Saturday, May 2, 2009

Discourse on the side

Andy Grant at 7:47am May 1
i like where he mentioned that downloading the album will cause people to buy future releases.... it goes nicely with this, posted on a sidebar in his blog:

"I won't tell you to support music by buying it, honestly, do what the fuck you want to do."

jackoff.... Read More

what's your deal with, by the way?
Tim Spann
Tim Spann at 8:37am May 1
i commented on his blog
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 11:36am May 1
here's the newest comment, a reply to tim:

Mr. Energy,
'Industrial musician', whining about high costs of equipment is just about as fucking lame and ridiculous as a teen bimbo whining about high costs of designer clothing after she maxed out her daddy's credit card on Prada and Versace. If you feel like spending thousands on modular synths and ... Read Morefancy high end plugins, or whatever it is you use, that's your choice and your problem. There is ALWAYS a less expensive solution out there. Instead of bitching about how you are about to go broke if 5 people god forbid download your shit for free, (while promoting yourself in an unrelated post), use what you can afford and make the most of it. Nobody owes you anything.
Stephen James Knight
Stephen James Knight at 12:14pm May 1
Thanks Lee, I enjoyed your blog post. I know exactly where you're coming from, practically every album I've released has been on torrent sites before I could even finish my promotion for it. Once I lived a relatively shitty (but musically productive) life in order to focus solely on music, struggled every day to pay my rent and eat, but produced ... Read Morehours upon hours of music... being that it wasn't financially viable - I took a day job, and where I once had more music than I knew what to do with - now I struggle trying to find the time to write. This is why I haven't released a new album album in 2 years. If it were financially viable for me to live off my music, I'd spend every waking moment writing and playing - instead of sitting in an office wishing I was.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 12:37pm May 1
tim, why'd you remove your comment?
Tim Spann
Tim Spann at 12:43pm May 1
i don't want to get involved in an internet flame war over download sites. Stephen said what I was thinking.
Rachel Maloney
Rachel Maloney at 12:52pm May 1
kudos lee, though these obviously logical points just don't ever seem to sink in...
Rachel Maloney
Rachel Maloney at 12:53pm May 1
"If you feel like spending thousands on modular synths and ... Read Morefancy high end plugins, or whatever it is you use, that's your choice and your problem."

by this logic, only wealthy people should be making "industrial" music.

I would like to know what this "less expensive" solution is.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 12:55pm May 1
human bones and contact mics
Tim Spann
Tim Spann at 12:56pm May 1
I've always been the power tools and sledge hammers guy. Though it would be nice to have a somewhat cleaner sound when recording.
Tim Spann
Tim Spann at 12:57pm May 1
There are a few open source and free music programs out there. Some for windows, some for Linux, not sure about Mac but there's probably a few. Most people have hammers and pieces of metal.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:03pm May 1
the argument that dude makes is unsound at its base. it's 'our problem' that we want to receive some sort of financial restitution for the time, effort and money we put into what we do, rather than seeing complete strangers giving it away for free.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:04pm May 1
steve albini makes an interesting point on the prosound forum:
"My point remains that people buy things even when they are available elsewhere for free. Pretending that something can't be sold because there is a free version of it out there is flying in the face of the obvious.

We can sell records and downloads, of course, and make money doing it. We can't control the free exchange that goes along with it, so we shouldn't worry about it. That isn't our audience and it isn't our market.
... Read More
More importantly, there is a cultural good provided by the free exchange of music that extends the influence of the bands and the music, enlarging their natural audiences and opening them up as resources.

If it really bothers you that someone might listen to your music and not pay you for it, then don't release it out into the world. Play it for people on a per-listen basis from a lemonade stand in front of your house or something."
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:07pm May 1
BUT, this is coming from someone who has worked on records that have sold millions of copies, and surprisingly (or not), he doesn't take time to consider the stance of someone working from within a truly underground scene, where even the smallest number of free downloads from blogs or paid torrents from those russian sites have the potential to eventually put an artist out of business
Stephen James Knight
Stephen James Knight at 1:08pm May 1
I think it comes down to the simple fact that it should be the musicians discretion/decision whether or not to release music for free; not anyone else, regardless if their intention is good (in the sense of "helping" the artist with promotion) or not (seeking profit through torrent site or blog advertising revenue).
Tim Spann
Tim Spann at 1:12pm May 1
If people don't want to pay and just want the music you can't stop them. Since they could do what they do with DVD pirating and have someone buy one copy and then put it online. So you'll get only 1 sale instead of 100-500.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:13pm May 1
exactly. and to tangentially answer andy's question about why i hate, this is precisely the issue i have with that site. ostensibly, i am the moderator of the ntt profile there, yet i have no control over the user-generated content that gets posted there. i took over the management of the profile because someone had posted a bunch of ... Read Morepersonal images that i had previously removed from myspace, none of which should be associated with ntt outside of my own control. if it happens again, i have to jump through the administrative hoops of, and have to justify to them my reasons for wanting a particular item removed. this falls in a similar context to this issue of unauthorised downloads. the artist should be the one to dictate what gets seen and what gets heard, not some random teenager with no clue.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:17pm May 1
this guy is fucking clueless:

Imho, the perfect example misplaced sense of entitlement that you speak of is the guy arguing against free music sharing because he has to spend 4 grand on gear in order to be able to make industrial music, and expressing desire for gear to be donated to him for free. "Nobody owes you anything" was addressed to someone who feels entitled to expect music fans to pay for his gear whoredom, which by no means equals creative process, and who would also like to receive free stuff, while denying others their right to want free stuff in form of online music sharing.
Artist compensation and running a label is a whole different story...... Read More
Rachel Maloney
Rachel Maloney at 1:18pm May 1
FIE ON YOUR FANCY EXPENSIVE CONTACT MICS! it should ONLY be about bongos. in a cave. forget progressiveness and experimentation with new and ever changing technology to create and test the limits of sound and music
Stephen James Knight
Stephen James Knight at 1:21pm May 1
It's really disheartening when I'm contacted to perform a show or asked to book a small tour and I have to decline simply because I can't leave my day job (I'm reminded of the old addage that 'what you own, eventually owns you' (and it's nice to have a place to plug in my gear, and pay my electric bill)). It just isn't financially viable to be a ... Read Moreperforming musician (and I don't blame this solely on unauthorised downloading of my music, however, if I made even half as many sales as I have downloads, I could probably make a meager life for myself solely as a musician). So, does it KILL the scene? No, but it definately damages the potential.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 1:30pm May 1
yeah, and that's my point really. i can't say that i am wholeheartedly AGAINST the idea of filesharing, and in fact a large part of my loathing for metallica came from the napster debacle, and we as 'futuristic,' technology-driven artists obviously need to keep our eyes forward and try to adapt to our environment, but our musical 'careers,' such as... Read More they are, could potentially be severely damaged or hindered if we lost the capacity to recoup anything from our efforts and expenses toward continuing forward. that is what these people fail to realise. someone i don't know posted a pretty good comment on my original blog:
Kevin D. Reilly
Kevin D. Reilly at 2:05pm May 1
a thought:
Brilliance of the blog-o-sphere : promotion fro artistic commerce.

Failure of the blog-o-sphere : commerce of artistic commerce.
... Read More
Really, why blog about an artist? because you want a part in the promotion of said artist, no? you want to feel connected to the artist... i believe LLORT claims this in his/her initial response to Lee.
But then you give the product away on the blog... WTF? if consumers must feel the need of PLAY to PAY (i.e. too remedy the issue of "how many times have you bought a "shitty"album") then make a snippet of the parts you thought were outstanding to prove your point of how Amazing this album is... but don't just give it away.....

this disconnect i find stunning.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 2:08pm May 1
yeah, there's a huge difference between writing a positive review of an album and giving the album away for free because you think people should 'support the artist'
Jon Ray
Jon Ray at 2:12pm May 1
I appreciated reading this. I'm not against downloading, though in my own case it's mostly material I couldn't get via traditional means. I've had some similar issues with my tracks, including some unfinished work making it out there, which means the culprit is among a very small group of friends. I'm glad to be heard but as much for people like Tom at Spectre as for myself, I'd like people to buy the real records. If nothing else, it truly sounds better, and isn't that the point?
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 2:18pm May 1
well the sound quality is another issue entirely, because the blog that started this whole thing posts FLAC audio. so, we've got people posting full quality audio files for the world to download free of charge, bypassing and even subverting the artists entirely.

on a side note, i have some degree of trouble separating this from the issue of sampling. are those of us who use samples guilty of precisely the same thing that we find so irritating about filesharing?
Kevin D. Reilly
Kevin D. Reilly at 2:24pm May 1
i don't find sampling to be a similar issue...The copyright law has provisions for Fair Use in collage works and parody, as well as manipulation of an original sample. Now that said, the sampler hasn't always come out on top via the legal system set up to deal with this copyright situation.... (i.e. Negativland, no commercial release of a truly ... Read Moresampled record ala Paul's Boutique since Paul's Boutique).
This is blatant redistribution of a commodity. Somewhat of a robin hood action, yet your not stealing the King's deer, but the porridge from your own Merry Men.
Jon Ray
Jon Ray at 2:30pm May 1
That's a good point regarding sampling, Lee. I look at it differently depending on the source material and what role it plays in the final piece. Maybe it's a bit of dialogue that drives home the emotional current implied in the drones (like the tapes used on Soundtracks For the Blind), or maybe it's a piece of existing music, but so deconstructed ... Read Morethat it ceases to be what it was and becomes part of a new context (how much beat-driven material would exist without drum samples?) . This is a whole debate unto itself, of course.

I guess we as artists are going to have to find a way to draw the audience back to having a relationship with us as creators/storytellers, rather than this current situation where the work is available free and detached in a vacuum and "nobody gets hurt."
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 2:55pm May 1
right. so is filesharing a victimless crime? is sampling?
the example you use from soundtracks for the blind is an interesting one, because it's a much different matter than generic horror/sci fi samples that we're all familiar with. an artist who incorporates personal recordings of their parents (swans - 'how they suffer') in their music, or who ... Read Moreuses found tapes (skincage - 'calling home') isn't in the same legally questionable arena as your standard ebm act sampling from hellraiser or some other easily recognisable, mainstream media source.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 3:00pm May 1
after ten years of creating material that was 99 percent based around appropriated source material, i received a cease and desist order from a music publisher for a track which used a music sample from the film underworld.
at the time that i was working on that track, i was in semi-regular contact with brian lustmord, who did the sound design and ... Read Moresome music for that film. when i played the rough version of my track for him, he told me that he had originally created the loop i'd used, but the score's composer liked it so much he incorporated it as a main theme (which later appeared in the sequel as well). lustmord didn't exactly give me his blessing, but he did remark on how 'interesting' my use of the sample was. obviously, he was not in any legal position to give me express permission to use this sound, but in some small way, i did include someone closely involved with the production of the original sound in the creative process.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 3:03pm May 1
...ultimately, after i explained to the lawyer who had contacted me that i never had and never would see a dime from the release that contained the sample in question, and that it was pressed in a run of fewer than 1000 copies (i think it was 300, but i told him 500), and that i only received ten percent of that total pressing, i never heard from ... Read Morehim again.

it simply wouldn't have been worth their time or money to attempt litigation. fortunately, one of my best friends is married to a former entertainment lawyer, who has herself written plenty of cease and desist letters.
her advice proved to be perfectly effective.
Lee M. Bartow
Lee M. Bartow at 3:09pm May 1
i've received a comment posted to my blog from Llort, who runs the blog that started this whole thread. go get him guys!
Stephen James Knight
Stephen James Knight at 2:38am May 2
I still remember to this day back in 2007, I went to Germany to promote my latest album, it was not officially released yet, but there were pre-sale CD's available at the show - I only went for the weekend, played Saturday night, and was on a plane back to New York on Sunday - before I was off the plane, my release was available on the torrent ... Read Moresites. I'm fairly certain this cut into the CD sales, and in business terms that severely cuts into the ROI (and most likely makes it hard to recoup the costs of mastering, and production - this is all without any "pay" for the actual creative process). As for the publics general attitude, I don't think it's malicious; some years back at Noisefest up in Providence, I had my small merch table set up - selling CDs and shirts and whatnot (hoping to recover some of the expenses from the trip), and one guy picked up a CD, asked how much, put the CD down, and said directly to my face "hmm, I'll just download it, thanks". I actually had no response.

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