It’s hard to tell whether to spend time covering supposed industry insider Bob Lefsetz’s ramblings, especially when he manages to crank out a thousand words about hearing Widespread Panic on satellite radio without much trouble. Still, when Bob has a bad day (some hack of a cop in Colorado had the nerve to give him a speeding ticket), watch out, music biz!
You know something must be up when Lefsetz is going after Edgar Bronfman, previously one of his sacred cows. They must have raised prices as his local Ralph’s, because this is a rampage, and right from the top, he’s going after one of the good guys in the business. Oh, the humanity!
1. Doug Morris
Despite the aegis of caring about music and consumers he’s an ignorant old man who is single-handedly holding back the monetization of recorded music online.
No one who sues his own customers can give a shit about them. That’s like killing slaves for their own good.
And, believe me, RIAA policy is Universal Music policy. Based on the company’s market share, if nothing else.
This is an old man whose success is based on a radio/retail model, get the song on the radio and see if the album is moving at the store, when radio is terrible and ineffectual, kids not listening to it, and it’s difficult to even find a record store.
This is the guy leading the charge?
And you wonder why we’re in trouble.
2. Zach Horowitz
Morris’ consigliere. If we want change, we’ve got to kill them both….
7. Jann Wenner
For destroying the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Utilizing it as his own personal enterprise, Wenner lords over the organization like a despot. Only his taste counts. So we end up with non-rockers (Miles Davis) in, and classic rockers (Alice Cooper) out.
Put Madonna in the Business Hall of Fame. But once you induct her into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the institution loses all meaning….
For not putting all the tickets in the building on sale. Let’s blame the promoters here too. Give us a fighting chance. If you’re going to overcharge us for a ticket, at least give us an opportunity to get a good one.
13. Antares Audio Technologies
For foisting auto-tune upon the marketplace.
Used to be you needed talent to make it. You used to be able to sing. But now Harvey Fierstein can sound like Mariah Carey and anybody can have a hit record.
You had me until you went after Autotune, Lefsetz. Do you want to go back to the days when we had to hear what these people actually sound like?
Still, even if you didn’t make Lefsetz’s enemies list, he’s still probably not all that happy with you.
Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Doesn’t even count. He destroyed Warner Music, all in the name of profits for the original investors, who took the company private and then public again, screwing stockholders (the same way they screw consumers!)
The company’s been marginalized, but there’s still a fantastic catalog.
Stunningly, Warner has the most innovative digital initiatives, but that’s like saying your Powder Puff football team has the best quarterback… She’s still not in the league of Peyton Manning…
He’s been marginalized. He’s no longer the whipping boy. He lost his gig because his paradigm is passe. Spending a ton of money to break a vapid act in the mainstream is a denial of the reality that the mainstream is shrinking and bland has been replaced by edgy. The future is an amalgamation of niche, not the single-headed phoenix.
Indie Record Store
They’re making their money from tchotchkes. The majors constantly fuck them in the ass because they don’t generate enough capital. If they were selling enough product, they’d get the exclusives Best Buy does, but they don’t. Now that you can get all the catalog online, they’re almost irrelevant.
I assume the last bit about record stores was inspired by Amoeba passing on a stack of his promo discs last week, but still, maybe Lefsetz has a point. Perhaps this whole time, there was a keen observer of trends watching as the business destroyed itself trying to preserve its own viability. Maybe all the skiing related posts were a subterfuge for the real genius of Lefsetz waiting to arise.
Actually, it might have been to make up for 863 words about people’s dogs the post before. Nevermind, then.
Enemies List [Lefsetz Letter]