Monday, August 16, 2004

SUPPING WITH A LONG SPOON: As you'll probably have heard elsewhere, Warners in the US has been approaching people who run MP3 blogs offering them a Secret Machines track, spring-snapping an interesting debate amongst MP3bloggers over whether it was right to accept this bounty or not. I'd have thought: yeah, if you think Secret Machines are the sort of band you'd normally support; no, if not. Obviously, major labels have the sort of crediblity that would make Wolfram and Hart think twice before dealing with them, but when they do manage to sign a decent band, let them make a decent record, and generally not fuck it up too badly, I'm not sure there's too much to be gained from poking them with a stick and saying "unclean, unclean" just for the sake of it. It's good that a major label has endorsed these blogs, and accepted what they're doing, and not merely sent them a cease and desist letter. We sometimes link to streams sent to us by various PR organisations, when we think it fits with what we're doing here; and we feel our soul is still more or less intact.

So far, so clear. However, as Coolfer reports, Warners then had to go and prove their demonic credentials by getting employees to post obviously false positive testimonials in the comments section - it seems that record companies still haven't learned anything since they first started blighting Onelist email communities in the 90s: Real people don't write like they're scripting Casey Kasem. It's obvious from about sixteen miles away when a comment, or an email, is written by someone who is sat in an office pretending to sound enthused; mainly because real people don't tend to use phrases like "they're real cool. U can check out their website here:" For 24 hours, Warners seemed like they got it. Instead, they managed to turn their brief moment of tuning into the modern age into a bit of face-directed backwards blow-up.

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