Monday, November 17, 2014

Steve Albini: Then and Now...

Steve Albini: the internet has solved the problem with music | Music | The Guardian: "We’ve published the entire address (with a few edits; I removed a throwaway jibe at Prince in case his highness’s lawyers come knocking) and it’s worth reading as a follow-up to his essay written 21 years ago. Albini explains in detail how major labels would carelessly spend money on promotion, thereby propping up record stores, radio stations and PR companies, safe in the knowledge that this money would be recouped at the artists’ expense."

1993 - The Problem with Music - The Baffler: "Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end, holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed.

"Nobody can see what’s printed on the contract. It’s too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody’s eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there’s only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says, 'Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim it again, please. Backstroke.'

"And he does, of course."

2014Steve Albini on the surprisingly sturdy state of the music industry – in full | Music | The Guardian: "The music producer, Shellac frontman and author of seminal 1993 essay, The Problem with Music, spoke in Melbourne about the advantages of the internet, the death of the major label system, copyright law and that ‘purple dwarf in assless chaps’"

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