All these posts about how music should be considered a “hobby” from the get-go are making me sick to my stomach. Musicians have always struggled to make a living from what they do, and it’s hard to imagine anyone telling Schoenberg or Berg or Partch to consider what they see as a burning passion–their life’s work–a hobby. “Go push some grocery carts, Harry!” “Get a degree in accounting!”
The only reason people get music for free is because they can; it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t pay for it if it weren’t available for free. When it stops being available for the taking, it will suddenly reclaim what you call its “value.”
To Moore’s point about sporting events being more valuable to people: I bet we would see a change in sporting events, too, if droves were suddenly able to get into sports games or get sports gear for free.
It’s great to attend concerts, but the most helpful thing you can do is to go to a concert AND buy a record (or t-shirt, tape, 7″, whatever) from the artist/band).
The money you spend on a concert goes into an overall total, a pre-guaranteed amount of which goes to the band. By attending a show, you help the promoter make enough money to pay the band what they have already been promised; if the promoter doesn’t make enough money, he/she has to pay out of pocket to the band regardless. Out of that pool of money, the venue, sound engineer, promoter, lighting person, artist, and their food/drinks have to be paid; so yeah, if enough people don’t show up to support the artist (read: cover all these costs), it’s unlikely that a promoter will take that chance again.
But when you buy a record (or something else) from a merch table you are directly helping the band/artist pay the bills. Pretty cool.
I would argue that having easy access to technology does not make you a craftsman. Just because you have access to an easy-to-use “dictaphone device” doesn’t mean that you should use it; not everybody who CAN make a record SHOULD.
Not sure I want an amateur plumber fixing my drain.