HITS Daily Double
If it is a fact that record companies are struggling to meet their bottom lines, why are so many artists still dying to get traditional record deals? Why jump aboard a sinking ship?


This Edition Guest Edited by J.K. Rowling
Fri, July 13th
Dodgers vs. Giants @ SBC Park in San Francisco (FSN):
This is still a major rivalry, despite the fact that the Giants aren’t as good as they have been in the past, so count on it being a tough series.

Stephen Stills @ House of Blues West Hollywood

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo @ House of Blues Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Spoon @ Schuba’s Tavern, Chicago

Aaron Tippin @ Texas Station, Las Vegas

Stoney Curtis Band @ Cozy’s, Sherman Oaks

JoAnna Conner @ Kingston Mines, Chicago

Mike Watt & the Missing Men @ Safari Sam’s, Hollywood

Sat. July 14th
Rusted Root @ House of Blues West Hollywood

Josh Gracin @ House of Blues Downtown Disney Anaheim

String Cheese Incident @ Beacon Theatre New York

Hellyeah @ House of Blues Las Vegas

Sun, July 15th
Judge Jackson @ Angel’s Roadhouse, Yucaipa, CA

KCRW World Festival w/ Café Tacuba, Groove Armada & more @ The Hollywood Bowl

Silverchair @ House of Blues Downtown Disney, Anaheim

Joe Lynn Turner, Brian Johnson, Mark Farner @ B.B. King’s Blues Club, N.Y.

Widespread Panic @ Chicago Theatre

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon
: In the fifth installment in the Potter series, Harry and Dumbledore try to brace Hogwarts for the return of Voldemort, but find their warnings ignored and themselves targeted by the Wizard authorities. Meanwhile, an authoritarian bureaucrat slowly seizes power at the school
Thoughts: I really want to see this one. I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan in the sense that I’ve only read one of the seven books, but I have seen all the movies. The advance word is that Order of the Phoenix is the darkest of them all!

Entitlement: The World Serves Me
By Barrett Yeretsian

"Why isn't your band signed?" asks the beautiful blonde at the bar.

"Because the music industry is so messed up and the record companies only sign horrible bands," the would-be rock star replies indignantly.

It is rare to cross paths with an artist who actually considers himself a part of the reason why his band hasn't achieved its goals. True, the record companies have failed to adapt their business models to the changing global marketplace and as a result, have become more risk-averse than ever before. As such, not nearly as many bands get signed and very few of the bands that do are actually given a shot at being promoted successfully. Given the fact that my column is focused mainly on the artist's self-limiting thoughts and behaviors, I will concentrate on the artist's side of the equation. We will briefly touch upon the ineptitudes and shortcomings of record companies toward the end of this article, a topic we will develop further in the coming weeks.

Entitlement is the right somebody has to receive something. A sense of entitlement is dangerous in artists because it assumes that the world owes the artist something. This false sense of entitlement breeds unrealistic expectations and sets the artist up for disappointment and failure.

Many artists who I have come in contact with feel like they deserve to be signed and given an honest shot at success. In other words, they deserve the circumstances around them to be in their favor because they have created great art that the world needs to be exposed to. When they realize that the industry is struggling to barely stay alive, and that it takes a great deal more than incredible music to be given a shot by a record company, artists feel cheated and enraged. Angry or not, the sobering reality is that the ability to create and perform music does not entitle an artist to anything. Artists need to work harder than ever before to even have a chance at commercial success.

How long it will take for artists to realize that even established bands who have sold over 250k albums are having trouble getting record deals these days, and that the rules of the game are changing? The face of the music industry will be unrecognizable in a few years, and artists who feel entitled to record deals will be left far behind. As much as the music industry needs a new kind of record company with a business plan that actually works, the industry also needs a new kind of artist who actually works toward a plan worthy of the artist's time. If it is a fact that record companies are struggling to meet their bottom lines, why are so many artists still dying to get traditional record deals? Why jump aboard a sinking ship?

Since this article is about entitlement, I will briefly extend a parallel argument to record companies as well. The sinking ship I just mentioned isn't the business of recorded music; it is any record company that is still holding on to an irrelevant, antiquated business model. Record labels, like artists, aren't entitled to circumstances that work in their favor; they must develop new business models relevant to the trends and realities of today if they are to succeed. Record companies can be great only if they are guided by visionaries who lead change, as opposed to reacting defensively to a changing world.

In the coming weeks, we will be discussing in more detail how to break free from a false sense of entitlement. Next week's topic will simply be titled "transparency."

Barrett is currently producing several very talented artists, composing for film and television, performing with and writing songs for several of his own projects and teaching the drums at all levels. He welcomes and encourages any and all feedback relating to his column. You can email him at: [email protected]

This week, Chantal, the lead singer of Morningwood, tells us about a cool new band she’s discovered:

“I must admit I am guilty of reading Perez Hilton, but sometimes good things can actually come of it. Last week there was a link to a YouTube video of five 16-year-olds from Australia called Operator Please (http://www.myspace.com/operatorplease). I was totally blown away. They were the cutest things I have ever seen, with their big smiles and bright colors; their music was super-energetic and catchy. They’re like The White Stripes meets Kidz Bop meets Queen meets Cyndi Lauper meets the J Giels Band, if that makes any sense at all—and if it doesn't, GOOD. My bandmembers and I are totally obsessed with them, I went to add them as a friend on MySpace, and it turns out they had already added us and were fans of ours (which made our millennium), as well as being our labelmates They are in Australia now on tour with The Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs and are making their record. When they come to the U.S., we have promised each other we will play a show together, and I 10,000% can't wait, because they are cooler than you or I will EVER be.”

Here’s a recap of some of the acts I’ve featured:
Digital Summer: www.myspace.com/digitalsummer
Captiol Risk:
Judge Jackson: