Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Opinions & Telling On Trixie

OK, I know I announced Telling On Trixie had broken up, and that remains true, but it doesn't make their music go away. In fact, if anything, I kinda hold it closer They had two terrific albums, and won many awards. A year ago they were lighting up on LOGO, with Orion's Light and Halfway Back To Sane sitting on top of the LOGO video charts, and the band was busy writing stuff for the new CD.

One of the things this tells me is exactly how hard it is to catch a break in the music business. You can bring in the reviews, the awards, but to try to climb the wall not necessarily to fame but to self-sufficiency is so hard. Radio has such a stranglehold on the business, and they are held in a vice-grip by the major studios. I have read countless interviews from indie artists who do the radio tours, booking gigs along the way, but who just can't get airtime for the song. Sure, the internet and YouTube have given consumers another place to look, but it is still radio that seems to control music sales. Does anyone really think the top-selling acts right now would be selling without constantly hearing their music on the airways?

When I listen to radio - which is rare - I am amazed how often you can hear the same songs/artists over and over again. Some stations seem to have a 4-hour cycle, others less, in which the same basic line-up of Top 40 music is played, with occasional oldies and new stuff added - 99.99% of it from the very same labels. This is why it is easier for Britney to lip-sync her way to a comeback than to hear amazing voices like Derek Nicoletto, Eric Himan, Aiden James, Tom Goss, Christopher Dallman, Casey Stratton, Jay Brannan, Garrin Benfield and so many others.

I know Aiden James received a certain amount of airplay on at least one local station here in Delaware, but that is a rarity. I remember growing up in Delaware listening mainly to Philadelphia stations, and having quite the assortment. There was WMMR and WYSP, featuring current rock and classic rock, hearing music not played on Top 10 stations. But with the advent of media conglomerates like Clear Channel Communications buying stations all across the major markets, there has been a homogenization of the music we hear, and a smaller group of artists the public is exposed to. This means the amount of artists selling is much more focused than ever, and they are the ones the record labels are pushing.

That is why I firmly believe in supporting my indie artists. When they come to my area, I wanna show up and show my support. I'll buy the t-shirt, the latest CD [or more than one, and give it away to someone who might like it and buy the next on their own], or invest a little bit of money in a fund and/or prepurchase for the upcoming CD. In the words of the inimitable Dolly Levi, 'Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow.' I feel the same way - if I don't use my money to encourage music artists to keep on producing the music that speaks to me, then I can't complain if it is no longer there. It is investment capital for my future happiness.

That happiness is not being bolstered, for the most part, by what is playing on radio. Sure, something sneaks in from time to time I like, but today, in a world that seems to move to greater homogenization than ever, hearing repeated songs utilizing Auto-Tune as the major inspiration just doesn't give me hope, doesn't speak to me. I don't need my vocalists to sound like my computer, I want them to sound like living, breathing people with issues like I have, we all have.

Now that rant is over, I will get back to the point. Derek Nicoletto posted a video for Late So Tired by Telling On Trixie. He said the following on the YouTube posting: "Late So Tired was written in the car after our Telling on Trixie show at the Bele Chere Music Festival in Asheville, North Carolina. I was riding in the backseat next to my 6 week-old son, on our way to Charleston, South Carolina. He looked at me, and I knew for the first [time] he recognized me. So, I thought back to the first moment I ever saw him. And I wrote these words.

Brad Small had already done some work on the chorus of this song, and I had the chord progression in my iPod. The video are just fragments of pieces my partner and I shot on our Flip video during Asher's first year.

Lyrics by Derek Nicoletto. Music by Derek Nicoletto, Brad Small and Tommy Kessler, Copyright 2009. Produced by Tommy Kessler. From Ugly, Broke & Sober 2009."

This is music that speaks to me.

You can buy the MP3 of this song from iTunes by clicking here. After all, I am sure baby still needs a new pair of shoes...


  1. we need more REAL music out there...It is a shame what's on the main radio stations

  2. Oh, you're going to make me cry, Howard.

  3. What a great post. And my GOD, that's an adorable baby!!!


  4. Wonder Man, I so agree. That was a big part of why I have this blog - to give room to the music I listen to and want to continue to hear.

    Derek, You gotta know I love your talent, and can't wait to see/hear your new path. Thanks for stopping by, but I didn't mean to make you cry!

    David, thanks. And Asher is adorable, isn't he?



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