Pearl Jam Roach Motels.
October 25, 2002 5:50 AM   Subscribe

Pearl Jam Roach Motels. In response to an article last month revealing that Epic Records Group had glued CD players shut to prevent piracy of promotional albums (namely Riot Act by Pearl Jam and Scarlet's Walk by Tori Amos), music critics at PopMatters ask the following: "Who needs whom more? Do the media outlets need the record labels, since they release the albums that help them sell magazines along with the label's CDs? Or do the labels need the media outlets, without which the newest release by the latest youth-oriented pop contrivance would fall with a deafening thud?"
posted by jacknose (27 comments total)
Like superglue is going to stop a determined pirate!
posted by mischief at 5:59 AM on October 25, 2002

The ultimate solution is to ban the manufacturing and sale of musical instruments, as such devices provide a vertical market toward
the piracy of songs and illicit "bootleg" recordings of public performances.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:29 AM on October 25, 2002

Or indeed do any of us need contrived youth orientated pop any more?

*puts on slippers and mutters things about "the youth of today"*
posted by ciderwoman at 6:44 AM on October 25, 2002

Hey, what's that sound? Oh, it's Eddie Vedder's head exploding.
posted by mkultra at 6:51 AM on October 25, 2002

(to be released as a "Bonus Track" by Epic....)
posted by mkultra at 6:52 AM on October 25, 2002

I for one demand spontaneous curmudgeon pop!

No, really. I think spontaneous curmudgeon pop would make all our lives much better. Don't you?
(On preview) The sound of Eddie Vedder's head exploding would make for excellent curmudgeon pop.

posted by furiousthought at 6:56 AM on October 25, 2002

(to be released as a "Bonus Track" by Epic....)

Could be worse - Perl Jam could be on Roadrunner Records. Meaning, after everyone's bought the album, they'll release a 'digipak' with extra tracks, so you can experience the joy of buying it again!
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:11 AM on October 25, 2002

Given the quality of the CDs they've been publishing lately, they should glue the critics' ears shut
posted by matteo at 7:20 AM on October 25, 2002

Given what most critics seem to call "great music," can I have my ears glued shut, please?
posted by JollyWanker at 7:32 AM on October 25, 2002

Note to any critics out there who may receive the glued shut CD player: just use fingernail polish remover to desolve the glue.
posted by spilon at 7:33 AM on October 25, 2002

If I know critics like I think I do, keep your eyes peeled for a glut of glued-shut CD players in the Tori Amos and Pearl Jam sections of your local used record store!
Epic's anti-piracy efforts are so wrongheaded for so many reasons that i honestly can't stop giggling at the image of their marketing teams "strategy sessions"
posted by chandy72 at 7:43 AM on October 25, 2002

Chandy: Yep, you know critics quite well. I was thinking eBay myself. Tori Amos and Pearl Jam both have exactly the kind of fans that would clamor for a walkman that plays only their favorite artist's new CD. I doubt I'll see the Pearl Jam, but I've still got my fingers crossed for the Tori Amos.
posted by Gilbert at 9:41 AM on October 25, 2002

Too late. I got PJ's Riot Act a couple weeks ago. It's extremely political and anti-capitalist (see Bu$hleaguer and Green Disease), but really fantastic. I've only given it to fellow fans that I know will be buying the album on November 12th, so no harm done. You won't hear Save You on the radio due to the fact that he says "f*ck" quite a bit, but everyone should find a copy and have a listen to the second song when it comes out. Pearl Jam refines (yes, refines, not defines) aggression like nobody else.
posted by BirdD0g at 9:47 AM on October 25, 2002

That's pretty amusing considering Amos has been offering streams of new songs off her album, one per week, for a number of weeks now. You can't download them, but you can listen to a different one every week. As a rabid Amos fan, it's been a real tease for the new album, to be released next week.

Her new album is a great example of an artist using the medium to her advantage. With the CD, you get an embarassment of riches -- with the CD in your drive, you go to her web site to get bonus tracks, commentary from Tori on the songs, footage from the recording sessions, photos, mini-movies, and once her tour kicks off, bonus live tracks recorded during the course of the tour. None of this could you have gotten off Napster or its clones.
posted by archimago at 9:52 AM on October 25, 2002

when i pirate music, the very top of my list are new tracks by tori amos and pearl jam. damn you epic . i guess you win this time.
posted by tsarfan at 9:52 AM on October 25, 2002

How about this solution: "... the first two weeks for a record at retail is the most important time. That's going to gauge how much they reorder and whether or not they support the record." - El-P

With that fact in mind, include with the first pressing something that a filetrader can't get. Like the free DVD that came with the new Queens of the Stone Age CD.
posted by monkeymike at 9:57 AM on October 25, 2002

Pearl Jam refines (yes, refines, not defines) aggression like nobody else.

I'm baffled about what to say about that one. You really consider Pearl Jam songs to be aggresssive?

on topic, i'm betting the things will turn up on ebay as well. though i'm also curious to see how the record companies will respond when they do. no doubt they'll force ebay to pull them and try and find out who's behind them.

Like the free DVD that came with the new Queens of the Stone Age CD.

I agree with you MM. the only problem i have with this tactic is that the quality of the stuff should be considerably better than that DVD was. and, whenever small labels do this kind of thing, the special copies never make it out of america so i hope that if this type of thing becomes a habit that they take non-americans into consideration.
posted by dobbs at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2002

But that free DVD, it kinda sucked.

I say, include porn. No one can get porn off the internet, can they?
posted by Jart at 10:25 AM on October 25, 2002

Try to review a hiphop CD with a robot voice on it which every twenty seconds tells you you're a beee-atch if you're spreading music. Then you'll know what silly record companies are all about! ;)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2002

Gotta admit, I work in the music biz, but...

Come on. Media outlets, especially the ones focused on getting the youth demographic to sell to advertisers, would DIE without the music business spending buckets of cash left and right to try and secure the same audience.

Go pick up a copy of any music magazine or alt.weekly. Now take out all the paid music advertising, all the album reviews, all the interviews, the works. Nothing's left.

Yeah, we need the media, but just like music, it's not a question of who owes who. People want music, people want media. If either ceased to exist, it would instantly be recreated.
posted by Leonard at 10:29 AM on October 25, 2002

It's amazing how useless this kind of "defensive" tactics are
(check out the thousands of Riot Act mp3's available online at any given moment)
My vote: it's just smart marketing
After all, we're talking about Riot Act, aren't we? We mainly talk about how dumb record companies are, OK, but still.
posted by matteo at 10:44 AM on October 25, 2002

as a huge music fan, and an avid KaZaa/LimeWire/Morpheus/Napster/WinMX user, I say "great idea Epic!" why would any magazine reviewer make such a big deal about this unless they had intentions of lending out the CD to friends or uploading on to the internet? granted, it's kind of an insult to not trust them, but if it works, it works. if i want to get the new Pearl Jam for free, i'd be patient enough to wait for its general release and for a consumer to post the tracks online.
posted by adamms222 at 10:56 AM on October 25, 2002

That's what you idiots deserve for supporting such crap pop bands. Try thinking for yourself and exploring some new music.
posted by HTuttle at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2002

In answer to the question, "Who needs whom more?", it should be obvious that the media outlets need the record labels. Media outlets were built up around the creative output of others, but have been embraced as a tool for marketing. What the record companies and other such businesses fail to realize, or take advantage of, is that they are in a position, technologically, to use a great many other means to promote and market their products. The relationship has just gotten so obscured that it's hard to see where one ends and the other begins. The record companies don't need the media outlets at all, but I doubt that they will ever sever the relationship.
posted by mikhail at 12:11 PM on October 25, 2002

That's what you idiots deserve for supporting such crap pop bands. Try thinking for yourself and exploring some new music.

It was so stupid, I had to hear it twice.

People listen to music for many different reasons. Apparently your reasons include how many other people have heard of the band, and how much money the musicians make.
posted by Jart at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2002

I, for one, welcome our new CD player-gluing overlords.
posted by BirdD0g at 12:45 PM on October 25, 2002

Try thinking for yourself and exploring some new music.

Great idea! Any suggestions on what I should be listening to, old bean?
posted by haqspan at 2:29 PM on October 27, 2002

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