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The bad things about major rcord labels Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label I always end up thinking of them in a particular context I imagine a trench about four feet wide and five feet deep maybe sixty yards long filled with runny decaying censored I imagine these people some of them good friends some of them barely acquaintances at one end of this trench I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed Nobody can see whats printed on the contract Its too far away and besides the censored stench is making everybodys eyes water The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously clawing each other and dunking each other under the censored Eventually one of them capitulates and theres only one contestant left He reaches for the pen but the Lackey says Actually I think you need a little more development Swim again please Backstroke And he does of course A R Scouts Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man an A R rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band The initials stand for Artist and Repertoire because historically the A R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected out of an available pool of each This is still the case though not openly These guys are universally young about the same age as the bands being wooed and nowadays
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