David Byrne, trusted filters and parrots

Are you a trusted source of information or a corporate parrot? Are your relationships with reporters and editors one-way, or do you work to maintain a reputation as a reliable, informative and trustworthy source of information in your industry? Are you an artist or a mechanic? Are you shooting for a string of one-time hits, or is your goal a career of continuing success and a ongoing royalty cheques? David Byrne spoke about his relationship with Nonesuch, his new record label:

    ''It's a curatorial effort, a filter. The people who are at the head of it want you to trust their judgment, so that if you like one artist you'll get to know others. A certain kind of relationship gets established, and it's based on trust. That's a very different concept from record labels that go for Top 10 hits. There's no trust there at all -- it's about that one song.

    The reason the record business is in trouble is the things they're selling -- the hit singles and the physical records -- have become devalued. If people can get those things for free, what do the record companies have left? Whereas what's incredibly valued and needed is the relationship and trust.''

Parrotting the corporate line will get you through the day, but are you preparing for tomorrow, next month, next year? Are you a member of O-Town or Menudo?