ok, i know that i owe you some best of lists but i have been pissed about a few things and need to get them off my chest:
ok, so let me start off by saying that i am a pirate. i illegally download a lot music and i haven’t bought a piece of music since the impossible to find Major Organ and the Adding Machine S/T Album. i feel bad about this, to an extent. music off of independent labels should be bought, and i mean that. however, i am broke. but, at the same time, music pirating is just as much a part of the music industry, now, as anything else. it needs to be accepted because it is helping to break down much of what has become terrible about the music industry, things that artists like Lily Allen would love to keep going. Why? well honestly i have no fucking idea.
this is really a reaction piece to Lily Allen’s kinda recent (september 2009) myspace blog post which garnered her a lot of attention as being very against music pirating. the link is
go read it. now you can not agree with me, that pirating is o.k. and you not agreeing with me is o.k. i see and understand your point before you even say it. but! at the same time, lily allen is not only defending the major record labels who are losing money but the evil practices by which they are making even more. let me quote:
“You don’t start out in music with the Ferraris. Instead you get a huge debt from your record company, which you spend years working your arse off to repay. When you manage to get a contract, all those pretty videos and posters advertising your album have to be paid for and as the artist, you have to pay for them. I’ve only just finished paying off all the money I owe my record company. I’m lucky that I’ve been successful and managed to pay it back, but not everyone’s so lucky.”
now this is the point where i tell miss lily to seriously fuck off. what she is defending is one of the greatest crimes in music history and it has happened countless, literally countless, times. what is brilliant, and what she very conveniently seems to have forgotten is that because of music pirating (and i mean BECAUSE) 1. fans gain easier and FREE access to music that they would not have had before 2. artists are realizing that there is substantial money in self-releasing music. maps and atlases self-released their first two EPs. Regina Spektor self-released her first two albums. Independent labels as small as Plan-It-X (Paul Baribeau) to as big as Merge (Conor Oberst, Neutral Milk Hotel) to as influential as K (kimya dawson, the microphones) have only grown more powerful and popular. my point? the music industry has benefited from music pirating.
of course, this all depends on what one means by “benefited.” i see it as meaning that there has been a rise in unconventional music and tastes, a regaining of the meaning “good” music. not entirely, of course, bad taste in music will always dominate and that is why the major labels will continue to be major. but that doesn’t mean that independent labels can’t grow and reach wider and wider audiences. artists like kimya dawson and the animal collective have become wildly popular and certainly with no help from major record labels. and other examples are endless.
one of ms. allen’s biggest points is that music pirating is bad for new artists. she keeps saying that and yet she never exactly says how. she gives an example (quoted above) of how it can hurt artists, by stopping them from paying back the record companies as fast, but then i have to ask, what new artists? the new artists that sign with major labels and sell themselves into debt? the same artists that could record the same album for a few hundred dollars vs. a few hundred thousand dollars and release it themselves? artists that could be recording and mastering the same quality tracks with free software like garage band? it is cheaper than ever to record music so why do artists keep signing themselves with major labels? labels that only pay them 5% on every c.d. sold. the same labels that are even elbowing in on internet revenue (which was supposed to be the answer). lily mentions spotify as not hurting artists, and yet lady gaga only made $167 for over 1 million views (source). why are artists siding with such obviously corrupt and awful labels? the answer is greed. the way i see it, lily allen is defending greed. and that is why lily allen can suck my dick.
The First Post- “Lily Allen is a Government Lackey”
Music Contracts- Great article about music contracts, very general though. Explore the rest of the site to learn more.