Musical Musings, By Dennis

For today’s blog post I thought I’d present a few musings about music and the business.

I’m going to start with something fun!. On Sunday, in Montreal, I went to see Rush, one of my all time favourite bands. It was an amazing show. It’s billed as their farewell tour “of this magnitude” and it was an incredible musical walk through history. For the tour they planned their set in reverse chronology, from their most recent music all the way to their first recordings.

Not only was the music presented this way, but so too was their stage set up and all the set pieces. So we started the concert with a super cool, modern rock show set (and Rush loves to go nuts with their sets), all the fancy lights and slowly as the show progressed, the set changed and got scaled down. The light show got scaled back little by little. And finally they had the basic set up as a high school band, with their amps propped up on wood and metal school chairs.

It was really something. I’ve been a fan for about 30 of the 40 plus years they’ve been around, and I was blown away by the show.

Now for something decidedly more serious. I know you’re confused. Usually Mike is the one to rant about the music industry, but I have some thoughts about music streaming services and fees. There’s been a lot of talk, controversy and confusion about streaming, how and how much artists get paid for their music on these services. It’s a topic that bears discussion. Basically, it boils down to yet another means of screwing artists!

But for me, frankly, I think when it comes to money in the music industry the whole sector is in very desperate need of openness and transparency. Record deals are notoriously awful and favour the labels, venues screw artists over so often I don’t think any of us bat an eye at it anymore. On every level artists get screwed when it comes to getting paid. So instead of focusing on the new kid on the block, the streaming services, I think we really need to have a larger discussion and start advocating a move to a much more transparent payment regime for artists.

It's the only way musicians will finally get a fair shake.