The Pretenders

Here’s a throwback for ya. Remember that one time that everybody laughed at a 13 year old for being in a music video for her birthday? That was so funny right? “Oh but she’s actually really talented!” Okay… You’re kind of missing the point… “Now she’s a successful musician who has a message to all of her haters!” Jesus Christ…No….

See Rebecca Black is kind of a tragic tale. She was bullied so badly that she had to change schools, and found out that she really loved the musical program. So with her new found therapeutic outlet, her parents paid $4,000 for Ark Studios, made a music video, and hoped that it would jump start her music career. Which it did in a way, though not in the way she expected, and I don’t need to remind everyone about that whole saga.

You see the tragedy wasn’t that she was harassed because she was following her dreams, the tragedy is that she got ripped off by “The Pretenders.” The make-believe producers, the make-believe professionals. I truly believe that at age 13 Rebecca Black could have personally written a better song than Friday. Or better yet imagine if that $4,000 dollars was spent on a guitar, recording equipment, a camera, a DAW–really anything, she could have done a better job. And if not, so what?

“Well it was a bad decision then, but she’s successful now!” How? How is she successful now? Because she was on The Four: Battle for Stardom? She’s literally doing the exact same thing as before, this time instead of being on youtube, she’s on Fox. “Well these are actual professionals! This time it’s not a scam!” Except it is.

So I’m going to remove Rebecca Black from the equation, I truly wish the best for her, and I hope she accomplishes whatever she sets her sights to. I truly do.

But for some reason, a lot musicians have daddy issues.

What I mean by Daddy issues is doing the same histrionic “Notice me Daddy!” dance, and if you’re an adult with daddy issues, it’s not sad, it’s pathetic. I’ve seen so many people try their hands at the entertainment business and they almost always fail. Why? Because nobody attempts to be the adult, nobody attempts to the DIY thing anymore, nobody is taking risks, and nobody has any work ethic.

Do you know how a major label got started? It got started because some guy got tired of listening to the same old bullshit.

Do you want to know how a guy became head of a film studio? Because he got tired of watching the same old bullshit.

Do you know how a music reviewer got started? Because he got tired of reading the same old bullshit.

All of those people are “Pretenders,” no major record label can read minds, if they could read minds there would be more than 5 rock bands on the radio. If they could read minds, their would be a lot more variety of music. But they can’t, they can only go off of data, numbers, instinct, etc. I mean Jesus Christ, these people have twitters, if you think they’re smart just spend an hour reading their tweets.

Yet I guarantee there is going to be someone who reads this and thinks “Well I want to look professional!” Where in the hell has anybody–in all of art history–been professional ever? Van Gogh literally cut his ear off, Jim Morrison would have blowjobs out in the open at parties, Caravaggio literally killed a guy, Michael Jackson was Michael Jackson.

Artists are WEIRD people. I’m weird, you’re weird, we’re all weird. Yet the struggle is where it happens. The struggle is where that weirdness gets chiseled down, into marbled perfection. Where we find out what weirdness works, what weirdness doesn’t, and what weirdness is just too weird.

David Bowie was a mime once, literally a mime. Marylin Manson wrote articles for a magazine. Jim Morrison tried to be a film director. You get the idea. The point is, nobody is going to do it for you. In fact you would have a better chance going to Vegas and hitting it big, than climbing up that imaginary entertainment corporate ladder.  Where somebody sees how “Professional” your music video is, and how the internet music guy said good things about your music.

Don’t be waiting for someone to do it for you, go out and do it. If you fuck up, fuck up fast, and figure out your next move.

If you’re not getting reviews, make a blog.

If you’re not making music videos, make your own.

If you’re not signed to a label, then make your own.

If you can’t find the right beats, make your own.

Take away the power of the “Pretenders” because that’s all they are–at their best. Because let’s be real, we all know about Harvey Weinstein, and how the entertainment business does job interviews. These “Pretenders” are exploiters, and if you don’t take power out of their hands by doing your own thing–then you’re fucked.

 

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