Saturday, April 24, 2010

Every time you share a download, Ian Astbury cries

You know the thing about sharing? Sharing is selfish. Don't take my word for it, Ian Astbury says so:

"Whoever was irresponsible enough to decide that music was worth nothing and decide to give away the music, that was a very selfish move," he said.

Yes, curse you, the marketplace.

Astbury, bless him, is getting on a bit and doesn't really understand what he's talking about - confusing the value of music with the price of a recorded audio track.

But do share with us... sorry, not share, sell us your explanation of your thoughts:
"When I look at a 17-year-old kid who's starting out in a band and is hearing, 'You know what kid? Your music's worth nothing.' I think that is disgusting."

Ian, sweetheart - a seventeen year-old will have spent most of their music-consuming life living in a digital world. Most seventeen year-olds will have downloaded, ripped, shared. They come from the new musical world, and they will know how it works, its opportunities and shortcomings.

You're talking as if people in bands emerge from pods, rather than grow out of people who love music. The only way it would be news to someone starting out in a band that some files get shared, and some get shared for no immediate return would be if they were fifty and having a mid-life crisis. After returning from a island they've been stranded on.

Seventeen year-olds don't need to be told about what the digital world means. It's the world they live in, Astbury. It's the world they helped forge.

Ian isn't done, though. He rails against Radiohead, too:
"I thought it was irresponsible what Radiohead did. People watch what they do and they copy it.

How irresponsible to try and find a way of selling music that works. People might try to do the same sort of thing.
"I don't see U2 giving their music away for free. They're smart boys."

Actually, Radiohead didn't give away In Rainbows for free, they... oh, what's the point? Anyone who thinks that U2 are "smart" rather than simply "a multinational corporation who, though in decline, are still large enough to operate in a different way" doesn't really have much of a grip on what he's talking about.

In short: Ian Astbury said "waaah, waah, things have changed and I'm too conservative to operate well in a world where there's fewer big bands getting all the money at the expense of everybody else."


H. said...

To be fair, Astbury has never exactly been the sharpest tool in the box.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting the way in which these critics of file sharing try to depict Radiohead as being on a par with a drug addict rock star or a skinny model with their "oh gosh but they're supposed to be role models and instead they're being irresponsible"? I mean for me the Radiohead thing (because it seems that this was the only time ever that anybody has given away something for free) says to Astbury's hypothetical 17 year old that you can play music for the fun of it or for purely artistic reasons and you can possibly make money by being clever about your marketing and sales technique (i.e. pay what you like).

Of course, Radiohead and myself are completely wrong. You should whore out your music as much as possible. If you're lucky you might be able to do that with one hit single that sounds a bit like a poor-man's Cure song which you can sell to as many adverts, films, tv shows, computer games and compilations as possible whilst constantly breaking up and reforming to tour the same old song. I mean why would you try and be inventive when you could be making MUNNY!!!

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