Jul 19, 2009

"THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'"

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I just tracked a Hannukah song with Jim from the Rondo Brothers at their Potrero Hill studio a few blocks down from the coffee shop where I am checking in. San Francisco is summery as August approaches. Last night K.Flay and I did an interview on Live 105 to promote our upcoming EP and then I went to Ocean Beach later that night with some friends. We had a bonfire in a non-designated place and the cops came and made us leave. We then went to a bar called Zeitgeist where I ran into my college friend Josh who saw I was there because I posted on Twitter. He's starting a company to help promote bands and living in the Mission. It seems like everyone who's surviving in the music industry nowadays is doing so with independent funding through their own companies and channels.



I saw that Terry McBride of Nettwerk fame is starting a new company called "Polyphonic" to help fund artists' independent releases. Props to them, that is very much the future of music. Labels now function as banks that are, hopefully, invested in artists' careers as brands. The labels' primary goal is to help to further the bands as touring entities that license songs to commercials and movies. So when that relationship becomes more direct financially, as with Polyphonic, then it optimizes this new economic model. It's the artists' responsibility to the investor to recoup that money, and then both are free to do their own thing, and money is not wasted, like it was in the 1980s. I like it.



I had a good run with Nettwerk. Tom Gates, who managed other bands like Brand New, the Format, Men, Women & Children, and Anathallo, got wind of my act when I was playing underground punk clubs in England in 2003 after my term there studying Shakespeare. Our partnership was totally random and probably wouldn't have happened nowadays. I had 0 Myspace followers, since Myspace didn't exist. I had 0 Twitter followers because "status updates" to thousands of people through cell phones were unheard of. I was just a kid with a laptop and website and a love for punk and hip-hop. I had a dream.

He had read some press on my first UK tour with my Dad tour managing in 2003, we met when he was in San Francisco with Brand New while I was a Junior at Stanford, and he started working with me after seeing me play a coffee shop on campus. He convinced a lot of people in the industry to invest time and money into my career, and it paid off for everyone. We never sold a million records, but he and Nettwerk really helped to establish the "MC Lars brand" internationally through radio and video connections they'd established with artists like Avril Lavigne and Coldplay. When a 15-year-old girl in Houston was sued by the RIAA for downloading Avril Lavigne mp3s, she contacted me because she had heard "Download This Song". I told Tom, who told Terry, and Nettwerk invested a ridiculously huge sum to help her defend her case in court. Those were some of the benefits of being with a big company like Nettwerk - the good things they could do with their power.

When the industry started imploding in on itself in 2007, Tom bailed for a life of international travel and teaching, something he essentially did with developing young acts, but without the industry politics. I'll be honest, it hurt to have a partnership I had so much faith in crumble, but it was eventually liberating for everyone. I got a new lawyer. I got an new accountant. I went through a few different agents before finding the right one. Oglio came along with the gift of Crappy Records, an ironically titled label I was brought on board for through my Bowling for Soup and Hollywood connections. All things considered, they did a kick-ass job with pushing "This Gigantic Robot Kills" here in America. Yes, mad kids have downloaded the record for free, which wasn't necessarily surprising due to my statements in the press over the years. Nowadays this is something I officially discourage because Oglio is a small label and their existence is contingent upon their projects recouping if they want to survive. "Download This Song" was a call for the destruction of the major label system. These guys are more than just a bank, they are friends who have a brand that I'm pushing to give exposure to too. It's a new-era music partnership.

We're going to put the K.Flay EP out like we did the Digital Gangster LP - via donations from our website and then press physical copies. She, YTCracker and I are going out on tour in the US from mid-August to mid-September. My new manager, Mark Saffian (whose company Content House is an up-and-coming entertainment giant), has been opening lots of doors for me in other aspects of the entertainment world. I enjoy working with him because he's so energetic and focused and always on top of his game. He set up this showcase for us at Comic-Con next weekend, which anyone in the Southern California area should attend. YTCracker and MC Frontalot will be there, along with some other music and web-comics friends. I'll be at the convention signing CDs at one of the booths too.

So that's it from my front. I've been doing a lot of business thinking as you can see, because this helps me organize my creative world. Nowadays, independent artists really need to be on top of both hemispheres of the "grind" to make things happen. I've heen reading a book about script writing that is giving me good ideas for formalizing our hip-hop musical we're putting together. I've been writing for my next solo record. I've been talking to Dual Core and Jesse Dangerously about getting going on these EPs we've been talking about doing (Jesse's for a long time, Dual Core we thought up at Nerdapalooza). I've been traveling and swimming and plotting my next moves on this nice time off of the road.

Play on players, stay up!!

MC Lars
Atlas Cafe, San Francisco, 7-19-09

2 comments:

qishaya said...

abercrombie.us.com beautyWhere are some good spaces to find an Abercrombie Jeans Cologne magazine? One places is magazines. Many wellbeing and beauty magazines propose cologne and odor artifact reviews.Abercrombie Outerwear Some of them even have sample strips that you can open and actually get to smell the fragrance that they are reviewing for the invention line. Abercrombie Hoodies Another great place to find artifact reviews are Abercrombie Pant . EZines are online magazines and often sent to people in the transmit.Abercrombie Polo You can subscribe to artifact study eZines and You will find more information about the Wholesale actual belief jeans, Abercrombie Shirt many people are weird for export the jeans in fresh living.even cologne or scent eZines. Abercrombie fitch Men Many times you can demand from the editor of the eZine to do an exclusive type Shoes are very important to everyone, Our Abercrombie Tees will guard your feet. Abercrombie fitch Women of check for you.Abercrombie bag If you want to grip this effect line, you can ask them specifically to do an Abercrombie and Fitch Cologne review for you and the other readers. Abercrombie Slippers Most editors are forever looking for theme ideas and more than agreeble to help you out. Abercrombie Cap In their food. dealer, abercrombie and fitch (A&F), named the belt in a grievance. Abercrombie Scarves Employment law attorneys representing, Riam Dean, Abercrombie Shorts , cite disability discrimination in the ensemble and are claiming Dean is probable to persist for the next three living.Abercrombie and fitch, a New Albany, Ohio A&F trader, with over 300 food nationwide,Abercrombie And Fitch Jackets, is not unfamiliar with facing discrimination lawsuits. The clothing stored restrict has faced allegations in the gone for the Abercrombie Sweater giant.

Learn Chinese language on hanbridgemandarin said...

I'm learning mandarin because I believe it's the only way to really learn about China.When I was searching for a place to learning to speak Chinese, I called several schools. Hanbridge was the best because they had excellent teachers and a very friendly and welcoming spirit . I really appreciate the opportunity to learn here and would recommend Hanbridge to others.

Post a Comment