Start Your Own Company and Rip Yourself Off


I am wholly sympathetic with the idea that artists are being ripped off and that 21st Century technology companies like Spotify and Pandora and whoever else are simply run by a more bloodthirsty version of the people who used to run record companies, but there's something equal parts ridiculous in holding a concert (which some jackass is going to bootleg and give away free) and complaining about something no one cares about.

Fans are the problem now, and artists don't want to say that. They can't say it. But fans who go to Wal-Mart or Amazon.com and buy music or stream what they like and then do nothing to support artists are what's driving the real destruction of music as an actual business. Fans have to pay attention and get smarter. Fans have to use things like Bandcamp and Kickstarter and things like that to directly support artists who create and sell music. Going to shows--that's great. You gotta go to shows, too. But you also have to hit the legit stands and buy stuff that benefits the artist.

I laughed when I saw Mike Mills on this list, by the way. Apparently, he isn't signed to a big label anymore. If so, props to him, but none of the companies actually making money are paying attention. They won't until artists figure out that they need to start their own big company, rip themselves off, and put those fuckers out of business. This is what the lean times look like. Nobody with an actual deal making money is ever going to protest against Spotify or complain that artists are being ripped off. This is a cutthroat world and the only ones still happy are holding an acre of money behind their back.