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Fri, 04 May 2007

Myspace World

People in the future might come to wonder how it came to be that such a large crowd of artists could possibly have gathered in a place owned by such a right-wing enemy of human dignity, such an enemy of truth even. If these people of the future have progressed even slightly in terms of what they're willing to put up with in the way of justice, they will scoff a little and say "typical! Just as their record labels took most of the money for their releases, here they all were, busily playing their music and supplying other content, and all the money from this goes to someone else!"

Yes, well, they would have a point wouldn't they? All the same, this sort of overview needs to be leavened by the other reality of the thing - a huge community of musicians, music lovers, scenesters, and just plain folks. The amount of music to browse, from all over the world, is prodigious. All you need is a starting point, someone you like, and off you can go, bouncing from friend to friend. Not all of it is exactly wonderful but wonderful is there aplenty. There are big label bands there with their tens of thousands of friends, and a sort of obvious feeling that the band themselves are nowhere near this place, and then there are huge numbers of pages with little-known acts who are definitely somewhere close.

The big label bands are there because their labels said they had to have a presence (a relatively cheap way of marketing to a very large crowd) and the smaller ones are there both in hope and also for the nice sense of community there. If you look through the friends and see mostly other artists then maybe you have a clue that something is going on.

The future and the past are here - the past quite clear but the future enjoyably clouded. Do A & R people cruise here? Evidence seems to suggest they cruise the download numbers which is exactly what you'd expect from the "product" mentality.

You can bypass them here (and in numerous other places on the web). You can excercise your own right to a piece of the future. My recommendations? Well, I'll just list a random sampling of my own friends (and no, I'm not there as thunderfinger, and yes, I was an artist long before I thought about writing about it)...

... and check out their friends as well. There's high quality something there for almost everyone. (thunderfinger)

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