The L.A. Times published an article written by Geoff Boucher this morning titled The Path to Success is no longer labeled(Get it? Like a "Record label"?) Bad Puns aside, this is an insightful look into the current concerns and goals of local emerging artists. The tale is told mostly from the perspective of local indie act The Afternoons (who are actually now called Shadow Shadow Shade after they ran into a UK band that is also called "The Afternoons"
Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers supplies some wisdom that sums up what he sees as the current state of things
When I was young, it was about the magical record-label guy who tapped you on the shoulder and suddenly you're playing the Forum, riding around in a limo, getting that shiny tour bus. All of that doesn't exist anymore.
So what does exist? An opportunity for artists to operate outside of the label ecosystem. Any reasonable person would agree that no one has a bead on exactly what the next generation relationship between artist and fan is as of today. New hybrid models are being created and the internet plays a large role. Seems like it might be a lot of fun to figure it out.