Friday, July 14, 2006


Pearl Jam a one-hit wonder?


"though not conclusive from Ritter's rant, I got the idea that indie, as a rule, generally sucks."

Hmmmmmmmm.......I have a suggestion.........stop sucking Satans cock and come back to earth you corporate whore.

That's right, now you went and pissed me off. We all knew the Feldheim was ugly, so I guess this is inevitable. You, Lunchbox, and your theories. That's right bitches, I'm bringing some Jacksonian Checks and Balances for your Phalanx's.

Pearl Jam a one hit wonder?

Fuck that........I know you dont believe it. Then you point to Trustkill records? Stop smoking shitty weed old lady. Trustkill is an ultimate DIY label, it just makes crappy hardcore emo music, so it doesn't produce "indie music." Sure they had some decent bands, but then they decided to suck satans cock when Sony approached them. That's right, SONY. One reason they are not indie.

But back to this Pearl Jam a one hit wonder shit, and it is shit, which your whole post is full of. Pearl jam is actually the antithesis of a one hit wonder, as they were able to put out four albums that were full of hits. Commercially and in the indie world. Do you own Yield, No Code, Vitology, TEN?????? DO YOU JDUBZ? DO YOU FOR GODS SAKE?

I demand a retraction of this one hit wonder nonsense. And what was that one hit? Jeremy? Alive? Why not give some respect when it's due?

And then you go on to bash Paw Tracks? One of "Indies" most heralded labels? Do you know what Avey went through to get that label where it is? I agree, some of this hipster music is garbage, but man, Animal Collective is one of the greatest bands ever. EVER. I don't care if you disagree, all of you......I'll take you to town with this one.

So don't diss Avey and don't diss Paw Tracks........I'll come to Africa and stick a bamboo stick where the sun don't shine. I'll make the Constant Gardener look like a G movie SON.

Regarding the whole Indie thing.......well, I think there really is no more indie. Indie doesn't exist. Pavement were indie, because the time was right. Animal Collective makes a shitload of money, they are not indie in a classical sense. With the age of Reason, Cubase, MySpace, and Internet, anyone with the talent can write a hit album. Go sign to Paw Tracks and release an album that sells 100,000 copies, you'll make some great cash.

Networks exist that allow "indie" artists to do well financially and not live out of an RV.

Shit, look at the history of Matador records, the "indie" gem.

Look at Drag City.

Indie is the new Corporate, and Corporate is the old satan.

You say ".... that indie, as a rule, generally sucks."

I say that the opposite is true. Corporations, as a rule, generally suck. McDonalds, BP, Procter & Gamble......have they done more good or bad? Think about it.

Indie becomes Corporate, it is the nature of a Market Economy. If you're good enough at something then eventually you will grow. Their are corporate gems that started off Indie, like Whole Foods, that have stuck with their values, but overall, fuck Corporate, I'm all about Indie.

And JDUBZ, are you over Jersey Hardcore yet, or are you still stuck in 8th grade?

That's right, I went there.

Is this a three man blog? Where you homies at?

LONG LIVE JAFAR!!!!!!!!!!!!


Blogger Jafar said...

I apologize for my lack of hyperlinks and funny pictures. I'm just not sure if anyone reads this stuff besides Ritter and if you do let me know and I'll work on it. I deliver pictures and links to Ritter and Angela in person, so that may help clear things up.......

2:54 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Jafar said...

Hey Angela, Chk it post already has more comments than yours!!!

Who's cooler now eh?

2:55 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger lunchbox said...

Where as I do not agree that Pearl Jam is a one-hit wonder band; I do believe that the appropriate comedic retort from Lansbury to the raised question, "and what was that one hit?", would be to respond with "They were all one-hit wonders, Jafar, every Pearl Jam song is a one-hit wonder."

3:13 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Jafar said...

Well said Lunchbox......and we all know that Lansbury's skills of witt are up there.....but now that you've stated it, it would make it "lame" for Joe to, so he's kind of on the spot.

3:21 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger The Big Red Box said...

You see, my piece was intended to be a firebrand, and bodacious (in the classical sense of the word). I'm glad you caught on to the Pearl Jam bashing, and no, Jeremy was their only hit. All the other stuff is pretty much crap.

The entire purpose of my piece was to raise awareness to hipster bullshit of, "animal collective is the best band evaaar, like for reeeeel!" which, ironically enough, was mostly of what your so-called 'retort' consisted.

By tearing apart 'indie,' though not necessarily pushing major labels, the point was to bring the music to the forefront. It matter not the brand, but the product.

And pearl jam blows.

3:49 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Jafar said...

So you admit that the post is bullshit?

I'm confused? Pearl Jam is not a one-hit wonder but they still blow?

What are thy intentions?

You tore apart indie?

And most importantly.......Animal Collective isn't the best band evaarr?

Let me ask you this....if you post nonsense on purpose to test the waters, how do I know that what you are posting now is not nonsense? how do I know if you really worship animal collective and are trying to see if i'm a true fan and have Avey's back, or if I'm a poser fan? How do I know? IS THIS THE MATRIX?? OH GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING???????

4:05 PM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger The Big Red Box said...

NO the post is not bullsh. and Yes it is the Matrix.

My does rip apart indie because after Ritter's dealie, I felt so inclined. He didn't so mucha s say indie and pearl jam blow, but he did say it's not so great.

Everyone hails the newest indie sensation as the greatest band since the velvet underground, but nary a critic could even define what 'indie' actually is.

I appreciate what animal collective is doing, very much pushing limits of of the music/noise following in the footsteps of Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, and Fourtet. It doesn't mean, however, that they're the best thing since Strawberyr Alarmclock. Incense and peppermints, baby.

A lot of indie does blow, but indie itself is not a defineable holistic being, but rather a loosely associated secret society impenetrable to the common folk.

What's so wrong witha a band being on a major label? what's so wrong with MELODY? did you even check out the kooks?

Pearl jam still blows.

3:19 PM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger Jafar said...

Definitions of "indie"

The term "indie" is often used to mean a sound that a musician presents, but when interpreted more literally, it is the way that sound is presented or made. "Indie" often refers to an artist or band that is not part of the mainstream culture and/or is making music outside its influence. Though the sound of these bands may differ greatly, the "indie" definition comes from the do-it-yourself attitude and ability to work outside large corporations. Although the term "indie" has somewhat come to describe any non-mainstream rock band.

Indie meaning "not major-label"

One of the most common and simplest definitions of "indie" is the definition of not being connected with a major recording label (currently one of the "Big Four" recording companies: Warner, Universal, Sony BMG and EMI). This is the definition used by NME's indie music charts in the UK, among others.

The problem with this definition is that there is often little correlation between the commerciality or creative freedom offered by major labels and those outside the "big four". Most of the larger independent labels are run along the same business principles as the major labels, with A&R departments, marketing budgets and commercial considerations guiding their operations. Meanwhile, major labels often retain independently-oriented artists who are given greater creative independence, and who receive considerable critical acclaim. Some notable major-label artists of this sort include Franz Ferdinand, Interpol , Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Pulp, Bloc Party, Hot Hot Heat, and The Flaming Lips.

Indie and commerciality

A more puristic structural definition of "indie" would draw the line further down, not between the "big 4" major labels and others but between the "big indie" labels and smaller labels, considered by purists to be true indie labels. These small labels are typically run by a few people, often out of their home or garage, and often coupled with a mail-order service representing other labels. The people running the labels have a close connection to a certain scene; many labels are run partially or wholly by musicians in bands on them. A concern for the purity of the creative mission of the label takes precedence over commercial concerns; many labels close down or go on hiatus when the owners lose interest or (as often happens) run out of money (or sometimes close down when the owners feel their mission has been fulfilled, as happened with Sarah Records). Archetypal examples of such labels include the aforementioned Sarah Records, Factory Records, Dischord, Kindercore Records, SST and Kill Rock Stars.

The converse of this are independent labels that have been perceived, rightly or wrongly, as being overly "commercial" or exploitative of certain artists or trends. Examples at various times include Fat Wreck Chords, Matador Records and Sub Pop. Epitaph was often the focus of similar accusations, however in 2005 label management signed an agreement with RIAA arguably making them no longer "independent".

Once again, this is not so much a dichotomy as a continuum; some labels grow from such independent status and gradually become more commercially oriented (often prompted by the success of one of their acts), eventually becoming subsumed by a larger conglomeration or a major label. One example of this was Creation Records, a label Alan McGee started in the 1980s on a small scale, which, in the 1990s had success with Oasis, subsequently becoming much more commercially oriented before being acquired by Sony.

Indie and genres

The word "indie" is often used to refer specifically to various genres or sounds. During the 1980s, "indie" was synonymous in Great Britain with jangly guitar pop of the C-86 movement. During the 1990s a lot of Britpop bands were referred to as "indie", despite most of the movement being signed to major labels and dominating sales charts. More recently, the word "indie" is sometimes used as a synonym for new wave revivalist bands such as Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and The Strokes. The word "indie" is sometimes used as a synonym for alternative, a word which often bears the stigma of being associated with cynically manufactured mass-market teen-rebellion music from major labels. Such usages of "indie" may be considered inaccurate for various reasons: for one, stylistic qualities are often not accurately correlated to commercial independence or adherence to indie principles (this is particularly true when a sound becomes popular, its leading exponents are signed by major labels and more success-oriented bands and production teams attempt to imitate the style; this ultimately culminates in commercially driven artists sporting the same stylistic traits the "indie" artists of a year ago had). Secondly, however pervasive any style of music may become at a particular time, it by definition cannot embody all of indie music, as, by indie's nature, there will be indie artists, labels and entire local scenes operating outside of this style and its definitions.

Cultural and philosophical attributes of indie

Main article: Indie (culture)

There are a number of cultural and philosophical traits which could be more useful in pinpointing what "indie" is about than specific musical styles or commercial ownership. Indie artists are concerned more with self-expression than commercial considerations (though, again, this is a stance that is affected by many artists, including hugely commercially successful ones). A do-it-yourself sensibility, which originated with punk in the 1970s, is often associated with indie, with people in the scene being involved in bands, labels, nights and zines. Indie often has an internationalist outlook, which stems from a sense of solidarity with other fans, bands and labels in other countries who share one's particular sensibilities; small indie labels will often distribute records for similar labels from abroad, and indie bands will often go on self-funded tours of other cities and countries, where those in the local indie scenes will invariably help organize gigs and often provide accommodation and other support. In addition, there is also a strong sense of camaraderie that emerges from a selflessness among indie bands and often results in collaborations and joint tours.

Indie artists of any particular time often go against the prevailing trends (for example, the twee pop movement that started in the 1980s was a reaction against the testosterone-fueled swagger of rock). A 'lo-fi' aesthetic (i.e., an often deliberate lack of polish and a more "authentic" roughness and imperfection) has often been associated with indie, particularly when slick, polished recordings were the preserve of the commercial music industry; this line has since become blurred, in a world where high-quality recordings can be made increasingly easily with inexpensive computer-based recording systems and where commercial production teams often deliberately utilize a "lo-fi" sound.

People into the indie lifestyle are commonly referred to as "indie kids", regardless of age; however, they do not often use that term for themselves. Other terms exist; the term "hipster" has, in recent years, become somewhat synonymous with this subculture.

Indie and technology

The concept of the album was first introduced with the invention of the phonograph. Artists became dependent on companies with capital because it was too expensive for an artist to produce and distribute an album themselves. Because of this, the choices offered to the public were decided by what the record companies chose to support and distribute. Today, technology is finally at the point where it is affordable for an artist to produce and distribute an album without the assistance of a label. Ironically, this same technology is available to consumers who can easily reproduce the music. This makes it increasingly difficult for an artist to make a living from selling albums alone.[1]

Internet technology allows artists to introduce their music to a potentially enormous audience at low cost without necessarily affiliating with a major recording label.[2] The design of digital music software encourages the discovery of new music. Sites with larger libraries of songs are the most successful. This, in turn, creates many opportunities for independent bands. Royalties from digital services could prove to be an important source of income. If an artist has already paid to record, manufacture, and promote their album, there is little to no additional cost for independent artists to distribute their music online.[3] Digital services offer the opportunity of exposure to new fans and the possibility of increased sales through online retailers. Artists can also release music more frequently and quickly if it is made available online. Additionally, artists have the option of releasing limited edition, out-of-print, or live material that would be too costly to produce through traditional means.

With the arrival of newer and relatively inexpensive recording devices and instruments, more individuals are able to participate in the creation of music than ever before. Studio time is extremely expensive and difficult to obtain. The result of new technology is that anyone can produce studio-quality music from their own home. Additionally, the development of new technology allows for greater experimentation with sound.[4] An artist is able to experiment without necessarily spending the money to do it in an expensive studio.

Most artists maintain their own Web sites as well as having a presence on sites such as Technological advances such as message boards, music blogs, and social networks are also being used by independent music companies to make big advances in the business.[5] Some sites, such as, rely on audience participation to rate a band, allowing listeners to have a significant impact on the success of a band. This eliminates new talent search and development, one of the most costly areas of the music business. Other sites allow artists to upload their music and sell it at a price of their choosing. Visitors to the site can browse by genre, listen to free samples, view artist information, and purchase the tracks they want to buy.[6] Acts such as Wilco have chosen to make their new albums available for streaming before they are released.[7]

However, the sale of digital music makes up only 5-10% of the total income generated from music sales. At this point, most people do not have broadband connections to the internet, making it relatively difficult for the general public to access music online. Many digital music services tend to focus overwhelmingly on major label acts. They don’t necessarily have the time or resources to give attention to independent artists.[8] Currently, it is unlikely that a completely unknown artist would be able to sell a large number of records solely via the internet.

Subcategories of indie

There are several subcategories which music from the overall indie scene are often grouped broadly into. Music ranging from alternative rock to punk rock to experimental music has long existed in indie scenes, often independent from one another. Indie rock and indie pop are the most common groupings that conform to an "indie" sound. The difference between these is difficult to pick up from the instrumentation or sound, as both genres include distorted guitar-based music based on pop-song conventions. If anything, the key distinction comes not from instrumentation or structure but from how strictly they follow cultural constructions of rockist "authenticity". There is also indie dance, which comes from a fusion of indie pop and electronic/dance music. Crossover between electronica (mostly glitch) resulted in so-called indietronic, electronic indie or indie electronic, for example some artists on the German Morr Music label, The Firebird Band, or The Postal Service. Another type is post-rock, which includes bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, or Sigur Rós. The idea behind post-rock is that there are very few (if any) lyrics, yet the songs are long (sometimes upwards of 20 minutes), and the point of the songs are to paint an emotional landscape with just music and no words. Further expanding the original meaning of the term, when used in the independent sense, Blog-Rock has come to encapsulate the wave of upcoming artists in the mid-2000s.

Going major versus staying indie

Some bands choose to never go to a major label even if they are given the opportunity to so. A famous example were the legendary Anarcho punk band, Crass. Though this was as much out of necessity as a means of keeping their artistic and political vision intact, since they never had record executives knocking on their door to begin with. They set up their own label to protect themselves from co-option and provide a voice for like minded anarcho-punk artists.

If a band moves to a major label, it does not necessarily guarantee the band success. Only about 1 in 10 CDs released by major labels make any profit for the label.[9] It is possible for an artist to make more money producing and promoting their own CDs than signing with a major label. However, an independent label that is creatively productive is not necessarily financially lucrative. Independent labels are often one-or two-person operations with almost no outside assistance and run out of tiny offices.[10] This lack of resources can make it extremely difficult for a band to make revenue from sales.

One thing an artist can consider doing if they want to be noticed by a major label is starting their own independent label. A successful independent label with a strong musical reputation can be very appealing to a major label. Major labels rely on independent labels to stay current within the ever-changing music scene.[11] Independent labels are often very good at discovering local talent and promoting specialized genres.

The difference among various independent labels lies with distribution, probably the most important aspect of running a label. A major-label distributed independent label allows the independent label to find, sign, and record their own artists. The independent label has a contract with a major label for promotion and distribution. In some cases, the major label also manufactures and releases the album. Independent labels that are owned by a major label distribute their records through independent distributors but are not purely independent. A purely independent label is not affiliated with a major label in any way. Their records are distributed through independent distributors.[12]

The three main ways for an artist to make money are record deals, touring, and publishing rights.

Major Label Contracts

Most major label artists earn a 10-15% royalty rate. However, before a band is able to receive any of their royalties, they must clear their label for all of their debts, known as recoupable expenses. These expenses arise from the cost of such things as album packaging and artwork, tour support, and video production. An additional part of the recoupable expenses are the artist’s advance. An advance is like a loan. It allows the artist to have money to live and record with until their record is released. However, before they can gain any royalties, the advance must be paid back in full to the record label. Since only the most successful artists recoup production and marketing costs, an unsuccessful artist’s debt carries over to their next album, meaning that they see little to no royalties.

Major label advances are generally much larger than independent labels can offer. If an independent label is able to offer an advance, it will most like be somewhere in the range of $5,000-$125,000. On the other hand, major labels are able to offer artists advances in the range of $150,000-$300,000. Instead of offering an advance, some independent labels agree to pay for a certain amount of the artist’s recording costs. This money is recoupable. There are advantages and disadvantages of an advance. If an artist gets no advance, that means they owe their record company less money, thus allowing them to earn royalties more quickly. However, since the label recoups so many costs, an artist’s advance might be the only money they are able to make for quite some time.[13]

In a contract, options are agreed upon. Options allow the label to renew their contract with the artist and release more of their albums. Options lie with the label, and the label has the choice whether or not to record more with the artist. Some artists consider this unfair because the label has the right to not distribute an artist’s project and extend their contract by one more album if they deem the music as commercially or artistically unacceptable. Record labels effectively own the artist’s product for the duration of their contract.[14]

Independent Label Contracts

Many times, a deal from an independent label is quite similar to that of a major label. In cases where an independent label is distributed by a major label, the independent label itself will have to have a major-label deal. In this case, the independent label would want to be sure that their contract with their artists covers the same issues as the independent’s own contract with the major label. In other cases, independent labels offer similar contracts to major labels because they want to look more professional. An independent label that thinks it will eventually be dealing frequently with major labels will have a similar contract in order to avoid having to redraft contracts in the future. There are also plenty of cases in which independent labels have contracts that do not resemble major label contracts in any way. In general, independent labels that are not affiliated with a major label are more willing to take chances and are able to be more flexible in their deals.

Though some independent labels offer a royalty rate of 10-15% like the major labels, it is becoming increasingly more common for independent labels to offer a profit-sharing deal in which as much as 40-75% of the net profits go to the artist. In this type of contract, the net gain after all expenses have been taken out are split between the label and artist by a negotiated percentage. However, deals in this form can take longer for an artist to gain any profits since all expenses – such as manufacturing, publicity, and marketing – are also taken into account. As an independent artist becomes more popular, deals of this type are more advantageous.

Independent labels often rely heavily on free goods, or the records that are given away in promotion of an album. Artists do not receive royalties on merchandise that is given away for free. Additionally, since compilations made by independent labels are often given away, the artist receives no royalties. Major label compilations are more often sold than given away, and the artist does receive royalties.


When a band goes on tour, it may or may not have the financial backing of its label. An artist receives a fixed fee or a percentage of the tickets sold by the venue owner or promoter. Touring is an expensive process. A moderate estimate of touring costs with a bus and small crew can easily reach $15,000 a week. If an artist tours with the support of their label, the expenses are all recoupable, thus potentially increasing a band’s debt. Many successful bands tour without the support of their label so that they can keep all of their touring revenue. An independent band would have more difficulty than a highly successful one in being self-sufficient on tour.


If a band or artist writes their own material, publishing can be one of the best ways to earn a profit. It is one of the few guaranteed ways to earn revenue for artists. Even touring is not a sure way to make money because it is possible that no one will attend the shows. Basic United States copyright law protects songwriters by giving them exclusive rights to grant or deny the reproduction, distribution, or performance of their work. The majority of a band’s publishing income comes from its mechanical and performance rights. Mechanical rights cover the reproduction of a song on a record. In the standard contract between a band and a label, the label is required by law to pay the composer a fixed rate per song simply for the right to use the composition on commercially sold recordings. The mechanical licensing rate for the U.S. and Canada is 7.1 cents per song.[15] With the performance rights, a song’s copyright covers every time it appears on radio and television.

If an artist prefers to receive up-front money for their songs instead of waiting for the money to come in over time, it can choose to assign its copyright to a music publisher. The music publisher pays a cash advance for what they decide is the value of the copyright. It is common for a band to sign a copublishing deal. This means that the publisher offers the artist an advance in exchange for half the publishing income. When the advance is paid back, the music publisher retains 25% of the income. Since an artist has no guarantees whether or not their song will be popular, some may prefer to have a cash advance that guarantees them money regardless of how well the song does.

2:29 PM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger The Big Red Box said...

No way you wrote that. There were no references to Pagan muslim godesses or majestic camels.

1:12 PM, July 20, 2006  

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