if you're in the music business (and for your sake i hope you're not...) you probably know about bob lefsetz.
bob lefsetz is a music business veteran who has a blog, the lefsetz letter, that is read fairly avidly by people in the music business. he manages to piss people off every now and then (he's famously had feuds with kid rock and gene simmons), but in general i find his lefsetz report to be both entertaining, informative, and germane.
unlike many people in the music business he actually seems to have a good understanding of what's wrong with the music business (adherence to old and anachronistic models) as well as what could be done to help it (make better records, sign real artists, stop punishing people for downloading, let people actually hear music).
i sent him a letter recently (because i spend way too much time on line) and he liked the letter so he sent it out to his readers. in case you're curious, here's the letter.
p.s bob lefsetz is a fellow connecticutian (how else do we describe someone from connecticut? a connecticutter?), thus the reference to my ct peregrinations when growing up.
yup, it’s me from danbury/darien/stratford/storrs/stamford connecticut (my mom and i got around a bit).
the new record, 'wait for me', is melodic and fairly mournful. lots of strings and very open and spacious. see, i had a quasi-epiphany last year when i heard david lynch talking about creativity (and forgive me if this sounds new age or hokey). he talked about how creativity in and of itself is great, and i realized that he was right. and i realized that, ideally, the market should accomodate art, but that art shouldn’t accomodate the market.
i know, it sounds idealistic. i had been trying to make myself happy and make radio happy and make the label happy and make press happy and etc. and it made me miserable. and i also don’t really aspire to selling too many records.
see, my friends who are writers sell 20,000 books and they’re happy. my friends who are theater directors sell 5,000 tickets during a run and they’re happy. i like the idea of humble and reasonable metrics for determining the success of a record. and i like the idea of respecting the sacred bond that exists between musician and listener. again, i know this sounds hokey, but it’s where i am at present.
i also really like records. i know that 90% of the people who listen to my music download individual tracks, which is fine, but i want to make cohesive albums in the hope that someone might listen to them from start to finish. for even one person to make the effort to listen to music that i’ve made is pretty remarkable, and i need to be humble and respectful in the face of that.
some people can be larger than life rockstars, and i love them, but i’m just a bald jerk who makes music in his bedroom and hopes that someone might listen to it.
oh, i also mixed/produced the album (it’s called ‘wait for me’) in a very old-timey way, with extreme stereo panning and analog reverbs, etc. it sounds AMAZING in headphones, if i do say so myself. ok, long winded email, sorry.