Let Them Feel Your Love

This morning the web is buzzing with the news that Thom Yorke pulled his latest Atoms for Peace, “Amok” (XL Records), record along with “The Eraser” (XL Records, 2006) from Spotify. I have no idea what the real back story is about in this dispute, with companies like Spotify and Pandora, but when artists like Thom Yorke raise questions about how they and others get paid when their work is played on these services, you have to pay attention. You have to! So I decided to drop my subscriptions to both of these services.

I also decided to buy even more vinyl, first and foremost, as I add new music to my library. I already had a serious collection obsession. But this latest news is pushing me even harder. I mean, you have to ask yourself how a company like Spotify can be worth $3 billion as of today, when that corporate value comes from thousands of artists who see very little revenue in terms of royalties, if one is to believe Mr. Yorke. I prefer to believe Mr. Yorke. If this isn’t the case, Spotify and Pandora should open their books so every artist on their services can see the numbers. Sure seems like something is wrong with this emerging picture.

I’m just a music fan. I want artists to make money so they can make more amazing music. Like the latest offering from the Third Man Records Vault. Sign up! You, too, can enjoy the sumptuous vinyl packages from this amazing label. And there are so many cool Indie labels working these days, all making similar amazing packages. Or go to the artists websites and see what goodies they off directly, like my recent discovery on the Fugazi band/label website. Soundboard recordings available for download for $5! I mean, that’s so amazing. And the money goes directly to the band. Go nuts. Grab em all.

Everyone wants a deal. I want every artist I love to feel my love. Wanna join me?

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The Snarl and the Roar

This is a cool article by Cary Tennis, who writes for Salon. About his days when he identified with punk music. It’s interesting that the punk he connects with in this article goes back to The Roxy in London, and to bands like the Buzzcocks, what we might label today as the “first wave” of punk. I get it. Angry young misfits. The Roxy punk recordings were big in my life. On my recent trip to London I tracked down some of that very music on vinyl in Soho. However, subsequent waves of punk have, with some bands, deemphasized the violence of punk. Bands like Fugazi opposed the old-school violence at their live shows, and created some of the most timeless music of the genre. Cary still plays guitar and has an authentic slow hand. I’d love to get him onto my record label, Untide Records.

Cary also runs one of the best writing workshops in the country. I attended one of his workshops near Point Reyes, at Tomales, California, and it was amazing. Seriously, if you’re serious about your writing, check him out. This man will change your life.

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