The infrastucutre of the modern music industry is screwed. We know that. And we are all causing it by creating Napster, Kazaa and other file sharing sites. We are causing it by demanding that we get the music we want, when we want it, how we want it and usually for little money (iTunes) or no money in exchange (podcasting networks or places like Pandora).
...the music industry, such as you could define it, has only been around for a hundred years or so and even then it was for a handful of musicians and composers who were paid to please the king.
Long before the industry there was the music. There was sound and there was the beat, the stuff that stirred souls. People always made music, for themselves, their families, their friends. It's only recently in human history that anyone thought you could make a living doing it. Then the industry got in the way.
Back in the day you could rely on tastemakers like the pioneers at Stax, Atlantic, Motown, Chess, Arista and a host of other labels to bring the best music to us, because they had the skills and the infrastructure to do it. But then the corporations took over and started lining the wallets of a few honchos. Now, who needs them.
So yeah, we are seeing the destruction of a music industry that was always a house of cards. But we are also seeing a liberation or a re-democratization of music itself. Now that each of us has the tools and the distribution to make and share whatever music we want music is being returned to the people. Ironically, with all this technology, we are going back to the past when anyone who wanted to make music, could make music.
By the way, once upon a time, The J.Geils Band just ROCKED!