Why We Should Be Happy the Music Industry Killed Itself
Dan Zanes is a Grammy-winning family musician. A former member of the band the The Del Fuegos, he has gone on to redefine children's music with an "unsanitized, unpasteurized, [and] organically even" mode of composition. In 2009, he won the Independent Music Award, and has collaborated with Lou Reed, Sheryl Crow, Suzanne Vega and numerous others on his albums. He lives in Brooklyn.
Question: How has the music industry changed since the 1980s?
Dan Zanes: Well it seems like in the early ‘80s the idea, the whole idea was to find yourself a label and be on it and it seemed like when I was in a group called The Del Fuegos and we all… We had one label that we wanted to be on and that was Slash Records. That was where the Blaster and Los Lobos and X and Rank and File and The Violent Femmes, they were all on that label and we just that was kind of the more high octane American music and that’s where we ended up, so there was a music industry. Now I don’t know. You know now after making five records for other labels I was completely convinced that… And when I started doing the family music I decided at the very beginning that I would start my own label because I had made five CDs for other labels and didn’t own anything. I had no rights to any of the music, so other than the music publishing, so I thought well that doesn’t seem right does it? Why don’t I just start my own label and now the technology has changed and you can really do it this way, so it’s… You know I think the music industry may have killed itself in a way and but it makes incredible opportunities for the smaller operations, so my label we’ve put out ten CDs and this is our tenth year. You know we’ve been going really strong for ten years and figuring out alternative ways to do it and you know I couldn’t imagine what… that I would still be able to keep going if I had signed with a label to do this family music. I don’t think it would have been… I don’t think anyone would have hung in there for ten CDs. It just doesn’t happen that way anymore except for a handful of people, but I like to think that maybe I’m in the toy industry rather than the music industry.
As the monoliths of the music industry slowly fade into obsolescence, a new framework, in which one escapes the odd predicament of not owning a word of what one has written, is taking hold—all to the musician’s delight.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.