Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hey, Neil Young: We young singers are hog-tied, too

stephan-smith-slashburn.jpg
Neil Young recently said:
"I was waiting for someone to come along, some young singer eighteen-to-twenty-two years old, to write these songs and stand up… I waited a long time. Then I decided that maybe the generation that has to do this is still the '60s generation."

Now, from San Francisco Chronicle an open letter to Neil Young from singer-song-writer Stephan Smith titled "Hey, Neil Young: We young singers are hog-tied, too". The article describes how hard it is for young protest singers in today's climate.
"Dear Neil,

You recently said that you felt compelled to write your new album "Living With War" because you got tired of waiting for young protest singers to pick up the torch. I'm compelled to tell you that young protest singers are here, and we're holding the flame. I'm one of them.

The trouble is, you can't hear us on major radio stations for the same reasons you noted last year when you poignantly stated, "I can't do anything in the record industry, or especially radio, because it's so controlled by corporations."

While established artists like yourself may have felt your hands tied, the truth is far worse for upcoming artists: Even booking agents and managers won't touch us for fear that we will offend their audiences in a country where consumerism and patriotism stand united, as your song "Restless Consumer" makes clear."

Another World Is Possible

Play and listen to more MP3 samples of Stephan Smith's Slash and Burn.


8 Comments:

At 5/23/2006 06:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Neil, I think whoever that was who wrote the letter should stop whining and get up and do something.

 
At 6/15/2006 03:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think Stephan was whining. I think he's right. I know he's dedicated: I've arranged two of his performances to benefit a local community center. He gives way more than he gets.

What I'd like to see is an invitation from Neil, asking Stephan to open for him. Extend a hand instead of criticizing.

 
At 7/01/2006 01:51:00 AM, Anonymous Gwilym said...

The main problem I have with Steven's article is that it implies MTV is the only way for young people to get their music/messages out. Maybe ten years ago, but not anymore. As I was once told, if someone's already said what you're trying to say better, quote them:

"Armed only with out sense of degredation as human beings, we came together and organized and changed the condition of out lives, why can't you young people, with all you've got, do the same thing?" - Jack Miller

 
At 7/01/2006 01:52:00 AM, Anonymous Gwilym said...

(correction, in the quote it should have read "condition of our lives")

 
At 7/02/2006 05:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever. Fuck the record industry. I heard David Rovics at a cheap show featuring Michelle Shocked, then I found his stuff online and I sent him a little money. If 5,000 people would do this for them once a year, they could both live okay without putting out a CD.

In fact, I just got back from a club where I saw a band that sent out an email pitch and gave out a few MP3s. If their CD selling guy wasn't a flake about setting up a merch table, I would have bought their CD. (Oh well.) We left quick to go to another venue to try and see another performance by a band that contacted us via MySpace. Missed that one.

I also missed a free show a few days ago, because I was too tired (because I'm in my late 30s... I get a little tired). I wanted to go, and was willing to spend a little money.

Pretty much 100% of the live shows I've seen were preceeded by downloading music to preview it, and most of them got to me via email or someone else who got an email. I don't have cable or MTV, and can't stand most of the radio stations, including the LA public radio. When I have a little more $$$ I'm going to get an online download subscription.

 
At 8/16/2006 01:34:00 AM, Blogger shhh said...

I hope I don't sound like I'm trying to be prophetic but I can't wait to see what will happen when the power grid goes down and the only music out there is from the likes of wandering minstrels that will spread news, songs that will probably be filled with purport, stories and hopefully peace. We cannot go on using power is if there is no tomorrow. What good will all those downloads do us if we have nothing to play them on. Play acoustic man, and face to face.

 
At 10/25/2007 06:38:00 AM, Blogger breatnyS said...

Never seen Neil Young on concert, I was not going to see it, Neil Young tickets got sky rocked thanks to stupid brokers. But even if I had seen it, I wouldn't buy it. I'd rather wait and see it on DVD. Well suprise I changed my mind and I got 2 tix for the Neil Young show I was looking for tickets thanks god there sites like Ticketwood which work as comparators here is the site
Neil Young Tickets http://www.ticketwood.com/concerts/Neil-Young-Tickets/index.php . So any body going to the Neil Young concert ??

 
At 2/09/2008 12:59:00 PM, Anonymous Been There Done That said...

Stephan, hon.

Look how happy Britney Spears is riding those radio waves ... there are other options for you if you really want to make a change. If it's a livelihood your looking for than you have to decide between your "wants" and "needs." If the "wants" exceeds your "needs" than you better get ready to sell your soul ...

 

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