Back in March, a funk band named Vulfpeck came up with a way to game the Spotify payout system by streaming an album full of silence to raise enough money to go on tour. The band ended up making almost $20,000 from the stunt. Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked is trying to do the same thing, but going about it in a slightly more political way. She recently released a silent album on CDBaby.com called “Inaudible Women,” containing 11 brief “songs” named after big-shots in the music industry. With titles like “David Drummond (Google, Youtube),” “Robert Walls (Clear Channel),” and “Chris Harrison (Pandora),” she’s calling out people who run the digital streaming world. Shocked is associated with a campaign called CopyLike which, according to their website, is made up of artists who defend their copyright and intellectual property.
Shocked insists that the album isn’t exactly silent, though. Instead, it’s aimed at a completely different audience: dogs. “We love our furry friends. They share our beds, our toothbrushes, and they share our burgers,” she said in a weird video introducing the project. “We decided we would make a high album — in fact, the highest album ever made. Just so that my friends Spot and Rex can hear it, not audible to human ears, and to raise money for my tour … Never in the history of recording music has it been this easy to keep Spot happy and support working musicians.”
The album doesn’t appear to be on Spotify, though. And while Vulfpeck were successful and didn’t break any specific Spotify regulations at the time, the streaming service eventually removed the band’s album and changed the rules for that sort of thing.
Shocked was in the news last spring after her extended homophobic outburst at a San Francisco concert resulted in other venues cancelling her shows. Via HuffPo:
Shocked made headlines after the bizarre incident, which took place during a show in San Francisco, Calif., on March 17. The tirade included references to preachers getting “held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals.” Shocked even said, “God hates fags.” The audience walked out and demanded refunds.
Shocked was scheduled to tour at venues across the West Coast, but many were cancelled following her rant in San Francisco. Most recently, Shocked staged a sit-in in Santa Cruz to protest a cancellation. She wore a ski mask, sunglasses and duct tape across her mouth scrawled with the words “Silenced By Fear.”
On Monday, the 51-year-old born-again Christian sat down with Piers Morgan on CNN and defended herself. But even CNN questioned Shocked’s lucidity, describing her appearance as “a rambling, and confusing interview, that at times struggled to remain coherent.”
“I admit I made a mistake, Piers,” she said. “If I had the chance to do it again, I don’t think I would have taken the audience up on their choice. I had presented an entire performance, and I framed it as ’truth,’ and then I came out back out for an encore, and they requested ’reality.’ And what has consequently taken place ever since then is my manifestation of how little I think of reality.”
Although she attempted to delve into her portrayal of that so-called “reality,” Morgan wanted to cut to the chase and find out if she considers herself a homophobe or not.
“If you want to keep this simple for the audience, let me just give you a straight no, I’m not homophobic,” Shocked insisted. “But I don’t think … the truth I don’t think lies in the simplicity. It’s in the nuance, and that’s been completely lost in this.”