are direct, insightful, and paint a picture that should stir hope in independent artists and fear in the inflexible corporations myopic enough to cling to previous (outmoded) models of success in music. He makes the clear point: music is and always has been about the relationship between the artist and the listener, the fan. The only thing failing in the industry is the paradigm of exploitation. As Rogers says, "The 'two hit songs for $17 at Best Buy' business is over."

It's certainly no mystery that David Byrne would work with a company headed by Rogers, given that Rogers' speech directly mirrors Byrne's own (equally direct and insightful) thoughts and observations in his piece for Wired magazine (which I posted about earlier this year).

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