Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Song Remains the Same

Big thanks to The Vile Scribbler for steering me to this little gem. Basically an updated iteration of Steve Albini's classic screed on record-industry accounting. These people are vipers, always have been. No one will miss them.

Music industry weasels always liked to congratulate themselves that Zeppelin, for example, got treated well because Ahmet Ertegun loved them. Bullshit -- Zeppelin got paid because they had Peter Grant for a manager. Ertegun loved them because they made him lots of money. People can chicken-egg that shit however they like, it always comes down to money. But, you know, people will buy pretty much anything if you push it on them hard and often enough, as if the continued existence of Lady Gaga isn't proof enough of that.

So it's particularly telling that in the case of Too Much Joy, the major labels really haven't learned a damned thing from what's happened to them over the last decade. They took their shoddy promotional and accounting practices into the digital realm, that's all. They give crap bands like REM $80 mil, bully it out of the hides of all the other bands on the label, and wonder why no one thinks twice about fucking them over on LimeWire.

In another 5-10 years, the majors will either be gone or transformed. There's really not much use for them anymore, at least for production, distribution, marketing, or swag. Maybe fronting money and scheduling shit for some short-bus band that can't figure it out for themselves. But the payola stranglehold these assholes shared with radio is done, and good riddance. There's more bands than ever, and more good bands than ever, and the music's cheaper and more plentiful than ever.

A truly free market -- the predatory capitalist's worst nightmare.


The Vile Scribbler said...

Glad you liked it. I found that on the Onion A.V. Club.

Speaking of music, that reminds me -- I emailed you something about Pearl Jam and downloading a few months ago, but I've forgotten what all it was about now.

Are you gonna put together some kind of musical year-end list? I'm thinking about it, but most new releases I heard this year were pretty "meh". I might have to include a bunch of stuff that was just new to me this year if I want to flesh it out.

Heywood J. said...

I am really bad about checking my Gmail account, especially the last couple of months. I thought about doing some quick reviews of the newest releases from Muse and Megadeth, one of those "Short Takes" deals I do once in a while.

I don't know if I've heard enough recent stuff that's noteworthy enough for a year-end thing, but you never know. I've been hitting the Amazon MP3 downloader pretty regularly these days, probably faster than I can digest it all.