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Paul’s Thoughts on Taylor Swift’s Wall Street Journal Op-Ed

Taylor Swift can write, too.

Surprised? At this point, if the girl reveals that she is going to become anything, I’ll back her, and not be shocked when she does.

In her latest move, she’s penned an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal, where she makes her case for puppies and rainbows, claiming that the economic state of music is not in decline, but rather in expansion. Expansion!

What about piracy? What about the death of the album? What about the fact than any hack with a pretty face can go on Youtube and be heard?

All of those factors are considered in her case, and she makes a great one.

Here are the 5 best quotes from the article, which deserves a read from any music fan, and can be found here.

My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.

Here she is referring to special promotions artists some artists do where they give their music away, bringing the idea that no one can make money as a musician in today’s landscape. Her answer? Real, great art that generates true interest will always generate money. She tells young artists to create greatness, know the value of it, and most importantly, ask for it.

…some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. 

 

Today, we are so much less likely to buy a record than we were just ten years ago. Buying records used to help us forge relationships with artists, because even though I only bought the Fame Monster for ‘Bad Romance’ at track 4 I find ‘Speechless.’ That literally changed the way I looked at Lady Gaga forever, and is for me, is one of her best songs.

Since we don’t buy records to own the single anymore, this doesn’t happen as much.

We can still form deep bonds with our favorite artists, the process just looks different now.

In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online.

What I love about the article is that it is focused on quality. The changes in the music industry are myriad, and for many they are problematic. The answer from Taylor to pretty much all the questions is met with quality. Everyone has seen your show on Youtube? Better get the energy up and find some special guests so that they can be blown away. Millions of other videos competing for their attention? Better up the quality. Artists who seek to bring their audience more will, and as part of the audience we are lucky to be in such a landscape.

Another theme I see fading into the gray is genre distinction. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that’s incredible progress.

This is another interesting aspect. I remember in the 90′s there was very little crossover. Pop was pop, alternative was alternative, classic rock was classic rock and all these songs stayed on their respective radio stations. Hearing Green Day on an Adult Contemporary station would get someone fired. Then, people started to loosen up. More importantly, artists started branching out. One of the first big crossover hits was a shocker by Pearl Jam.

That cover of J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers song Last Kiss was one of Pearl Jam’s only chart topping hits, and when I heard it on the soccer mom station (I was on the alternative rocker at the time), I was shocked. I thought the world was coming to an end.

It didn’t, and it’s okay for people to love everything. Your grandma can like Jay Z and your son can like Ann Murray. It doesn’t matter. Does it make a connection, or inspire, or do something to the listener? That’s the only question. If the answer is ‘Yes’, rock (or lite rock) on!

The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.

Is she still talking about music?

Overall, I think that she is right. Though the money flows through different channels and sometimes ends up on different hands, music is better off in the hands of the people. Let’s look back at the last decade it was in the hands of the record labels–the 90′s. Anyone longing for the great music of the 90′s to come back?

Source – WSJ Online

 

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