Bryan Adams, and his albums, are not findable in the search engine.

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Just FYI -- Bryan Adams cannot be found via your search engine, nor can any of his albums. Ie, searching for "Bryan Adams", or "Waking up The Neighbours" or "Cuts Like A Knife" -- none of them can be found.
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supra92

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Posted 7 years ago

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supra92

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Hi Dawn,

Thanks for your reply! I'm a bit puzzled as to Adams' request, naturally, but I guess I'm even more puzzled that AMG would up removing his information. AMG is not distributing his music, and as far as I know the song titles and release info should be publicly-available data --- while the AMG reviews themselves are, of course, commentary/opinion and thus wholly AMG's own. Even if something such as the album cover art were copyrighted, surely AMG could keep his bio and album reviews intact, whilst simply putting the grey placeholder in place of the cover art.

So, I'm confused as to why AMG relented on this one -- and not a little bit disheartened as well, since I've always relied on AMG to be a completely comprehensive database of information. "Cease and desist" requests from artists make sense in the context of their actual music being traded or made available, but I can't see any justification for removing what are inarguably public data (his titles and release dates) and AMG-owned information (bio, album reviews).

Would you mind shedding a bit more light on this one? This is a seriously worrisome precedent, and if AMG took the info down purely to accede to Adams' request and for no actual legal obligation, I'd encourage you to rethink that decision.

Regards,
Brian
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Mark Milano

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I agree
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Dan Wheeler

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Oh wow thank you thats the first time thats happened on here !
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Mark Weisinger

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Mark Milano,

I know it's been awhile since your last post.  To be honest, I had quit following the thread and didn't even know you had posted until I checked my email for the first time in days.  So, sorry about the delay.

So, on to your arguments:

1.  It was you who was ready to grab ahold of your sled and go whizzing down the mountain at full speed, not knowing what lies in wait at the bottom.  In that case, I don't feel I was guilty of too many assumptions in the response I made.  Yours was a rash, bold, arguably reckless statement, and I simply qualified the experiences I've had with people who often tend to make such statements.  Similar to how whenever someone says, "Trust me," there's usually a very obvious reason why you shouldn't.  But, again, if I'm making assumptions about you, they're not meant as mere taunting or name-calling.  They're just generalizations based on years of prior experience.  And again, if you don't feel you fall into that category, then kindly disregard my previous evaluation.

2.  The internet has indeed changed the way we consume everything from food to information.  I'm sure it would be possible for someone to stay inside his/her house for an indefinite, unspecified amount of time, as part of an experiment, and simply have everything that they want or need delivered without having to go so far as their mailbox.  Convenient if you're a vampire.  A bit disturbing for anyone else.  Music criticism is no different.  Yes, you can stay within the confines of your home and be blissfully unaware of other alternatives.  But, as I said, I read many different zines (Pitchfork, PopMatters, Stereogum, AntiMusic, Metacritic, and NME, just to name the most common).  So, while I have had the opportunity to sequester myself, I haven't.  So, I don't think that it's an inherent flaw in the system.  If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years.  So, to me, that argument falls.

3.  On that note, I'm sure that many people back in the '70's (when you actually had to buy things) would often be stuck with a decision between Creem and Hit Parader, not having the money for both, so in a way, forty or more years ago, our options were actually theoretically more limited than they are today.  I mean, obviously, you could resort to shoplifting, but many people were either too afraid of the consequences or of the social stigma to do so.  So, again, in this climate, I have more options than I did only a few decades prior.

4.  I definitely believe that there is a correlation between the internet and the overall quality of music and the attendant buying habits of music fans.  Even much of the good music today is so poorly produced because A) people record everything onto a home 16-24 track recorder and mix it on ProTools, and B) those people typically don't have enough experience in sound engineering to even do that well.  So, while we have much more music available these days, a significant bulk of it sounds atrocious coming from a strictly asthetic standpoint.  Some may argue, but IMO, "lo-fi" is just a kinder way of saying "horribly recorded / produced" or "sounds awful."  Again, JMO.

5.  That said, I listen to more new music by new artists than anyone my age I know.  Most people over 40 haven't even heard of Stereogum or Pitchfork, much less read them routinely.  But I do have to say that I usually wait for some kind of consensus (typically on MetaCritic) before I'll take the dive into truly investing time in a new artist.  There's just too much out there (much of it flavor of the month) to devote the kind of time that I might have 30 years ago when I didn't have the same kinds of responsibilities. 

6.  But on that note, yes, sites like Metacritic (and even AMG, in particular) have broadened my tastes in music.  Often, when reading a review in one of these publications, I will see someone make a comparison to a previous artist or album ("Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is obviously indebted to previous angular post-punk bands like Gang of Four in their musical attack," etc.).  Quite often, such a comparison will find me cross-referencing the band cited, listening to sound clips from that band, and often, voila!  A new favorite artist.  So, yes, AMG has often "broadened my tastes in music," just as much as any fanzine from the '70's, maybe even more so, due the interactive features inherent to the platform.

7.  Finally, on the topic of Bryan Adams, I don't think that anyone is arguing that his music is, relatively speaking, extremely important in the grand scheme of things.  I wasn't arguing that.  I was arguing that once a well-recognized publication simply attempts to "erase an artist from existence" because said artists, for whatever reason, threatened litigation, it sets a dangerous precedent.  In the information age, a site that is typically trusted to deliver reliable information (at least in regards to what they attempt; again, there is no way that any site could ever hope to be truly comprehensive) definitely besmirches its reputation when it oversteps its boundaries the way AMG has.  Again, it reminds me of the way I felt when I found out that a number of stories from The New York Times had been fabricated.

And I found it particularly cowardly (or spiteful, depending on your assumptions of the behind-the-scenes machinations of this incident) that AMG singled out Adams, after I've seen many artists post requests to AMG to have their information removed, only to be met with a reply to the effect of, "We're sorry, but our job here at AMG is to review and post information from all artists, and since your music is in the public domain, we have chosen to include you in our site.  Have a nice day."  Bit of a turnaround, then, with Adams.  Again, either extremely cowardly or extremely petty, depending.  Either way, it's not really about Adams, but about the precedent it sets.  What if, next time, it's Kanye?  What then?

So, back full-circle to the slippery slope.  You may not feel that AMG is anything terribly important, but I would disagree.  In fact, I would say that they come the closest to being, for contemporary music in general, what Rolling Stone magazine was for rock music back in the '60's / '70's.  Again, JMO.  So, while you may be ready to pull out the sled and go for a joyride, oblivious to the potential rock bank below, I for one, am not.  I've often found that the biggest champions of anarchy have no idea how such a system would work in practical terms.  They simply harbor such resentment towards the current system that they feel anything would be better. 

But it is this mentality that leads to complacency (or worse yet, even active participation) in times of the rise to power of people like Stalin or Hitler or Pol Pot.  Now, you might think that something like this is ridiculously insignificant compared to a brutal dictatorship's rise to power.  But I would argue that the precedent it sets in the information age is much the same, only obviously on a much smaller scale (at least at this point; although what if Yahoo news decided to boycott coverage of a particular political party - then you can see the kind of precedent that something like this can potentially set).  Again, I'm sure you think I'm making something out of nothing, but again, we can agree to disagree.  But for my own part, Rosebud is tucked safely away in the closet.  Hopefully, it won't end up in the fireplace, but better that than dashed on the rocks.  JMO.
(Edited)
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Mark Milano

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Mark W, I think we are starting to go around again on some of the same points, so I'll just focus on what seems to be new or going somewhere..

"1.  It was you who was ready to grab ahold of your sled and go whizzing down the mountain at full speed, not knowing what lies in wait at the bottom. In that case, I don't feel I was guilty of too many assumptions in the response I made.  Yours was a rash, bold, arguably reckless statement, and I simply qualified the experiences I've had with people who often tend to make such statements.  Similar to how whenever someone says, "Trust me," there's usually a very obvious reason why you shouldn't.  But, again, if I'm making assumptions about you, they're not meant as mere taunting or name-calling.  They're just generalizations based on years of prior experience.  And again, if you don't feel you fall into that category, then kindly disregard my previous evaluation."

I don't fall in that category, as I explained clearly before. There is absolutely nothing that I have said that has not been very thoroughly considered and discussed by myself and others in the past. You made an assumption that was wrong, period. Just because you don't agree with someone's conclusion does not mean that they did not get there through a process every bit as methodical as yours, or more, it's just human nature to assume otherwise.

I have a sense of some of the possibilities that would be at the end of that scenario, because you and I both lived through them before. People had to take a risk on less easily available information. You seem to only want to list the positives of the present ways that music is made and distributed (or made and not distributed as the case may be). I am naming specific negatives of the present and underappreciated, arguably counterintuitive positives of the past that you have not addressed.

"2.  The internet has indeed changed the way we consume everything from food to information.  I'm sure it would be possible for someone to stay inside his/her house for an indefinite, unspecified amount of time, as part of an experiment, and simply have everything that they want or need delivered without having to go so far as their mailbox.  Convenient if you're a vampire.  A bit disturbing for anyone else."

that's a straw man... I suggested no such thing.


"  If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years.  "

That's pretty much my counterargument to your argument about the importance of AMG

"3.  On that note, I'm sure that many people back in the '70's (when you actually had to buy things) would often be stuck with a decision between Creem and Hit Parader, not having the money for both, so in a way, forty or more years ago, our options were actually theoretically more limited than they are today.  I mean, obviously, you could resort to shoplifting, but many people were either too afraid of the consequences or of the social stigma to do so.  So, again, in this climate, I have more options than I did only a few decades prior."

Shoplifting is a bizarre strawman. Are you trying to derail this discussion ?

I agree the options were more limited in the past. However, whether that was a good or bad thing is a separate question. I'm saying their are certain advantages to limitations, such as it being obvious that there are limitations. Not that it was ever actually as limited as a choice between two rock magazines.

"  So, while we have much more music available these days, a significant bulk of it sounds atrocious coming from a strictly asthetic standpoint.  Some may argue, but IMO, "lo-fi" is just a kinder way of saying "horribly recorded / produced" or "sounds awful."  Again, JMO."

Agreed

"6.  But on that note, yes, sites like Metacritic (and even AMG, in particular) have broadened my tastes in music.  Often, when reading a review in one of these publications, I will see someone make a comparison to a previous artist or album ("Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is obviously indebted to previous angular post-punk bands like Gang of Four in their musical attack," etc.).  Quite often, such a comparison will find me cross-referencing the band cited, listening to sound clips from that band, and often, voila!  A new favorite artist.  So, yes, AMG has often "broadened my tastes in music," just as much as any fanzine from the '70's, maybe even more so, due the interactive features inherent to the platform."

OK, fine, if it works for you, it works for you. I accept that. On the other hand, to the extent that you do rely on those kinds of sites, you literally have no way of knowing what you have missed.

You are seeing the spreading out effect of these sites and praising that. OK, it doesn't work that way for me, but I understand. However, there is also a filtering process that is happening at the same time that you have no way to evaluate, by definition. These sites act as gatekeepers, and while I am not arguing that everything they filter out has value, I know that some of it does.


"So, back full-circle to the slippery slope.  You may not feel that AMG is anything terribly important, but I would disagree.  In fact, I would say that they come the closest to being, for contemporary music in general, what Rolling Stone magazine was for rock music back in the '60's / '70's.  Again, JMO.  So, while you may be ready to pull out the sled and go for a joyride, oblivious to the potential rock bank below, I for one, am not.  I've often found that the biggest champions of anarchy have no idea how such a system would work in practical terms.  They simply harbor such resentment towards the current system that they feel anything would be better.  "

My perspective as a musician and recording artist is different than yours as an audience member. I am, at this point in my life, primarily concerned with the supply side, and how it does and does not work. I'm not oblivious to anything; I'm already living the worst case scenario of being zeroed out into non existence, as far as AMG and most other media sources are concerned, and for the sake of discussion you can just "trust me" that it's not for lack of trying nor for lack of recording quality or other merit...  although I grant you that very few people are looking for the sort of thing that I do.

But that's exactly why I should be relying on online media to find customers; there is no local scene where enough people that would be into it are concentrated for me to reach them through live performance, but they do exist on the global level, if I can get access to them.

The system as a means of publicity and distribution to people with sufficiently adventurous tastes (who do exist) has failed me so completely that I literally have absolutely nothing to lose if it were to go away; it could only get better. And it's not just about me personally; the people that influenced me and represent the previous generation of what is more or less my music scene are also mostly invisible at AMG, with few exceptions.

The net result is that AMG functions like a clique. You have to reach public awareness on your own before you get anything more than perfunctory mentions here, if that. Maybe you don't see that as a problem, but to me it shows that the much vaunted "democratization" that we were supposed to get from the internet as the old gatekeepers (print media and record labels) died off has not materialized and was always a pipe dream.

At it's best, the old media sometimes would let merit rather than pre existing public awareness of an artist determine what got the ink. A classic example would be John Peel playing a record by an unknown (which he did all the time because he listened to everything that was sent to him). There is something disturbingly circular about the notion about having to be well known before you can be granted the things that could enable you to become well known.

If I was given to hyperbole, I might even call it oppressive or censorship... and fundamentally something that exists to preserve the status quo and therefore itself, as distinct from being informative about the best music...  if you catch my meaning.
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Mark Weisinger

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Mark Milano,

Some good points.  Yes, we seem to be going around in circles on a few points (chalk part of that up to being out of the thread so long that I'd forgotten what had already been said, and the seemingly haphazard "flow" of the comments in the thread makes it difficult, if not altogether impossible, to trace the discussion entirely accurately.  So, I'll take my share of the blame for being repetitive.

At any rate, on to the discussion points (some good points, BTW; I think we're actually much closer on this issue than we might have seemed at first glance):

1.  Just getting one thing out of the way:  not every aside, no matter how philippic or tangentially-related is inherently a strawman argument.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a random aside is just that.  I can see how you might have assumed that my observation about shoplifting was a strawman.  Obviously, I could have potentially dragged that argument down a rabbit hole wherein I tried to forge a causal link between the potential ramifications of theft in the pre-internet era with the typically inconsequential nature of information theft in the internet age.  But that wasn't my intention.  I was simply highlighting the inherent limitations we had during that time period that made our choices every bit as limited / limiting as they are today, if not more so.  Nothing else was intended.  Sorry if I get a bit tangential at times.

2.  Ditto with the "staying in your house indefinitely" tangent.  I was merely pointing out how sequestered we have become as a society (which actually, if you extend the argument to its logical conclusion, would likely end up supporting your assertion that we are more unaware of our options in this modern-day society than in perhaps any other time in history, both inside the house and out).

3.  My comment, "If you Google enough, you can find plenty of alternatives to AMG without even really trying too hard, which is essentially what I've done over the years." was not meant to downplay the importance of AMG.  I still consider it the most important of the sites listed (and any others aside, to the best of my information). 

Is it perfect?  No.  But neither was Rolling Stone 40 years ago.  But despite there being other sites / zines and despite the fact that no site (including AMG) could ever be truly comprehensive, AMG has taken on that Herculean task admirably, and as I said before (but it bears repeating), they do so admirably.

Does that mean that every musical stone is left unturned?  Of course not.  To pick a random example, AMG does not have nearly enough coverage of Polka music.  Somewhere in Lithuania, there is a disgruntled musician complaining, "AMG is useless website.  I look for Polka, but no Polka.  I tell you, useless.  Hmph!" 

And he would be right.  There's not really enough Polka coverage at AMG.  But since the untimely passing of Nickolas Daskalou, Polka's cultural catche has diminished considerably in this region.  In particular, there is not nearly enough coverage given to Vienna's Russkaja and their brand of "Russian Turbo Polka," even though they're signed to Napalm Records.  But again, you can't be all things to all people.  Still, AMG comes closer, IMO, than anyone else.  And that was my point.

4.  John Peel was in a different position than AMG.  Peel was primarily an independent.  He did eventually work for BBC Radio 1, but even then, it was as a "hired hand" who had the leeway to do pretty much as he saw fit (and this leeway was borne of a cultural cache owed to several years operating Britain's premier offshore pirate radio show, in which he was the very definition of an iconoclast). 

So, he had more freedom to promote artists than an organization like AMG would.  If AMG did it, they would surely be accused of at best favoritism, and at worst there would be allegations of nepotism. No, their role is not to influence the zeitgeist, but simply to report on it, which as I've said about a dozen times now, they do quite well.

5.  As far as AMG and other online sites being "gatekeepers," this is one point in which you have repeated yourself.  I have already addressed the fact that, when it comes to gatekeepers, in the words of Pete Townshend, "meet the new boss; same as the old boss."  You had Rolling Stone; now you have AMG, at the risk of oversimplifying (and yes, as you mentioned earlier, I am aware that there were more than two choices at any given time; but for brevity's sake, I'm making a reductive comparison to prove a point). 

And that also begs the ethical question, "Which is worse:  to ignore music ignored by the general public?  Or to use the position of gatekeeper to dictate musical tastes and trends (or at least attempt to)? 

While RS did occasionally attempt to promote an artist, it typically diminished their credibility.  I remember during the first Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, the running joke was, "There's Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley.  Wait...where's Boz Scaggs?"

6.  Finally, I will also admit that being a traditional music fan rather than a struggling musician does indeed give us differing perspectives.  But I would argue that, if anything, it makes me a bit more objective.  I see you (and no offense intended, I'm just calling the situation the way I see it) as someone who has an axe to grind with the current internet media, because they have thwarted you in your attempt to become successful.

But, I would argue that the same scenario could have played out the same way (and most likely would have, although now, we're entering the realms of speculation) in any other era with an equal likelihood.  To blame AMG because your band never got the attention it truly deserved, IMO, is a bit like howling into the wind, truth be told. 

And I can't tell you how many bands I listen to (and no, I don't get all of my musical information from online sources, as you at one point implied) who are less than footnotes in musical history.  Garland Jefferys - perfect example.  He has been touted by everyone from Lou Reed to John Peel to The Circle Jerks to Little Steven.  He was even a central figure in a Wim Wenders music documentary. 

And for what?  How many people know the name, much less the music (which is quite good, and perhaps a bit too ahead of its time in its fusion of street punk, reggae, brown-eyed soul, and Latin music)?  He's arguably one of the greatest artists of his era, IMO, but he will likely always remain a relative unknown.  Is that any one "gatekeeper's" fault?  Who's to say?  But, regardless, sometimes those are the breaks, no matter what era you live in, and whoever the gatekeeper in question may be. Some bands get that big break, and some just don't.  JMO.
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david

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This "Cuts Like a Knife". It's like Bryan Adams has been thrown "Into the Fire" instead of being allowed to "Wake Up the Neighborhood".
Why is he not in the Allmusic database???

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Can't find a popular artist; Bryan Adams.
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dogsnapper

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I CREATED AN ACCOUNT--or rather tried to, and found out i already had an account from like 3 years ago where i commented on a completely different website--JUST TO LIKE YOUR AWESOME COMMENT! so cute and clever, it made me giggle out loud. :D