I think I read somewhere Walla saying that having that much of a hand in the production AND being a member of the band was taking a bit of a toll on him.
“Thom Yorke (who has already spoken out against Spotify) is constantly experimenting with new ways to release music in a way that is fair and beneficial to both musicians and consumers.”
He’s counting on the über fans who will pay upwards of $50 for the deluxe versions of his band’s albums, since he knows the casual listener will download the album for free.
“People still attend concerts.”
Concertgoers are paying for the misdeeds of freeloaders with exorbitant ticket prices, and that’s not taking into account the artists who scalp their own tickets. I also don’t understand how one can refuse to pay $10 for a record you love and can keep forever but pay $250 to see that artist play from crappy seats once.
“People still support the artists they love precisely because they have a deep respect for their craft. People freely share other artist’s music precisely because they value it highly. People purchase vinyl even though they could (with less effort) freely load up a 150 GB iPod with entire catalogs of music.”
The percentage of music lovers who support artists is minute in regards to the total amount of music consumers. If not, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I know folks who stopped purchasing music more than a decade ago, but they still find a way to get a ton of music. How dow they do it? Hmm…
Vinyl sales are largely fetish/cool factor driven: that’s why people pay $25+ for wax but refuse to pay significantly less for CDs or high quality mp3s/FLAC, etc.
“Indie bands that have existed for barely over a year are playing in front of huge festival crowds. Old indie bands that could’ve easily faded into obscurity are experiencing a renaissance and re-forming to release new music (do you really think someone like Michael Gira would experience the most success he’s ever had with Swans if it weren’t for the internet?).”
Absolutely. But let’s not confuse access and dissemination of info about an artist with illegal downloads. In other words, can we not conflate the internet as a vital tool with the specificity of “file sharing”?
“And the only people complaining about a decline in the quality of music correlating with the decline of the music industry are those who are unwilling to put in an effort to research new music. And even then, modern day music journalism (i.e. Pitchfork and the like) thrives because people need their music curated. If anything, the music world is being over-saturated with new artists. So instead of letting the Billboard charts decide what you pay attention to, you allow Pitchfork to shape your tastes.”
There IS a significant dip in the quality of music within the mainstream: now that major labels have seen their revenues decrease dramatically, they are investing more than ever before in cookie cutter, sure thing music. And you know who doesn’t “put in an effort to research new music”? The casual music fan, ie the vast majority of the music consuming public. The majority of which will never spend a penny on music ever again.
As for music journalism, don’t get me started…I’ve come across too many reviews in the last decade in which the writer is too ignorant to know that the band whose fresh, innovative, visionary sound he/she is hyping is actually a bad Wire ripoff.
Aloe Blacc, who co-wrote Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” says he saw $4,000 from 168 MILLION streams of that song. If that statement is true, ballgame over.
I don’t need a dude who’s financially set for life telling me to give away my shit and further rubbing it in by saying he doesn’t care since he’s playing Wembley soon. That’s some clueless, self-centered, tone deaf bullshit right there.
Oh, and btw, in a standard recording contract from back in the day the artist (bandmembers) didn’t get paid until the record recouped, but songwriters got paid from copy 1 that sold, regardless of recouping. So, let’s say your major label album flopped to the tune of 75,000 copies, but you as an individual wrote all 10 songs, that’s close to $70K songwriting revenue. Split with publishing and management, but still…
You make a good point re: artists. But we need to differentiate “artists” from “songwriters”.
Let’s use a fictional band as an example. The Earnest Ones are a three piece and Michael their singer/guitarist writes all the songs. Back in the day they were signed to a major label and although a tad popular, they sold a decent amount of records–say, 80,000 copies each album–but not enough to break even and for the label to pay the band. So, The Earnest Ones never made any money from those albums. But Michael did. As a songwriter, by law, he’s supposed to get paid a royalty on every single album sold, starting from copy sold no.1. Doesn’t matter if these albums recoup or not. So if The Earnest Ones had 3 albums with 10 songs each, all written by Michael–and if my math is correct–as a songwriter he got paid 90¢ per album (9¢ per song, split with his publisher), which is more than $70K per album. His bandmates, meanwhile, made zilch b/c they didn’t have songwriting revenue and the artist revenue went to recouping the money spent on recording, promotion, videos, etc. which was charged to The Earnest Ones. Michael, made no money as the “artist” (ie a member of The Earnest Ones) but he got paid as the “songwriter”.
“[D]udes like Daniel Johnston were recording albums for Atlantic Records” b/c the majors were out of the loop as to what the youth was consuming–for the first time since the second half of the ’60s–and were flush with enough cash to experiment. We have the exact opposite situation now: they know what sells and are reluctant to spend even a dime on anything that doesn’t smell like a sure thing.
Aloe Blacc says he made $4000 from “Wake Me Up”, a song which he co-wrote for Avicii and streamed 168 million times. So, based on that math, it would take billions of streams to make $6m.
So, this tune is a hit?
- The six albums from the reunited “classic” lineup should be at the bottom of the pile.
- ‘Do the Collapse’ gets an unnecessary bad rap.
- Any album with such all-around consistency and no Tobin Sprout songs (yay!) like ‘Mag Earwhig’, deserves a much higher spot.
Fwiw, here in NYC I frequently come across children of Gen-Xers in their early 20s who love classic rock AND the whole Seattle/alternative/”grunge” of the early ’90s. (It’s a question of authenticity for them: they feel the rock music of the 21st century is, for the most part, contrived and plastic; too tightly tethered to vague notions of hipness.)
I’m a Gen-Xer myself and ‘Superunknown’ is not the only record from that era which I still enjoy, but it’s the only one I play regularly, as if it had been released in the last 5 years.
Ryan Leas can’t put his finger on why the album feels massive to him. Perhaps it’s due the fact that when you listen closely to this 70-minute, tour de force you can sense that the band knew it was onto something; that their songwriting had turned a corner and the need to make a lasting musical statement was in the air. In other words, it seems like the band approached this record as much more than their latest batch of songs. Hands down THE hard rock record of the ’90s.
Yeah, that phone call was the way to go…IF she’d seen the video before it leaked. What was the point of Badu calling Coyne after the video was out there for all to see? I’m on Team People Need to Stop Jumping to Conclusions Before They Figure Things Out.