Though both actions have been temporarily stalled, in New York and Chicago, various govt bureaucracies are trying to shut down music spaces, yet again. For NYC, the notable Union Hall in Brooklyn (which hosts Bloodshot Records annual BBQ) is being threatened by a community board whose effort is spearheaded by another club owner with conflicting interests. In Chicago, the city council was trying to over-regulate the clubs there and make it even harder to keep any music establishment operating until the club owners got the ear of an alderman- also see this fine Sun-Times article about the situation.. With live shows being one of the few parts of the music biz not hit badly by the online phenom, you’d think that the labels, unions and other parts of the biz with a vested interest would step up to the plate and help but it ain’t happening, as least yet.
Another trend that should shake anyone’s faith in the biz even further is that a pair of seemingly unstoppable forces are starting to wane. Not only is American Idol losing it audience along with many other TV programs (though Idol obviously didn’t suffer directly from the recent writers’ strike) but now the vaunted social networking behemoths are losing ad money. As the NY Post article notes, “while the weak economy is partly to blame, the bigger problem facing social networks is they’re still trying to figure out what kinds of advertising will work on their sites.”
If Simon Cowell’s baby and Rupert Murdoch’s baby don’t keep breathing life into the music biz, what are they gonna rely on to keep them going otherwise? I guess that blogs and underground trading communities are gonna have to take up the slack. Fans have certainly carved out their own DIY niches for themselves so why needs the big guys to lead ‘em around by the nose?