Industry vs. Artistry Braindump

Tonight, at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the [Carnegie Hall Notables](http://www.carnegiehall.org/textSite/support_the_hall/art_privileges_notables.html) (of which I am not a member) presented their first event of the 2005-2006 season, entitled “Artistry vs. Industry”, with four musical artists from a variety of genres speaking out about their experiences in these modern times. The panel included:

– **[Natalie Merchant](http://www.nataliemerchant.com/)**, of 10,00 Maniacs and solo artistry fame.
– **[RZA](http://www.wutangcorp.com/artist/getartist/artistid/9)**, of Wu-Tang Clan.
– **[Lou Reed](http://www.loureed.org/)**, of Velvet Underground and his own solo artist fame.
– **[Leila Josefowicz](http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/Strings86/CoverStory.shtml)**, a violin virtuoso.
– The panel was originally scheduled to be moderated by DJ Stretch Armstrong, but was instead taken by WMYC’s [John Schaefer](http://www.wnyc.org/shows/newsounds)

What follows are the few notes I was able to jot down after the whole affair ended.

– Lou Reed is a bitter but terribly funny man. He has huge disdain for music press. He was also wearing Nikes, which I’m not sure why I found interesting but at least made a mental note of.
– Leila seemed a bit shaken by the company, and said “Dude” a lot. She is, it was noted, one of the very few classical artists with a recording contract.
– Natalie was very relaxed, as was RZA.
– John Schaefer was wearing socks with flags on them. Again, not sure why this stuck in my head, but there it is.
– First mention of iTunes occurred about 2 minutes in.
– During some lamenting about the death of college radio and the gradual Clear Channelization of the airwaves, Natalie laughing mentioned that when she worked at her college station, she once on her show laid on the floor of the studio, totally high on something, and played Joy Division’s *She’s Lost Control* 75 times straight.
– Each artist had their own fair share of stories about getting dicked over:
– Natalie was locked into a contract for 18 years, which shocked Lou and RZA to a great extent.
– RZA got dicked on royalties early on in the Wu-Tang career.
– Lou brought up [Metal Machine Music](http://www.rru.com/~meo/music/mmm/) and what is now known in the music industry as the “Lou Reed Clause”, where artists have to release work “representative of the artist”.
– Leila mentioned that she can’t afford to buy her current violin, its on loan – it costs $3,000,000.
– Copyleft was brought up briefly, but both Natalie and Lou like to keep full control of their music. Nat brought up that she wants to keep control in case a group she objected to co-opted her song; Lou just seemed to want to keep his music locked down out of distrust of the music industry.
– Lou’s advice to new artists: “Keep the copyright, keep the publishing.”
– Lou is a big fan of satellite radio, and named dropped The Verbs as a band he discovered by listening to it.
– Natalie went independent not because she has a great desire to be The Man, but because she wanted to spend time with her son.
– RZA has a mountain in ohio he goes to for songwriting. It’s called Wu Mountain. I am not kidding.
– There in fact is a connection between RZA and Lou, in that RZA sampled *Venus In Furs* for a song on the Blade: Trinity soundtrack. Lou admitted that originally he denied all sampling request – what changed his mind? “I started liking some of the tracks.”
– All the artists lamented know-it-all engineers and producers.
– RZA and Natalie both use drum machines at home for starting work, but use real musicians in the studio for recording.

Sorry this is so scattered, it’s hard to take notes after the fact.