Mellon Collie and the Infinite Crapfest—Things I Never Hear Anyone Say About the Music Business

One of the strangest things about watching lefty hippie types getting all fired up about wealth inequality is that I never see them even acknowledge how much worse everything is in the arts, which a lot of them are directly involved with. Don’t want to bite the hand that feeds (or pretends like it might feed you one day). Let’s face it, you’re not a real artist until rich people say you are and sadly, it’s probably better now than it used to be say, fifty years ago. Doesn’t matter what art form you’re involved with, it’s all fairly impossible to make ends meet unless you’re either born or fuck your way into the privilege factory. Having a trust fund helps. And that’s the sad thing no one’s saying about this stuff, the worse income disparity gets in society as a whole, the even more psychotically worse it gets in the arts. It doesn’t hurt when people as high ranking as Republican presidential candidates openly talk about cutting all arts funding. I’ve actually seen tons of articles where people try and say things like, it’s just so much harder to make a living as a musician these days. Errrr, yeah, our generation invented the term “starving artist”, totally.

I suppose it was my growing up in a fairly non-arts centric family that I have to thank for my realistic perspective on these matters. As my late grandma Vera used to often tell me in my youth: “Einstein worked at the Post Office.” I know there’s been a shit ton of articles written on the sorry state of the evil music industry in the last decade. I know, because I have a ton of musician friends and I constantly see the facebook (friend me for magick updates) piss and vinegar. Judging from that, I’d say people’s approval of what the dominant players in the music business have been churning out is probably somewhat lower than that of Congress at the moment i.e. worse than the approval rating for head lice and brussel sprouts. Oh, and it’s always someone else’s fault. But in the midst of all these impassioned debates, there’s always totally obvious “elephant in the room” type shit that no one seems to address, so that’s the entire point to this piece if you couldn’t glean that from the title: stuff I never hear anyone say about the music business in no particular order.

Less Than 1 Percent of Original Bands Make a Living Playing Music

Next time you read a stupid think piece about how illegal downloading is killing the music industry, keep that in mind. What is it killing exactly? If you’re one of those lucky 1 percent of bands that manages to land that hyper-coveted major label or major indie contract, congratulations. You now have a roughly 10% chance of making some real money. That’s right, the top 10% of the label’s artists typically pay for everything else the label does. The rest are usually perpetually in the red and most of the time end up owing their corporate masters a bunch of dough when all’s said and done. That’s the way it’s always been. You know what article you never see? Small, completely unknown band uses digital technology to get their music out to way more critics and fans than he thought possible in places that would have been completely inaccessible five years ago. That’s been my experience. Just got an amazing review from Italy. You know how much it cost me to send a download link to Italy? Yeah, nothing. Digital technology helps the little guy and hurts the big guy. You know why you never hear anyone saying this? The big guys control the music press. Which brings me to my next point.

There Is No Such Thing as Music Journalism

Get the term “music journalist” out of your head right now. It’s not a real thing. Journalism implies some kind of attempt at presenting facts without interpreting those facts. That’s the idea at least, and that’s not remotely what you’re doing as a music writer. You’re pretty much doing marketing. I’ve been doing it for years and I don’t delude myself. I’m an unpaid music marketer (okay, to be fair, I sometimes get paid in schwag). I’m fine if you call yourself a music writer if it makes you feel better, but don’t insult the term journalism, fake actual journalists are doing enough of that for you.

As mentioned, I’ve never gotten paid to write about music, but if you are it’s probably for a few reasons. If you write for one of the hip alt weeklies (do people other than me still call them that?), you’re getting paid to write about music so people will show up at your sponsor’s music venues and hopefully buy drinks. Your coverage is going to be pretty much about what places those people should be going to buy those drinks on any particular night of the week. You’re hocking concert tickets as well for the more well known bands, but as mentioned, those are an incredibly small minority of bands. If you’re writing for one of the bigger websites/magazines etc, you’re getting paid because record labels are paying for advertising revenue.

What about little mom and pop websites that don’t pay their writers anything? Well, you still pretty much have to watch what you say. Most websites that don’t make money secretly aspire to do so, or at least reach a broader audience. Doing that requires a publicist ass kissing routine which pretty much guarantees no one’s going to question the official position on important shit. Where’s that going to get you? In hot water with the publicists, that’s where. How’s that help you? It doesn’t. And that shitty band’s publicist might be representing that other great band you really want to do an interview with. Best to keep your mouth shut son. It’s funny, because it took me years to figure out why all the negative reviews I wrote kept getting left on the cutting room floor. I thought it was a fairly simple equation. I get an album, I write a review talking about how good or bad I think that album is. Wrong. What good does that do us? My solution to this conundrum was just ignoring publicists and PR people for the most part and writing about stuff I dug personally. I’ll come to you if I like your style.

Because I’m not the only one with this attitude, there are tons of great underground sites out there run by amazing people who probably never make a dime, but you know what you barely see? Anyone pointing out that the biggest acts of our time are typically complete shit. And the rich get richer. Which brings me to my next point.

Pitchfork Has Become Way Too Fucking Powerful

Wait, everybody says that. No, if you pay attention what everybody says is FUCK PITCHFORK MOTHERFUCKER, BLERRBITY BLANG/NERD RAGE, WHAT ARE YOU A FUCKING PUSSY?!!!!!! See, I actually like Pitchfork. Look at it constantly and before this gets ugly let me kiss their ass a little bit more. Whatever your opinion is on a lot of what the site writes about, it’s almost always at least pretty damn well written. They’ve certainly upped the ante in terms of ridiculously academic sonic over-analysis. Their writers aren’t stupid. I’ve never read an article on that site where I’ve thought, where did they find this chick? What’s normally going through my head is, who’s paying for this review? But I’ll get to that in a second. First, more ass kissing. They were the only major hipster site I saw that called bullshit on Kreayshawn and Die Antwoord. Fine work with that fellas. Sometimes you get it right, but then there are other times.

So, super creepy thing about the music industry as of late, in July of 2012 it came out that old albums are out selling new ones for the first time since Soundscan started tracking these numbers back in ‘91. Of course, to someone like me this is basically the creepiest development I’ve ever come across in my lifetime of being a hyper obsessed music weirdo. Wealth inequality getting worse at it’s worst. There’s a billion bands out there, but you know who’s super rad kids? Musicians who are already really rich and established. Give more of your money to them. I’m fairly sure this is the entire premise the VH1 network operated on for the years 2000-2010 at least (why do I watch things like VH1, what the fuck is wrong with me?) It’s the same reason they’re still making action movies with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold rather than you know, hiring one of the billion buff dudes in Hollywood who are slightly younger than a hundred. Why we’ll get crappy Disney sequels to Star Wars rather than cool new sci-fi concepts.

As if sensing the blood in the water, the second the labels realized this, it was re-issue central and watching Pitchfork bend over backwards to accommodate this ridicu-tarded micro trend has been unnerving as all get out. They’ve upped their douche game in the last six months in particular, which is pretty much what inspired this post. First, they gave a ten year re-issue of Andrew W. K.’s I Get Wet album, which they initially gave a grade of 0.6 (out of 10, right answer), an 8.6. Are you fucking kidding me? You mean the Coors Light pitch guy who hasn’t released anything anyone’s given a shit about in ten years? That guy? The exact same record? What’s even worse is that if you read the new review it basically says: this album has the dumbest lyrics in the history of the universe and all of the bonus materials are completely pointless, but 8.6 anyway because money. Sure.

About six months later they gave the tenth anniversary addition of Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights a 9.5, which is the same grade they gave it back in 2002 when it was their album of the freaking year. Now, if you were say, a journalist, or anyone without a vested financial interest in hyping these records wouldn’t the obvious first thing you’d write be something to the effect of: ummm, why in god’s green earth are we re-releasing albums from ten years ago? What the fuck is the point to this? It was ten years ago. We’re really getting nostalgic for early ‘aughts all ready? Seriously?

This heinous re-issue hyping trend just kept getting more preposterous when it came to the Smashing Pumpkins. First they gave an 8.1 review to a re-issue of the album Pisces Iscariot. Again, the first thing I’d mention if I was a “music journalist” tasked with reviewing this would be, soooooo, I’m reviewing a re-release of a B-Sides and rarities album? Yeah, that computes. No, I can’t think of any rational reason why anyone would pay money for this if they have the original. There’s my review. Saved myself some time by not listening to that for you, and no I don’t give a crap about the free promo. I bought that record 18 years ago.

Then it got to where in my mind the whole thing hit an existential tipping point: the huge, new, and utterly pointless deluxe re-issue of the Smashing Pumpkins supposedly seminal album Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness. You know, the 17th anniversary edition (huh?). They gave this thing a fucking 9.3. If you’re paying attention, Pitchfork albums that score as high as 9.5’s get crap like album of the year honors. This was one of the highest rated things on their site in all of 2012, and one of the absolute low points in “music journalism” history.

Here’s the thing. I knew 90’s nostalgia was going to be making the rounds again. Christ, for the last decade it was nothing but “I love the 80’s” cocaine nu wave trash rehash central. The shift to the 90’s hype train was bound to be around the corner and here we are. I feel fairly qualified to speak on this topic because I just so happened to be a teenager during that period. Guess what, in retrospect I like and dislike a lot about that era. Anywho, here’s my story about that particular album, and I’m not making this up at all or being a dick to hate on the Pumpkins, just reporting, like a “journalist” would do.

When that first dropped, I was a big SP fan. I loved both Gish, Siamese Dream, and even the aforementioned Pisces Iscariot, not to mention their brilliant track Drown on the Singles soundtrack. All of my friends dug them and it was because of this that we eagerly anticipated Mellon Collie. But then something sordid happened, namely, the Bullet with Butterfly Wings video happened.

Holy crap is that terrible. I hated it then and still hate everything about it to this day. Everyone I knew did. The second I saw that video I was like, well, there’s no way I’m buying that. It does have about the dumbest album name in the history of music too, and it’s a double album which is normally a bad sign. Guess I’ll wait for some friends to pick it up and see what they think. Yeah, not good. I was a freshman in college at the time and there was a dude in our dorm who never shut up about the wonders of the Smashing Pumpkins. It was honestly sort of annoying. Even he eventually conceded that they’d unfortunately lost the plot with that disc. Still curious, I’ll never forget taking bong rips with my friend and trying to convince him to dub me a tape (remember that?). “No man, you don’t want that album, trust me”. He put it on to prove his point. Couldn’t argue with him. I seem to remember that one disc starts with an instrumental piano ballad. WTF?

And then there were the other singles and videos. Couldn’t stand them, any of them. Such bad vibes. Maybe it’s just me, but something about the lyrics: “Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and GOD IS EMPTY JUST LIKE ME” gets me reaching for the barf bag every time. In fact, it is this album and its terrible singles and videos which turned me, a then huge Smashing Pumpkins fan, into someone who never bought a Smashing Pumpkins record or gave a serious thought to what the Smashing Pumpkins were up to ever again. Me and a lot of other people. Again, pretty much every one I knew. We even made fun of dorks who wore the dumb ass Billy Corgan Zero shirts. But hey, 9.3 for it’s re-release. And that’s when it gets even more suspect. You see, we were 18 at the time and that was the problem, Billy Corgan made this album for 14 year olds. Even the Pitchdork reviewer chick basically admits to this and then further admits she was 15 when it dropped. Guess what else she says:

“yes, the lyrics are pissy and juvenile and fairly embarrassing”

You’d think that’d take away some points, wouldn’t you? Fame gets to some people and this was the sound of Billy Corgan’s ego fucking exploding. To further a point, after that he fired his band and then re-hired some of them, then they couldn’t deal with him, so he hired some others and then they quit. Him and the drummer were on good terms for a while but then he ended up hating him too. I can’t keep track of this crap, but what’s more important is that even Pitchfork hasn’t given anything he’s done since an even OK review (again, they’re right about some shit). So is this really the brilliant pinnacle of the guy’s career like they’re trying to sell us or when he epically jumped the shark. I know what me and everyone else I knew thought at the time and that if you paid me now I’d totally say something different. You think I like working day jobs?

I know what you’re thinking, why don’t you just stop reading Pitchfork if it pisses you off so much? Refer to the top. PITCHFORK IS WAY TOO FUCKNG POWERFUL. I read Pitchfork for the same reason Noam Chomsky reads the Wall Street Journal. Seriously, I have friends that book out of town bands. I can normally tell if it’s going to be a good draw solely based on whether or not Pitchfork’s covered them. I wish I was joking.

No One Should Ever Buy Music on iTunes, Ever

This is a big one and despite me reminding my friends about it over and over, I never seem to get through, which is why I’m probably pointlessly trying once again here. Music on Itunes not only costs more than it does on other services like Bandcamp and Amazon, but they also give way less money to the artists. Not just a little bit less, a lot less So when you buy music on Itunes, you’re not only paying more for the exact same thing, but you’re giving that extra money to Apple rather than the musicians. Wasn’t I just talking about wealth inequality? Apple totally needs more money. Totally. Contrary to popular belief, paid downloads on Amazon or Bandcamp are essentially more profitable than any kind of physical merch imaginable. There’s barely any overhead at all and they only take .15 to .20 cents on the dollar. Support bands, fuck Itunes. Repeat this mantra to yourself until you get it through your impossibly thick skulls.

Musicians are Basically Drug Peddlers

This is a big one. You know where most of the money in the music business comes from? Yeah, alcohol sales. Venues ask your band out so you’ll bring your friends/fans and they’ll buy marked up drinks. Anytime anyone talks about the music industry flailing I’m like, wait, alcohol sales in clubs are down? I don’t believe that. That’s the fucking music industry, and why so many musicians end up in rehab. With this in mind, I’ve consciously tried to make music that’s schilling weed and psychedelics rather than the brainless Pabst over indulgence the clubs love you for. It’s the most simplistic concept ever. You know how most bands are trying to sell you the drunken rowdy experience? I’m trying to sell you blissed out weed transcendence. And that’d be another thing no one talks about. If marijuana gets regulated to the point where we can have legit hash venues, this opens up an entirely new revenue stream which will in turn open up an entirely new view towards the kind of music we consume and how. It’s in the works. I bet it’d be pretty much the best thing in the universe for live comedy as well. And with that I realize that I could keep going on for ever and ever here but this is already well past a lot of people’s internet article attention spans and probably my own. Until next time tripsters.

(you can buy my records here or slag me for the Smashing Pumpkins hate in the comments section by trashing my old band, I can take it)

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  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    That was pretty awesome. You are really developing as a writer. I wonder if legalized weed will create more opportunities for trippy Psychedelic album cover art, also? I love Roger Dean.

    • Apathesis

      His artwork is incredible. I love staring at the cover of Yes’ album Relayer.

      And no, I don’t care if you were being sarcastic :)

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. The Dude is awesome.

        • Apathesis

          Oh, good!

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            Yeah, I don’t know why I got down voted…

          • Apathesis

            Certainly wasn’t me. I actually upvoted it, even though your post confused me a little.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            I just downrated for shits and giggles.

          • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

            ow! that hurts!

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            Awh shame you can’t upvote and downvote at the same time. I’d find more meaning in that.

  • Rob Lai

    Well, its only music. *and… duck!*

    Although the principle is sound, so the same things can be said of a lot of other fields and the internet ‘ideas economy’ in general. Smoke and Mirrors and money. That’s all there ever is.

  • Andrew Knox

    Oh, Pitchfork? You mean the site who, in reference to the New Bomb Turks’ “At Rope’s End” album asked the reader in their review, “What the heck is a Farfisa?”?
    It was the first and last review I ever read on Pitchfork.

    • Apathesis

      Wow, that’s bad not knowing what a Farfisa is…

      I’ve always hated Pitchfork. Any review site that gives anything above a 3 to garbage-pail rappers like Lil’ Wayne And Jay-Z has their head up their asses. But then again, since I don’t see any of the spectacular underground MCs I listen reviewed on their site, so they only can compare shit to shit. They can take their pretentious reviewing style and screw.

      They gave El Cielo by Dredg a 5.6. It happens to be one of my favorite albums, and my bandmates agreed it was easily their best album. Check it out. I believe they were overly critical of the subject matter and didn’t just close their eyes and enjoy the music.
      http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/2450-el-cielo/

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        Damn, not bad. Thanks for the tip.

        • eunsun

          It’s not a tip, he’s a dumb kid who has no idea how human beings outside of his (non existent) social circle operate. Don’t listen to him, Pitchfork has a LOT of different reviewers over the years and more often than not you get a decent understanding. They have some notoriously bad reviews they should not have got the pass, but every publication makes mistakes. Like it or not p4k does a good job of telling people it’s ok to be interested in pop culture outside their primary demographic. So do obnoxious hipsters for that matter. That’s life.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            oh i wasn’t really paying attention whatever he was arguing about, just talking about the band he mentioned that i hadn’t heard of before.

            I think i agree with the original poster here about music journalism being a farce. To get outraged because some random guy didn’t like your random band is kind of ridiculous. Everyone has different tastes, and everyone has different scales for which they measure musical value…. strangely enough, no one ever seems to notice this.

          • Apathesis

            It wasn’t just one guy or one band, it was quite a few bands. I figured I could trust them, but just like Rolling Stone, I learned I definitely could not. Now, I just find music on my own and don’t care what professional critics think.

        • Apathesis

          You’re welcome.

        • Apathesis

          Ever heard of Appleseed Cast?

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            nope. I don’t really “follow” music. if i stumble on something i like, i listen to it.

            But i checked them out, seem to be nice and mellow.

          • Apathesis

            Fair enough.

      • eunsun

        I sense a complete lack of cultural ignorance giving you a double standard.

        I like Dredg but Lil Wayne and Jay Z are masters of their craft (on selected mixtapes for the former and albums for the latter) whether it’s your thing or not.

        You are the kind of person that everyone in the world secretly hates talking to music about. When I was 14 year old and I saw Dream Theater guitar solos on the Internet, I felt exactly how you feel about music and culture.

        • http://twitter.com/pitfuckinworker Pit TCT

          Obvious Troll, Lil Wayne is a stain on humanity.

          • Apathesis

            Ooops. I fed him.

        • Apathesis

          And you’re the kind of person who makes incorrect assumptions about individuals over the internet just because they don’t like the music review site that you do. Sorry, I’ve disagreed with them on numerous reviews and I don’t care to read their opinions anymore. Same goes for Rolling Stone. In fact, I’d rather find stuff out on my own and not care what anyone else thinks, I am still going to listen to what I like.

          I don’t like Dream Theater, but I would never dare say they suck. They are incredibly talented masters of their craft and I can appreciate their talents.

          “I sense a complete lack of culture ignorance giving you a double standard.”
          Freudian slip?

  • echar

    I rarely pay attention to reviews. I can just look up a band on youtube and decide for myself if I like them or not. Speaking of my likes, I typically prefer the bands that do it for themselves, or for art. I do have that shitty band or two or three in my collection, but it’s mostly stuff you will not hear on the radio. As for the Smashing Pumpkins, they were mostly too mainstream for me in the 90′s.

    I like your idea about a weed-centric entertainment industry. I can imagine chilling out smoking joints and listening to some live introspective music, soaking up the energy and such.

  • equip

    Freak out
    And give in
    Doesn’t matter what you believe in
    Stay cool
    And be somebody’s fool this year
    ’cause they know
    Who is righteous, what is bold
    So I’m told

    Who wants honey
    As long as there’s some money
    Who wants that honey?

    Hipsters unite
    Come align for the big fight to rock for you
    But beware
    All those angels with their wings glued on
    ’cause deep down
    We are frightened and we’re scared
    If you don’t stare

    Who wants honey
    As long as there’s some money
    Who wants that honey?

    • kowalityjesus

      cherub rock
      rocket
      mayonaise
      These songs will stand the test of time. None are on Mellon Collie, but as far as musics that elicit an idyllic feeling like a warm and dry summer/autumn night, almost with a distinctive odor, this album is singular.

      • http://twitter.com/MatthewGudenius Matthew Gudenius

        Every time I listen to Siamese Dream, it think of a lush forest made of razorblades.
        Every time I listen to Gish, it feels like I am riding a giant sea turtle into tranquil but sometimes terrifying depths.

        Every time I listen to Mellon Collie… well, you’re right, it doesn’t evoke that je ne sais quoi, but that doesn’t mean it is completely without merit. (well, at least one of the two discs, anyway)

        I even still enjoy several of the discs in the “Aeroplane Flies High” boxed set

  • rus Archer

    oversaturation
    art used to mean skill
    now it means self expression, whatever that means
    anything anyone does qualifies regardless of ability
    and now instruments and recording technology is affordable
    so everyone’s a musician
    there are dudes half starving in asia with skills so far beyond anything we deem amazing that we can’t even LISTEN to what they do for lack of comprehension
    oh, woe = us
    i pray for the day that someone playing a more modern genre manages to do something more mindblowing than what i do with my guitar in my lap while watching subtitles to whatever movie i picked up at the library
    yawn

    • rus Archer

      ps
      meloncollie didn’t suck because of the video
      it sucked because corgan got his dick sucked so hard that he forgot that EVERYthing he did wasn’t chocolate covered platinum
      pisces iscariot was the beginning of the “hey, i fart gold bricks”
      at least when john zorn does this (95% of the time), it contains some element of surprise and/or virtuosity

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Sometimes one has to remember that skill does not necessarily mean art though.

      Just because something’s difficult to do, does not mean its musically great.

      • rus Archer

        skill doesn’t mean difficult or complex

  • http://www.facebook.com/damien.burrello Damien A L Burrello

    The tone of accusation in this piece makes me believe you have some sort of invalid emotional approach to your argument that sours it integrity.

    • TDDello

      100% spot on. Unfortunately, this article feels to be much more of biased word dump & rant versus an article geared towards helping the reader make up their mind (something the author, simultaneously, tears down other writers for). Entertaining article, but far from educational as the title might suggest. Great conversation piece though.

      • http://twitter.com/AlexHerlan Alex Herlan

        The author also seems to have some sort of emotional need to justify his opinions. Reiterating that “pretty much every one I knew” thought the same thing constantly. Its ok bro, you’re allowed to have your own thoughts and Opinions.

        And guess what? Everyone I know really likes Melloncollie and the Infinite sadness. Doesnt make me right and you wrong, it just means music is subjective. Complaining about it starting with a piano ballad like you’re some how “above that” or too “hardcore” for that is more childish than the 15 year olds the author claims the album was made for.

        • coolfoolwho

          I have to take issue with your point that “music is subjective”. While obviously, you’re right, and it is, acknowledging this weakens your positions in conversations/squabbles based on some sort of pseudo-objective criteria of quality.

          For example, most right thinking individuals would agree that the euro-pop pish produced by the Venga Boys is a travesty. However, once you have conceded that judgements of musical quality are essentially subjective, you can’t tell the misguided fools who listen to the Venga Boys that they are pouring shite into their ears without having them turn around and say “but music is subjective”.

          The same is true of all other forms of creative endeavor. Acknowledging the subjectivity of taste undercuts the idea of an objective standard of quality, and allows such absurd assertions as the statement the Twilight is a better vampire film than Nosferatu, simply because the ignoramus making the assertion can say “but I like it more.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/donna.french.756 Donna French

        Wow, that sounds a lot like our political parties: rants versus helping and providing information. The only “parties” I like are fun, full of booze, and music.

    • Serpentsamongus

      This guy sucks and is obviously just ashamed of his crap music.

    • factotum218

      Welcome to the internet.

  • Broken Squash

    i like Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
    I was, however, 14 when it came out.
    Its funny though, how the songs that blew my freakin mind when i was 14 now annoy me.
    I now listen to the songs i skipped when i was 14 and skip the ones i liked.
    One thing is for sure, Powder’s voice doesn’t get better with time.

  • Nila

    What does complaining about wealth inequality have anything to do with being in the arts or an artist!? It’s just that the beginning of the article suggested you were going to somehow argue that it was hypocritical for artists to argue for wealth equality! I mean – yes – grants are a good way to waste money in a good way, but so what? They always have been. And if you’re trying to equate art grants with health-care then you should argue that… don’t just vaguely allude to it then fail to provide any reasoning for it. BTW I agree with the rest of the shit you said.

  • lazy_friend

    Music is something you do for the love of the art, not for money. If you want to make money from music, open a venue and help others play their hearts out. Use a grant to open the venue, not fund an album. I’d say, become a master on a chosen musical instrument, or a master sound engineer, instead of trying to write the next mainstream pop hit with a few chords. Most master musicians that truly “make it” end up as educators. That’s the noble thing to do. If you are practicing music for the wrong reasons, you will most likely fail, as statistics show. With proper music, there is more than meets the eye, its something mystical, ethereal, intangible. In music, the only thing you are guaranteed to make is music. Cleansing, self correction and an inspection of ones attitudes are necessary to bring about a master piece. There is a lot of good music thriving out there, if you just pay attention to the 1% mainstream you will become jaded, it usually only appeals to our base desires and drives. Put in the work to become a master at your chosen musical discipline. I am currently going through a bout of carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow because I practice my drums, sometimes, for 8 hours a day, most of the time at least 5. I wear my repetitive motion injuries with pride. It takes at least 10,000 hours of pure practice to become an expert at a chosen discipline, it is not easy, but nothing good usually is. Trying to rationalize musical success without putting tons and tons of effort into the equation is like trying to “pop” the sun with a pin.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

      Honestly, I’m pretty fed up with this ‘be the best’ attitude. It feels alot like tyranny, and smells alot like aspirational happiness, both things I consider byproducts of consumerism. It’s a mind killer for me.

      • lazy_friend

        I don’t plan on being ‘the best”, but I plan on being the best I can be. Some of us need a realistic goal to keep going, instead of hoping for the salvation of a record deal, which is truly a product of consumerism and the true mind killer, because it sets the bar way too high in the financial aspects of a career in music . I shoot for a goal that’s under my control and my control only, which is the mastery of my chosen instrument; leaving no one but myself to blame for any short comings. I can’t have a goal dictated by corrupt financiers, plus a record deal these days is more akin to winning the lotto, than of true success, that comes with artistic integrity and solid practice routine. One does not have to be the victor to be a master, nor does one need to be famous to be a master at a chosen discipline, it’s the realistic path. I don’t like my music half-assed. I don’t know where you are coming from, but if you want to play jazz fusion and not put the work in to it on drums, you got another thing coming. I find most musicians that complain, to be lazy and burned out from all the “dopamine boosters” they intake trying to make what they are doing feel special, when they are not putting their heart, soul or any extra ordinary effort into the mix, but hoping for the holy grail of musical ambitions to come true, fat chance. When in a band sir, I am no tyrant, but the opposite. With the confidence my proper practice gives me, I can sit back and deal with whatever my band mates dish out, only leading or giving instruction when truly needed, and if the band fails, I know I can keep going with my private practice like nothing ever happened, its a healthy detachment and independence. Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, I am just trying to share a philosophy which I have concocted from 17 years of private musical practice.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

          I’m not really opposing practice, I just think those are things that come along when you are fuelled with the love of giving mysteries form. Maybe you do find the most pleasure in perfection of skill, but I see that as a different thing from creating out of inspiration. Skill is more like something you can drive every day with the initial effort to form habit, and practice alone doesn’t make what I’d term a master.

          • Calypso_1

            “fueled with the love of giving mysteries”

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            Not quite sure what you meant but I spent ages looking at that picture. Beautiful.

          • Calypso_1

            That you spent ages looking at the picture is what I meant.

            I thought the painting was an excellent representation of the mysteries that a musician or any artist attempts to extract from their experience & also the requisite plying of technique to achieve the ineffable.

            Your turn of phrase “fueled with the love of giving mysteries” was lovely & just as musicians in consort; I felt the image I knew well arise in response as a counter phrase. The painting also reflects that interplay.

            If you are unfamiliar with the work of Remedios Varo, I believe you are in for quite a series of delights.

          • Calypso_1

          • Calypso_1

          • lazy_friend

            I respectfully disagree. In music, if you don’t practice it most certainly shows, it is the search of enlightenment while acquiring extra ordinary skill . Even with creation, one needs to come back to the original idea and work on it , for aesthetics and refinement of that initial spark. If practice does not make perfect, than JoJo Meyer, one of the most skilled drummers in the world is wrong, and I’ve been wasting a lot of time training my muscles for performance. Even with production, I guess spending time learning all the effects and capabilities of the software I use is a waste of time, as music will just come out of the ether. I wish brother. If I don’t put in the work, nothing will happen, and I deal with noise music when it comes to my “creative” ambitions, not much protocol to follow as long as one is not blatantly deriving . One has to try every sound as not to sound like the next guy. With practice, one acquires more chops and techniques to be creative with, just like adding tools to the tool box. To give the mysteries form, one needs good hands and good hands only come with practice. When you have reached a certain level of knowledge and skill in music, then you can truly start playing from the heart, before that, anything one does is hit or miss usually resulting in the popular music we all love on the radio *puke*. The only way to end pretentiousness is to work hard, so the music actually means something, practice is humbling, and in my opinion, an unquestionable necessary to achieve mastery.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            You seem convinced that because my viewpoint doesn’t place practice before any other aspect it is completely undermining it. That’s not what I’m doing. I take as much joy from listening to the total noob delighting in the sound of a single note or simple combination of notes as much as I enjoy hearing a sensitively performed (and well practiced) Beethovan sonata. Does that help you understand where I’m coming from? It is a prejudice of one kind or another that does not allow people to enjoy one over the other.

            Oh and there’s this huge unspoken thing I’m trying to allure to also but I have a hard time giving it words.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            You seem convinced that because my viewpoint doesn’t place practice before any other aspect it is completely undermining it. That’s not what I’m doing. I take as much joy from listening to the total noob delighting in the sound of a single note or simple combination of notes as much as I enjoy hearing a sensitively performed (and well practiced) Beethovan sonata. Does that help you understand where I’m coming from? It is a prejudice of one kind or another that does not allow people to enjoy one over the other.

            Oh and there’s this huge unspoken thing I’m trying to allure to also but I have a hard time giving it words.

          • lazy_friend

            I’m ok with experimental music too, but tell that to the audition judges at Berklee. I am also not talking about practicing to perform a previously written piece of music. I am talking about doing the chores, rudiments and repetition exercises to shape and hone in fast twitch muscles, so one can stay in time and have complete dexterity, which allows one to fully express themselves (heart). You convey your point quite well, but I don’t see your advice bringing benefit to any serious musician. I wish I could be a lazy beatnik and throw caution to the wind, but in my reality, its no pain, no gain. You got to give the accolades to the hardest worker, it’s how it works, creativity also takes hard work, as not every idea is meant to make it, one needs to give birth and at the same time kill ideas all the time. That unspoken quality you hint at is possibly divine intervention. Any way, I am done with this, its starting to feel like I am being trolled. My hands have recovered, time for more practice. Have fun pressing one key at a time pretending it’s from the heart. Tip: If you press only the black keys it sounds like oriental music, chicks dig it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            I thought it might merely be interesting to compare different points of view through debate. I beg forgiveness for any harm done on my part.

      • kowalityjesus

        skill becomes a cheap commodity; in the classical music world, what gives musicians jobs is becoming less and less connected to what makes a good classical musician.

      • kowalityjesus

        skill becomes a cheap commodity; in the classical music world, what gives musicians jobs is becoming less and less connected to what makes a good classical musician.

        • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

          I tend to agree with you there although I haven’t been around classical musicians since while I was a kid so I don’t know too much about work conditions. I do remember it took a few years for me to feel like I was playing from the heart rather than just replicating pieces on command mechanically.

        • lazy_friend

          Cheap for you I guess, I have to sacrifice my whole life just for time to gain more skill. Cheap is not spending any time on your skill and acting like you are doing something that matters to the music world. Favoritism is a big part of getting a job.

          • kowalityjesus

            cheap for the “producers,” not the performers. Yeah I feel ya on favoritism thing. Are you a musician?

  • http://www.facebook.com/bethywilliams Bethy Williams

    Plenty of people make a living making art. There is other art in the world besides the New York/London, piss in jars, high end gallery scene.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rwhite1 Randy White

    i Hear ya man. Railer are a Portland, Oregon rock band that have been compared as a mix between Muse and the Pixies.
    A few years ago, Guns-N-Roses’ former manager flew the members of Railer to Los Angeles to play for a gathering of major record labels. Metallica’s equipment was moved offstage at SIR studios, and lead singer Randall Scott proceeded to blow the the band’s chances at a major label deal by lap dancing the girlfriend of the president of one of the record companies while the members of Weezer watched.

    After a long hiatus, Railer are poised to return with their sophomore album, “Zeroes and Ones”.

    Compared to bands such as Muse, New Order, Massive Attack, and The Cure, the band signed with Invisible Records in 2003 for the release of their first album “Frame of Mind”. (produced by Martin Atkins of Ministry / Public Image Limited fame).

    Their first album “Frame of Mind” landed at number 13 on college music charts, and over the years Railer has served as an incubator for musicians, including members who went on to play in Portugal. The Man, Black Veil Brides, and Builders & The Butchers.

    With the tragic death of their guitarist DD Desade, the band took a step back in 2010 and recently regrouped to bring forth their sophomore album, “Zeroes and Ones”. The proper album release with enhanced songs slated for release in 2013.

    So maybe we can also be those digital ‘little guys’. Great article.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIn4sI9kWVA

  • Tio Holtzman

    The world is a vampire, y’know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

    I appreciate your uncompromising style Thad. But the article seemed to me entrenched in the way of thinking that you rage against, or maybe I am missing a deeper sarcasm. I would say if you really wanted to taste an artistic life without the shadow of the industry and the consumerist mindset, take down the soundclouds, acquire no fans, stop thinking in terms of ‘albums’ and ‘singles’ and disengage completely from the activity of the industry. In fact straight out avoiding people in general will keep you protected from their inane chatter and/or conversion attempts towards the latest boyzone clone. So much emphasis is put on production that transmissions from the inspiration aliens are easily lost amongst the noise. The sad fact is They don’t call half as often as hoped for.

    • VaudeVillain

      You seem to believe that art exists in a vacuum, that the audience, whether physically present or listening to a recording, is not an integral piece of the experience. That certainly CAN be true for some artists and forms, but I would contend that for the most part that is wildly incorrect.

      I don’t say this as some sort of theorist, critic, historian or philosopher (though I dabble in all of those things), I say it as a semi-professional entertainer. A solid 50% of what I do is a collaborative effort with the audience, and the other 50% is mostly working to engage them in the collaboration. I know some musicians, and I’ve spoken to many performers and artists of all stripes at length about what their work entails, and I can’t think of any who felt the audience was largely irrelevant to their work.

      Ultimately it comes down to a cliche: it takes two to tango. If art is the expression of ideas intended to evoke an emotional response, then the receipt of those ideas and the emotional response they generate is integral to the creative process; without somebody watching or listening or reading or whatever, there is no art, just masturbation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

        I don’t consider the audience irrelevant all of the time. I was rather trying to illustrate an attitude which I would probably argue devalues it’s audience more than anything, but maybe I was too convoluted, words aren’t my strong suit. I will try to answer in a more pictoral format. I would ask you to consider a solitary man, maybe a hermit or monk of some sort. Let’s give him a pantheistic religious view, maybe something like vedanta or taoism. Every morning and evening he sits in meditation and creates each day two new hymns in accordance with what he feels moves with the flow of the world/god. Even though he is the only homo sapien around at the time, our fellow would argue he does not lack for an audience, and would you really dismiss what he does as warranting no artistic merit? I use such a character for it’s obvious and exaggerated detachment from the industry mindset in an attempt to highlight by contrast.

        • VaudeVillain

          As I said at the beginning, it is POSSIBLE for an artist to truly create for creation’s sake without any need for an (external, human, contemporary) audience. I would agree that your example counts as art. I would not, however, agree that this is an artistic framework which most artists could find fulfilling or meaningful for the long term.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rthoneunomia.celine Threedinium

            I think whether it is meaningful or fulfilling depends for the most part on certain axioms and beliefs held by the individual, with a physical component as well. Your first response was to me a well presented example of the thinking that surrounds and permeates us in any fairly westernised culture (I assume). I was raised to be a performer from a young age, and for a long time the axioms you have described above were mine also. After all, it’s as you say, performers and audience alike have these expectations pretty much everywhere you go. And yeah, who steps outside of that long term without a drastic change in values? So much is apparently sacrificed it might hardly seem worth it. From my own experiences during meta-programming I found a lot of those axioms entangled in an emotional dependence on other members of my species for personal fulfillment, particularly in my ‘role’ as a ‘musician’. I’m not writing that off as a bad thing, but I found it restrictive to certain forms of exploration.

            I think music has powers of change that are not limited to emotion or group participation in the sense we have been using. The effects produced in the physical (or otherwise) environment by the presence of a sound wave alone is mind boggling stuff, especially while integrating synchronicity theory.

    • VaudeVillain

      You seem to believe that art exists in a vacuum, that the audience, whether physically present or listening to a recording, is not an integral piece of the experience. That certainly CAN be true for some artists and forms, but I would contend that for the most part that is wildly incorrect.

      I don’t say this as some sort of theorist, critic, historian or philosopher (though I dabble in all of those things), I say it as a semi-professional entertainer. A solid 50% of what I do is a collaborative effort with the audience, and the other 50% is mostly working to engage them in the collaboration. I know some musicians, and I’ve spoken to many performers and artists of all stripes at length about what their work entails, and I can’t think of any who felt the audience was largely irrelevant to their work.

      Ultimately it comes down to a cliche: it takes two to tango. If art is the expression of ideas intended to evoke an emotional response, then the receipt of those ideas and the emotional response they generate is integral to the creative process; without somebody watching or listening or reading or whatever, there is no art, just masturbation.

  • eunsun

    I agree with those who imply that the guy who wrote this needs to fix his personality problems before trying to give an honest opinion about music. Entertaining or not this is some of the worst shit I’ve ever read in a music blog that actually has readers. Newsflash: People are probably more interested in your crazy ass personality than what you actually have to say about music. I’m definitely in that boat, you have certainly gained a long term subscriber out of me.

    Then he goes off on some bizarre tangent about how MUSIC SUX SO LEGALIZE WEED. I strongly prefer the green to the drink myself, but you are absolutely fucking delusional man. You have been smoking TOO MUCH and you need to stop almost immediately, it does not make you anymore intelligent or better of a judge of jack shit than any person sober or on any other drug. The conflict you seem to be having with music in general is way more YOUR problem than it is music’s. Whether it’s your brain or that much weed you are having paranoid fantasies about relevant culture secretly being… what?

  • eunsun

    I agree with those who imply that the guy who wrote this needs to fix his personality problems before trying to give an honest opinion about music. Entertaining or not this is some of the worst shit I’ve ever read in a music blog that actually has readers. Newsflash: People are probably more interested in your crazy ass personality than what you actually have to say about music. I’m definitely in that boat, you have certainly gained a long term subscriber out of me.

    Then he goes off on some bizarre tangent about how MUSIC SUX SO LEGALIZE WEED. I strongly prefer the green to the drink myself, but you are absolutely fucking delusional man. You have been smoking TOO MUCH and you need to stop almost immediately, it does not make you anymore intelligent or better of a judge of jack shit than any person sober or on any other drug. The conflict you seem to be having with music in general is way more YOUR problem than it is music’s. Whether it’s your brain or that much weed you are having paranoid fantasies about relevant culture secretly being… what?

    • http://twitter.com/TerryGotham Terry Gotham

      Uh, I’d imagine there’d be significantly fewer fights at clubs that provided cannabis vs. alcohol.

  • Vince

    Nice article. Says things I’ve been saying since the Napster debacle. The only thing killing the music industry is the music industry, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Once it’s gone, we can start over and get back to making real music.

  • Joel Monteiro

    What the fuck did I just read?!

  • Joel Monteiro

    What the fuck did I just read?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrjoshuaco Joshua Hicks

    Lighten up, Francis.

  • clickmyface

    I’m really curious what your source for the iTunes rant is. You don’t seem to be aware of how industry pricing works. The labels dictate the price Amazon and Apple gets. I think you may be confused by volume. Apple sells more music (25 billion songs as of this week, in fact) so of course Apple gets more favorable pricing. What apple does not do is dictate how much of the royalty check they send to the label goes to the artist. Amazon doesn’t either. Second, apparently you’re unaware of the fact that Amazon is notorious for selling at a less in order to kill competition. Have you noticed a lot of bookstores closing in the last few years? That is a big reason why. Selling at a loss in order to kill off your competitors does not make for a healthy market. Authors were not so happy about it either. Overall, Apple puts more money into labels/artists hands than any other service. Second, apparently you’re unaware of Bandcamps relationship with PayPal. Selling a single track on bandcamp nets you very little after fees. Selling physical on Bandcamp is the way to go, but keep in mind that the artists is the one actually shipping out the album.

  • Travis Case

    Oh my God. Your thoughts on that God-Awful Smashing Pumpkins album mimic mine completely. Thank you kindred soul!

  • saint john of modafuckin space

    great article man!

  • fattymcfatpants

    Einstein worked in the PATENT office. You have to check your facts early on in the post, or you will lose credibility for the other assertions you make.

  • Rick Termath

    I am going to go buy an album on itunes just for you. For the rest of my music buying life I will spend every penny on itunes just for laughs. itunes gives 70 cents for every 99 cent song to the record label. IF the record label keep it all than boycott the record label, or slap the arists for signing asniine contracts with said label.

    If a song is on itunes for 99 cents and 70 cents is given to the artistlabel, and amazon sells it for 69 cents how could they possibly give more money to the artistlabel? Oh wait they can’t and you are full of it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylorfaucett Taylor Faucett

    Which music selling service would you recommend for someone who cares more about ease and convenience of purchasing music than about how much already overpaid musicians make per song sold?

    • VaudeVillain

      thepiratebay.org

  • SpenkFooo

    You have got to admit the guy has some pretty good ideas.

    Anon-Goes.tk

  • BryceMeiklejohn

    Fucking hipster.

  • tomncoffee

    Dude …great article, great writing style … I’m like 54 and shit … (imagine Louis CK talking) … I never even HEARD of Pitchfork and so now I gotta go see what the fuss is all about … keep writing honest and direct like you do … great stuff … your article has now been endorsed by somebody your dad’s age or older LOL … but shit, dude, (cough) like dude … pass it don’t fucking hoover it (cough) or bogart it … dammit … hand me another PBR please …

  • http://twitter.com/Chookalana Chookalana

    I release through TuneCore and I make more through iTunes.

    The other thing people have to factor in is availability. The average person uses iTunes and Amazon more than ANY OTHER SERVICE BY FAR. Plus, you have to factor in the worldwide sales that iTunes offers.

    I’ve have more sales through iTunes and Amazon than any other service. I also get more sales worldwide through iTunes that the other services just cannot provide.

    So I actually make more money through iTunes.

    I find the tone of your article suspect and wonder about your real motives.

    • http://twitter.com/TheFree_Lance Jeff A. Taylor

      Yes! Tunecore. Shocks me how many royal bitch sessions NEVER mention that option. And now that they are doing publishing rights for $75 — I don’t know how much longer the big, bad Music Industry can be blamed for holding people back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jack.vega.77 Jack Vega

    Einstein worked in a Patent Office not a post office. There’s a big difference.

  • Hihi77

    Black Science? Your ‘old’ band? Please tell me you guys didn’t break up, I just recently started listening. Like, one of my favorite bands of all time. Thank you for your music.

  • RB12

    Is this a giant troll-article or what?

    I’m making full-time income today, averaging $3-4k/mo and growing, from a career in a multitude of arts. No college degree (I am not devaluing college!). No formal business education, yet I run two businesses. And it’s all art. Music, graphics, etc. But I broke all the rules! What gives?

    The real reason most of these artists fail is because:
    1) They fucking suck.
    2) They can’t get over their pompous, self-entitled attitude that treating your art as a business (like you should) will somehow “corrupt the art” simply by stigma of being a business. Degenerate bullshit.
    3) They’re too lazy to be open-minded and learn how to navigate the “game” in new ways. Whatever “everyone else” is doing, you can to sit on that, but look for the next thing that no one’s tried yet, and be one of the first to do it.
    4) They repeatedly fall for the shark businessmen that fuck them over — I went through two missteps and changed my attitude pretty damn quick. Still try to be unconditionally nice, but take EVERYTHING they say or promise you with a grain of salt, and never stop developing your personal safety net.

    It’s not because I was just lucky, or had some sort of trust fund, or was born into it. It’s because I’m actually fucking good at what I do, did my damn homework and actually internalized it, and I’m not a fucking idiot.

    I’m not much of a fan of Macklemore, but he’s a great recent example of being independent & tackling your artistic goals with an ounce of real effort and strategy. Boom. Top of the charts. Unsigned. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came from some sort of privileged background, though.

  • RB12

    Is this a giant troll-article or what?

    I’m making full-time income today, averaging $3-4k/mo and growing, from a career in a multitude of arts. No college degree (I am not devaluing college!). No formal business education, yet I run two businesses. And it’s all art. Music, graphics, etc. But I broke all the rules! What gives?

    The real reason most of these artists fail is because:
    1) They fucking suck.
    2) They can’t get over their pompous, self-entitled attitude that treating your art as a business (like you should) will somehow “corrupt the art” simply by stigma of being a business. Degenerate bullshit.
    3) They’re too lazy to be open-minded and learn how to navigate the “game” in new ways. Whatever “everyone else” is doing, you can to sit on that, but look for the next thing that no one’s tried yet, and be one of the first to do it.
    4) They repeatedly fall for the shark businessmen that fuck them over — I went through two missteps and changed my attitude pretty damn quick. Still try to be unconditionally nice, but take EVERYTHING they say or promise you with a grain of salt, and never stop developing your personal safety net.

    It’s not because I was just lucky, or had some sort of trust fund, or was born into it. It’s because I’m actually fucking good at what I do, did my damn homework and actually internalized it, and I’m not a fucking idiot.

    I’m not much of a fan of Macklemore, but he’s a great recent example of being independent & tackling your artistic goals with an ounce of real effort and strategy. Boom. Top of the charts. Unsigned. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came from some sort of privileged background, though.

    • http://twitter.com/TheFree_Lance Jeff A. Taylor

      I am glad you posted this because it captured my exact impression. But it wouldn’t have sounded as good coming from an old guy.

  • James Martin

    Perhaps the author should stop listening to what people say and start listening to things they enjoy? Sure, Pitchfork and other publications might offer bad advice sometimes, sometimes I think the editors are trying to appreciate music thats totally not of their taste, but for the merits of the music. I like EBM and Industrial music, and for a long time thought that no intelligent people could possibly enjoy Australian Hiphop…. then I worked under a boss that did. ‘Rat in a Cage’ I personally think is a pretty good song, but I’m no a massive SP fan. At the very least the production values are incredibly high. And, sure, iTunes eats up a massive percentage of profits, but Apple run a pretty good show and have mostly bullet proof infrastructure, I read a story about some hoe-mar on Slashdot a few days ago, complaining that she had only received $1,600 for 6 months of radio plays for her ‘violin quartet’ or some equally as rubbish niche audience… not playing live gigs… and I thought “what are you smoking? People haven’t even bought your incredibly abstract music, and you are complaining about massive Internet radio royalties that presented exactly 0% risk and expense to yourself?”. I think we now live in a time where the recording industry can no longer ‘dictate’ what is good, musicians survive on their own merit. Its exactly the situation the article seems to propose is the right way, but then bandies the new distribution mediums and speculates how ‘difficult’ it is to make money, exempt of any mention of the COSTS for bands who publish real products that do not sell (ie… operate at significant losses). The business model is definitely tilted in favour of the artists, not the recording industry or distributors, it just requires a new era of managers that understand how to talk directly to the masses.

  • James Martin

    Perhaps the author should stop listening to what people say and start listening to things they enjoy? Sure, Pitchfork and other publications might offer bad advice sometimes, sometimes I think the editors are trying to appreciate music thats totally not of their taste, but for the merits of the music. I like EBM and Industrial music, and for a long time thought that no intelligent people could possibly enjoy Australian Hiphop…. then I worked under a boss that did. ‘Rat in a Cage’ I personally think is a pretty good song, but I’m no a massive SP fan. At the very least the production values are incredibly high. And, sure, iTunes eats up a massive percentage of profits, but Apple run a pretty good show and have mostly bullet proof infrastructure, I read a story about some hoe-mar on Slashdot a few days ago, complaining that she had only received $1,600 for 6 months of radio plays for her ‘violin quartet’ or some equally as rubbish niche audience… not playing live gigs… and I thought “what are you smoking? People haven’t even bought your incredibly abstract music, and you are complaining about massive Internet radio royalties that presented exactly 0% risk and expense to yourself?”. I think we now live in a time where the recording industry can no longer ‘dictate’ what is good, musicians survive on their own merit. Its exactly the situation the article seems to propose is the right way, but then bandies the new distribution mediums and speculates how ‘difficult’ it is to make money, exempt of any mention of the COSTS for bands who publish real products that do not sell (ie… operate at significant losses). The business model is definitely tilted in favour of the artists, not the recording industry or distributors, it just requires a new era of managers that understand how to talk directly to the masses.

  • Kurt Tappe

    WIth regard to your section about old music outselling new, there is another good (non-conspiracy) reason for that you ignored: New “artists” aren’t as talented as old ones. Seriously. It used to be that you had to practice your ass off to get noticed. You had to play and play and play, at home, in dive bars, on the street. You got GOOD at the instrument(s) you played. Now most bands use autotune and sampling. That is not talent. And we, the public, realize it. Thus I’d gladly buy a 40 year old song than a 4 day old one, because it is very easy to tell the musicians on the old song were truly talented.

  • Kurt Tappe

    WIth regard to your section about old music outselling new, there is another good (non-conspiracy) reason for that you ignored: New “artists” aren’t as talented as old ones. Seriously. It used to be that you had to practice your ass off to get noticed. You had to play and play and play, at home, in dive bars, on the street. You got GOOD at the instrument(s) you played. Now most bands use autotune and sampling. That is not talent. And we, the public, realize it. Thus I’d gladly buy a 40 year old song than a 4 day old one, because it is very easy to tell the musicians on the old song were truly talented.

  • raven100

    Mellon Collie is the best Smashing Pumpkins album, people who prefer the first two are just hipsters who can’t like an album that sold more than 10 million copies on principle. I think a 10/10 rating would have been more appropriate although I’d never seen the video to Bullet with Butterfly Wings until just now so maybe I’ll have to reassess my whole stance.

  • Bri Del Sette

    iTunes pisses me off anyway. I needed another reason to avoid it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacob.garrison.31 Jacob Garrison

    I don’t understand the hate for the Smashing Pumpkins album, however that was like the first cd I ever bought, besides the Lion King soundtrack of course. I remember being so amazed that there was such a thing as a double album. I can see how that was a bit pompous on their part but if they had put all the good songs on one disc and cut out the filler I wouldn’t have any complaints. As far as the lyrics to Zero go, I think there are far worse. I’m sorry a band you liked got popular, I totally understand. Same thing happened to me with Rise Against. I was about 18 also when they got big, granted I understand SP were probably way worse.

  • George

    purr

  • Serpentsamongus

    This guy sounds like many failed musicians who realize that know one gives a damn about their amateur hour music. If he were any good someone would be paying him good money to play.

    You also know he’s a whiny nut sack because of how much he talks about himself and when you click his link its some like 7 song cd lol with ms paint album art

  • Serpentsamongus

    This guy sounds like many failed musicians who realize that know one gives a damn about their amateur hour music. If he were any good someone would be paying him good money to play.

    You also know he’s a whiny nut sack because of how much he talks about himself and when you click his link its some like 7 song cd lol with ms paint album art

  • Serpentsamongus

    This guy sounds like many failed musicians who realize that know one gives a damn about their amateur hour music.

  • grnt

    i totally agree with you.

  • http://twitter.com/PriorGavin Gavin Prior

    I’m with your on Mellon Collie and iTunes but why do you refer to the Pitchfork reviewers as chicks? Is their gender related to the quality of reviews in some way?

  • John Kay

    I don’t like what you said about brussel sprouts.

  • John Kay

    I don’t like what you said about brussel sprouts.

  • Guest

    Swag=free or stolen goods, Schwag=low quality marijuana. FYI.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.orestes Daniel Orestes

    “I’m an unpaid music marketer (okay, to be fair, I sometimes get paid in schwag).”

    Swag=free or stolen goods. Schwag=low quality, pressed marijuana.
    I Just want to be absolutely sure that you’re referring to the correct currency.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.gee.iz.me Az Iskoladat Neked Madek

    Oh, You’re one of those SP fans… The Blue disck of Mellon Collie rocks, it took me a while in 94 compared to Siamese Dream being genius from the first listen. BWBW is a single, plain and simple, I don’t rate it and only listen to it on the radio. As for the albums after it, Adore is probably my favourite. He became a better song writer. The most recent album is fantastic as well. Closest thing the US has to John Lennon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.gee.iz.me Az Iskoladat Neked Madek

    Oh, You’re one of those SP fans… The Blue disck of Mellon Collie rocks, it took me a while in 94 compared to Siamese Dream being genius from the first listen. BWBW is a single, plain and simple, I don’t rate it and only listen to it on the radio. As for the albums after it, Adore is probably my favourite. He became a better song writer. The most recent album is fantastic as well. Closest thing the US has to John Lennon.

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