Sunday 28 September 2014

You got to give it away / Let the music play

Firstly, I'm not posting this up to seethe and spit, so to speak. Rather, Im posting this up as 'food for thought' :- 

Neil Young releases three versions of environmental protest song

As noble a gesture as this is, and from what I've read, seen and heard, Neil Young is the real deal regards this scenario; he cares and wants to do something bona fide, and that matters a great deal in these tougher times, where people are more cynical about putting their hands in their pockets for a lot of things other than their own living expenses. 

But I cannot help but be a bit riled by this wanton 'giving away' of music by the top names in the game. When I read the article further, with a mention of an orchestra and so on, it made me think hard about what music means to people, in terms of performance, payoff and so on. 

I know a lot of people who have worked themselves silly in the last 10 to 15 years, including myself on many an occasion, to make good on their creative abilities and talents. I've told (even shouted at, out of love, care and exasperation) many friends old and new to never do gigs for nothing; at the very least get some food and petrol, because if you do a 'zero gig', then you've also lowered the bar closer to the ground for all the others who are slogging away and want to make a living out of  it.

Furthermore, if everyone is then successively making peanuts or less, then what incentive is there in wanting to be a musician anymore? That may seem a bit over dramatic in the context of referencing the above article, but think about another 5 to 10 years of giveaways, just to get heard and noticed. Not good. Not when you think about how many other
ancillary industries this affects down the chain. Less earned, means less spent on updates and innovation, both in terms of hardware, software and other business related developments.

I'll end this here, rather than get into the whole streaming arguement ( it's been all over the 'net for quite some time), and also U2's giving away of their new album to potentially '500 million customers' for nothing. They didn't give it away for nothing, as you can deduce when reading various scribes on this, again on the 'net; that's good street smarts, irrespective of the quality of the music and whatever else you think about them as a group.

And I can only hope that no one else is going to start doing the same thing , and create some sort of 'one upmanship' style trend or game, where it all becomes about dubious gestures mixed in with genuine fundraising. Cause if it is about the latter, then why not just write a check from a large gig's profit margin or make a pledge to donate a percentage of the profits of the sale of the recording instead?

At least that way, all the millions of musicians who aren't making millions or even hundreds of thousands of pounds or dollars, won't gulp hard and silently cry inside a little bit more, than they may already have been, because of how difficult it has gradually become to make a solid living out of being a musician. At least let the wheels of the recording industry remain more fairer in the turning for others who aren't so higher up in the echelons of the earnings stream.

On that note, it's time to get some music on. Something from my cd collection, which in some instances, I've paid for twice, cause I've loaned things out and not gotten them back, so I bought them again. I think the remastered DEFINITELY, MAYBE will do the trick. A great album with an ironic title, which is apt considering the state of flux the industry has been in for a long time. 

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