Is Clear Channel, clearly, the music industry’s antichrist? (By Kenny Love)
(Now, see? This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about!)
Remember the tagline for “Jaws II” that went, “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water?” My mind immediately flashed back to that famous movie tagline upon immediately reviewing the second paragraph to a Clear Channel link Suzanne Glass placed in her latest Indie-Music.com newsletter.
At the onset, reviewing the article was perplexing, as I initially could not decide if it was the movie tagline that was getting to me (again), or a recurring Vietnam flashback… that is, until I implemented deductive reasoning and realized that I never served in Vietnam.
In any event, it appears that, these days, no part of the music industry is unscathed with and populated by vipers, leeches, and angst-ridden vampires. And, the presence of werewolves is imminent. As such, in the interest of the purveyance of crapola that we have become accustomed to, almost daily, let me say, “Here we go again…”
Clear Channel… tsk, tsk, tsk… the largest physical radio network on Earth, or Mars, or Jupiter, or Uranus… okay, strike Uranus, as that phrase alone tends to conjure up all sorts of graphic images, depictions and implications.
What more can be said about the intent of CC? As opposed to the hell that Microsoft endured a couple of years back, alternatively, I am of the opinion (ain’t I always?) that the ‘powers that be’ should have been (and should be) checking out these bad boys instead. For, its latest fiasco almost makes the RIAA look like the Vienna Boys’ Choir. Though Mark Mays, Clear Channel chief, allegedly, has stated that it is not going to bring about the death of mom and pop radio, it is now, pardon the pun, “clear” that its latest efforts can, potentially, bring about the death of a crucial part of the music business… the radio medium.
And, Clear Channel has begun its latest assault by notifying record labels that it has signed new pacts with three independent music promoters and granted them the exclusive right to pitch songs to Clear Channel program directors at its top black music, or urban radio stations.
Pardon me, but isn’t this like, “payola within payola?” Oops! Did I say that out loud? Sorry…that was a thought that suddenly became inexplicably oral in nature.
Now, I consider this latest patented CC move as what is often referred to as a “dry run”…a sort of test phase, if you will. And, all other recording artists of the Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Blues Country, and every other type that bases its success in large part on radio, should be asking if its victimization is also not far behind.
But, are you ready for this? Allegedly, those particular promoters, in turn, have dramatically raised the prices they charge record labels for new songs added to a station’s weekly play list.
I believe it bears repeating…
Pardon me, but isn’t this like, “payola within payola?”
And, not even the major labels are immune to the price hikes. Can you imagine how they must feel? Hmm… Majors, in similarity to the quote actor J. T. Walsh made in the movie, “Backdraft”…
“Do you hear that ongoing faint-but-increasing, almost desperate, signal just east and west of your inner ear? That’s the sound of your existence ceasing, and is gravely akin to what Indies once felt.”
Upon reviewing how Clear Channel was taking no prisoners on this one, even with the majors, at one point, I must have suffered a temporary bout of insanity, as I was almost tempted to shed a tear for the majors but, fortunately, was able to snap out of it before continuing over the edge.
Now, listen…if you are an indie who is serious about managing your music career as a result of the distrust that has already arisen at various points in the industry, this article is going to do nothing to make you feel better. In fact, it is going to probably piss you the hell off!
Oh, I’m sorry… I recall that my sensitivity instructor advised me that, in the interest of a-political correctness, to not utilize the “P” phrase. Therefore, let me re-phrase the statement by saying that the article is probably going to cause you to feel uronologically challenged. There, I feel better already.
I, indeed, wish that I could be supportive and proud of my Texas compadres. But, alas, I cannot, and have a sudden urge to see CC suffer the same fate as the Alamo residents. And, isn’t it ironic that Clear Channel is also based in San Antonio? Hmm… prophecy does, indeed, abound.
In my opinion, based on this latest move, CC should be placed in a bullpen with a 4,000-pound Texas-size Bremer for a bit of time. Five minutes ought to be just long enough for maximum effect. And, if for any reason, you are metropolitan to the point of being completely unfamiliar with what a 4,000-pound Bremer looks like, let me put it this way… you will unquestionably recognize it when you feel it. Aw shucks, since you pressed me, it sort of looks like this, only much larger.
And, as you can tell, this gentleman appears to eagerly await your arrival. With elevated hand, exhibiting a middle finger salute, while descending to bended knee with a bowed head, I patriotically chant, “For I have seen the future, and its name is Chaos!”
Editor’s Note: Kenny Love has an extensive background in both the Music and Writing industries. Learn about the new services that he is providing to unsigned and independent recording artists in response to today’s shaken and fractionalized Music industry by sending an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org