Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Me & Mr. Jackson

Ever since he passed on, Michael Jackson has been in the news daily. I heard today that they finally decided upon funeral arrangements. A few of you have wondered why I'm such a non-fan of Mr. Jackson and I promised I'd blog about it. RL keeps me busy as hell, and this is the first chance I've had. Most of you know I can't stand Disco. Google "Disco Demolition" sometime. I was happy to be among those who ended that scourge upon the airwaves. To this day, I can't stand anything with a repetitious beat that is mixed superior to the melody.

I won't go into Mr. Jackson's personal life....that's mostly a matter of public record & great speculation, suffice it to say he was a weirdo. No, what Michael Jackson represents, to me, is the turning point where music was no longer the focus of the "music industry". You all know the motto of Freakheim: "It's All About The Music". For many years, the primary focus of the music industry was discovering & developing musical talent, finding those whose musical innovation set the world's ear on fire. As commercialization rose, the focus began to veer toward marketing and away from music as its core.

Take "Thriller" for instance. The track itself is not innovative, in fact it's just Disco, a genre that had recently met its demise. Record companies loved Disco, and today's dance pop & Hip-Hop because real live musicians aren't needed. All you have to do is get the vocal takes. Everything else is pre-recorded, studio time is shortened, and the same backing tracks can be used to fill several different albums. All without paying any musicians to play any actual instruments....but I digress.

Music videos had existed since sound was synced to film. For the most part, they were footage of the band or artist playing live. In the '60s the "concept video" began to appear...footage possibly inspired by the music, but of something other than a performance. Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" comes to mind. "Thriller" changed the music video paradigm. Here was essentially a mini-movie with expensive production showcasing some serious choreography. The cinematography was also cutting-edge. But wait!! What about the MUSIC? Oh yeah, some Disco track, nothing special.

And the album flew off the shelves....and was heard on the airwaves...and the video was repeated every 15 minutes. This was the beginning of the end, folks! The music industry realized that the music no longer had to make a statement as long as the MARKETING did! All of a sudden the labels were spending millions to make expensive videos with pretty, but not necessarily musically adept performers. The music industry became the (music) Marketing Industry. Their lust for the almighty dollar led them away from the music to the point where they began to believe their own bullshit. In what twisted alternate reality is it a good idea to insult and then sue your customers?

To sum it up, Michael Jackson...and "Thriller"...represent the point in time where the focus on music was sacrificed for the focus on marketing. Just because something sells millions of copies doesn't mean it's any good...just well-marketed. My focus will always be on the music. Most of what I play may be obscure, but it's damn good music!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

DJ Battle Contests 8 August

We're having another DJ Battle at Freakheim, and you know what that means! Yep, the best music in SL, and hourly contests with giant prizes!! Here's the list so you can be prepared:

1-2PM Humanoid Invasion
Vampires, werewolves, zombies, cyborgs, elves, faeries, drows & more! Anything human-based but not quite human…or not human at all! Basically most of us for the first few hours we’re awake LOL……caffeinated blood available!

2-3PM Animals Attack!
Furries, Nekos, insects, whatever, let’s bring out the Animal in you Freaks….guaranteed to be plenty of tail(s) at Freakheim for this contest!! I suppose I’ll have to put out a bowl of treats or something…….

3-4PM Head Games
Time to be really creative and let the Freakiness inside your head come out & play! Hats, of course, the Freakier the better, and anything else that you can get to sit upon your head! Freakiest headwear!! All you builders should have fun with this one!

4-5PM Mondo Bizzario
We had a little preview last night…..I want to see just how Freaky you all are….time to come as you aren’t and show off your Freakiest avies….bugs, monsters, appliances, whatever. Please keep avie sizes normal, though, we have to have room for everyone!

After the Battle, we'll have LIVE Texas Blues from Kelvinblue Oh from 5-6 followed by the Saturday Shred from 6-8. I'll be spinning Classic Rock tonight, you don't want to miss a note!