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The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.)

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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby galanter on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:12 pm

projectMalamute wrote:I read about half of it, and that was plenty.

It's all bullshit because it starts with a faulty premise: that making money by selling recordings is some sort of inalienable right.


That isn't at all the premise of the article.

The premise is that if everyone else is making money from distributing your recordings (and don't kid yourself, they are) then you should get your fair share.

My feeling is whether you are recording songs, or making shoes, or mowing lawns, or running a company; if large numbers of people want you to keep doing that, then society is best served by providing structures that allow you to spend a lot of time doing that. And that means earning at least a full-time livable wage.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby steve on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:22 pm

In addition to vastly overstating the generosity of record labels toward artists in the old paradigm, Lowery openly sneers at the booming avenues for income that define the new music industry, merchandising and live performance.

As is true every time an industry changes, the people who used to have it easy claim the new way is not just hard for them but fundamentally wrong. The reluctance to adapt is a kind of embarrassing nostalgia that glosses over the many sins of the old ways, and it argues for a kind of pity fuck from the market.

It's doomed thinking. When it became obvious that the studio recording industry was not going to remain an analog domain, we built Electrical Audio to be as self-sufficient as possible so we could continue to use those methods we thought had important advantages despite changes in the greater industry. We didn't whine at the moon and expect the rest of the industry to indulge us. We also bought a Pro Tools rig to accommodate the sessions that weren't going to be done in the analog domain regardless.

Adapt to conditions or quit. Bitching is for bitches.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Ptommydski on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:27 pm

Okay, here's what I recommend after you read this article once through -

You will need:

  • One song by Camper Van Beethoven
  • One song by any hard-working PRF band (any will do - The Columbines, Police Teeth, Fake Limbs, Small Awesome).
  • A way to play both of these songs, one after the other.
  • A tarpaulin you can stand on whilst you do so.

Follow these steps -

1. Lay down the tarpaulin and then stand in the centre. Essential.
2. Remove any items of clothing from the waist down. Do not skip!
3. Listen to the song by the hard-working PRF band.
4. Listen to the song by Camper Van Beethoven.

Bet you're glad you didn't skip stage one and two now.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby steve on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:28 pm

galanter wrote:The premise is that if everyone else is making money from distributing your recordings (and don't kid yourself, they are) then you should get your fair share.

I'd phrase it another way. If you release recordings into the world, the world will do with them as it sees fit. You can defend against that by not releasing recordings or by not counting on income from the world playing with your recordings. I think the latter is just being reasonable.

If I came up with the phrase "thank you," and wanted to collect a royalty for every time it got used, it would be an impossible task and I should not frustrate myself in the effort. That's basically the situation recorded music is in. There are so many avenues to hear it and so many people involved that getting them to fall in line with a preferred compensation scheme is a fantasy. In a market sense, avoiding payment would be trivial and anybody who did pay for use would be at a competitive disadvantage, so that behavior is not going to be favored.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Marsupialized on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:30 pm

I don't understand the point either. It's like, yeah, ok, and?

If you don't like itunes or whatever, sell your shit on Bandcamp, done, solved dude's problems. Anyone with a computer can just as easily go to bandcamp, or your own webpage, set up your own thing. It's the fucking internet! Do whatever you want with it. Fuck does dude want? He can play ribfests and shit for the rest of his life and make some money, dude should be happy with that, that is way more than most people who play music ever get.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby steve on Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:41 pm

galanter wrote:My feeling is whether you are recording songs, or making shoes, or mowing lawns, or running a company; if large numbers of people want you to keep doing that, then society is best served by providing structures that allow you to spend a lot of time doing that. And that means earning at least a full-time livable wage.

If nobody is willing to pay you to do something, then it isn't as valuable to the world as it is to you. You then decide if it's worth doing for its own sake. If it isn't, quit. If it is, carry on and who knows, maybe people will see value in it later and reward you. If not, you're still doing something you want to do.

While I think labor should be valued by society, the avenues to enforce that are limited to industries that hire employees, not people who do creative work on their own.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby galanter on Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:35 pm

steve wrote:
galanter wrote:My feeling is whether you are recording songs, or making shoes, or mowing lawns, or running a company; if large numbers of people want you to keep doing that, then society is best served by providing structures that allow you to spend a lot of time doing that. And that means earning at least a full-time livable wage.

If nobody is willing to pay you to do something, then it isn't as valuable to the world as it is to you. You then decide if it's worth doing for its own sake. If it isn't, quit. If it is, carry on and who knows, maybe people will see value in it later and reward you. If not, you're still doing something you want to do.

While I think labor should be valued by society, the avenues to enforce that are limited to industries that hire employees, not people who do creative work on their own.


God knows I believe in people doing their art for its own sake even though it has no commercial value whatsoever. It's the story of my life. But I think it should be an option not the only option.

But the notion that industries that hire employees deserve protection from theft but individuals who work on their own do not...that seems arbitrary without further explanation.

Of course that's not exactly what you said. But if you believe that individuals who work on their own deserve protection *unless* it's creative work...that seems even stranger to me.

This is not rocket science. If a society wants X then that society should make sure that the best makers of X can concentrate their time and attention on making X.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby steve on Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:45 pm

galanter wrote:God knows I believe in people doing their art for its own sake even though it has no commercial value whatsoever. It's the story of my life. But I think it should be an option not the only option.

Explain a mechanism to enforce payment for listening to music then. I mean, without that there's nothing else worth debating. Even if such a thing were possible, only music people already wanted would get paid for and nobody would ever hear new music because why would he pay for an unheard song? If it's free for a little while until people like it, then they have to pay for it, then while it's free it will be copied and distributed later for free.

Whatever the industry or individuals think should happen, until somebody comes up with a mechanism (hint: They won't, it's a paradox and impossible) then the ethics of music sharing are moot. This doesn't just apply to the consumers, it applies to the hosts.

But the notion that industries that hire employees deserve protection from theft but individuals who work on their own do not...that seems arbitrary without further explanation.

No I meant that industries could be forced to pay their employees living wages by statute. Individuals cannot garner payment by statute.

This is not rocket science. If a society wants X then that society should make sure that the best makers of X can concentrate their time and attention on making X.

Yeah, society doesn't value creative work as much as the creative community values it. Ever thus. Ever tough titty.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby jeff_fox on Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:52 pm

I'm at peace with it. go figure.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Adam Sr on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:18 am

steve wrote:
galanter wrote:God knows I believe in people doing their art for its own sake even though it has no commercial value whatsoever. It's the story of my life. But I think it should be an option not the only option.

Explain a mechanism to enforce payment for listening to music then. I mean, without that there's nothing else worth debating. Even if such a thing were possible, only music people already wanted would get paid for and nobody would ever hear new music because why would he pay for an unheard song? If it's free for a little while until people like it, then they have to pay for it, then while it's free it will be copied and distributed later for free.

Whatever the industry or individuals think should happen, until somebody comes up with a mechanism (hint: They won't, it's a paradox and impossible) then the ethics of music sharing are moot. This doesn't just apply to the consumers, it applies to the hosts.

But the notion that industries that hire employees deserve protection from theft but individuals who work on their own do not...that seems arbitrary without further explanation.

No I meant that industries could be forced to pay their employees living wages by statute. Individuals cannot garner payment by statute.

This is not rocket science. If a society wants X then that society should make sure that the best makers of X can concentrate their time and attention on making X.

Yeah, society doesn't value creative work as much as the creative community values it. Ever thus. Ever tough titty.


So the good folk of 'industry' get an ought while the 'creative community' has to suck it up with the is.

Out of interest, what is your position on the use of others' creative work? Once it's out there, can anybody do as they please with it?
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby jeff_fox on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:13 am

Adam Sr wrote:
So the good folk of 'industry' get an ought while the 'creative community' has to suck it up with the is.

Out of interest, what is your position on the use of others' creative work? Once it's out there, can anybody do as they please with it?


Not to speak for steve, but we choose to put our stuff up on youtube and bandcamp etc. and are using their hosting services. This is different from recording a record and one day hearing your song in a mazda commercial which you never authorized.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby 154 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:21 am

EmpireStateTroopers wrote:
Adam Sr wrote:
So the good folk of 'industry' get an ought while the 'creative community' has to suck it up with the is.

Out of interest, what is your position on the use of others' creative work? Once it's out there, can anybody do as they please with it?


Not to speak for steve, but we choose to put our stuff up on youtube and bandcamp etc. and are using their hosting services. This is different from recording a record and one day hearing your song in a mazda commercial which you never authorized.


Somewhat devil's advocate, but lately I've been seeing commercials in more and more YT videos, and not just stuff where you'd expect it like SNL clips or something. If they start arbitrarily assigning those to any of our stuff, we should either have the right to refuse it or be compensated for it. It hasn't happened yet, but that's where I would draw the line. I haven't opposed to their service yet, even if it is generating traffic and data.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby jeff_fox on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:23 am

you'll always have the right to take your videos down...and maybe that would even get the point across to them.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby 154 on Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:26 am

EmpireStateTroopers wrote:you'll always have the right to take your videos down...and maybe that would even get the point across to them.


Yeah, but if you have 1,500 videos (such as Caffeinated), you aren't going to be able to see them sneaking it in there.

Perhaps they seek out permission before they do it, but I doubt it. Maybe you waive those rights in the fine print.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Auntie Ovipositor on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:29 pm

154 wrote:
EmpireStateTroopers wrote:you'll always have the right to take your videos down...and maybe that would even get the point across to them.


Yeah, but if you have 1,500 videos (such as Caffeinated), you aren't going to be able to see them sneaking it in there.

Perhaps they seek out permission before they do it, but I doubt it. Maybe you waive those rights in the fine print.


I've been asked by YT if I'd like to "monetize my channels" and it involves a different contract. I would assume that's the case here as well, but I'm not 100% sure. If it isn't...
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby enframed on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:34 pm

BadComrade wrote: Some Cracker songs were ok. I like this live version of this:




That's Cracker? I always thought it was Gin Blossoms or Dishwalla or Live or someone like that. Goddamn, that was a popular song.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Trey on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:53 pm

BadComrade wrote:
enframed wrote:
BadComrade wrote: Some Cracker songs were ok. I like this live version of this:




That's Cracker? I always thought it was Gin Blossoms or Dishwalla or Live or someone like that. Goddamn, that was a popular song.


I was 18 or 19 when that song came out, and I didn't like it. I liked a few of the songs on the first Cracker album, and couldn't stand some of the other ones. I like this song a lot now. The nearly one-note guitar thing is great, and the quiet parts are great. I even think the melody in the chorus is alright. I often like his lyrics, too. Dude's funny.

That song has almost exactly the same chords as Pictures of Matchstick Men, which CVB recorded for their last album, and played it live pretty much their whole career.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Trey on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:29 pm

BadComrade wrote:Yeah, I like their cover of Matchstick Men too.

I saw them play Key Lime Pie straight through at the new Austin City Limits theater here last year. It was pretty great. Sorry to derail this thread. Lowery has been bitching about this stuff on Facebook for months now, btw. I hate to see him becoming bitter.

I remember in an interview he gave during KLP's time where he said if he wasn't making as much money as a school teacher within the next year, he was gonna quit music. Then they broke up and Cracker started, so I guess he did okay for a while.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby righthanded on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:33 pm

Google sues to protect their intellectual properties. Maybe they should stop bitching and get a job.
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Re: The Problem With Music: Still a Problem (Cracker/CVB ed.

Postby Jim on Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:50 pm

154 wrote:
EmpireStateTroopers wrote:you'll always have the right to take your videos down...and maybe that would even get the point across to them.


Yeah, but if you have 1,500 videos (such as Caffeinated), you aren't going to be able to see them sneaking it in there.

Perhaps they seek out permission before they do it, but I doubt it. Maybe you waive those rights in the fine print.


Yes, I have been offered to monetize my youtube channel and have declined. It doesn't matter the amount or quality of the video(s). They are only interested in the subject (or keywords) that are used to describe your videos, the amount of views, and how those words tie in with Google Adwords.

As a reference, it took them 2 years, and a little over 1000 videos to offer that to me. While on my work's account where I post hardwood flooring videos, it took 5 days on 2 videos. It's all about what advertisers are willing to pay for.

Considering I have a few hundred GB of data on their servers that also take a considerable amount of streaming bandwidth, I appreciate their approach.

And no, I highly doubt a point would get across if a single user deleted their account. According to the youtube faq "48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day.". I have a feeling it would take every user from a few countries to delete their content to get that point across.

Marsupialized wrote:I don't understand the point either. It's like, yeah, ok, and?

If you don't like itunes or whatever, sell your shit on Bandcamp, or your own webpage, set up your own thing. ...



I assume the author would also have a problem with Bandcamp as they take 15% of sales (lowered to 10% if you exceed $5000 in sales) plus the credit card/paypal processing fees. He states that these services have "no risk" since they have no investment in seeing that music sell. What he doesn't really address is development costs, server space, bandwidth, and of course the intellectual ideas that thought of these services in the first place.

There are ways to do it yourself without hardcore programming and only have the credit card processing fees like http://cashmusic.org/ but the author's response to all of this seemed to be that you have to handle your own recording/mastering/P.R./distribution/etc that he assumes is the only way to get your record sold.

To that he has a point. Any one can set up a bandcamp page and sell music, but there is a long distance between selling a few downloads or even selling 500 LP's to being able to have a band of musicians make a comfortable living off of selling music. It's been quite a few years since the band Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah sold 20,000 units on their own. I haven't heard of many success stories like that.

steve wrote:If nobody is willing to pay you to do something, then it isn't as valuable to the world as it is to you. You then decide if it's worth doing for its own sake. If it isn't, quit. If it is, carry on and who knows, maybe people will see value in it later and reward you. If not, you're still doing something you want to do.


I like this statement.
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