10 Reasons To Buy Music from Independent Artists

supportThis post was written by Daniel Kobialka on Articlesbase.

10 specific reasons why you should support Independent Musicians

Musicians develop their own labels for many different reasons. My reason is partly because of a challenge I took on at a young age, to take what I was told was an unmarketable instrument, the violin, and create music that expressed emotions, touched hearts, and ultimately, sold. Whatever the reason for creating their own labels, musicians sometimes forget the advantages they hold and focus instead on the multitude of challenges.

As a gentle reminder to artists as well as their potential customers, I’m sharing my personal favorite reasons why I enjoy having my own label, and why music lovers should consciously choose to buy music from independent labels.

1. Independent musicians can freely express their passion and unique talent. They can express their own personal stories, follow their own instincts, and not have to follow orders from major label executives as to what they must create. From the customer’s perspective, by exploring radio stations and other sources of independent music, they too are now free to make their own decisions as to what is hot and what is not.

2. Many of the common music distributors only offer music from major labels, and rarely do they give anything for free, no matter how many albums you download or cds you buy. An independent artist is free to be unique and generous in his sales methods. For the consumer, this can mean getting bulk discounts, coupon offers and appreciation for their repeat purchases.

3. The independent musician can communicate directly with the customer, so online sales doesn’t have to feel like an isolating experience for the artist. Many times the thrill of receiving an email directly from the musician can turn an independent label music purchaser into a devout fan.

4. Niche marketing is all the buzz these days, and nowhere is it more successful than in independent music. As an independent musician, you are free to create your own unique niche and, in the process, reach more ideal fans. As someone who buys music from an independent label, you can find it easier to discover the music that defines and expresses YOU as well.

5. By buying from independent labels, customers and musicians can share the love. Think of it this way, here’s one scenario. A music lover makes a purchase. The independent musician has total control over what is communicated in the thank-you message. The customer can write back. The musician can quote the customer in his blog, the customer basks in the glory of the personal mention and shares it with all his friends on his Facebook page. Backlinks abound. Try that when you purchase from a major label.

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John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth

lennonI’m sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope
No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
Money for dope
Money for rope
I’m sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

I’ve had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth
No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of soap
It’s money for dope
Money for rope
Ah, I’m sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now

I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

My son has to be the coolest kid in the world…

gromAt 16, my son has to be the coolest kid in the world. He follows no one, does his own thing and believes in his own ability to accomplish his goals. He’s not interested in alcohol or drugs which, at sixteen, and especially in this day and age, is amazingly cool.

He’s not fixated on sex. He has a good understanding of what makes a truly good person and he knows bullshit when he hears it, which, sadly, is quite often. But he doesn’t take shit from anyone and is happy to point out to others the shortcomings in their thinking. He’s a good listener and is good about taking in the “facts” and weighing them against logic, reality, and experience; a rarity these days.

He loves to surf and does it for all the right reasons; because it’s healthy, a spiritual experience, and it connects him to the universe in a way nothing else can. He doesn’t talk about his supposed conquests in the water but instead feels enriched and enlivened deep down in his soul. He has no need to brag or prove himself. He just loves the ocean and he knows there’s little that words can accomplish in relating this to others.

He takes nothing at face value and knows that the arbitrary labels, titles, and manufactured images we assign to ourselves and others are meaningless. He knows that people are never what they appear to be or want us to believe they are. He knows they are not what and who they think they are and it doesn’t take him long to see the truth in another’s true being. And he knows we are never what and who we THINK we are, but merely a composite reflection of what we do and say.

On the larger scene, he knows most politicians are liars, that organized religion is mostly for the hopelessly lost, that most authority figures don’t deserve the least bit of respect, and his elders (most of our elders and peers are so busy working on their 13-year-old versions of themselves so as to render themselves little more than silly children) better prove to him that their supposed “wisdom” can hold up in the clear light of day.

When I grow up I’d like to be just like my son…

One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack)

publisher_photo3One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack)
by Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter, performed by The Original Caste (1970)
This song was performed by Jinx Dawson and Coven in the movie “Billy Jack” (1971)

Listen, children, to a story
That was written long ago,
‘Bout a kingdom on a mountain
And the valley-folk below.

On the mountain was a treasure
Buried deep beneath the stone,
And the valley-people swore
They’d have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after….
One tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley
Sent a message up the hill,
Asking for the buried treasure,
Tons of gold for which they’d kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom,
“With our brothers we will share
All the secrets of our mountain,
All the riches buried there.”

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after….
One tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger,
“Mount your horses! Draw your sword!”
And they killed the mountain-people,
So they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure,
On the mountain, dark and red.
Turned the stone and looked beneath it…
“Peace on Earth” was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor,
Go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of Heaven,
You can justify it in the end.
There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgement day,
On the bloody morning after….
One tin soldier rides away.

www.reverbnation.com/thejulianday

In Search of Beauty

muralha1

In Chapter 15 of Ticket to Ride, Morgan finds himself in the town of Lagos, Portugal; frustrated in his search for beauty and truth:

“Once, I wandered around the entire diameter of the town trying to picture it when all that existed was the part of it contained within the old walls; very insular and very much counter to modern sprawl. The new architecture outside of the center was some bastardized, watered down, low-budget version of true workmanship.”

“You just shouldn’t f___ with perfection,” I said to a couple of tourists, snapping away with their camera, she, in a flowery summer dress and a floppy hat and he, in loose trousers, a sport shirt and loafers.

They looked startled, as if I’d woken them up.

“What d’ya mean then?” the guy replied, with an English accent.

“Within the walls there was a plan. Outside it’s just sprawl… f___ing sprawl… should’ve just left it alone.”

The guy furrowed his brow, “Been to Mulligan’s Pub then?,” changing the subject.

“I know, accentuate the positive… when life hands you lemons…“

“Make lemonade,” the girl finished, sneaking a smile, “have you been to Mulligan’s?”

“… pucker and frown first, it makes your sugar-driven smile so much the sweeter…” I said to the girl.

“But about Mulligan’s,” said the guy, getting impatient.

“… and when you laugh,” I said, looking now at the guy, “try not to feel like a jackass or a mindless hyena.”

“Look mate, I just asked about Mulligan’s.”

“Place is like flypaper.”

“Right then, cheers.”

“See ya ‘round.” I said smiling.

They walked away, looked at each other incredulously, exchanged a few words, looked back at me, and quickened their pace.

I turned away and walked along the main street which lead out of town and into the orange groves. There were workmen there, tapping stones into the dirt, one by one, making a sidewalk in the old manner. The sun was hot on their backs and the care they took in placing each stone seemed to me to be somehow honorable and charming but very tedious and tiring at the same time. They were dressed in heavy canvas work clothes and were sweating heavily. The whole thing led to what would be some big resort. If the charm of the town wasn’t dead already, it would be soon. These guys would never stay there. Lucky if they could afford a drink there. [end of excerpt]

Explanation

Something of an antiquarian, Morgan sees very little in the modern world that appeals to his aesthetic sensibility. It was in this vein that I wrote the following short piece for a local newspaper a while back. And it is because I share this sentiment with Morgan that I enjoy visiting the nearby city of Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara has managed to fuse the old with the new in a manner that celebrates the old while gently incorporating the new. It has a center at State Street, and from there, continues in all directions like reflective ripples from a fountain.

A Retreat from the Desolation of Urban America

by philip scott wikel

In days of old, architecture was considered one of the fine arts. One’s home, one’s church and even one’s place of employ could be looked at with a sense of pride and appreciation of the human ability to create beauty out of lumber, stone, concrete or brick. One’s eyes would first be drawn to the foundation and then up along its facade, then still higher to it’s roof line. People would stand in awe and reverence because buildings could be seen as the tangible equivalent of poetry. And then came the utlitarianism of the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s. And now, when one drives down a street like Thompson Boulevard in mid-town Ventura, the stark, square, stuccoed ugliness repels the eye and the soul and one is inclined to push harder on the gas pedal in a retreat from the desolation of urban America.

Note: I wrote this about 7 or 8 years ago and have since seen, what I feel, is something of  a general improvement in community architectural projects. Even so, I believe there’s still a great deal of room for the improvement of our public places. Much like us, our towns and cities need a center. And out from there a homogenous whole. Homogeneity often creates harmony, and we could use a little harmony now and then.

los-lugares-abandonados-mas-bellos-del-mundo-7A Final note:

While I loved Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and the celebration of the independent spirit embodied in her protagonist Howard Roark, it might be time to try to get back to a collective vision of beauty. That, of course, is only possible if we haven’t already strayed so far from traditional beauty as to be able to agree on what form it may take. Nature and Natural Forms might be a good start. Nature doesn’t try to be beautiful, it just is. We could use something we can all agree upon nowadays.

What do you think? I’d love to hear it.