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View Diary: DNC hires RIAA shill (267 comments)

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  •  Howard Dean will hear from me! (11+ / 0-)

    I am a copyright holder, former songwriter and Columbia Records recording artist.  I am now a software designer and engineer, owning copyrights to what I (and my company) produce and sell.  As such, I am someone on behalf of whom representatives of the entertainment industry claim to be speaking.

    As a member of the EFF () however, I am also doing everything in my power to thwart the perverted agenda of the RIAA, first and foremost by demanding of my Democratic Party congressional representatives the repeal of the malignant DMCA statutes.

    For those unfamiliar, the DMCA law passed in 1998 primarily acts as a sort-of statutory work-around to the legal copying, excerpting and non-commercial sharing by you of stuff that you bought and own.  Because the DMCA specifically

    "makes it illegal to:

       * (1) 'circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work' (From Wikipedia)"

    , that means that you can't make a single copy of a CD that is (however faultily and by whatever record company scheme) copy-protected by bypassing that mechanism without breaking the law.

    That's right: if some music industry lawyers decide that you may have ripped that CD for commercial gain, you can be criminally prosecuted:

    "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law which implements two 1996 WIPO treaties. It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services that are used to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as DRM) and criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, even when there is no infringement of copyright itself. (From Wikipedia)"

    This grotesque, insane loophole in our rights as creators and consumers has spawned such legal lunacy as:

    "Princeton student J. Alex Halderman[1] was threatened by SunnComm under this law for explaining how Mediamax CD-3 CD copy protection worked. Halderman explained that the copy protection could be defeated by holding down the shift key when inserting the CD into Windows (this prevented autorun, which installed the Mediamax protection software). After press attention SunnComm withdrew their threat. (From Wikipedia again))"

    In my experience, real artists, real writers and real copyright holders (not the imaginary ones held up as the purported beneficiaries of RIAA lawsuits) are overwhelmingly opposed to everything the "content" industry corporate elites stand for (see this short essay by the excellent recording engineer Steve Albini)

    By definition "people-powered politics" excludes the kind of corporate-brothel legislation that the DCMA embodies.  Kos has been (IMHO) extraordinarily effective in making the case against the threat of consolidated corporate power:

    "...much of what’s known as "corporate welfare" is not designed to protect personal liberties. Rather it rewards inefficiencies in the market and the politically connected. Intellectual property law protections, constantly extended at the behest of Walt Disney in service to its perpetual Mickey copyright, have created a corporate stranglehold over information in an era where information is currency. Patent law allows companies like Amazon to patent simple and obvious "business processes" like "one-click shopping," which they protect with armies of lawyers and deep pockets. In the non-virtual sphere, cities use eminent domain to strip property owners of their rights on behalf of private developers. (From his article here)".

    Once again I applaud his commitment to and expression of our values.

    Let's not let the Democratic Party be sullied by its association with the entertainment industry lawsuit lobby the way that the Republican Party has been tainted by its bedfellows in big energy.

    We deserve much, much better than this; I am going to express to Howard Dean tonight ( my revulsion at having the Democratic Convention's publicity managed by ex-RIAA mercenaries.

    A big thank you to Kos for his continued vigilance on this issue...

    •  Yeah, well (0+ / 0-)

      I PM for a couple artists on two of the five evil labels who are still musicians who haven't retired to IT, and to all your Boing Boingist garbage, I say copy copy copy, but if you don't want to get sued, don't sell your copies.  One makes you an archivist, the other a bootlegger.  

      And, don't steal.  

      I don't buy for a second you are or were a Columbia Records recording artist.  I call BS.  You sound like an EFF communist shill to me.

      "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

      by Back in the Cave on Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 07:59:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are Proud of Your Job Assclown? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, CenterLeft


        Where to begin...

        I have never, ever known a product manager at a major label that wasn't the worst kind of starfucker.

        I mean, A&R guys aren't even the kind of worthless, gutless, amoeba-spined bloodclots that PMs are.  Ever notice how few people actually want to talk to you at any sort of release event?  That's because they have better things to do...and I mean everyone.  I think that (label-side) tour management people are are a more creative, more fun bunch.  No wonder so many product managers turn out to be alcoholics...nobody gives a fuck if you even exist!

        It doesn't surprise me that at all that you wouldn't recognize a recording artist when you met're about the farthest thing from a recording artist possible, aren't you?  You're really, really down there on the food chain, aren't you?  You're like a quarter-step above the interns, right?

        I wonder what experiences led you to your current job...did you get all moist when a drum tech yelled at you to get out of the way when you were backstage somewhere with your little pass that some radio asshole lent you?  Is that the feeling that helped you decide to get into the music industry someday?
        Do you ever wonder when you're at the big rock show why it isn't you up there, why you don't have the talent or the guts to do what you're so obviously jealous of?  

        I mean you must really know that you're nothing without us.  It has to be back there somewhere in that ferret brain of yours, that you live in a fantasy world that's disintigrating around you like an East German cop trying to direct traffic around the Berlin wall.  I love you you morons try to turn reality on its head by impotently sobbing out bogus justifications for your collective existence.  Artists really need you?  Please, don't make me laugh any harder...I'll forget that great melody that I just came up with. Oh, wait, that's right, you have no experience with that sort of thing.  It's like describing a rainbow to a congenitally blind person. Please forgive me for my insensitivity to your disability...lack of musical ability, that is.

        Face the facts:  you and your kind are parasites--luckless, talentless eunuchs good for nothing except the dog-pack ass-sniffing rituals that pass in your world for business.
        Without the federal government to enforce your state-granted monopoly on duplication, you add no fucking value whatsoever to the process of making and selling good music.  You are the ultimate stereotypical welfare recipients.  It must be so stressful for you, knowing that at any time there might be an end-to-welfare-as-we-know-it moment where the government stops supporting your business model. It must be so exhausting for you, blindly sucking on the flesh that keeps you propelled forward, like the pilotfish that you obviously are.

        It's really sad that you fill your meaningless workdays never knowing what its like to, say, play in front of tens of thousands of people at the Reading festival in England...or sit with, say, Jeff Buckley discussing how you play a certain way to evoke a certain atmosphere.  But at least, I suppose, you do still get paid a salary...for now.

        If you were in any way familiar with the creative process--if you had actually done it for a living ever--you might have the credentials to describe copying music (that sound that you do not make) as stealing or not stealing.
        It is painfully (for your dignity) clear, however, that you have no fucking idea whatsoever what stealing is, what the EFF is, what a communist is, what a recording artist is, and what you yourself are.

        I'm not going to name-drop because of your weak "BS call".
        I don't have the time to fill you in on the differences between real property and intellectual property, because I'm actually pretty busy--I have work to do actually creating copyrightable material.

        I can let you in on how recording artists really talk about you label people when you're not around.  I remember one musician I used to know describing label people as "the only invertebrate mammals".  We think that labels are useless cartels filled with vacuous, ass-tonguing wastes of vodka like yourself.  

        •  you both make a pretty good case (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nota bene

          for artists to bypass the RIAA monopoly and market tracks and CDs direct to the public via the Internet... from an artist viewpoint, much can be said for the ability to make $5+/CD instead of 20 cents/CD after infamous Hollywood style accounting is used to recoup real and imaginary expenses from label artists... with the real component largely used to subsidize parasites like "Back to the Cave".  

          Sell a few thousand CDs a year without RIAA label help plus touring and one makes an OK living... sell a few thousand CDs a year for an RIAA label and one is screwed...

          While I'm sure you know this, for everyone else (even "Back to the Cave" if he ever masters a musical instrument) the cost of entry for the ability to sell physical CDs and digital tracks via iTunes is under $100 at CDbaby... that gives one a back end to one's music website at which one can take orders for either and have somebody else handle the credit card risk and the rest of the fulfillment stuff.

          Fill out the online paperwork, send 5 CDs and the setup charges. One gets a bar code, one's tracks available for at iTunes, and a place where people can buy the CDs.

          The tradeoff - making the CDs is your problem... you know the economics of mass CD duplication - if one is testing the waters, though... printing on printable / burned CDs is NOT rocket science, even in Linux... so one can make 5 copies of a professional-looking package for a few bucks.

          And of course, marketing is also your problem.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:49:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh god (0+ / 0-)

            You've been reading Everything You Need to Know About the Music Industry.  That doesn't make you a  Berklee grad and doesn't make your understanding of this industry any less criminally stupid than the comic insults that you don't even understand, you fuckhead.  Parasite?  I represent artists.  I am like their fucking priest and attorney all wrapped up into a fist that will fuck you up if you raise a hand to my clients.  

            I'm the one who makes sure my clients contracts are negotiated by a couple of the best attorneys in the  business.  

            You're fucked up all over the place in your withered little comment.  If you're only selling a grand, you would be getting some people very fired, because it's hard to sign someone, promote them, and not sell at least as much as they sold prior to signing.  If I brought an artist to any of my friends who was to be so repulsive as to sell only one thousand units with that kind of help, I would be thereafter screened out of ever again hearing live voices on their end of our calls.

            We call those hobbyist bands.  Good folk, but not the ones that are ever going to be loaned the mint that the process of promoting a release costs.  You have so much to learn, kid.  Start with the very basic understanding that labels are buying your album in return for a negotiated advance and a percentage of net sales.  You make the vast majority of your dime from touring and merch sales, and you wouldn't be able to afford to set up any of those tours without that loan.  Nor would you be able to draw a single little myspace buddy to were it not for all the radio promotion and publicity that the label is doing to promote what is now THEIR product.  If you don't believe you can sell more than a thousand albums given those guns, you are a fool, and wouldn't be in that position to begin with.

            This is not hard to understand.  Pull your head out of your ass and get it. And,you won't get it from those books.  Other than that, I don't know what to tell you.  

            Apply to Berklee.

            "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

            by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 02:21:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah, sure you represent "artists" (0+ / 0-)

              Maybe someday you'll get to represent a real artist, like. . . Britney Spears. . . in your dreams.

              I am like their fucking priest and attorney all wrapped up into a fist that will fuck you up if you raise a hand to my clients.

              Face it, in the real world, you'll never be more than an anonymous PR hack with delusions of grandeur, drinking away your dreams in yet another bar. So have another few drinks and dream about a world where you might have been a someone instead of a nuisance.

              The most important fact that's going to bring the people who actually live the lifestyle you claim down around the ears of the people who actually do that is . . . a musician who sells 10K CDs is making $50K ... plus income off digital tracks and touring... and is doing OK without a record label.

              A musician who does this with the help of a label owes them money. Actually, one can sell quite a bit more than that without actually getting paid by a label. Ask Janis Ian. She said that she never collected a single dime of actual royalty payments in 20 years with a record label. Or is she not an "artist" by your definition? Even Courtney Love has written an analysis of record industry economics far more coherent than anything you've managed today, and she thinks your buddies are garbage. too.

              The mass market for music is breaking up. Even MTV is more about youth lifestyle than it is about music. Listenership at all the major FM radio chains is down as a long-term trend. Satellite FM is in trouble. The Internet is fast becoming the only viable channel to either promote music or to sell it. Assuming your buddies don't buy enough politicians to pull the plug, of course.

              But the labels and studios don't have the cash to buy all the politicians in the world, so the Internet Radio stations that your buddies close in America will reopen in Canada or Russia.

              Within a decade, what you call hobbyist bands are going to be the only new bands around and the labels that exist are going to be the ones who can get a bunch of them together and make money off them.

              And the people you aspire to be will be out on the sidewalk with a sign "Will Make GREAT!!! Records for Food!!!"

              And for you and those like you, 'music will come to an end'. And good riddance. For the rest of us, it'll keep right on going, with lower cost and higher quality than ever.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 04:07:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  *sigh* (0+ / 0-)

                You win.  Your secondhand information and do it yourself music industry guides trump reality.  You've got it all figured our so you'll survive just fine without a clue.  

                Dig your bitter pill.  It's no substitute for success and it isn't going to help me drive home even the most basic tenets of this business.   Some of what you regurgitated from your definitive online source may be part of the future of music, but music isn't going to die and there will always be organization around it and all those scum sucking leaches that *gasp* make comfortable livings from the process will continue to do so, because people depend on us to usher in the next.  

                Every communist experiment fails, because the product is always shit.  Do you understand that?  You are a sad fringe hack of a writer angry that you haven't had success and praying that a big revolution will somehow level the playing field and suddenly people will start buying your services.

                There's always going to be an industry, lizard, and there will always be people like you angry at the it because you still don't get everything for free and you still still suck.  Should have gone back to school and gone into nursing or something.

                Fool yourself, but I start my morning off with a chuckle knowing that even the utterly uninitiated can tell you don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about.   You're a living fuck the RIAA blog review done without the firsthand knowledge to even understand how to apply any of the false information to the real world.

                Sad sack.  

                "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

                by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:14:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  who the fuck needs a mint to make music? (0+ / 0-)

              It's cause our business model dictates that for every person actually playing music, there have to be 100 other motherfuckers who need to get paid....

              Robert Fripp is full of interesting aphorisms, some of which I agree with and some of which I don' of the ones I do agree with is "discard the superfluous."

              At some point there will be a market correction, not unlike the one that happened in the dotcom business not too long ago, and everyone who isn't contributing anything of significant value to the musicians==>audience relationship is going to get squeezed....

              Dreams of empire die hard; empire, that goes away quickly.--Juan Cole

              by nota bene on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 09:00:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hear you. (0+ / 0-)

                . . . But, you hear me in that the mint is not to make the music, nota bene (although you know how that can be expensive).  The Mint is in the cost of product launch.  Same with any product in any industry . . . no getting around it.

                Market correction  . . .  yeah.  But, not someday.  Try now.  There is flux in every business model, but what is going on now in music is epic.  Everything is changing, down to the basic cost of touring.  You know how that goes.    

                Marketing at labels may be top heavy, but agencies and management firms like the one in which I am contracted with, along with publicists and those 32nd floor attorney armies are pretty lean on the battle front as is.  You can lay off half the hospital wing, but ain't no one gonna call it a "correction" because there won't be much correct.  

                Have a good one.  Off to convention alley to lob a few live ones in the trenches.

                "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

                by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:26:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, the market correction is ongoing, I agree....and yes I agree about everybody being "lean on the battlefront"....I don't pretend to know what the industry is going to look like in ten years but I feel pretty confident that it's going to based around some sort of wildly different model and nobody but nobody knows what the hell it will be like....

                  I do know a guy who spent about a quarter million dollars just to produce an album....really good studios and really good engineers & producers are expensive, but your point stands....the promo/marketing/distro/merch start-up/ad naus (and all the lawyers & accountants etc it entails) is phenomenally expensive, but the economics of the marketplace are not supporting all of that anymore....if I'd only forced myself to take Econ 101 I think I could put this better, but the market clearing price for music is dropping rapidly and more people are going to be forced to do something else....the only constant is still the engine that drives the whole thing, which is [musicians==>audience]....

                  I can't point to the exact moment in time when everything became so fucking expensive, but it had to have been after Elvis and the Beatles....the industry is set up to create home runs and everyone needs to remember how to play small ball again....

                  I'm not happy about any of it, but the more musicians know about this sooner, the better IMHO....good luck in Vegas (which coincidentally is where my ex-singer is now)....

                  Dreams of empire die hard; empire, that goes away quickly.--Juan Cole

                  by nota bene on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 04:49:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  That was fun (0+ / 0-)

          But off-base.  I'm a personal manager, not project manager (which means I represent the artist to the project manager, who is, like Stewart pointed out, usually hung like a ken doll), so a long, eloquent insult and some valuable time wasted :)    

          Yeah.  I don't have much of a problem keeping my table full at release events :)  I think you must know that I don't even have to wipe to get my ass kissed, were I to welcome that shit - which I'm not, so no kindlin' for your fire, Stewie.

          You didn't hate your manager and attorney too, did you?  Everyone out to get you?

          Kidding, kidding.

          Seriously, though.  I know you were kicking a different dog, but lemme say that although the artists to which we pit bulls defend and support to the death are the ones to which all the eyes focus, we are not living in want of that ball and chain.  I admire the guts to sacrifice that which I most value - my privacy.  I am honored to be able to pay my employees with the money I help my clients make, all to bring light back in the cave to shine on the walls to free the chained.

          But, fucking great slam.  Definitely wrong about you not being an artist :)

          God, today has been fun on here.  I hate Vegas and I hate conferences even more.  This crap is better than craps.  I think your insistence that it's ok to steal another person's product is utterly baseless and undefendable horseshit, but you have all made this shit fun.

          "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

          by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 01:38:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  do these artists have names? (0+ / 0-)

        Or is it that you know that they would be EXTREMELY embarrassed to have their names dragged through the mud through public association with your opinions?

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 06:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hahahahahaha. (0+ / 0-)

          My artists know my opinions and wouldn't be professional artists if they had a problem with my philosophy.  

          As far as dragging their names through mud?  You're kidding, right?  I am against my clients' and anyone else's product being stolen, and I'm going to be embarrassed?  I'm not public here primarily because artists are not my only consulting clients.  But, I can assure you I am vociferously supportive of the RIAA, ASCAP, the EPA, and the goddamn EPA in public and in print.  

          You, definitely wouldn't have to worry about your artists being pissed to find out your opinions were so radical, because with your anti-capitalist philosophy glowing red from your eyes, no artist would work with you in a million years.  

          See, you are anti-artist.  Pro-artist PM's make their clients proud with their pro-art stances.  See the other thread if you need a primer.

          "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

          by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 01:11:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you aren't a capitalist (0+ / 0-)

            You're just another freeper cheerleader for capitalism.

            Probably just as well, because you appear to have the "MBA business acumen" of George W Bush. I can't imagine you even running a hot dog stand profitably. You might last 5 minutes at a high-tech startup.

            You don't cite artists names because the artists you claim to support exist only in your imagination.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 01:26:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hahahahahaha. (0+ / 0-)

              You'd type faster if you'd take off that gas mask. Dig into my archived comments, you little anarchist.  

              I don't just consult entertainment clients and as mentioned before, you don't get to know me, kiddo.  But who I represent is utterly immaterial to the basic facts I presented.  You know dick about music.  You are an intellectual property thief and a supporter of this philosophy.  You know Linux and are a programmer script kiddie with a UID out near Pluto - a noob to an old stomping ground of mine.  And you're questioning my intents?

              Transparent crap, lizard.

              If you can dispute my arguments, do it, son.  You can't because you don't even know enough about my industry to understand why what you are doing is wrong.  

              All you can do is whine that you deserve everyone's music for free and that I'm a doody head.

              You make me sleepy and I'm typing from a casino bar.

              "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

              by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 01:52:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  if you ever bother to make any arguments (0+ / 0-)

                I may bother to try to refute them. So far, all you've come up with is an incoherent collection of RIAA talking points, some perhaps in forms that might surprise the original author because they made even less sense than the originals did.

                I recommend you buy another 10 drinks or so and drink them quickly. While they won't improve your coherence, perhaps they'll shake loose something that'll pass for an argument.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 03:39:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  :) (0+ / 0-)

                  Not a drinker, but the flame is duly noted.

                  You're no longer even amusing and your insults are as lifted from the works of others as the music you steal.  Your wit is is the only thing remotely drunk here.

                  It's been amusing, but you'll pardon me.  I have to go leach off the good of the land or something :)

                  "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

                  by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:41:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I hate to interrupt a really good flame war (0+ / 0-)

                but the problem with your understanding of the business comes in when certain artists (like yrstruly), obviously not making big bucks, decide that their music is theirs and doesn't belong to anyone else, can't belong to anyone else, doesn't even really belong to me at all in the first place because music is not a thing, it is intangible and can't be owned any more than land can, and this causes me to say enough of all these people who don't perform with me on stage making it hard for me to pay my bills.....when a critical mass of artists reach these conclusions the record industry as we know it will have collapsed and the music industry will go on, just fine, as it did before the record industry hierarchy grafted itself onto the process of making, playing, and enjoying music....

                I didn't go to Berklee, but my music timeline doesn't start with Edison, Marconi, or Col. Tom Parker....and as great as those individuals and their accomplishments were, none of them motherfuckers played a fact this discussion (how does one play music and eat at the same time?) has been going on since at least the time of Mozart, and as usual, external social and technological changes have upset the existing business model (and those who profit from it).

                But, hell, I'm just a drummer in a rock n roll band, so obviously I don't know shit....and if the foregoing is any guide, I must be a communist too.

                Dreams of empire die hard; empire, that goes away quickly.--Juan Cole

                by nota bene on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 09:23:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's fine (0+ / 0-)

                  We're not remotely in argument.  Like I mentioned many times before, you don't have to make your music a product.  You don't have to accept an offer to sell it to an investor.  You can keep it and give it away and keep your play local.  This isn't the point.  The point is that some people want to make a career out of being a musician and realize that their stuff is significant such that someone would see the wisdom in helping you brighten the far reaches of the globe with it.  A prospect that no musician or even medium sized label can afford to do.  It is a very involved process and involves a lot of people helping you.  

                  Not involving yourself in the process isn't communist.  That picture was painted on a canvass of whiny motherfuckers complaining that they can't nick the product of those who do choose to build their family's nest egg with it.

                  Good luck with your band.

                  "Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." --Sholem Yakov Rabinowitz

                  by Back in the Cave on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 10:34:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, glad we got that cleared up (0+ / 0-)

                    It's hard to see the huge structural changes happening all around you in an industry when you're right in the middle of it, but I think more people in your position are beginning to understand how deep the fissures in the market, which is a good thing....I've said it before--the record business was a bit more figure-out-able just ten years ago, and now the wheels are coming off....

                    As for me, thanks for the good wishes....honestly all I want is to find a reasonable middle ground between starving artist and global superstar....I mean, yeah, I'd love to have people listening to me from Anchorage to Zimbabwe, but realistically I'd appreciate it if I could tour on my own from Austin to Wisconsin, sell several dozen $5 CDs, and keep everything I make.

                    What I keep coming back to is that CDs (not music, CDs) have become severely devalued, and that (coupled with the advent of broadband and P2P technologies) is what is driving consumers away from purchasing CDs (or mp3s etc). The corporate structure that distributes music from musicians to retail stores is what has been endangered....I believe the era of the superstar is over and we're going to see a return to when music was predominantly local/regional as opposed to national/international....and the Internet, in its own way, makes everybody sort-of international automatically....and then this is all in the context of the drastically weakened American economy during the Bush years. People just don't have the disposable income laying around like in the Roaring Nineties....

                    Dreams of empire die hard; empire, that goes away quickly.--Juan Cole

                    by nota bene on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 04:28:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you want the middle ground? (0+ / 0-)

                      , but realistically I'd appreciate it if I could tour on my own from Austin to Wisconsin, sell several dozen $5 CDs, and keep everything I make.

                      CDbaby where you can sell CDs and tracks via iMusic and Cafepress is there for you. You want to promote, find some Internet Radio stations... at least until Back in the Cave's RIAA homies manage to get independent Internet Radio stations off the air. And find some college radio stations if you can find some that match your kind of music. They aren't at risk as far as I know.

                      BTW, what is your kind of music? Got a band website you can point me at?

                      You can make and sell your own CDs and digital tracks and have people order band mechandise without going to the trouble of having to have it made up and packing it to take to gigs.

                      While DIY is still a hassle, it's at least a lot easier to do than it used to be and a hell of a lot cheaper. If you want to test out CDbaby without doing a run of x-hundred CDs, catch me in e-mail and I'll point you at some ink-jet printers that do CDs, paper CD labels are A REALLY BAD IDEA.

                      You have to persuade people that they like you well enough to do buy your music and stuff, but ultimately, even if you accepted a deal from an RIAA label, that's still your problem in the end.

                      I agree with your conclusions with respect to long-term structural changes in the music market, though I'll add that a large part of the reason why CDs aren't as valued as they were is that music itself isn't as valued as it was.

                      It isn't just the quality of the crap flung at us by the modern version of Tin Pan Alley, it's that music has become the background to a lifestyle rather than the center of a lifestyle. And there are a lot of other things one can spend one's entertainment dollar and time on now.

                      The reason why the CD still survives is simply that it sounds better.

                      There's a big and audible difference between 128K MP3 and CD audio... the 128K MP3 format is not adequate for full-fidelity audio reproduction, and uses various acoustic matching techniques to fool the ear into believing that the sound is "good enough".

                      The reason is that a 5 meg 128K MP3 track turns into a 50 meg CD audio track... which you don't want to either download via first-generation broadband or store on a conventional MP3 player.

                      Those differences are readily apparent if a person is consciously listening to music, and if a person listens to a particular song a lot... the person is going to be impelled to buy the CD even or especially if she's got the MP3 or even the whole album of MP3s.

                      That's why one of Emimem's CDs got uploaded to P2P a few weeks before it hit the stores, and people were lined up at the stores to buy it (and of course, it went straight to #1) People liked it enough that they wanted to hear every single acoustic nuance.

                      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                      by alizard on Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 11:10:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  the thread is 3 days old now (0+ / 0-)

                        which is an eternity in blog time, but here goes....

                        I do have a MySpace page but I would like to keep my psuedonymity here....I'll send you an email with the link.

                        CDbaby is great. As soon as I have a stable band I'm going to go that route (and I'll go ahead and fork over the bucks to get them duplicated, it's worth it--doing that yourself is an enormous hassle).

                        My problem recently hasn't been an understanding of the biz, it's just keeping a fucking band herding cats. Can't stand it sometimes, especially since I'm a drummer and I just kind of have to put up with things from the frontline band means no touring, which means no money. It sucks. I'm teaching lessons and doing odd jobs on the side, but I refuse to go back and work in a restaurant or in retail again, fuck it. The aggravation is too much and I end up focusing on that instead of on music....

                        It isn't just the quality of the crap flung at us by the modern version of Tin Pan Alley, it's that music has become the background to a lifestyle rather than the center of a lifestyle.

                        Agreed on both counts. The Tin Pan Alley reference is apt.

                        I think the CD will eventually go the way of the dinosaur, probably as soon as broadband gets even broader, broad enough to handle uncompressed .wav files....a full CD is roughly 3/4 of a GB, and we're almost to the point where high-end connections can deal with that. MP3 is really not an adequate substitute for CD audio (44/16), although I listen to MP3s all the time....

                        Dreams of empire die hard; empire, that goes away quickly.--Juan Cole

                        by nota bene on Sun Apr 15, 2007 at 10:10:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  the DMCA has also been used (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressive Moderate

      to interfere with computer security research, vendors often decide to go after the person who brings the bad news instead of fixing the vulnerability itself.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Apr 13, 2007 at 12:51:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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