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Steve Ison
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The Big 50

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IAC Prime Member


Steve Ison

11/3/2007 5:02:19 AM

How come the interview you did with me in the spotlight section says "was removed
upon request by the writer."?
I don't understand..

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11/3/2007 5:52:04 AM

Well I'm the writer, I can choose what I want to be out there. Just like an artist can choose what songs he wants on his page. Since you chose to go back on your own words about the site, something we even asked you for permission to put in the testimonials after YOU SAID IT SPONTANEOUSLY, I decided I had serious reservations about the nice things I said about you in that interview. For me, that article no longer represents an accurate depiction of you. Anyway, my prerogative, I wrote it.

You could've also written me privately to ask this question but of course you'd rather start another public hassle. Feel free to discuss this further in private, you have my E-mail. I will tell you upfront that I'm not going to allow you to try to turn the pipeline into your own personal bitchfest, we have maintained a policy from the day we put the blogs here that the front page is geared around a positive atmosphere for listeners so support issues and demeaning the site and staff will not be part of that..

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Steve Ison

11/3/2007 7:11:13 PM

Well Scott, my personality and my opinions on music havn't really changed since that interview-and were pretty clear and consistent with the comments made in the Big 50 thread as far as i could see..
Its your site - and of course in the end you can do and delete whatever you want..

I made no 'demeaning' comments at all to the staff in my thread,so that seems particularly unfair..I kept to the issue discussed-the music-refrained from personal attacks and made sure i was courteous to everyone i thought- staff included..

Disagreeing about the music that gets on on the Big 50 is not a 'bichfest' ...Its just an opinion-which i expressed as eloquently as i was able-and thought i'd be free to discuss with other people here on a blog..

I can see now this absoloutly isn't the case...and won't be tolerated.

I've no desire to 'get my ass kicked out of here' because of expressing an opinion that the IAC heirachy dislikes ,as Dave Walton(who i've now found out is the IAC Owner) aggressively threatened,so will keep any thoughts about music and IAC that i think you won't like to myself in future..

I love IAC for the unrivaled stations/reviewing facility,the fabulous,inspiring music i've been lucky enough to've made contact with,the wonderful friends i've found here and (of course) as a way to get my own music out to people..

Believe it or not,i do actually care alot about the IAC dream of getting great indie music to a wider audience,but-as i said-disagree with you(and whoever else picks The Big 50) about what kind of music that is generally.
The same way you did with the powers-that-be in those inspired,passionate-and unfairly ridiculed- posts you made back at the ill fated 1sound.com..

I've invested alot of time and creativity here building my stations,promoting indie artists in threads and as a talent scout sending countless bands/artists your way over the last couple of years-so find the insinuation i'm some sort of nasty troll hell-bent on destroying the place very unfair and unjust.

Of course,i appreciate you and the other members of staff do a hell of alot lot of tireless,unpaid work here-and that its difficult to keep so many artists in different styles with hugely varying tastes/opinions happy..and that a horrible vibed, totally uncensored flaming culture is no good for anyone..

Whether effectively neutering artists and people here by making them fear expulsion from the site if they dare step out of line from the public image IAC wants to project (as i seem to've been threatened with), seems extremely debatable as an answer tho- and certainly not a way to foster a creative and vibrant culture here imho ...

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11/3/2007 8:40:42 PM


I'm not "the owner" but rather a partner as are Scott and several others.

I'm a big supporter of free speech and we practice that here on the site. We welcome a diversity of opinion and honest commentary. Most people in the community do try to stay away from downgrading other artists' music, but opinions expressed or experiences related having to do with the site are what helps all of us to keep trying harder to make IAC the best.

I guess the thing that bothered me was that your comments on the Big 50 were at odds with the previous sentiment you expressed and which we quoted in our testimonials section - that is, that you really, really liked it - so some of us were puzzled, since the selection criteria and process for the Big 50 has never changed. Also, I interpreted your comments as against commercial-level production or anything approaching it, which to me is something that with todays tools is within the reach of anyone willing to put in the time to learn the techniques. In my mind, independent does not necessarily mean lo-fi. Anything that smacks of elitism does get to me, because elitism means exclusion, in this case the exclusion of anything that sounds "too good".

I appreciate your enthusiasm and support for the site as expressed in your above post, and look forward to your continued positive contributions to the community.

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11/4/2007 1:14:24 AM

The Steve and Dave Debates are fast becoming my favorite thing on this site.
No lie.

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Hugh Hamilton

11/4/2007 7:44:46 AM

May I say that Dave's reply above has me breathing a sigh of relief. It is in stark contrast to the vitriol that came out the first time and much more in keeping with the tone any member of the site's management should strive to maintain.

I have seen both sides of this issue since it came up, but was very disappointed with the tone of Steve's original blog and extremely disappointed with the tone of the management response.

If this is in fact a "handshake" and a "let's agree to disagree on that topic and get back to making music and building the site" then I say THANK GOODNESS...

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Steve Ison

11/4/2007 7:22:52 PM

Dave..Well i'm glad that you believe in free-speech-but i'm sure you can appreciate from your first reply to me in The Big 50 thread why i might've come to the conclusion you didn't.
I've certainly got nothing against 'commercial level production-or anything approaching that' and alot of the songs i put on my stations are indeed 'radio-ready' as i think you mean..
What is and isn't a good production tho is very open to interpretation tho .To some it might mean adhering strictly to a particular generic 'sound' thats fashionable at a certain time.To some it might mean getting a raw and exciting sound,to some warm and intimate.
As an example,i think the production on something like Nobodies Loking At THe Rainis great..
To my mind its such an obviously good song.Instant-Joyful and totally accesible pop.Just the sort of thing i'd've thought suited to Big 50 exposure and its remit of bringing GREAT well written songs to a wider audience.. I'm guessing the only reason its on THe Underground 40 instead is because of a slightly less 'polished' production.

Of course i'm pleased its getting some deserved exposure here.. but still....

Its an example that sends out the message to me that as far as THe Big 50's concerned, songwriting is definitely considered a secondary concern to production and performance for inclusion...

I disagree with your assertion that 'commercial level production with todays tools is within the reach of anyone willing to put in the time to learn the techniques'

Even with good tools,producing is an art form in itself requiring a very particular skill and talent surely.Thats why companies are willing to pay $1000s of dollars for producers able to get a hit 'sound'..

Its like saying absoloutly everyone can be a great songwriter if they work at it for a few months and attend some workshops, which obviously isn't true....

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11/4/2007 8:05:10 PM


When reacting to our comments towards your thread, you don't seem to have any kind of realization about just how asinine it is for somebody to do as you did. You made a heartfelt comment to me in an Email in the early days of IAC about how great the Big 50 is, we asked you for permission to put it in our testimonials, which you gladly agreed to, and this publicized you as well. Then when confronted with this recently, you tell us you lied then. Do you not recognize how somebody doing something like that might be perceived ? You seem to not have any self-awareness to speak of, these days. I gotta say, awww, poor Steve, IAC administration isn't kissing your ass like some other folks do. But Dave and I are indie rock acts ourselves, we're not suits. Never will be, either, no matter how big IAC gets. I treat you exactly the same way now as I would've at mp3.com if you had said something similarly as wacked. It was lame, an utter disgrace - you deserved to be called on it, even though on this thread you're acting like you're the poor innocent guy who was just helping out. But I've known lots of innocent artists in my lifetime and you ain't one of em at this point in time. :)

As for the Big 50 and Underground 40, they serve different purposes, are about different areas of music. Both of them are features and I ask you again to stop this obsession with thinking that a song that does not get on the Big 50 is getting slighted somehow when it's featured somewhere else.

In regards to production, I agree totally with Dave. I couldn't be any less technically inclined but I taught myself to record with 16 tracks and some of my recordings like my cover of Rock & Roll Woman have been complimented on the production by pro producers.

Now I don't want to continue to feud with you. You should know I always considered you somewhat of a kindred spirit. But to reintroduce yourself to the community with the same negative spiel you left us with, well, I want the Steve Ison I originally met, back, not this guy who constantly harps on what feature list we put a song on, c'mon !

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Steve Ison

11/5/2007 12:39:15 PM

Larree..As i said i disagree with you about what i think of the majority of songs on The Big 50..
As a writer yourself,i'm sure(like me) its not enough that a song you write is 'catchy',if that same song starts really irritating you when you hear it.
Its more important for me that songs have an individual sense of personality and character.
If a song (chord changes,style etc) sounds very predictable like a 1000 others i've heard,i'm probarbly not gonna be very interested-even if the performance and production is faultless..
What someone thinks is basically generic ,someone else might think is brilliant-if its a style they like -so i do know that's all to do with personal taste..
A song like 1954 in THe Nineties would certainly make it to #1 on my Big 50 tho!
Did it make it onto there btw?

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Steve Ison

11/5/2007 1:18:16 PM

Scott..I merely responded to your accusations here of indulging in a 'personal bitchfest' and 'demeaning staff' neither of which (as i said) i thought true.

I certainly don't expect staff to 'kiss my ass' lol (i'm totally ok with y'all responding as vehemently as you want to any point i made,including the personal comments on my character)
However,to be aggressively threatened with removal from the site by staff, for expressing (what is after all) only a personal opinion isn't so cool in my book...

Just 'cos you you happen to disagree with my feelings on the big 50 dosn't make it 'negative spiel', just someone coming at something with a different point of view than your own..

Anyways,im totally ok with this being closed now-and as Hugh said-on the Big 50 music discussion 'agreeing to disagree'...:)

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11/5/2007 1:51:11 PM

Well I'm for closing the matter too. As far as I'm concerned this matter was discussed for all it was worth the last time you brought it up back in 2005.

But I'd like to clarify something here. You still come off like you're playing victim and you're just not one.

"aggressively threatened with removal from the site by staff, for expressing (what is after all) only a personal opinion isn't so cool in my book..."

1. You weren't "aggressively threatened with removal from the site". One member of administration said if it were totally up to him, he would have - speaking of a point in time that had already passed. That's not a aggressive threat, with any implication about the future either.

2. "(what is after all) only a personal opinion" is inaccurate also. It wasn't your opinion on the Big 50 he was responding to with that comment, but your ridiculous claim you were lying about a statement you made and authorized us to use in our testimonials. Again you haven't even acknowledged once that this was lame on your part, continuing to ignore what you did to really set things off.

Other than that, agreeing to disagree sounds fine to me.

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Steve Ison

11/5/2007 3:27:07 PM

"It wasn't your opinion on the Big 50 he was responding to with that comment, but your ridiculous claim you were lying about a statement you made and authorized us to use in our testimonials."

Well,that simply isn't true.
If you wanna check,you'll find it was said BEFORE my 'confession' and for totally different reasons.

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11/5/2007 4:43:39 PM

ok, I checked and you're right about that, my mistake.. Still the fact that you had said the totally opposite thing in the past, praising the Big 50 and authorizing us to use your quote in the testimonials certainly was hanging over the situation. Reading it further, Dave's issue was that you're really the first artist since we started the pipeline to post what was in essence an attack on a group of artists (the ones chosen for Big 50 status)

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Steve Ison

11/6/2007 4:18:42 AM

The logic that saying 'I don't generally like the choices that make up THe Big 50' means i'm totally insulting every artist that is, has been,-or ever will be on the big 50 in the future,is quite frankly ridiculous lol

You could follow that line of thought to get worked up over almost any kinda comment-as someone,somewhere would bound to be offended by it !

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Steve Ison

11/6/2007 5:06:19 AM

That should've said 'PERSONALLY insulting every artist' btw

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Holo Lukaloa

11/6/2007 7:42:11 AM

As somebody who is a fan and personal friend of a lady artist who has been on the Big 50 several times here, I can tell you she was quite unhappy about your comments labelling the music on that list as not worthy. She is very proud to have been picked for that and felt you mischaracterized her music totally. It's nice that you can stand up high in your ivory tower and trash people's work but you cast a very wide blanket there.

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Steve Ison

11/6/2007 5:19:13 PM

I think you and your friend are taking my comments way too personally Holo..

As i said -The accusation that a helluva lot of the Big 50 songs sounded generic was a GENERAL one (a point many people in that thread actually agreed with)..It certainly dosn't imply i thought every single song on there fitted that description..

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