Saturday, April 21, 2007

Perry Farrell: Downloading bad, Segway will 'shake up way we travel'

Okay, Perry Farrell hasn't actually just come out praising the Segway, but his sudden moaning about illegal downloading does seem to have come from the past:

"If you don't care what happens to music, keep downloading. Look at music and look at the polar caps - they're melting at the same rate.

"If you hear garbage music on your radio station, you have only yourself to blame. If you don't support the arts, that's what you're going to get. You're going to get American Idol. It's fine if you want to hear that, but I don't.

"So I'm trying to do something about it. We'll go out there and raise hell.
Raise hell in a good way, I mean. We'll party."

So, in no way completely overstating the case in any way by comparing the very possible destruction of all life on the planet with the possible lowered profitability a handful of multinational corporations, then.

We'd suggest that "garbage on the radio" has less to do with downloading than the consolidation of the radio industry into the hands of a few, computer-playlist and focus-group led groups, a process which is almost older than the internet.

It's also arguable that online music - of both the regulated and unregulated sort - is precisely the sort of thing that someone who "doesn't want to hear" American Idol should be embracing.

Rather than raising hell, though, we'd love to hear Farrell square the circle of his environment and explain why, if he believes people paying for music is a great thing, guaranteed to free the world from the clutches of American Idol style artists, the greatest-selling artists of the early 21st Century are so often those selected from American Idol and its sister competitions? Indeed, that to purge the music world of the Idol types, it would probably make more sense to stop pumping money into the infrastructure that supports the quick fix of the Reubens and Kellys and Gareths and Wills, rather than pouring more money into their coffers.

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