Philosopher; lover; scoundrel; mad man with a box, without a box.
Relationships are hard like math when you’re stoned
but believe me it’s far better than being alone
The new hit from Rob Weezus for GLDN SMMR 2014. Mixing and mastering by Ricky Cervantes and instrumental production by Rob Whelan.
Whether the shindig is in the shivery nights or the sunny days of summer, the dudes at GLDN have supplied you a serving of songs that are sure to satisfy. Presenting SMMR, with tracks from The Early Mourning, flipboitamidles, DJ Bahler, Dr. Brixx, Frail Limb Purity, Pennwallace, Only Mashes Bonfire and introducing FrankCarmine, Rob Weezus, and RotBott.
Listen to the rest of GLDN SMMR: https://soundcloud.com/gldncollective/sets/gldn-smmr-2014
Download the album in its entirety HERE: http://bit.ly/1qHY7Ud
"Fine" is a fucking lie.
It should be in the dictionary: “Fine” - Adverb, meaning: fucking lie.
If you say to someone: “How’re you doing?” And they say: “Fine.”
What they’re really saying is: “HELP ME. Don’t walk away. I’m in trouble. Please. DON’T WALK AWAY. I got issues, I need help! PLEASE!”
But you can’t say that to someone, coz then they’ll say:
… you’ll be fine.”
— Marc Maron, “Final Engagement”.
Bob Lefsetz on the latest artist payments debate:
Your enemy is obscurity. Any way to reach people is to be applauded. Nowhere is it written that recorded music should generate as much revenue as it did in the past, nowhere is it written that you should be able to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars making an album, nowhere is it written that you’re entitled to make music at all!
It’s an interesting perspective you don’t hear mentioned a lot. Artists feel entitled to be paid well because they have been (relatively speaking) for the past 50 years or so. But what if that was just a brief bump in the grand scheme of things? An anomaly of new technology and business models which have now been made obsolete?
It’s always a mistake to believe you’re entitled to something just because you’ve gotten it before. That’s the true core of what leads to disruption. And lo! That’s what has happened here yet again.
Not a popular argument, for sure. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
True, and markets can dictate prices, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should.
I’m kind of an idealistic capitalist: I believe a company can be geared purely towards profit, and it has every moral right to be, but that just like a good car doesn’t have to be geared purely towards speed, a good company doesn’t have to be geared purely towards profit. It can view other values as more important in specific contexts.
So, in this case, maybe artists shouldn’t expect to get paid as much as before. But let’s remember:
1) It’s not just that prices change. It’s that tons of money is still being made, and we’ve changed from one model where the actual artist sees a tiny share of that, to another model where the actual artist sees a tiny share of that. At least before, however, the people getting the money were at least tangentially responsible for the development, curation and presentation of new material.
2) Most the artists here were never paid well to begin with - most of them are the work-a-day or trying-to-make it work guys, who are getting a tiny fraction of what they deserve.
I’d happily pay double my current Spotify subscription if I knew that artists were getting a fairer share (and if they’d hire more/better developers and/or get a better director of development - their app isn’t The Worst, but it gets worse and worse with each update, taking out features, breaking features, not fixing outstanding issues and bugs, etc).
Of course, we should also remember that this 99% of other artists would have been both obscure and poor before, and now they’re at least less obscure and potentially less-poor than before (in that an audience is available to pay them that perhaps didn’t exist before and perhaps weren’t able to).
And also, I don’t consider myself super well-informed on this issue - some artists claim they get a pretty good deal out of it - although Spotify haven’t done a great job of making it any less opaque how much artists are paid and how good a deal it really is. Someone in their marketing department needs to get out there and start building case studies.
One thing I will add however, reading into what others are saying, is the notion that you’re paying $10 a month for access to all the music in the world, therefore I should pay more simply because of the scale of what there is - this is viewing access to a song via stream as being directly equal to access via owning that file/single/CD/vinyl, as if it’s all the same.
Well, that’s not quite right. You pay $10 for access, but then they pay out $0.005 per stream. And you’re only gonna stream as much as you listen to. So while I might theoretically have “access” to every thing, there’s only so much I can physically listen to. Plus I only have “access” for as long as I am paying - as soon as I stop, it’s gone, unlike physically owning it. Plus, what… 60-80% of it I’m not gonna listen to it that often. My stream does not really equal the same as paying for a track individually (say, $0.99), since I’m not really gonna listen to that individual track as much as I would a bunch of others. So it’s not fair to talk about it as “access” as if I should pay the equivalent of all the music I listen to as if I owned the actual CD or digital file permanently.
Now, let’s look at Last.FM: I’ve bought two Frank Turner songs, so that’s $1.98 I’ve paid. I’ve got 1,175 streams. Let’s round it down to 1,100, assuming 75 of those are from iTunes where I played the files I’d already paid for. That’s the equivalent of me paying him $5.50, for having listened to all his albums multiple times.
So, I’ve paid him $5.50 for 1,100 listens on Spotify, and $1.98 for 75 listens on iTunes. Doesn’t seem exactly fair at forst, how much I’ve gotten out of him. But consider what I said: a stream does not equal ownership.
But what is it equal to? I mean, let’s try to make it equal: let’s assume I keep my subscription going the rest of my life, so that I have that same length of access as if I bought his CDs, and I’ve listened to him 275 times a year… then assuming over the next 50 years I listen to 100 streams a year (taking into account waning interest) that’ll then be 5,000 streams equaling $25 for 7 albums of material (some of these compilations of previous albums). That’s around $3 per album (this doesn’t include the access I have to various extras like bonus tracks, EPs, appearances on other artist’s stuff, etc).
That’s… pretty fair isn’t it? I’ve not got access to the sleeves notes, I don’t have a physical disc I can make all the personal backups and do whatever I like with (as far as personal use goes). I can’t remix this thing, I can’t cut it down, I can’t turn it into a ringtone, I can’t just grab it regardless of internet access whenever I like off the shelf. It’s not a crisp vinyl. It’s just the music itself. And so, yeah, I’m paying less than I would’ve paid for the full album (which would’ve been around $15/£12?) but still… this all strikes me as at least somewhat fair.
Now, if you want to argue he deserves more: maybe $50 total, so $6 per album, and thus double my subscription to $20 per month? Well, if it really does mean the artist getting paid double, then I’m fine with that. I’ll happily pay the increase if you can argue the case why they deserve more.
So, I suppose actually (if you’ve read this far), you’ll see my thoughts on this are complicated, and probably mostly sympathetic towards Spotify’s payment model. All-told, across a lifetime of listening to an artist you probably do actually give them a fair payment for what you got.
Plus, with it being so easy to do, more people are more often going to listen to stuff on Spotify, than if they had to go a get a physical CD (either to purchase it or grab it off the shelf - even in iTunes, until their iTunes Music service gets better [which I am also subscribed to]).
There’s also a knock-on effect. I would’ve thought Macklemore had some interesting songs, but I probably wouldn’t have bought his CD. And definitely wouldn’t have bothered to hunt out all his earlier work too like I have on Spotify. On top of that, I wouldn’t have then sought out the people he mentions on his songs: I wouldn’t have listened to Budo, Geo or Sabzi. I wouldn’t have listened to who they collaborate with and reference either. So, that’s more exposure, more money being made for artists who never would’ve received it before.
Being stalked by an ad for brucesterling's new book about our hive of web-based future-overlords.
(Source: , via cheshire-grin)
My sister made me a mixtape when I was a teenager. Ten years later I’m finally seeing one of those bands live.
heart and stuff