Thursday, May 3, 2018

Quote of the Day (Rhett Miller, on the Old ‘Local Model of Music Delivery’)

“In the days of the old business model, there were successful predators at the top of the food chain, but the kids who made the music were hiding down in the bushes with our friends. The local model of music delivery, unlike the giant streaming info-combines that lord over today’s music world, had a strikingly flat hierarchy of striving characters: the club owners, record store clerks, college radio DJs, and rock critics who owed a thousand words to the local weekly. At closing time on any given night in the ’90s you could find any or all of these satellite scenesters mixed in among the proper musicians at the Art Bar in Dallas, behind Club Clearview. We all knew that there was a cutthroat cabal of music industry execs waiting on the top floor of a tower in Rockefeller Center to offer us a lopsided contract, but we also knew that we were the good guys, the proletariat to their bourgeoisie, the Rebel Alliance to their Empire. We had each other’s back. The worst thing we could be expected to do was steal a girlfriend from one of the Buck Pets or envy the Toadies their unexpected national radio play. Those were, as they say, the days.”— Rhett Miller, lead singer of Old ’97, in “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker,” The Baffler, No. 37, Winter 2017

 (The image accompanying this post, taken by Vivian HW Wang, shows Rhett Miller at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, fall 2015.)

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