10 Reasons Why Jonathan Coulton is the future of music

edited July 2009 in JoCo Fame
Thought you guys would be interested in this blog post...

Why Jonanthan Coulton is the future of music


  • edited July 2009
    I think JoCo is great, but I think calling him the future of music is hyperbole. He seems like a big deal to us, but most people have never heard of him, and the amount of money he's making is microscopic compared to the way the actual Big Names are still doing it. I'll be completely shocked if, in 50 years, there are only distributed individuals connecting directly with fans the way JoCo does, and no big moneyed labels grooming the Next Big Thing.

    JoCo hasn't proven that his kind of model can produce rock stars of the scope the labels have. We don't know that Metallica or Michael Jackson or even Bare Naked Ladies would have ever been as big a deal as they were if they had had to do it the way JoCo's doing it. He's proven he can survive using his model, but not that it's the best model for everyone.
  • Even the Tragically Hip who are insanely huge here in Canada are barely known in the US, despite the label.

    Makes me sad. :(
  • What kind of music do the do? Anything we would enjoy (ie, geek rockish?)
  • edited July 2009
    He's proven he can survive using his model, but not that it's the best model for everyone.
    I'd like to think you're wrong, but you're probably right. The Jonathan Coulton model works great, if you're Jonathan Coulton. Other people could succeed the same way, provided they have his unique blend of musical talent, computer smarts, vision, luck, whatever else it is that makes him unique.

    If it were easy, we'd all be quitting our jobs to become internet superstars.
  • @JoAnn: probably not. I'm not a fan to begin with but I can safely say that their music is not geeky by any means.
  • edited July 2009
    Wrong thread, sorry.
  • edited July 2009
    [redacted as well]

    As to JoAnn's question, the Hip is not geek music by any means. I'd classify it as good ol' rock/light rock/pop rock , some form of rock. :P

    I was moreso referring to the face that despite the Hip having a label behind them, they're relatively unknown outside of Canada.
    Which is a shame.

    Here is a shameless plug of me playing along with one of their more popular songs:

    Ahead by a Century
  • I get the impression that Moxy Fr
  • I'm a fan of Moxy Fr
  • edited July 2009
    Here's my ideas on the future of music:

    I do think that truly independent artists (like JoCo) are the future of music, but that future will look different than the music industry today. As in, most indie artists won't become huge and rich and household names, but they will be successful. To some people, they may be a bad thing, but I think major change in the music industry is what we need. So what if no one musician or group is known by everybody in the country (or world)? Massive fame requires huge labels with huge distribution and marketing deals, and with that comes the bad thing with big labels: lack of creative freedom, dubious financial deals, etc.

    Having more musicians, each of which with a smaller reach, would be fine in my book. Granted, artists won't have it easy, but heck, most artists struggle as it is now, and a "lucky" few make it big. The internet and affordable home recording equipment will work well for some artists, but I'm not suggesting that every artist will be entirely self-recorded and self-managed. I'm not inherently against labels, especially smaller ones. They will still have the capital to fund quality recordings, arrange tours, and distribute records. Of course, record stores will have to change themselves, and not just carry the 20 biggest national records of the week. They'll have to pay attention to their customers, and probably carry some regional and/or niche records to attract a niche of customers. That said, it's inevitable that record sales won't be all that great these days, because of the internet. But remember, very few artists count on record sales to keep them alive anyway. Digital sales (or giveaways!) will be important, and every artist or label will have to have their material on iTunes, etc.

    This is my dream of where the music industry might go. When most people talk about wanting their favorite indie groups to become successful, they think of it in the terms of the current music industry, as in those indie groups get signed to a major label, go on international tours, etc. In fact, that's happened many times, and every time it seems the original fans become disillusioned because the groups surrender some of their creative freedom. When I say I want my favorite indie groups to be successful, I mean that I want them to make a secure living and be able to tour and create new content. Sure, that might mean they don't get filthy rich or world-renowned, but I believe having tons and tons of artists making a living and really being in touch with a dedicated fan base is better than having big labels decide what sounds good, distributing their crap all across the globe, and holding all (or most) the keys to success.
  • Pfft, if you think that the over-produced and shoved-down-our-throats Lady Gagas and Nickelbacks of the world are going to disappear in lieu of these independent artists, and mass populations of people will embrace this new model of little indie artists making creative music, I highly doubt that is going to happen. The masses seem to be more than happy consuming mass-produced music and I don't see that shifting much.
  • edited August 2009
    The primary shift, I think, is going to be in the industry, not so much in the musicians - because what people like to listen to isn't what's changed; what's changed is how get GET the music we like to listen to.
    Digital distribution and the internet makes it suddenly uncomfortably easy for smaller indie labels and minor distributors to distribute their music on massive scales. It used to be that the only way to do that was via a lot of trucks and other expensive middle-men in the shape of record-stores, and that environment meant that if you wanted to distribute music on a large scale, you needed large amounts of money.

    And that's changed now, so I think the big companies like Universal and Sony are probably still going to largely monopolize the large-scale distribution of analogue media like CDs and LPs and DVDs and such, but digitally it will be a much more open battleground of medium-sized and small labels competing to make their artists go viral.

    Guys like the Coulton have always been around, it's just that they used to play small clubs and caf
  • because what people like to listen to isn't what's changed
    I don't think this statement is entirely true. More so than ever people can explore huge libraries of music for very little, or no money. This capability just wasn't there in the past. This means that people are more likely to find music they like more than in the past. So to a small extent people will end up liking and listening to music that they wouldn't have done in the past. It may only be a minor thing at he moment but music is getting more available and free as time goes on and it is easy to talk to other people who like what you like validating it. So I think there will be more small groups widely spread out that couldn't have existed before.

    With regards to the rest I agree that there will always be big bands who are household names nationwide, or even globally. It is only the end of the supergroup, big groups will always exist.
  • At the very least, old supergroups that avoid the temptation to split up will retain some nostalgia value. The Rolling Stones still tour from time to time, for crying out loud!
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