I kind of want to adopt Jones, the Absolutely Horrible Cat.
"Thank you all for gathering hair today."
Marc holy fuck go to jail right now
ha ha u got #REKT luzer
June 13, 2014
by Paul Blest
One of my favorite things to read on the Internet on a daily basis is the Self Defense Family Tumblr.
This is a good read, and I agree with a lot of it (wait for it) BUT…
I think “entitled” is the wrong word to be using. The correct term is savvy.
Every single piece I’ve read about the tragic decay of music, in or out of the context of punk has some line about how terrible things have gotten since the 90’s. Well, the main thing that happened in the 90’s is the internet, and the internet destroyed the value of music. Yeah sure, piracy, whatever, but that’s really the tip of the iceberg.
The two main things (pertaining to how musicians make money) are:
1. If things exist in a digital, usually free format, why would anyone pay money for them?
2. With the ability to personally curate any audio-visual experience through a screen at any given moment, what is the compelling reason to go to a show?
The fact is, music devalued itself physically once bands realized they could use streaming as PR. Is that a bad thing? No. It just is what it is. Vinyl nerds are horrible, the “cassette resurgence” is embarrassing and masturbatory, and no one uses the cd drive on their laptops anymore (if they even have one). There is no massively viable way to sell music physically. Sure, streaming limits you to listening to a song at times when you have a computer of smartphone handy, but when isn’t that the case? The absence of physical limitation means there’s no way to market and sell a physical product. Its value exists as a memento of an earlier time, or a guilt-tinged way of supporting a band that will soon be discarded by younger people with no allegiance to such ideas.
And sure there’s something to be said for the raw energy/banter/sense of connection/whatever magic is involved in a show, but most of them suck. Bands need time to find their voice and impatient people don’t like waiting for that to happen. Moreover music is losing money, and those numbers trickles down: The end result is fussy venues who don’t take risks, promoters who don’t want to give bands the time of day, overpriced tickets and booze used to hopefully recoup losses on just hiring a damn soundguy, and bands who feel shut out. Facebook invites nix the sense of discovery and “local band ownership” a lot of connoisseurs feel, and a crumbling support system means casual fans are getting fewer shows they can trust they’ll have a better time at than just staying home and watching Netflix.
I should add to all this that I’m in a band. We record all of our own stuff (and other bands too) and give it away for free. We booked a tour last summer and jumped around the east coast for a week or so with no guarantees. It was incredible to break even on gas and food. I love it more than anything and if I thought there was a viable way to do this and live, even if it meant living a great deal worse off than I’m living now, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But it seems like those damned entitled punk kids have spoken — music by itself, 99% of the time, just isn’t that compelling of a medium anymore. At least not compelling enough for a bunch of kids with massive student debt to invest heavily in. So the point is they’re not entitled. Or if they are, it’s because the climate of things made them that way. What they are are savvy consumers who too keenly understand the value of the product we’re selling.