A very good friend in the recording business sent me this great article. A must read to all parents trying to get a grasp on where music is headed these days. Think it’s time to start promoting Adele on our Miss O site. Hoping to do an Adele ticket contest soon!
This blog came from the Leftsetz Letter, written by Bob Lefsetz.
We own this. I just got off the phone with Jim Guerinot, he saw Adele last night in San Diego, he needed to share. Remember when we were a tribe, when we all went to Woodstock to hear the elixir of music and bond with one another? That era is back. You see this is not about hype. We can look back to “19” and see the marketing. But there’s been almost none in the case of “21”. The single was released and the juggernaut began. We spread the word, the mainstream press reports sales figures, but it just can’t capture the soul. And that’s what Adele is selling. Humanity. Fractured by love, triumphant and soldiering on in the end.
Jim said Adele said she spoke with her ex on the phone that afternoon, and now when she was singing the songs it was different. Is it different for those dancing to hard drive? Real music breathes, it’s not calcified, in amber, dead. For far too long it’s been about the hype. Getting the word out. That’s what makes me wince with the Jeff Bridges hype. The label and the media are complicit, but the audience is nowhere to be found.
We don’t see any Jeff Bridges fans testifying, there are no YouTube clips that close you with one listen. It’s all top down, we’re supposed to buy because they told us to, we’re supposed to be caught up in the fake mania, like for those endless high concept movies every weekend which don’t even last as long as a hangnail. You can see the training. But Adele’s not showing off. She went to school, she got it right, fame might have been a goal but it was not put in front of the cart. Fame comes after for real musical stars, unlike on reality TV.
And the Mariah/Christina paradigm has been all about look at me, see how great I am! You can’t do this! It’s like watching a body-building contest, you can see perfection but you want nothing to do with it, it’s creepy. My inbox has been filling up all week. With people who were at the shows. You won’t see these letters in the newspaper, they don’t have room. And who comments on blogs anyway, who’s got the time. This is positively primal. It’s person to person. It’s not written down so much as passed mouth to ear, keeping the tradition alive. It’s been so long. It’s been all about the money. The show. The flash. And then we’ve got the pricks pooh-poohing, telling us we just don’t get it, we’re too old, the little kids understand.
But when the show was done last night, Guerinot’s ten year old told him: “She makes it look like Gaga is trying too hard.” Everybody’s trying too hard. Tweeting, Facebooking, marketing.
As if you can learn how to have a musical career in a book, like it’s a sales job as opposed to something involving a unique talent. And then we’ve got the naysayers, saying they deserve the acclaim. But they can’t sing and their songs don’t have hooks and you get ‘em on stage and they’re shoegazers, they’re frozen. Sure, some of the best artists were shoegazers, but their music was so powerful, it spoke for itself. The Allman Brothers didn’t talk much, but when Duane started to wail… We’re at a turning point. Television is driving towards a cliff. Movies have already driven over the cliff. Music is coming back. And it’s gonna look just like it did in the golden era. The songs will be enough.
All this social media hasn’t made it any easier to write a hit tune, and it hasn’t made it any easier to sing one either. Katy Perry is one step away from Kim Kardashian. It’s about money. And we can respect that, but don’t ask us to believe in it. Kim Kardashian will break up and move on while we’re still stuck here with imperfection, holding on. She’s playing at being fabulous, but when we get it right, we’re truly cruising, we don’t need plastic surgery and makeup to convince others, a wink is enough, because we’re just that powerful. So there’s a gap between entertainers and the public.
They’re like dolls in Barbie’s house, occasionally fun to play with, but you get tired quick and outgrow them soon. Adele’s success is attributable to word of mouth, based on a spectacular product. If you don’t think so, you’re sour grapes. And one is irrelevant without the other. Apple products would sell with mediocre marketing but no one wanted a TouchPad no matter how many bells and whistles HP broke out, hell, they even lowered the price. But we’ll overpay for that which is real. That’s what the scalpers depend upon. But can you leave money on the table, knowing it’s about the bond between you and fan and the rest is irrelevant. In the sixties the oldsters didn’t get it. Now those youngsters are in control of the world, screwing up not only the government but the media, believing we’re dumb, that we can have the wool pulled over our eyes. But we’re smart. We cannot be controlled. We’re a force of nature. We’re not rip-off artists stealing willy-nilly, we’re knowledgeable consumers who only want to pay for what is great. We’ve determined Adele is great. The mainstream media just can’t figure out why. She doesn’t have a famous boyfriend, she’s not skinny enough, she’s not leveraging her “brand”. She’s doing it WRONG! But she’s doing it oh-so-right. This is a turning point. Pay attention. Revel in it.
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