As I turn my sights away from the Rock and Roll Report site re-design (the heavy lifting has been done, the rest is merely fine tuning, right Graham?) and towards the upcoming Rock and Roll Report podcast I thought it appropriate to let you know a little bit about my vision for it and why I hope you will get involved.
There is currently a huge outcry amongst webcasters in the United States due to the recent Copyright Royalty Board ruling that essentially puts such an onerous burden on webcasters that it will in effect drive them out of business (see SaveNetRadio.Org for all the grim details). What most webcasters found infuriating in the extreme is that, far from promoting and encouraging Internet radio as the great promotional tool that it is because it is put together for the most part by passionate fans of the music that they are webcasting, organizations like the RIAA and Soundexchange are doing their best to snuff out this growing industry because it presents such a danger to the established ways that the majors have done business since the dawn of the vinyl record.
I am not one to slam the major record labels for the sake of fun (OK maybe a little bit) and I in fact listen and support a number of bands on these labels, everybody from The Tragically Hip, U2, Jet and Oasis to brand new Island Def Jam signing The 88. But it becomes clearer to me with every passing day as I am flooded with an amazing amount of CDs and MP3s that the major labels are no longer interested in digging up new, exciting talent and instead are more than content to cater to the lowest common musical denominator to give them the biggest bang for their corporate buck. I understand this but don’t use your mis-guided dinosaur business tactics and political pull to kill something that actually does something that you do not: nurtures new talent with a motive that looks beyond the bottom line and instead understands that, while music can be a business and money is a necessity to do what we do, we understand that music has always been about more than money. Music is a creative endeavor, one that is performed by artists not because they want to make tons of money (although there are plenty of musicians who have sacrificed artistic integrity for a pure profit motive but that is another story) but because they have a need to create. The difference is that now the artist has it within their grasp to make a living through a number of different avenues other than giving up all of their rights to their creations in order to suck on the corporate teat.
Podcasting is just one such avenue. I think I have demonstrated with Rock and Roll Report Radio that my mission is simply to play and promote rock and roll that I consider to be criminally under-played from artists toiling away on innumerable indie and DIY record labels which are in business because they are passionate about music. Go figure! The Rock and Roll Report podcast is just one outlet that they can use to promote their rock and roll vision to fans eager to be a part of the dream, and far from stealing their music, those fans will support these bands with their hard earned money because they want to, not because they are told to. That is why artists are creating “podsafe” music because they know that real music fans, if they like it will support them and not rip them off. Their podsafe songs are an investment in the best sense of the term. They give out in the spirit of sharing and are rewarded with a more direct relationship with their fans, a relationship not dictated or hindered by corporate politics and machinations.
The Rock and Roll Report podcast will build on Rock and Roll Report Radio but will be much more interactive and adventurous. Produced once a week, the approximately 20 minute show will feature anything from a specific label or band focus, theme shows, interviews, live events and just random rock and roll with insightful observations on life (ok that last comment is a bit of a stretch!). Show notes will be posted to The Rock and Roll Report with information on the artists played and where possible, direct links to purchase their CDs. A companion video podcast is in the discussion stage and hopefully we will be doing some live showcases which will be fodder for even more “special event” podcasts.
At the end of the day, The Rock and Roll Report is about treating those musicians we cover with the respect we feel that they deserve. We are passionate about our rock and roll and we want music fans to have a listen to what we think will float their rock and roll boat. We are giving artists and labels the opportunity to get the good word out and we hope that you will want to get involved because after all we are not the ones making the music, we are just the ones shouting about it from every rooftop that we can find. If this sounds like your cup of rock and roll tea contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get the ball rolling. Together we can prove to those who don’t know any better that rock and roll is alive and well and eager to jam up your iPod with sticky musical fun. Loud rock and roll with attitude, it’s what makes life worth living!