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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Provocative Music Company Launches Online Publication: BetterKnowanSFBlog

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Every Tuesday, SF Weekly's news blog, The Snitch, profiles one of the Bay's many cool blogs in a series we call BetterKnowanSFBlog! This week, San Francisco-based music company Fuzz launches its new blog-style publication.

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By Tyler Callister

Fuzz, whose slogan is "music uprising," is one of those provocative companies that only emerges when a situation is really fucked up. Such is the case with the music industry. Statistically, CD sales are down 22 percent since 1999, and Rolling Stone says, "More than 5,000 record-company employees have been laid off since 2000." Anecdotally, we've been hearing for years about major labels' myopic business models, failure to embrace digital music, and reckless treatment of artists. As the Dallas Observer put it, the music industry has been, "bleeding like a hemophiliac with a razor fetish."

(Click for more)

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Fuzz CEO Jeff Yasuda at his San Francisco office. Photo by Tyler Callister.

So Fuzz has a manifesto -- almost a call to arms for musicians and music fans who want to create the new music industry. "We believe artists are the economic foundation of the music business and should be compensated accordingly," the Fuzz Manifesto says. "We believe in the broader revolutionary movement and we applaud anyone working to promote artist's rights and careers." And the tools through which they will achieve this? "The democratizing power of technology." is a profile-based networking site but offers tons more to artists and fans than sites like MySpace. They're also an experimental record label (or perhaps we should retire the term "record label" and just say "music label"), hosting artists like former Interscope group The Lovemakers. Of greatest interest to us here at BetterKnowanSFBlog, is Fuzz's brand new online editorial, The Fix.

In addition to the writers on The Fix, Fuzz users can write their own blogs, and many of the higher ups in the company keep blogs there too. Fuzz CEO Jeff Yasuda has a great blog post about his conversation with David Fricke, senior editor at Rolling Stone.

Recent highlights from The Fix include an interview with Stephen Merrit of The Magnetic Fields and a musing about Rolling Stone and the state of the music industry. Writing under the name TheCapitalClinic, the writer says, "While looking at the business side of the music industry, I see an entire ecosystem that has lost its compass, morally and economically. The RS Revolution (version 1) failed to gain headway and the lack of direction is creating both hardship and opportunity for existing Artists and Artists-in-the-making. It is time to disaggregate the old music ecosystem. And perhaps this time, the Music Uprising will take hold."

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Ty Callister


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