James I'll take your post as an intro to express my thoughts about this.
If I recall right you asked people on the board to mix your album right?
So my thought is that there are more and more artists (many of them very good, like you) who thanks to the new affordable technology are able to track themselves at their rehearsing space. Then depending on how good of a product they want to put out they will need an experienced engineer to mix and master their music so to be competitive on the market.
On the other end, I have fallen in love with an artist named Zee Avi, who came out on youtube. Her videos caught the attention of some producers in LA. The home made youtube videos show her playing the guitar and singing through the computer mic hiding her face
. She sounds and looks amazing in her videos.
Now in the first "big" production they made her a completely different performer. They went for the asian hottie
type of marketing strategy, which pays the bills in the short run and dies quick.
In my opinion a good way to burn this girls image in 15 minutes, when she could have become a little bigger in a longer period of time following her way to present herself (like James is doing).
Look at the difference:
before: YouTube - Someone You Used to Know (Original Song)
but please click on some more videos to see the potential...
and after: YouTube - Zee Avi - "Bitter Heart" (Music Video)
What a difference!
An example of how technology is helping musicians getting their name out and getting destroyed by production companies, no matter how good of a job a recording engineer can do to the "commercial" mix.