Teddy Thompson (teddythompson) wrote,
Teddy Thompson

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Once bitten, forever smitten

My musical guru and otherwise annoyingly compulsive friend, Ann, who sometimes acts as my manager, gave me a call a few days ago. A European label based in London is very interested in hearing my 'demo' when it is completed. I offered to send them the last CD I released (which was a live bootleg of a New York show), against Ann's advice, and they declined, saying they would like to hear the new material I was planning on recording anyway. They extended an offer of some studio time, and I accepted, which gives me an extra 16 hours for free to play around in the studio. At least I don't have to call my Mum now (for a few days, anyway). Unfortunately, Ann already beat me to calling my Mum who called my Dad who spread the word about this European label. I was immediately reprimanded as I have been told to sign with a label in the States, not in London, or anywhere else for that matter. Oh how I'm grateful to have my parents' guiding business hands. I hope my sarcasm was notable in that.

Record sales have fallen drastically in the past two years. It's said that in 2000 CD sales were at around 785 Million, whereas in 2002 it was only 681 Million. Of course they are blaming this on downloading, MP3s, and all of those fun things. Basically, it's the internets fault. Didn't we copy tapes back in the day? Before I was burning CDs, I know I was making mixed tapes, or copying albums for my friends, but whatever, that's not the point. Sony decided to try something new and combine music, advertising, and the internet with digital downloading and their record label. Lana Davis left a major record label last summer due to them trying to make her into some pop princess when she just wanted to be a musician. Sony ended up choosing her for their new 'experiment'. Everyone knows how they started putting songs into commercials, and it has always had a pretty good response. It boosted Moby's career (who actually let people openly sample anything from his album PLAY, which increased his record sales immensely), Lenny Kravitz let a commercial or two sample his song, and also Dirty Vegas' song "Days go By" was actually in a commercial and that's how it found mainstream popularity. In all of these example cases, the music has been recorded before hand, and just sampled by whichever company asked to use it. Sony decided to try something new and audition singers to record a song called "Carry On" to be in a new commercial for some of their electronics. At the end of the commercial they had a website address on where you could find out who sang the song and actually download it for .99 cents. Sony's label "Columbia Records" then will release a full length single version in stores. It's essentially an interesting concept. The commercial, with the song, was aired during the Super Bowl and I have yet to see how the sales went. The point of me bringing this up is, I actually auditioned to do one of the songs for these commercials. While Davis was picked, if everything goes over well, they are going to pick up the other artists who auditioned and set them up with commercials and different ads. Many people seem to be against this, in fact, they asked Rufus to do a song and he was the only artist approached by them to say no. Which sort of amuses me, considering he did a GAP ad back in 1998, but times change I suppose. I'm sort of sketched down the middle on what to think about this. Some say it brings new meaning to the phrase "sell out", but how can you be a 'sell out' when no one knows who the hell you are anyway? I'd like to think it exposes you and your music to a great extent. I guess you do always run the risk of getting shunned upon because you were exposed in that manner, but at least you do get some exposure, even if it is somewhat controversial.

Anyhow, I'm set to start recording in a few weeks. I could start sooner if I preferred, but I want to spend some much needed time with him first. Maybe my priorities are backward but they seem pretty straight to me. Sleepless nights and thought filled days consume me without complaint. I think I may feel at ease for once.
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