I’m not entirely sure where this piece written in 2000 originally ran. It might have been on zdnet. It originally had links to all of the no-name bands it mentions on mp3.com, none of which seem to have ANY internet presence at all thirteen years later, which is itself kind of odd. I did, however, find this blog post from 2010 in which someone talks about how the story of Heavy Vegetation’s “No Turkey for Night Ranger” had a longer life than the song itself. Anyway, this is what the online music world looked like when 99% of the music available online was free, and by nobody you’d ever heard of.
The brave new world of downloadable music has been getting a lot of press. It’s also been getting a lot of complaints: most of the legal downloads out there tend to be by bands you’ve never heard of. Mp3.com and other sites offering free music downloads are turning into worldwide, never-ending open mike nights (and there’s just about as much chance of an A&R guy checking out the talent there as there is at your local coffee house). That’s supposed to be the point, of course: the internet offers young bands a new means of sharing their art with the world, unfettered by corporate notions of what’s commercial and yadda yadda yadda. But there’s no getting around a simple fact: a lot of the stuff simply sucks. Continue reading