Thursday, April 7, 2011

my main objective is to be more effective

have you guys seen this? BULLSHIT

The NME prides itself on being some kind of cultural barometer, and to survive it has to cater to the mainstream yadda yadda yadda, im sick of people whining about the NME. that's what it's there for.

and then i read this and it made me more angry than any half assed reviews of half assed bands more popular than my own. Which i guess is a some kind of old school NME achievement, if the sentiment didn't piss over all those guys graves.

anyway, i wanted to write a clear cut concise piece on why this guy is utterly wrong and a terrible human being, and i just ended up shouting at the screen. so, sentence by squalid sentence, here is why i disagree with dickface. apologies to rob from topless robot, but, if you squint, it kinda looks like FFF.


If physical singles are finally dying out for good, then don’t expect me to send any flowers to the funeral. I don’t care about Record Store Day. I don’t even care if I never own a physical CD or vinyl record ever again.
really? you write for the biggest music magazine in the country and in yr opening paragraph you write off actually physically owning music. Fair enough if you don't like record store day, it really is just a niche for people who are interested in ltd run 7"s and exclusive music stuff. Wait, what's yr job again? This is the first sign of subtext that runs all the way thru this piece that reads - hey bands, go fuck yourself -
I got rid of 90 per cent of my CD-based record collection last year, leaving behind only the records I’d paid for before becoming a music hack. I don't miss them.
Honestly, that's probably a shit tonne of shit records you dumped there. It's a shame you didn't find, in your music journalist career, any music you wanted to keep, but i guess that's why yr a critic, huh. It's interesting to note you kept the records you actually paid for tho. As if you had some emotional investment in them. HMMMMM.
And here’s why: if you’re seriously bothered about the way your tunes are delivered to you, you’re focusing on totally the wrong aspect of what makes music great
glitter vinyl and skateboard stickers? What makes music great is melody, harmony, dynamics and rhythm. what makes bands great is everything else: style, lyrics, artwork, packaging, delivery. Seriously, all these things have been contributing factors in the modern music scene since the 40s. Wait, whats yr job again?
Let’s get a few things out of the way first: the death of the physical single won’t kill B-sides. Aren’t digital EPs and free pre-album taster downloads their modern equivalent?
this is the first counter argument he brings up... Wait tho, has anyone, ever, ever in the history of this thunderous digital music revolution, complained about the potential loss of the B-side? No. Of course not. There were several other ways for bands to disseminate "bside" songs in the pre internet age; import albums with extra tracks, fanclub only stuff, exclusive session cds on magazines. Pretty much all of these have modern day equivalents such as digital EPs and free p.. wait, PHEW!
If artwork is worth seeing, you’ll see it, even if it’s not on the cover of a CD or vinyl record.
WHERE? WHY? HOW CAN YOU BE SURE? will there be websites set up? will bands have to link songs to art gallery pages? this is such bullshit. There are hundreds of artists out there, whose work you've seen and loved, but you don't know their names. Record art is such a massive part of the industry, it has whole books and websites and archives devoted to it. Are you proposing that bands will be content to operate on pure songs alone, or be allowed to at least make a .gif banner or two? Them hipster girls would look way less cool if, instead of wearing a shirt with those sinister wave patterns, it was a picture of 4 drunk 80s manc kids. What you propose isn't artwork, it's advertising.
Next: you don’t need to own music to enjoy it
Noone ever thought you did. BUT you need to pay for music so the people who make it can keep doing so. you kinda forgot about that bit. it's important. For your job too, if you think about it..
I don’t sniff records.
Is this really what you think of people who like physical product? Like, we're trainspotters lining up on record store day to note barcode numbers. Are you basing this on people who populate the country, or characters you remember from high fidelity?

Buying a CD or 7” doesn’t make me like a tune any more than if I’d hear it streamed on a blog –

No-one in the history of having a brain has ever said that it did. People didn't buy singles because they thought it would improve them, they brought them to play when they wanted to. Also, and despite lack of mass sales like The Shit Old Days this still happens (sometimes this was because of hype and bs pereptuated by your magazine, and sometime because of genuine punka spirit) people brought records because they feel an affinity with the band. Singles, specifically, still are a totems, brought for what they represent, not the music encoded inside, which everyone will have on their ipod anyway. You don't understand any of this do you?
great music is great music however you hear it.

no its fucking not. this is such a stupid layman phrase, its like your parents telling you morrisons classic cola is the exactly the same as coke. mp3s don't sound as good as wavs. some records sound way warmer on vinyl than cd. most laptop speakers are rubbish compared to a proper stereo. songs recorded in studios sound better than on your phone at gigs. The relative values and merits of these will always be open for debate, but the basic principles are simple facts.
If you’re going to release something physically, make it spectacular, an event, something worth owning – an idea Radiohead have clearly come round to with newspaper release of ‘The King Of Limbs’.

NO WAY WHAT RADIOHEAD RELEASED A NEWSPAPER! BUT THEY@RE A BAND NOT A PRINTING PRESS. MENTALOS! fuck, thats an incredible idea. as if nobody thought of that before, ever, in the history of music. We could start a whole culture around this shit, lets call them FANZINES. I don't mean to sully radiohead but bands have been doing this for fucking years. Weirdly enough, it started as a reaction against things like NME filling pages with guff.

I find this point weirdly divergent from the rest of your arguement tho. So, it's ok to release singles as long as they're, like, more than singles? Something worth owning? Trust a journalist to say everything must be spectacular. anyway, how about like, a nice 7" glittery vinyl? A frisbee? A watch? Pottery? fanzine subscription? sticker set? elaborate fancy card packaging? THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. sorry, what was your job again? You write a whole piece trying to destroy records, rubbishing any level of artistic respect, then say, PRAISE RADIOHEAD, the only way out is, O WAIT ITS ALREADY HAPPENED NEVERMIND.
Do I miss going to record shops? Nope. The faceless high street stores I could tolerate, but local independents? In my experience, the stereotype is usually true: they’re staffed by socially-inadequate, sniffy twerps. Just ask Day V Lately:
what exactly is your experience? cos it sure as fuck isn't banquet, or rough trade, or polar bear. again, i think you have mistaken "experience" with "i have read high fidelity". I'm going to take the liberty of assuming, because you are a mainstream media cretin, that you live in LDN, which has more awesome record stores than anywhere else in the country. For sure there are still remnants, the music exchange that nick hornby wrote about, but the last few years have seen whole communities built around thriving indie stores. also, hot girls work there too. sorry, what was your job again? more to the point, why?

this is followed by an embedded commercial for yell.com, in which an imaginary 90s dj (Day V Lately) goes into a thinly disguised record and tape exchange and asks if his records are stocked. The staff, whilst in no way resemble the caricatures previously described, are unable to find his records, and all is saved when his daughter shows him the Yell.com iphone app. I don't know what this proves other than he couldn't find the belle and sebastian high fidelity scene and caption it - LIKE THIS, LOL!
If I was teenager today with meagre wages to blow, I wouldn’t buy CDs (like I did with my minimum wage spoils ten years ago) or waste my weekends in record shops. I’d download Spotify, keep my ear to the blogosphere and spend my dough on tickets to gigs and festivals.
HELLO THE TEENS, LET ME IDENTIFY WITH YOU HERE. If I was a teenager today, i'd buy my way thru the alcopop/bsm/smalltownamerica/toughlove/moshimoshi/audioantihero ETC back cat. I'd subscribe to Heat Rash and instead of buying the NME i'd read blogs without feeling the need to use some pretentious terminology, listen to music streams to form my own opinion, and spend my dough on online merch stores and all the weird little trinkets and mementos my favourite bands release. and i'd hold onto to these cheap tacky material possessions as proof absolute that these bands mean more to me than yours do to you.

Also, once again with the record shops. if you wasted the weekend, either you went to the wrong record shop, or you are so devoid of empathy for the culture and awesome bands and records that fill such places that you didn't know what to look for. ALL THOSE DIFFERENT COLOUR SLEEVES, MAN THATS SO CONFUSING!!!
I might even have some spare cash for a better guitar, amp or synth. Is it a total coincidence that guitar sales have increased in recent years?
Wait! Yes! Guitar sales have increased have increased because of Guitar Hero. They've increased because the general guitars vs synths mood of the mainstream music press is currently more guitary. They've increased because of cheaper manufacture, of better marketing from fender and gibson, easy online tutorials and fairer secondhand trading. Mostly tho, guitar hero. If fish were banned tomorrow, would you quit your life and go become a fisherman or just eat something else? People are not saving money on singles and spending it on guitars. digital literal single sales are increasing. Have you heard of Itunes? You should check it out, it'll BLOW YOUR MIND.
Of course, there’s the eternal conundrum of how you make this modern music consumption model profitable – and Spotify’s disastrous margins suggest that no one’s even close to finding it yet.
Way to shit on your teenage self and his subscription there. Anyway, lets carry on and pretend there's no itunes, why not have a website that you can sell your music on directly! Or have little boutique labels that can put love and care into awesome physical releases! Or, um, just radiohead up a newspaper? Once again, THIS IS ALREADY HAPPENING. Whilst profit is (radiohead get benefit of doubt) in no way the principle motivation of those who run these methods, it's a definite factor in why they're still here, and they're taking up an increasing share of the collective music industries and music - buying kidzz concious, cos, frankly, most of "your" bands are really fucking dull.
But, ultimately, the reason physical singles are being phased out by Mercury – and others will follow soon, if they haven’t already started – is that few people are actually buying them.
O wait, when you say others, you mean majors right? Cos, honestly, thats all you guys care about. Ain't no-one from our label ever going to pay for you to come on tour with us, bro. I hate to break it to you, but it's not just singles, its physical media all over. desperate times. these labels, you want to ask what their contingency plans are for the next few years. D.O.O.M.E.D.
I can sit on my comfy high horse and say this, because we're pretty separate from your world. 1) we've always been broke 2) we don't do this for the money, we do it cos we're proud of to be a part of this tradition, of peoples lives, and we want to leave loads of little mementos, sonic or otherwise, so people will know we were a cool gang to hang out with. Bands, man, they're just... like that. wait, what was your job again?
Bands regularly turn in pathetic physical sales figures, numbers in the low hundreds that would've seemed unthinkable in the days of million-selling Number Ones

I could so easily go on here about how our band regularly turns in low hundreds. and we're fucking proud of it. and we've been around long enough to know that sales figures, once upon a time and effective way to gauge a bands success, have had their machinery wrecked and pillaged by the interwebs.
I could instead preach polemic about how awesome music and awesome sales are only vaguely related to each other. drunk cousins.
but it'd pointless. you have completely missed the point of why bands are bands. of why records are records. you write like everything should be neatly encoded and stored into yr research node. I bet it would be in a file labeled "work". Bands, any band worth their salts, will always want to break out of that, to mean more to people than some melody in a recently added playlist.
Physical singles are a dead horse
"Or a spectacular newspaper. And that concludes the information i have gleaned from the 2 press releases i have skimmed today."
The less time and effort is spent on flogging them, the more money labels might have to blow on signing new bands.
Yep, thas clearly how that's working out innit. Can't move in LDN these days for new bands signed to major labels. s'like britpop2.0! You know what the next logical step here is? to eliminate the bands! labels simply buy the songs, hum them into itunes, and everyone has more money. eurgh. i hate this idea. imagine being in a band, singing to a major label, and being told you'd literally only produce music. no physical records, no memento, just some watermarked files. You wanted artwork? Have a thumbnail. Is this just me? OR ME AND EVERY OTHER MUSICAL ARTIST WORTH ANYTHING EVER..
– the ones formed by kids buying guitars, clothes and drugs rather than records.
MESSAGE TO RECORD LABELS: stop signing up bands based on long late night wistful conversations about mutual favourite records. In fact, stop signing bands who go out and buy records cos they're all living in the past. instead, go for the guys who've brought guitars, clothes, and drugs. HUZZAH the industry is saved.

The article concludes with an embedded video of the view. I can't be arsed.

from all of us here, fuck you bro. We're always going to buy records. It's part of us. Here's a short awesome story:
for valentines day, my girlfriend brought me the pavements trigger cut 12".


you think that's shit right? how can you even call that a story? at the same time, there's people going to read this who'll be like, WOW RAD. Cos they understand the innate value of bands is worth more than a bunch of noises, and these records, however small the run, or low the sales, mean a whole lot more than what they contain. They're time capsules, love notes, postcards, polaroids, and, arranged together in shoeboxes in my room, in vague order of when i brought them, they're a way more fun and vivid box of memories. Even if you take the artwork and the gimmicks away, you can't replace that tactile sense of personal history with a series of files. Unless you have NO SOUL.


We must seem so pathetic to you, pointless even. our cottage industries. our cheap gimmicks. our low hundreds. wall of hugs. new slang. heat rash. yr. cats in paris making cartoons, stagecoachs' christmas cards, eva tomassis arts and crafts, alcopop/bsms samplers, everyone's hand made sleeves. All these people working themselves to the bone, mostly happily, for shit wages and condescending journalism, because they're doing what they believe to be right, and they can see the fire in the eyes of those low hundreds that lets them know it's truly appreciated
That's whats missing from your godawful shite journalism. There's no sense of artistic value, of bands being capable of producing anything more than playlist filler, of indie labels and stores being anything more than unnecessary outmoded middlemen between you and music you seem to think you deserve.

Whatever. Late night rant. seriously doubt you'll ever read this, much less take any of it in. I don't believe in karma but i do know that me and mine, the bands, the labels, the stores, all the little guys that help out that you'd never know about, have brought 100000000x more happiness into the world than you ever will.


137 comments:

Anonymous said...

wah wah wah. get a proper job if financing your music is so important to you, or are you just so greedy you can't help but be upset at people who might not want to pay a tenner for your album before they've heard it?

Squallmuzza said...

Excuse me, I'm just going to build a small statue of worship to you and begin converting the masses. That was entirely spectacular.

If I was capable of human thought I'd say something more constructive than 'I really hope this dude reads what you blogged and somehow realises what a tool he is'.

I'm proud of every single physical piece of music I have, especially from guys like you because I know exactly what it means. I'm not the only one that'll keep buying it for the same reasons.

Anonymous said...

Besides this chap obviously being a bit of an idiot, his underlying point has some merit. I don't see why a band has to be this product, this thing presented on a twelve inch platter, to be given some value. He's absolutely right that the merits of the music should be enough, and the attitudes of people clinging onto the old format sit just as uncomfortably with me as Mr. NME there.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not stacking my records on a pyre just yet, but I'm not buying any more, either. The industry needs to embrace the digital age rather than shun it, and when I say 'The Industry' I don't mean the bloke in the big chair at Warner, I mean the bands. Like it or not you're selling your wares, and it's utterly insensible to pitch them at an increasingly costly format.

The digital age is the very best chance for bands to get the hell out from under the boots of the people they used to NEED to give them money to distribute, and all it takes is to let go of the notion that those few ounces of PVC give any true weight to your art.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Just thank you for saying all this.

Jeremy said...

THIS was fucking brilliant. Agree with every word.

This tool gives music journos a bad name.

@First commenter (anonymous): I don't remember at any point seeing ANY complaints about not enough financing. Yes, they're broke. But money isn't an aim. Lex (?) is saying they do it because they're fucking proud of doing something important like this. Think you missed the point man.

@Third commenter (anonymous): I see what you're saying, but you didn't agree with any of the merits mentioned regarding physical products? Don't relate to any of it?
Packaging and the physicality of music can give A LOT of weight to it. Bands are embracing the digital age and releasing mp3's, a lot of bands thrive off it. But a lot of bands also put effort into their releases to make them special, for all the reasons mentioned in the posts.
As for getting out from under "boots" - I'd hardly consider Alcopop a "boot" on JoFo - would you? They seem like a brilliant label who support them in a lot of their stuff.
Yes, the physical aspect of releases may bump prices a little. But I recently bought JoFo's Frisbee-ep, and fuck was it worth it. I would rather pay a few pounds for an EP of a band I love and something special, than $25 on a boring CD in a plastic case. Or $10 on a digital download of an album. Screw that.

Anonymous said...

At that last "besides this chap" comment: None of this is about us all "shunning" digital distribution methods. I'm sure half of the people who go out and buy records probably streamed it on NPR or downloaded the torrent first. But seriously "to exchange one orthodoxy for another is not necessarily an advance." Maybe we don't NEED to go out and buy the new album, but that doesn't make it any less valid. I mean I think Alexei has argued the merits of physical copies vs. digital pretty fucking well.

A lot of these bands aren't concerned with "getting the hell out from under the boot" of the big bad industry. They've already done that. They're signed to indie record labels that let them make fucking frisbees and interactive art projects. They're more connected with fans than ever, and that seems to be how they want it. I know I'd rather know that a few hundred kids on the internet care about my music enough to get involved, than be accessible and have thousands downloading my mp3s and burying them on their macbooks.

How is continuing to use a valid distribution method deluding yourself that yr music has "true weight." Isn't the whole value of art the personal connection and feelings a person has towards it? Cause I'm pretty fucking sure I'd connect more to an album a band hand-made with photos I sent them, than staring at some .jpeg on my computer. Sure, the music is still the music. But eliminating the packaging is eliminating a whole nother element of the art form, just because it's more convenient to download mp3s off the internet.

These bands aren't shunning the digital era, they're just creating limited runs of handmade merch for the few people who still appreciate. And to those people, it means a lot.

Anonymous said...

@Jeremy

Honestly, I don't personally think physical music formats are inherently any better or more special. That's simply my opinion, I completely understand WHY someone might see it that way, of course I do, but all you're doing is looking at some shiny packaging. I bought my record collection to listen to it, nothing more, nothing less. There are issues with mp3 quality, of course, but that's a different issue entirely.

I treasure my WAV collection of music just as much as I have treasured my vinyls and CDs, genuinely.

And I don't think all labels are oppressive money machines, of course, (especially not Alcopop) but plenty of them are, as I'm sure we all know - and the biggest, ugliest ones only got so big and ugly because until very recently self distribution meant handing cassettes out to your mates. Now it means building a global fanbase from home, and I think that's a wonderful thing, far more wonderful than any piece of vinyl.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really don't care if the format of my music is tangible or not - because as long as the music can get to my ears and into my brain (and very often into my heart, even if it's ones and zeroes) then I'm perfectly happy.

Anonymous said...

I just can't understand why the people on the digital side of this debate are complaining. You get what you want. You can torrent the album, and listen to it on your ipod. Cool.

But some of us still like physical copies, whether it's for sentimental value, better sound quality, whatever. Some bands are still willing to put this stuff out for us, and some of us are still willing to buy it. Why does it have to be an 'us or them' debate? We don't need to eradicate an entire method of distributing. This system of releasing limited amounts of physical product to the limited amount of fans interested seems to be working quite fine.

Jennifer said...

Heh, maybe this guy's such a prick because he's mad about being named Rick(y) Martin.

But srsly--

I'm in love with every word of this.

Owning the Stagecoach VS Johnny Foreigner 7" holds more meaning for me than few other people can even comprehend. IT'S SAD. It's sad that people can't understand the INTRINSIC VALUE of limited record releases, crumpled setlists, a broken glockenspiel mallet, a broken patch cable, even THE SHITTY BUD LIGHT WRISTBANDS from nameless bars in Iowa City that hold the memories of the best night of my life.

Lex said it best. He always does.

Jen said...
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Jen said...
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Jen said...

SRY bout the duplicate (triplicate?) comments. I was born in '87, guys, Computers are not my Strong Point.

Nick said...

I don't really understand the anti-physical release attitude. If I care about a movie, I buy it, that way I can watch it again and again, support the movie and watch all the extra bits too, but mainly, I just like having it. Similarly with records, I buy my favorite albums and singles each year, not cause I'll ever listen to them. I have full boxes of records even though I no longer own a record player. Why? I like having the record, I mean I get the online code with em anyway and why bother buying the CD? if I'm gonna have it'll I'll pay the extra $3 and get the full art and what not. Display those bad boys.

I guess what I find sad about the diminishing of physical releases and artwork is it takes so much life, fun and character out of being a music lover. Part of the fun of it all is walking into someone's place and checking out what amazing or shit records they have, only to see how much you have in common or whether you should plan for an escape route. I mean, sure, you can ask someone if you can see their iPod but that seems pretty odd, and weird, as opposed to when you spot records from across the room and remark on em. Not to mention all the artwork replicated or shared on merch reads like a batsignal to other fans of the same band. Little reminders you're not alone in your love for some weird little band nobody has ever heard of

Dunno, man, find it hard to believe you really love music if you're not willing to even pay for it.

Romir Q said...

This is why I will never give up on this band, I love the way you guys stand up for what you believe in and you know what? 7" EP for everyone all around!

jonathan said...

That was one of the most impassioned things I have ever read.
Well done to you sir. My girlfriend bought me the Sigur Ros Takk LP and LCD's All My Friends 12" for my birthday 2 years ago and they're probably my most cherished possession.

Matt said...

Tbh I stopped reading NME the day they gave 'Salt, Peppa and Spinderella' 4/10 on the single review - I knew then I could never take anything they said remotely seriously again. True fact!

Adrian Dutt said...

This has certainly brightened up my day, why?..let me tell you. I have just spent the last 4 months of my life writing a dissertation on 'how and why alternative record labels forward the music industry' . I have researched to death, the fall of the physical and the rise of the digital. BUt ultimately, my point was, physical is king, and will always be king. If it wasn't for Sonic Youth, there would pretty much be no Nirvana, meaning no Grunge era, meaning no Geffen stamped millions of pounds ploughed into the next mainstream bullshit. If it wasn't for awesome independent labels(BSM/Alcopop etc) who take risks on bands (like Sonic Youth et al Blast first/homestead/subpop etc), and the spectacular bands that are on the roster, there would be no mainstream scene and it's digi-TOOL music for this Ricky Fucking Martin to preach about. I also was lucky enough to design the recent BSM/ALCOPOP split compilation, I slaved for a few hours making a cover I liked, animals armwrestling is a dream I once had, and I wanted to exist in people's record collections, a little bit of my work for people to associate with bands like JoFo and Talons etc , it definately wasn't created with the sole purpose of being a thumbnail on a phone or laptop screen. It was meant to be held, looked at, touched, talked about. That is the soul of the physical product, it just seems lost on some fucking critics.
Rant over.
Phys-i-cool for life.

Anonymous said...

Can i point out the guy who wrote it has read your blog and thinks your a tool...

birdhouse said...

Fact; any internet post that starts with "wah wah wah" has almost definitely been written by an insufferable 'Anonymous' cunt

Greg

Anonymous said...

as opposed to the hundreds of people who've commented here, and on the NME, and on jofo and banquet and everyone else's facebooks, who think he's a tool? LOLZ doubt lex is gonna lose much sleep over that..

Raoul said...

Nice rant, Sir.

While I agree with much of what you are saying, the way you write in half-text speak is really off-putting.

birdhouse said...

I don't think there is much life left in physical releases but what we're left with is unbelievably shit. I look at my mp3 library and I can't remember which ones I paid for and which ones I ripped off. The stupid part is that the ones I ripped off are more likely to have a better bit rate and include artwork.

That said, there will ALWAYS be people who want the physical copy, and there will ALWAYS be DJs (more and more of 'em actualy) who want vinyl. I thought I was being clever releasing my last EP as a download only release, but most of my friends complained that they wanted a CD copy. If you have that collector mentality, then a file that could get deleted/corrupted with one misplaced click is not going to cut it, people want to OWN things. I don't feel like I really OWN anything I can see and hear on this little slab of metal and wires.

It reminds me of my childhood watching a news article about 'the death of vinyl' and how all these our price stores were getting free advertising by stating to the country that they weren't stocking vinyl anymore. 20 years later...Hah hah...

birdhouse said...

Final rant, everytime someone like this pipes up about the death of the album etc it just reeks of how desperate these cunts are wanting to be able to say "i told you so" in the offchance that it becomes true. And I wouldn't put it past the NME to start a ring of covert paedophiles in order to find out what school kids 'really' think is 'cool'. In fact I'm sure they've been doing that for years

Greg

birdhouse said...

No no no I'm not done

If bands weren't to make money from recordings AT ALL then this cunt wouldn't even have a job. Labels fund that funny rag so it can still pretend to know what's happening out there.

I'd actually love to see every single major label collapse. Only the decent independent artists would have a clue how to carry on and they wouldn't have to fight media conglomerates for airplay or magazine interviews anymore. No more daytime radio playlists, no more tesco advertisements, just a level playing field for ALL musicians

Adam Ruszkowski said...

What a wonderful post. I don't think for a second anyone is arguing against the powers of digital music, but for it to eradicate physical music? Nah. It's a materialistic and maybe quite shallow thing, but there's something special about physical music. The way a little shiny disc or a huge chunk of plastic IS music is utterly fascinating. A jpeg can never replace a cover, a pdf can never replace a booklet, clicking a button in iTunes can never replace going to a shop and rummaging around until you finally find that album or single you were looking for. I like the suspense between buying an album and the first time you listen to it, I like being able to read through the booklet and feel like you got a little insight into the album, I like taking a total risk on buying a CD/record because you've heard the band's name bandied about and the artwork looks cool. If you want to go digital only, then well done you. Don't try and take this from me.

Just as a little aside, if the lovely Rick Martin's idea is that physical music should no longer exist because of digital media, how far does he want to extend that? Should we stop buying DVDs because we can download them from iTunes? Should we stop buying books because we can get ebooks? Should we stop buying newspapers because we can get all that news from the BBC website? Should we stop buying the NME because we can get everything it contains online, or should we stop buying it because it gives moronic dunderheads like this gentleman a pulpit to speak their ill-founded opinions from. Fuck the NME.

Paul Harrison said...

Of course it's only the music that's of any merit, if you think otherwise, then you've been brainwashed by the corporate media. Take the product out of music and you are left only with the purity of it.

I couldn't give a shit about the decline of the record industry. In fact, as a professional musician I think it's a good thing. It means that the only way you can earn a living is by playing live, which sorts the men from the boys.

And at gigs, folks always buy your albums if you are any good. It just means that the big-bucks-earning fat cats are screwed. Good. We made our album in our bass/mandolin player's spare room for nothing, ordered £600 worth and recouped our costs at the first few gigs.

Only the big boys are hurt by this. Again, good. Grass roots level music is thriving more than ever, commercial music is dying a death.

Fucking good. And even if you disagree, at least that NME writer could use half-decent English.

Anonymous said...

God I live you guys

Ben Ingamells said...

This is beyond right, absolutely amazing post Lex. At the end of the day, people are always gonna be on the 'shit, why would I pay a tenner for a Vinyl that comes with an instant digital link to the files which is the only way I'm ever going to listen to the album anyway!' side, but the people who care about the music they love will always come through and pay for it. Johnny Foreigner happen to be one of my favourite bands, one of the bands whose music I will always pay for, but this point could have been argued by anyone and it'd still have the same level of truth. I buy Johnny Foreigner's music firstly because I love it, but also because I'm genuinely terrified that one day, I'm gonna wake up to a blog post saying 'shit, sorry everyone, we just can't afford to do this any more. we tried, but so many people ripped our album off that we just can't afford to record or tour anymore. sorry. love lex, kel and jun xxx'. It'd break my heart, and I've seen bands I love do it before (Skint and Demoralised went from Radio One plays and getting on Glastonbury's TV coverage to absolute nothingness within the space of an album leak, for instance). If people truly care about the bands they love, and if the bands care enough about their music to give people an incentive to buy (like Jofo, LC! etc have done with their hand-made EPs, frisbeeps etc and heat rash), then we can carry on. If not, we're gonna have an awesome Universal Records world of Take That re-releases and Xfactor runners up to enjoy, and that ain't good - I'm sure Ricky Martin would agree, despite that fucking article. CHOOSEYRSIDEANDSHUTUP.

Luke said...

"And at gigs, folks always buy your albums if you are any good."

Umm... according to Mr NME writer you aren't allowed to sell them an album, you can sell them a download code though.

Domenic said...

Holy shit that was amazing. Looking forward to your next piece of vinyl.

agenthal said...

Amen!

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Christian Sinclair said...

This was an amazing read man. I remember seeing JoFo support The Young Knives in my hometown of Bradford a few years back, I'd never heard of them. After a few songs I was blown away and bought your EP. I knew i was just going to rip the songs off the cd and listen to the on my ipod and probably never play the cd again, but owning the music does mean more. When you buy a cd or vinyl that a band is selling, you feel like you're helping contribute, like maybe your money will help finance a new record or even just buy them a sandwich or something because they've made music that makes you feel good so they deserve it.

Jake said...

my faith in humanity has been temporarily restored. you're a good man, Mr Foreigner.

Tim said...

And there endeth the lesson....Amen...

Anonymous said...

Hope the arsehole at the NME is as unconcerned when newspaper shops go the way of the record store.

Mammy P said...

I think I love you.

What I think most of us find so offensive about what the NME says is that it belittles the foundations of what we hold dear. I’m 35… and when I was 14 and 15 (and 16, and 20, and 25, etc.), I used to live for going to my local record store, finding a remix or an import, checking it for hidden messages on the dead wax between the last track and the label, yadda yadda yadda.

Sure, technology is changing – there are millions of reasons why digital music is great for all of us, but it’s a shame Martin feels he has to attack its pedigree, and those who still get something out of it.

Shame. I think I smell a paper-selling scheme.

Anonymous said...

Good god. My friends and I (who were at uni with Rick Martin) never understood how he was writing for the NME. I didn't realise he still is. I don't understand how he still is. What a sack of shite.
Perhaps you don't need to physically own music to enjoy it, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to own it. He completely misses the point. I think he must have written something so stupid to create a reaction.

alex_bassface said...

Pretty much everything anyone ever needed to say about this alien. I don't know where he came from but the sooner he crawls under his culturally devoid rock the better.

Jess said...

Anonymous, I also happen to have gone to uni with Rick - don't agree with his blog but doesn't mean I'll slag him off anonymously like you have. At least put your name to your comment you coward - he does.

Brett said...

Bang on brother. Physical media will always rule. It's not just the music, it's the whole package; the limited runs, handpainted/numbered sleeves, vinyl colours, mispresses, label colours, sleeve notes, thanks lists, lyric inners, imports, withdrawn releases.

Shame the labels dictate what bands do when the band attracted the label. If I was about to be signed and the label said, 'no physical releases, only downloads', I'd fuck 'em off.

Wyatt said...

Best thing I've read in years, I still have all my CD's and all my tapes (not that I still own anything to play them on) Why?, Just as this blog states they are MY 'time capsules' life moments, memories of good bad and outrageous times, happyness, sadness and everything inbetween, I have Itunes I have an Ipod do I download songs, yeah, but if I like something I go out and buy it for keeps so long after the music falls out of favour and is no longer available cos the suppliers have deleted it, I'll still have it, I'll still browse through my collection and think 'oh yeah I remember that, damn that was good times' Ponder this the next time your hard disk dies and apple tell you that all that music you loaded (but didn't buy from them) cannot be retrived..
Long live the physical format!
I'm going to retweet this and FB it because I live in the digital age.

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After We Talked said...

Thanks for writing the truth.

Just brilliant!

Ellzi said...

Tempted to buy like all yr albums in physical format again now :)

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