“I always give books. And I always ask for books. I think you should reward people sexually for getting you books. Don’t send a thank-you note, repay them with sexual activity. If the book is rare or by your favorite author or one you didn’t know about, reward them with the most perverted sex act you can think of. Otherwise, you can just make out.”—John Waters | NYT [via kateoplis]. (via librarysciences)
"Right around that time, I started writing some songs, and there were a few lady musicians in Vancouver. I was like, "Fuck, we can do this." That’s also when I learned not to be threatened by other women in music. I had always been a little jealous, but that’s when I realized being jealous isn’t necessarily a bad thing: It just means you want to be doing what they’re doing. It’s not their fault you’re not doing it. It’s your fault! It’s like, “Go make friends with that person and tell them they’re awesome and mean it and help each other.” Once I fully I embraced that, I felt like a complete human being. I started my own band at the same time the New Pornographers started. We all came up together and we’re still together.”
I wrote about making the decision to start paying for all my music about a year ago. The rationale was that if I want to be a creative artist making a living through writing/comedy/art/whatever, I need to value art and pay for it appropriately. I decided to run the numbers last night on my roughly fourteen months of paying for (almost exclusively) albums. The results were interesting.
In fourteen months, I bought somewhere around 45 albums, just under one a week. 40 of those were from Amazon’s mp3 store, which I prefer to iTunes for reasons I’ll elaborate on below. Another 5 or so were purchased directly from the artists’ sites or from bandcamp, which takes the smallest cut of any digital music retailer. Total money spent: about $280. Average spent per album: roughly $6.
$280 / 14 months = $20/month. In New York, that’s like three beers a month. $5 a week. Peanuts. And admittedly, the artists in question don’t see ALL of this money, but they see some of it. In the direct buy cases, they see like 90% of it, and that’s important to me. I’m giving money to the artist for their art. I’m saying it has value.
I’ll admit one of my big fears when I started buying music is that I’d buy a lot of stuff that I ended up not liking and feel like I was wasting money. But that has been the fairly rare exception rather than the rule. Of the albums I bought last year, I think only two I found disappointing, and it’s mainly because I bought “the new album” from a band I like without listening to any tracks. I’m still ok with giving money to a band I like, even if this new album didn’t do it for me.
I know people love Spotify and rdio and services like that, but know that artists make nothing off those sites (except potentially for sales of albums inspired by those services - I’ll admit I don’t have good data on how often that happens). You’re paying Spotify, not the musicians. I’ve tried to buy these albums wherever the artist wants me too. If their website directs me to iTunes/Amazon, I’ll buy on Amazon. If they want to sell it to me themselves, I’ll do that.
But speaking of Amazon, here are the reasons I like Amazon:
No DRM. The idea that I need to pay extra to do whatever I want with something I bought makes me crazy (I’m looking at you, iTunes).
In addition to a 320 kbps mp3 download, Amazon adds all the music you buy to your Cloud Player, which you can access from any browser or your phone. This means whenever I’m working on a strange computer or I’m stuck at my parents’ house, etc., I can listen to anything I’ve ever bought, assuming there’s internet. Not bad. They’ve even added albums I bought as CDs years ago to my Cloud Player via their AutoRip service. Not bad at all.
They do a lot of sales, dropping albums to $5 or $7. They also offer a new group of 100 albums every month for $3 a pop, usually older, really popular stuff. This probably drops the cut the artist gets too, but I assume the driving of sales through the price drop ends up making up for it. Back catalogs ain’t worth nothing if no one’s buying. Did I buy Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams for $3? Hell yes I did. And the Mac, even though they recouped on Dreams decades ago, still saw some of that $3. Everyone wins.
So I’m going to continue paying. It’s easy, it’s not that expensive, and it makes me feel better as a music fan. All this is probably obvious to anyone who never did the pirate thing, but it’s nice to know that the current digital marketplace serves users pretty well. If we could funnel a little bit more to artists, I think that’s the next step.
Nevermind about the Mr. Belvedere cult thing. I was recalling an SNL skit where a fan club gives Mr. B the secret nickname Brocktune. Tom Hanks mistakenly called him Rocktune one time in the skit. I must have had my wires crossed - I've watched so much Belvedere and 90's SNL that it's become a blur.
Ah. (You sent this as I was looking up the other one.)
"Tom Hanks mistakenly called him Rocktune one time in the skit."
Every year, the Planning Committee lays dormant after Memorial Day, only to be awoken mere days before Labor Day with the sudden realization that it needs to mobilize into action!
IN OTHER WORDS, you are invited to the MANDATORY Company Picnic this coming Monday, September 2nd.
All Employees are invited and required to attend the annual #TheCompanyPicnic meeting in Prospect Park conference and recreation facility.
The agenda will include the consumption of food, performance of sports [including but not limited to softball, frisbee, kickball, football, and footbags], engagement of leisure activities [including but not limited to Werewolf] and conversations ranging from small talk to tearful reunions. Dress appropriately.
The Board of Directors has generously authorized the purchase of hot dogs, buns, fixins, and non-food items (cups, plates, ice, trashbags, etc.) Employees are asked to supply meats, meat alternatives, chips, soda or dessert. Come time for performance reviews, your contributions to the “meat”ing will not be forgotten.
We need not remind you [but will anyway] that the few employees who failed to attend last year’s picnic were promptly fired.
Please use the appropriate hashtag #thecompanypicnic on all approved social media.
THIS IS A MANDATORY MEETING.
Directions: Take the F train to 7th Ave – exit at the front of the train on 8th ave. walk up the hill on 9th to Prospect Park. The Bandshell is right there on your right. we’ll be on the other side of the bandshell. if you get lost, make sure you’re on Prospect Park West.
And a note from a certain man behind the grill: this past Memorial Day, a number of employees brought fancy sausages. While tasty, we humbly request a few more boxes of burgers this time around.