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a major artist admits to being on OINK!?!
October 30, 2007 10:24 PM   Subscribe

Trent Reznor speaks about being a member of oink, torrents and file sharing, as well as other interesting things. NIN cd cover artist, known online as Demonbaby, also speaks about labels, file sharing and oink. It's a lonnng rant.
posted by ashbury (51 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Browser-friendly mirror of the Demonbaby rant here.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:49 PM on October 30, 2007


Steve Albini's The Problem With Music serves as a good complement to the Demonbaby rant.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:15 PM on October 30, 2007


Man, Demonbaby sure makes Oink sound awesome. I wish I'd used my account.
posted by graventy at 11:17 PM on October 30, 2007


You forgot to mention that the interview is also with the brilliant Saul Williams is also being interviewed.
posted by Jimbob at 11:18 PM on October 30, 2007


...is being interviewed also with the brilliant Saul Williams, who the interview is also with...

Duh.
posted by Jimbob at 11:20 PM on October 30, 2007


Oink really was pretty great.

It was good enough that I routinely used it for discs that I actually owned, because torrenting was simpler, faster and more reliable than ripping.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 11:22 PM on October 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I expect there are already replacements out there; as with Oink, they will operate through anonymity and friend-of-friend recruitment until such time as the RIAA etc are de-fanged, or totalitarian control of the internet (or of the people using the internet, which may end up being easier) makes anonymity impossible.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:01 AM on October 31, 2007


Damn. I was hoping there would be a hint about the next Oink-like site. Oh well.

Good couple of articles. Thanks for the post, ashbury.
posted by snwod at 12:09 AM on October 31, 2007


I agree with Steve Albini 100%. But he's still a dick.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:31 AM on October 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


That was a great read. Thanks for posting!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:19 AM on October 31, 2007


and if I filled my shiny new 160gb iPod up legally, buying each track online at the 99 cents price that the industry has determined, it would cost me about $32,226. How does that make sense?

Because someone has to pay for music! By paying for it, you're supporting the band, putting food in their mouths, allowing them to pay rent, buy new equipment, etc. Certainly the Radiohead approach seems to have worked for them (although whether we'll actually find out what money they made is doubtful), but they're a big band and have the infrastructure to help make something like this work.

If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist. I just don't understand how people are prepared to pay stupid amounts of money for below average coffee or a nice restaurant meal that'll be over in minutes/hours and yet feel aggrieved by having to pay for music which could give them a lifetime's pleasure.
posted by TheDonF at 1:33 AM on October 31, 2007


If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist.

Your premise is flawed, because people already make music for no money. In fact, I believe you'd find the majority of musicians aren't being paid for it.

I don't mean that this is a good thing - it's great if you can do what you love, and make a living of it at the same time. But I can guarantee that if no-one making music was getting paid, people would still be making music.

People don't "feel aggrieved" about having to pay for music. They're aggrieved about having to pay for music that's in a format they can't even play on their car stereo, with most of the money going to middle-man record companies / distributors / Apple / shareholders instead of artists.
posted by Jimbob at 1:52 AM on October 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist.

Correct. And it's also obvious that, soon, they're not going to get any income from CDs. That business model is fatally broken and will be dead once the major record companies stop buying legislation that postpones the inevitable. Another business model will have to take its place. That could be performance based, it could be something else, I don't know, and since I'm not an artist, I'm not actively looking for one. Trent is, Radiohead is, and we'll see what works and what doesn't.

If you really want your favourite band to "survive", help them find a new business model that works for them.
posted by DreamerFi at 2:02 AM on October 31, 2007


oh, and what Jimbob said.
posted by DreamerFi at 2:03 AM on October 31, 2007


If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist.

I think the specific point about the iPod example is that the size of the average music collection is enormously larger than 20 years ago. It's not feasible to expect people to be able to fund this at the prevailing rates charged by the major labels. The labels can either get on board with this and come up with some sort of sensible charging mechanism, or, as is the case at the moment, people are going to take the music illegally.

It's quite clear that the demands of the RIAA customer base have shifted drastically in the last 10 years. Like any other business, they are going to have adjust to their customers' changing demands or they're going to go out of business.
posted by Jakey at 4:12 AM on October 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


lawrence lessig wrote about this about 5 years ago just after the crash and dawn or the dead like rebirth of Napster .
IP and Copyright law will have to change- the industry on the whole will have to adapt and what we are seeing now with the whole anitpiracy "you are stealing from the artists" mantra ( despite the fact that its easily proven that many artists are used by labels worse than a crackwhore's dealer-pimp), is the resistance to that change

labels arent trying to protect artists- they are trying to protect their business model from being affected by technological innovation that clearly shows what useless toolbags they are.

in the book "the bonfire of the vanities" the main characters wife makes the following reply to a query by the daughter of what it is that her daddy does that makes them so much money- to paraphrase, the mother calls her husband a "crumbsnatcher" - a successful one - but a crumbsnatcher none the less- who only has the things that he has because others have really done the work.

nothing illustrates the empty suits of the industry more than this allegory- you arent supporting artists when you buy a CD - what you are doing is allowing some guy to have enough "funny money" to get lapdances and snort coke off of strippers well toned and flat bellies at Scores and charge their 4 figure excess to their corporate account.
posted by duality at 4:31 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


torrenting was simpler, faster and more reliable than ripping.

I've found myself downloading things I own, simply because I didn't want to get up.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:35 AM on October 31, 2007


If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist. I just don't understand how people are prepared to pay stupid amounts of money for below average coffee or a nice restaurant meal that'll be over in minutes/hours and yet feel aggrieved by having to pay for music which could give them a lifetime's pleasure.

Your comparison here is flawed. The reason people are willing to pay for Starbucks coffee is because of the convenience offered them by Starbucks. People don't care thermoses full of coffee around with them, so they're willing to pay for the Starbucks.

The crumbling record industry model is built on the distribution, not of music, but of the physical medium on which the music is record - the record, cassette, or CD. The limits of technology made their wares necessary.

Well, that's no longer the case. Technology caught up to them and caught them sitting on their laurels. Now they are stuck trying to put all that tech back into Pandora's box with DRM and lawsuits. Well you can't stop progress.

People don't pay for music now, not because they want to rip off the artist, but because consumers intuitively understand that the record labels' distribution model is not offering them any value.

Based on my own experience as an avid music collector and concert goer, it seems to me like audiences are more than ready to support their favorite artists. They'll pay $40 for a Radiohead concert tee. They'll email everyone they know to get them to come out to a little club to see their favorite unknown artist. They'll put up music blogs to try and expose people to new music.

Audiences are all about supporting their favorite musicians. The current model that the RIAA is so desperately trying to preserve is built to exploit the artist and the audience. So, good riddance.
posted by Grundlebug at 6:09 AM on October 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


Damn, how did you forget to mention Saul Williams' name in that FPP?
posted by dead_ at 6:29 AM on October 31, 2007


yeah, not mentioning saul williams was pretty stupid. i claim extreme fatigue dulling my thinking processes.
posted by ashbury at 6:33 AM on October 31, 2007


But nice post. Thanks. I wish that they both had a bit more to say about filesharing.
posted by dead_ at 6:44 AM on October 31, 2007


Those "other interesting things" mentioned in the FPP include the fact that Saul Williams is giving away his record tomorrow.

You can also send a few bucks his way if you like. Check it out here, and if you head over to the Nine Inch Nails website, Trent has posted two tracks for you to download.
posted by King Bee at 6:58 AM on October 31, 2007


Thx for the article and the heads up on the release of Williams' record.

As for paying for music or the way the music industry is set up, I'll point you all to two great comments by two great, Metafilter's own, musicians:

Miko and melissa may.

I know, I could just repeat what they said, but they said it best.
posted by micayetoca at 7:01 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


snwod, the first comment on the interview link says Oink will reopen tomorrow at http://oink.6x.to

no idea if it's legit or not :-)
posted by sineater at 7:24 AM on October 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


"But I can guarantee that if no-one making music was getting paid, people would still be making music."

And there would be a lot less crap out there.
One thing that greatly influences my opinion of a band is if they're making music for MUSIC's sake, or only for MONEY. I want to hear music from people who experience true bliss from playing. People who wouldn't be able to survive without music. The money should just be a side-effect, an added bonus to the joy of making music. Not the reason for making music. (I feel the same way about politicians, but that's a whole other topic)
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:32 AM on October 31, 2007



If we all go down the road of "I'm not paying for music" then what happens? How can bands get anywhere? If they have no income then they're not going to be able to exist.


I'll tell you my opinion, as a musician. I have a band, we have a website and have had it perhaps for two years now. Ever since we "opened" the site we put a lot of our songs there, downloadable for free (we don't even have a paypal link anywhere).

How can you make money, then? -you'll ask. By charging for licenses of the songs for TV shows, movies or all sorts of stuff, for example. You can make in a single license what you would have made from 3000 CDs. And I don't even think that's the only alternative you have.

In our particular case, we live in 4 different countries, but bands that live in the same city always will have the option of playing live. Of setting up stores with merchandise for them and other local bands.

So, we chose not to charge individual listeners to listen to our music, but there are still other ways to make a living out of music. And I'm sure new media and new technologies will bring ways we can't even think of right now.

The one thing that will be lost in the process, perhaps, is the "star system." It may be harder to become a Marilyn Manson Mtv type rockstar, but not a musician. And me, I feel great to have the option of offering our songs to people without asking for money in return.
posted by micayetoca at 7:35 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


People don't "feel aggrieved" about having to pay for music. They're aggrieved about having to pay for music that's in a format they can't even play on their car stereo, with most of the money going to middle-man record companies / distributors / Apple / shareholders instead of artists.

You know... I'm sorry but this is just horseshit. Well, mostly horseshit. Pre-music files virtually NO ONE (who wasn't a musician) gave a shit about how the music industry worked, how little the artists were being paid. Virtually no one that wasn't in the industry had even heard of the RIAA or CRIA. Your argument is not a justification, it's a rationalization. There's a huge difference.

Sure, a lot of MeFites are tech-savvy (and some are related to the music industry (or are musicians themselves)) as are, I presume, most of the people you associate with. But that is not the average Joe. The average Joe is downloading music not to stick it to the man. They're doing it because it's free.

I've worked in record store retail on and off since I was a kid and the music of the past (80s) that sells is just as shit as the music of today that sells. People aren't downloading music because 9/10ths of every major release is shit. They *gladly* paid for that shit for decades. They're doing it because it's free.

Your premise is flawed, because people already make music for no money. In fact, I believe you'd find the majority of musicians aren't being paid for it.

No, your premise is flawed. The argument that if people *really* wanted to make music or are true musicians they would do it for free is a selfish and ignorant one. I know plenty of shit musicians that don't make a dime. I know plenty of good musicians who haven't paid their dues (and will willingly admit they haven't) who haven't made money *yet*, but like any industry, the people who work their asses off, have talent, and stick with it, rise to the top. This is true or writers, doctors, dog trainers, contractors, architects, chefs, bakers.... whatever. The difference is that those industries don't have the equivalent of file downloading. No one is stealing their work.

If you like a band, if you derive pleasure from their work, pay them for it. I don't care if you buy their cd, see them live, buy a t-shirt, or paypal them $5, but doing anything else is theft, regardless of the fact that technology has rendered that term meaningless under the law.
posted by dobbs at 7:58 AM on October 31, 2007 [5 favorites]


If you like a band, if you derive pleasure from their work, pay them for it. I don't care if you buy their cd, see them live, buy a t-shirt, or paypal them $5, but doing anything else is theft, regardless of the fact that technology has rendered that term meaningless under the law.

And that's exactly why the radios should be outlawed! Don't even get me started on libraries...
posted by inigo2 at 8:02 AM on October 31, 2007


And that's exactly why the radios should be outlawed! Don't even get me started on libraries

Oh, please do fill us in. It's obvious from these two sentences that you haven't a clue how radio or libraries work, financially. (Psst, guess what, artists are being paid, just not by you.)
posted by dobbs at 8:19 AM on October 31, 2007


Oh, please do fill us in. It's obvious from these two sentences that you haven't a clue how radio or libraries work, financially. (Psst, guess what, artists are being paid, just not by you.)

Libraries pay artists, but radio? Only if SoundExchange admits to being able to find them.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:29 AM on October 31, 2007


Fair points, dobbs - although I do believe there is a much higher level of understanding about how the music industry works now. It's not just academic, it's actually very well known.

The average Joe is downloading music not to stick it to the man. They're doing it because it's free.

And how much of the music filling their 250gb harddrive would they have paid for if not for the ease of illegal downloading?

People's aren't just downloading music for free because it's free - they've just started loving music in bulk. They want enough music to fill their MP3 player to get them through a month's worth of commutes without hearing the same song twice. They want masses of music to play at parties all night. They want to be able to instantly hear any Beatles song ever recorded. They want to access their music collection in their office, on the train, in their bedroom. They want to take their music on vacation with them. They want a collection of sick beats to mix.

The record industry is still trying to get by on the idea that an album is a special piece of art - and they are priced that way. The average punter just wants shitloads of stuff to listen to.

Now - what does it matter to a band if, say, 10 people pay $10 for their album, or 100 people pay $1 for their album, given that on the internet, distribution is pretty close to free? Nothing. Except if 100 people have bought their album, then there's potentially 10x as many people who are now thinking of seeing them live or buying a t-shirt.

There just needs to be a shift to understanding that music is pretty much a commodity now - and that this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it means that people are potentially wanting to listen to more music by more artists more of the time.

As for the debate about how much Radiohead made off their recent album release; I can guarantee it was enough to keep the band clothed, fed and sheltered quite comfortably until they release the next one.
posted by Jimbob at 9:11 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


And as for the argument that money = quality;

Do you think Mozart would have put down his pen and stopped composing if he wasn't getting paid for it? Did Miles Davis put down his horn and refuse to play during hard times?

On the other hand, the commercial music industry is making sure such quality artists as Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and that goddam Gummi Bear song are getting paid well.

Sorry, I just don't think there's a strong correlation between good music, and money making.
posted by Jimbob at 9:16 AM on October 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jimbob, you make good points.

Now - what does it matter to a band if, say, 10 people pay $10 for their album, or 100 people pay $1 for their album

None. I didn't say there was a difference. I said there is a difference between 100 people paying $1 each and 100 people paying nothing each.

And as for the argument that money = quality

I didn't say money = quality. What I was suggesting was that people who are driven to make music (like people in the other professions I mentioned who are driven to do what they love) will eventually make money if they work hard, are talented, and stick with it. But they will only make that money if it's surrendered by the people who partake of their art. My point is that yes, artists can make money off t-shirts and shows even if people steal their music. However, the music is being stolen *because it can be*. Eventually we'll get to some point where people can have whatever they want without paying for it, and I don't just mean music. What I don't understand is why people are unwilling to pay for what they do appreciate. I don't want people to pay for Britney or whoever the shit artist is on top today. I want them to pay for what enriches their lives so that the people doing the enriching are in a position to keep doing so. However, many people suggest that it doesn't matter if those people are compensated because *if they really love it* they will do it anyway so why should I pay? And even if my lack of paying prevents them from doing what they love... some other schmuck will come along who hasn't been put thru the wringer yet and my life will be enriched by that person's toil.

This is not a good scenario. It's selfish, it's ignorant, and it's not one which allows talented artists to keep on doing what they love.
posted by dobbs at 9:31 AM on October 31, 2007


Also, I'm about to head off to work for an 8 hour shift (incidentally, at a record store). I expect to be paid at the end of my work even though I love working there. All of the people stealing music also expect to be paid for their work and on payday I don't think they'd be too happy if their boss said, "You know what... we really love your work, the customers really love your work, but, for whatever reason, they decided not to pay for it. No pay cheque for you this week. I hope that's cool and we'll see you on Monday." It really is that simple, no?
posted by dobbs at 9:37 AM on October 31, 2007


I liked this quote: "How long before [record companies] are irrelevant? Who knows? They seem to be doing everything they can to make sure that happens as quickly as possible."
posted by chunking express at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2007


How many writers make a living writing for free publications or websites?

With the new ease of distribution, music is now like words. The market has to adjust. It's inevitable.

Movies and TV are next.
posted by Grundlebug at 9:57 AM on October 31, 2007


Thanks for the link to the "leaked" files, King Bee. I'm looking forward to this album.

As to the hubbub over file sharing and DRM and "won't somebody think of the poor musicians," yeah, things change. We've been down this road before with the advent of radio and the introduction of consumer recording devices like reel-to-reel and the cassette tape. In every instance the industry has dragged its heels and insisted that THE END IS NIGH. So far the consumers have gotten what they want though and very few musicians have had to sell their kidneys on the black market to stay alive. Hell, it seems to me that tape swapping and radio airplay has helped a lot of musicians get recognition they never would have received before.

Things change, but a balance always asserts itself. I don't see musicians becoming a permanent serf-class just because people are downloading files.
posted by lekvar at 10:11 AM on October 31, 2007


It really is that simple, no?

Sadly, no. It's not.
posted by sparkletone at 10:23 AM on October 31, 2007


They *gladly* paid for that shit for decades.

Gladly? Who the hell was glad about paying 18.99 for a CD with three good songs on it? Especially anyone who remembers being able to buy 7" singles for 1.99. Record companies raked in huge amounts of money when everyone replaced their vinyl with CD's, and once that cash cow began to stagger around weakly they jacked up album prices so outrageously that everyone felt used.

Gladly, my ass.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:33 AM on October 31, 2007


"Also, I'm about to head off to work for an 8 hour shift (incidentally, at a record store). I expect to be paid at the end of my work even though I love working there."

Hey Dobbs, how many promo albums go walking at your record store? If it's anything like the stores that I've been familiar with, very few people there will end up paying for the vast majority of music they hear.

I'm not trying to judge—I got two promo copies today (and oh, man, record companies: If you give us four copies of the new Debbie Harry album, you are guaranteeing that it will be sold to used stores). But essentially, I get an album or two a day to listen to for free, and I'm not even the main record reviewer. And out of those, I review one or two a week, and out of those, one or two a month run.

But it makes it hard for me to feel bad about downloading a copy of something we didn't get a promo of. (Anecdotal aside: We didn't get Kala from MIA. So I found it on slsk, wrote up a review, and it ran. I even liked the album so much that I bought it afterwards). How do I rationalize it? Well, I wrote about the new Black Mountain album (In The Future) for a magazine with an audience of about 180k first reads. Then, when they came through, I went and saw them and convinced four other people to come with me, one of which bought their old album there.

It's not that I'm holding myself up as a paragon of virtue, but this has been about how I've experienced the economics of music for the last six or seven years. I am both one of the most inveterate downloaders in my social circle (roughly 18000 songs in the last two years), and someone who spends roughly $50 a month on buying recorded music, and another $50 on live music.

Granted, muso-journos have long been held as parasites, but I just don't feel like I'm outside the social norms. I'm maybe a little bit of a deviation from the mean, but compared to some folks I know, I'm a dilettante.

What about you? What's your music purchasing look like?
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 AM on October 31, 2007


Wait, you guys think most musicians make money from CD sales?


In my time working in radio it became clear to me CD sales (at least indirect CD sales through a record label) for the vast majority of musicians in America provide little to no income. They act simply as a means of raising awareness and getting people listening. These people then go to shows, which is where the vast majority of a band's income comes from (most importantly merch sales including, admittedly, direct CD sales of which the band's cut is often 100%).

Only a tiny portion of bands sell enough CDs that CD sales themselves provide more then a small slice of the income pie. For everyone else a cheaper (or free) means of distribution does a significantly better job of raising awareness/getting folks to the shows.

Of course the math changes a lot when you are talking about a musician going DIY with their CD production/distribution, but those aren't the folks suing people and taking down websites.
posted by Jezztek at 1:41 PM on October 31, 2007


What about you? What's your music purchasing look like?
posted by klangklangston

Being a musician, I've always been around other musicians, record company people and magazine writers, so, I used to get a steady flow of free (legal) music from them. That was for the more mainstream stuff. All the rest of the weirder stuff I listen to I had to hunt and buy wherever I found it, and so, let's say that I would get 40% of my music in giveaways, I would hunt and buy another 40% and I would copy the rest as normal people do (when I as younger with tapes, later by burning CDs).

Ever since I moved to Venezuela I lost that steady flow of giveaways (and I also realized how little I cared for most of what I was getting there and how little I miss it) though I still get some of the best stuff of that -like, say, Tom Waits promo copies. And then the lack of good record stores here has me suffering. I'd been pushed towards a) street vendors that sell copies of really old Caribbean music b) the internet and c) record stores whenever I go out of the country. I'll still have to buy the records I really want, and I kinda have a constant flow of "nice surprises" that I run into. Pretty much like most people, I would think.
posted by micayetoca at 2:15 PM on October 31, 2007


"If you like a band, if you derive pleasure from their work, pay them for it. I don't care if you buy their cd, see them live, buy a t-shirt, or paypal them $5, but doing anything else is theft, regardless of the fact that technology has rendered that term meaningless under the law."

If technology has rendered such theft meaningless, perhaps that's only possible because technology (printing press, sound recording, etc) make copyright possible in the first place. Maybe we should consider copyright to have been a transitory phase as copying costs were reduced from expensive to none.

I mean, no-one expects to pay for web comics, but people like the Penny Arcade guys or Scott Kurtz seem to be making some sort of living regardless. Granted, even three songs a week would be hard to maintain, but something like Red vs Blue and their 20 or so episodes over six months could possibly be done?
posted by Auz at 3:34 PM on October 31, 2007


The problem as I see it (and as others have mentioned) is that I'm not supporting artists when I buy a CD. I'm supporting corporations that have refused to change with the times and have refused to accept that what they're selling isn't as valuable as it once was. I've read that an artist receives $1 or less per album sold.

I don't want my money for nothing and my chicks for free, I want to pay a reasonable amount for music and I want a reasonable amount of that money to go to the artist. I paid for the Radiohead album ($7), and I'll pay for Saul's tomorrow if I like it as much as I suspect I will.

I've decided that $7 is a sweet spot for what I think is reasonable to pay for a good album. Some people disagree, I'm sure the industry does. You know what? The value of commodities change, and the value of recorded music has gone down. Generally when the value of goods decrease to the point where the mechanisms providing them exceed the cost of goods, either the mechanisms are changed or the industry dies. The recording industry has chosen not to change, which means that people more entrepreneurially creative than I will create a new system and pricing structure, and the old one will fall to waste.

Good riddance.
posted by rollbiz at 4:05 PM on October 31, 2007


Or as Saul puts it:

My Dearest Friends and Fans,

It is my greatest honor to present to you The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!,
my new album produced by Trent Reznor and mixed by Alan Moulder. The wall of sound that we've created is tagged with such graffiti that a passerby would seek out doors and ways to ENTER. Once inside a world defined by dreams come true they'd find aligned with the simplest act of sharing what we treasure. Most people aren't aware of the world of art and commerce where exploitation strips each artist down to nigger. Each label, like apartheid, multiplies us by our divide and whips us 'til we conform to lesser figures. What falls between the cracks is a pile of records stacked to the heights of talents hidden from the sun. Yet the energy they put into popularizing smut makes a star of a shiny polished gun. The ballot or the bullet for Mohawk or the mullet is a choice between new times and dying days. And the only way to choose is to jump ship from old truths and trust dolphins as we swim through changing ways. The ways of middlemen proves to be just a passing trend. We need no priests to talk to God. No phone to call her. And when you click the link below, i think it fair that you should know that your purchase will make middlemen much poorer...

NiggyTardust!


love,

Saul

posted by rollbiz at 4:19 PM on October 31, 2007


How can you make money, then? -you'll ask. By charging for licenses of the songs for TV shows, movies or all sorts of stuff, for example. You can make in a single license what you would have made from 3000 CDs. And I don't even think that's the only alternative you have.

If you do that you'll have people calling you a sell out. Most bands don't make a terrible amount touring. Even if you do, meet the new boss, his name is Ticketmaster.

And there would be a lot less crap out there.
One thing that greatly influences my opinion of a band is if they're making music for MUSIC's sake, or only for MONEY. I want to hear music from people who experience true bliss from playing. People who wouldn't be able to survive without music. The money should just be a side-effect, an added bonus to the joy of making music. Not the reason for making music.


Your favorite band sucks, and I hope they never make another song again, because we won't have their garbage clogging up the world.

The use of subjective standards to dismiss the loss of creative content because of the lack of respect of copyright pisses me off. I still have not been convinced that this brave new world without musical copyright, or at least music copyright not enforced for personal use*, would lead to a world that has more music, more video games, and more movies. And as such copyright has not outlived it's usefulness. And your dismissal of anyone who doesn't want to make another album just for the sheer love of music doesn't change that.

*I find it slightly hypocritical that people decry enforcement agencies cracking down on personal use violations, but in the same breath would screech and any large organization who dare use a creative work in anything without express permission and lots of dough. If some TV show were to use a song of someone's album without prior approval, the cries of thief would be long and loud, even though it is not stealing, it's copyright infringement, and that information wants to be free, and that it would probably be one of the best advertisements in all of existence for their next tour.
posted by zabuni at 5:38 PM on October 31, 2007


Why not a network like Oink, where the artists get paid?

I don't want CDs, they're too bulky for my lifestyle. I like Oink, it meets all my needs - but I want artists to get paid. The record industry, not so much. This is the industry that screwed over many of my favourite acts. The industry that sued John Fogerty for plagarizing himself. The industry that turned down the Beatles. That turned down Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, then bought it back. That ripped off countless early bluesmen. That overcharged for CDs. I won't be shedding any tears if they wither and die. They're not the friend of the artist, or the fan.

I'd gladly pay a subscription fee or a per-torrent fee to use something like Oink. The costs wouldn't need to be high, either - you're not paying for packaging. You're not paying for CD store middlemen. You're not paying shipping costs. (It doesn't even cost the artist anything to distribute their product, because you're using bittorrent, so the users themselves upload to each other). You're not paying marketing costs, or the costs of maintaining big record companies.

So charge $2/torrent or something. New artists could save money by gigging, or get a bank loan, to record an album. Stick it on the torrent site, and if people like it, they make their money. No record company needed.

Of course, if you want a record company, fine - you go to a record company, they give you an advance to buy gear and they pay for some promotion, and you pay them back out of sales - it's worthwhile for record companies (those that are smart enough to adapt) because they sell huge numbers of Britney torrents, and make a commission on those.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:43 PM on October 31, 2007


"Most bands don't make a terrible amount touring. Even if you do, meet the new boss, his name is Ticketmaster."

ARG! This shit drives me fucking nuts!

MOST BANDS DON'T MAKE MONEY!

Most bands don't make a terrible amount touring. Most bands don't make a terrible amount off of music sales. Most bands don't do much of goddamned anything. The bands that do make money make more off of touring than they do from record sales.

And people bitching about Ticketmaster taking a cut—play local venues!

God, that guy who wrote that blog post is an idiot. The enemy isn't ticketmaster or radio stations, it's fucking gas prices going through the roof. That's what's taking a bigger ding out of these bands road profits. But still, if the problem you're having is with ticketmaster, congratulations—You're Pearl Jam.

Hundreds of bands make money touring, and make more money touring than they ever would have through cd sales lost to file sharing. But these bands work hard, these bands plan carefully, and these bands treat making money from music like a fucking job instead of being entitled ass-hats who think that they should be selling out the Roxy because the fucking Strokes can.
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 PM on October 31, 2007


If you do that you'll have people calling you a sell out. Most bands don't make a terrible amount touring. Even if you do, meet the new boss, his name is Ticketmaster.

I think klangklangston has it right, most band don't make money at all. Also, if you don't want to deal with Ticketmaster there will always be options.

As for the sellout thing: that's one of the things that is gradually changing, along with the rest of the "habits" or customs of the industry and the environment. People are beginning to develop a different understanding of how things work and will cut much more of a break to musiciansif they see them trying new ways and succeeding (even if modestly).

And even if it takes a while to change, you have to stick to your guns and realize that a model like that (living off licenses) actually gives you more creative freedom. In the end, you are being more faithful to your music, and people will end up recognizing that. People won't call you 'a sellout' if you continue to make the music that you make, not the music that 'the market' requires from you.
posted by micayetoca at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2007


Gladly? Who the hell was glad about paying 18.99 for a CD with three good songs on it?

I ran a chain record store for 4 summers ('90-'93) and can't remember a single complaint. That was how much music cost back then. The world ain't wasn't Tin Men--you might want to pay $4 for a car, but that doesn't mean you're going to get it.

Hey Dobbs, how many promo albums go walking at your record store?

None. Doesn't happen at my current store. Record companies don't send us promos. We're small, independently owned, and a single location.

What's your music purchasing look like?

I own about 5000 albums. I paid for about 95% of them. The rest were gifts from friends or the musicians or whatnot (I know a lot of musicians and label owners). I'm not saying I've never downloaded a song for free. Any music fan has. However, I don't rationalize and say "Fuck the man! The labels take all the money! Catch me if you can!" and take all I can. That's horseshit.

My music buying habits are pretty simple: I buy what I like. My first avenue of purchase is online (I use emusic and have for 5+ years), my second is a toss up between a used store or a new store--depends where I see it first. And though when I buy used (as with when anyone buys used) the artists aren't compensated, in the vast majority of cases, they already have been compensated when that initial record was purchased new. If I absolutely cannot find the album on emusic or in a live store, I will buy direct from the label or at a gig (though as I get older I don't go to as many gigs), though gigs are my first venue for music if possible (ie, when I go to shows I almost always buy something--usually from the opener).

As for free music, I've linked to numerous free music sites on the blue over the years. I've also worked with some of my favorite artists and given away unreleased tracks through my various writing projects. I'm not against free music. I'm against people who feel it's their right as consumers of music to decide when (which seems to be always) they can take what they want for free.

I think klangklangston has it right, most band don't make money at all.

Again, this is a rationalization. Who cares about "most bands". You're not being asked to support "most bands". You're being asked to pay for music that you wish to listen to. You're supporting the people who are enriching your life. Fuck all the other bands. Just because they (to you) suck doesn't mean you shouldn't help out the ones you actually appreciate.
posted by dobbs at 8:22 PM on October 31, 2007


Again, this is a rationalization. Who cares about "most bands". You're not being asked to support "most bands".

I see your point, dobbs, but I wasn't endorsing downloading free mp3s, I was saying, that as a band, you can make a living with a different model than being paid for your music. My point was: you can give your music away for free to individual listeners and still make a living (either from licenses of your music to movies, commercials or TV shows, or from merchandising or selling other things).

So yeah, I'm not disagreeing with you, but I just wanted to say I'm not trying to come up with a moral justification for downloading free music, I was trying to say that, as a musician, you don't necessarily need major labels, large retailers or any of what we currently know as the standard.
posted by micayetoca at 8:46 PM on October 31, 2007


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