The Music Biz: Where Waving Around Your Private Parts Is Not Grounds for Getting You Fired

The music industry is such a weird place. Why is it that it’s perfectly legitimate to use your naughty bits to sell records? For most people posing in compromising positions is a way to get yourself fired, not a raise. This totally came to mind when I was reading this New York Times article today.

To quote the Times, “college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.” The article goes on to say how people’s edgy online personas can get in the way of them getting hired for a job.

Then I also read this great post Brandon wrote pondering the merits of releasing nude photos of himself in order to sell albums. For anyone who think that all these “hacks” and “invasions of privacy” are all random acts of embarrassment, well…maye you’re right–but maybe you’re wrong.

I feel like I can’t even turn on my computer anymore without getting an email or reading a blog post about another eyeliner-wearing Warped Tourer self-releasing a photos where he’s flatteringly caught with his trousers down in front of a camera. I know “sex sells” but really, do we have to go down this road?

When will the insanity stop? Seriously, let’s hope this trend is a show-er, not a grower.

Pete Doherty Finally Dropped from Rough Trade?

Wow, someone at Rough Trade finally had it up to here with Pete Doherty and now his band, Babyshambles, has been officially droped from the RT roster. Apparently Rough Trade can handle a lot of things, but squirting a MTV camera crew with blood from a syringe is not one of them.

In related news, Pete’s old flame Kate Moss is doing swimingly as the “sexy and stunning” spokesmodel for the Nikon S6.

Let that be a lesson to all of you: Snorting crack = good for modeling career, squirting blood = bad for music career.

Glad we got that squared away once and for all.

SOURCE: And Now There Is This Distance

UPDATE: Er…Babyshambles hasn’t been “dropped” by Rough Trade…they just haven’t had time to renegotiate a contract. Oooookkaaayy…

Pete Tong’s Advice for Apple, DJs, and the Music Industry

Check out this awesome interview with internationally known dance music DJ Pete Tong from Wired. He has some really interesting things to say about how technology is affecting the art of djing, how aspiring spinners can start gaining a following, and what Apple needs to do in order to keep folks like him feeling good about the company…among other things. Here are some highlights:

Be as entrepreneurial as you can; no one will do everything for you. There’s no better way I know to build a reputation as a DJ than to do your own thing, do something different, start your own night, get your own crowd. If you are getting 50 people to a bar on a Tuesday, people will check you out. Once you have a crowd, you have a scene, it’s human nature. Taste is the most important thing.”

“Things have changed so much. Bands can build an audience all by themselves. Market research has gone out the window, labels just follow the heat, really. They maximize artists who are already doing well. I think it’s really honest, actually. Almost everyone who arrives at a label’s door already has a story.”

“In terms of radio, podcasting‘s the most exciting development ever. For anyone with a niche or specialist reputation it’s manna from heaven… Podcasting is the next stage: You can grab it, download it to your iPod and subscribe to it. I just want to be in there to see where it takes us.”

Red, White, and Blue about America

The White Stripes @ Roseland Ballroom, Nov 2003

This made our month.

In their first proper interview of 2004, The White Stripes talk to the Observer about their formerly friendly Detroit comrads, why they dislike America, and why they just might move away from their hometown.

The highlights from the interview by Andrew Perry:

Jack on Jim Diamond: “Some people, you realise that they’re looking at it differently than you’re looking at it. Fame and money, that is. That can only fall on their own heads in the end, not us. Because we love everybody, and if you’re not out to hurt anybody, then you won’t get hurt in the end.”

Jack on Jason Stollsteimer: “He pulled a contact lens out of his eye that he’d left in for a year, and he’s trying to blame me for it. Such a manipulator! I really feel sorry for the people in that band. You don’t know what it’s like being on tour with a band, and they’re all complaining and crying. That guy is a provoker, a really bad person, but the way I see it, the more I talk about it, the more he gets what he wants.”

Andrew Perry RE: talking to Jack about Renée: Their publicist warned me that Jack would almost certainly terminate the interview at any mention of his relationship with Hollywood actress Renée Zellweger, which is ongoing and steady, by all accounts bar tabloid ones.

Jack on the American music landscape: “What do we have? Ashlee Simpson instead of Patti Page! I mean, look at those people – like Paris Hilton! Who are all these skanks, man? Little girls are looking up to these girls, and it’s so gross. Those girls have no dignity at all, and parents are letting their kids dress up like those skanks. But what else have they got? What are the other choices? Oh well, ha ha ha [laughing angrily at the folly]! Somebody had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to play guitar on Lindsay Lyons’s [sic] album! Ha ha ha! She’s another one of those 16-year-old actresses, and she’s making an album! Like, ‘NO!’ Ha ha ha!”

Meg on American politics: “It’s a rough time. I haven’t seen people be so obsessed and upset in my lifetime – you know, about everything. My dad always told me, they should always have a third choice on the ballot, like ‘none of the above’, then if enough people picked that, they’d have to get new candidates.”

Jack on Detroit: “I don’t yearn for this town any more. It’s so decrepit, and the government’s so corrupt, and it’s getting in my way more than helping me. It’s hard to be comfortable any more. What I used to love about it was, we could play drums on the front lawn and the cops wouldn’t even show up, but now I don’t care any more about that. I don’t wanna play on the front lawn any more.”

Jack on whether or not he’d move away from The D: “I might, actually. There are plenty of places prettier than this place, maybe down south. That’s the real America, I think. That’s the last bastion of culture in the country, where people really have American culture. There’s parts of Appalachia that still maintain those mountain songs, those feelings that convey Americana. I don’t think you can get that in any major city ever again. It’s gone forever. I read old books about Detroit from the Twenties and Thirties, and it was such a beautiful city, but it’s been destroyed. You think how wonderful it could’ve been if it had just stayed that way.”

Jack on quitting smoking: “My voice was getting really really bad. I was losing all the high end. I’d heard some old tapes of us play, and I was really disappointed in the way I couldn’t hit these notes anymore. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t wanna stop.”

Jack on working with Beck: “I was just working with Beck a couple of months back. It’s this song where I played bass and he played Fender Rhodes on it. We just started working on it. He had the Dust Brothers producing on it, and the studio wasn’t really for me – it was just like, a computer. They know what they’re doing, they’re really good at what they do. Beck sent me the song not too long ago, and he’s done some really cool things with it after I left. “

Read the complete transcript.

Pre-order a copy of the soon-to-be-released White Stripes “Under Blackpool Lights” DVD on the official site (it comes with a “free” tshirt) or for half the price on Amazon.

Music Links for Today

Moldys Moldys and more Moldys.

Dude… is A&R really this evil or is this guy just out to get everyone?

Oh look at the totally cool new Wagamama tees! I want one! They are red with a black design (ramen bowl)! Oh bless!

The New York Times goes hipster… there’s so much name dropping in this article, I think I got hit with something. The Stripes, The Strokes, BRMC, even The Vue and The Moldys. The article is pretty boring, and not very insightful… but read it just because they got the word “Ohmigod” into the Times… is that in the dictionary???

The White Stripes Sign to V2 Records

Holy mother of… The White Stripes just signed a 2 album deal with V2 Records here in the US. After reading that article, you sort of feel like it’s The Strokes RCA deal… part 2. Crazy. It seems they’re going to have a lot of control over their work…My favorite part? “The arrangement with Third Man gives Jack, in essence, an A&R and production role with V2, with opportunities for other Detroit acts he has been producing.”

All the best to ’em!