The 21st Century Music Business: Today is Yesterday

We've been harping on and on for the longest about how the new state of affairs within the music industry was going to affect the way new artists went about their business. The fear of these up-and-comers being subjected to the rules of the old record labels of the 1950s and '60s, who controlled every aspect of their professional lives and paid off artists they continually pilfered from with shiny new Cadillacs was always on our minds. Well, guess what? It's on:

Early last year [Adam] Young’s Web success came to the attention of scouts at Universal Republic Records, which had already had success with another MySpace phenom, the singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Avery Lipman, the label’s co-president, invited Mr. Young to New York for discussions and found him completely unschooled in the ways of the music business.

“It was the most bizarre meeting I’ve ever had,” Mr. Lipman said. “I actually had to discuss and explain the record business 101. I had to explain to him what a record company is, the need for a lawyer, a manager, a booking agent. It was actually kind of tough.”

For management, the label recommended [Steven] Bursky, whose first client was the jam band Dispatch, an early Web success story. With this new representation Mr. Young signed a long-term contract with Universal Republic.
Adam Young aka Owl City, is the Postal Service doppelganger who, as the above NY Times piece clearly indicates, knows so very little about the music business he committed the kind of mistake one thought artists did not succumb to anymore: that of heeding the advice of your label in hiring the people whose job it is to represent and--more importantly--protect you. It's akin to asking thieves
looking to rob you what kind of lock you should have on your door.

Where is Moses Avalon when you need him? Unbelievable.