People are giving Prince...? Or, 8==>...? Or whatever the hell his new moniker is a bunch of sparkly purple shit because he told the UK Mirror newspaper that the Internet was, "completely over." "I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it," Prince told The Daily Mirror.
You know what, Prince -- you're so fucking right. iTunes DOESN'T pay you for your music so they have no fucking right to it. iTunes and the rest of the recording industry want to convince artists they should sell their valuable music catalogs in downloads, ringtones or Hostess Twinkie format - or whatever the new fucking delivery mechanism is, because if they don't...? The artist is, "driving the fans to steal it from non-legal sources."
I wonder if that logic works for Mercedes -- or better yet, Bugatti! I want one of those cool Bugatti cars, but damn!? They just won't sell them to me for the price I want to pay (which would be approximately $1.72). So, in retaliation, I think I'll go about stealing one. See, Bugatti! I told you! You won't put the same price tag on it as a bag of gummy worms, so now I have to steal it. See what you made me do??
For those of us olde school music fans, there's this great urban legend about another one of Minneapolis's finest musical offerings, The Replacements. Legend has it, The Replacements got all kinds of liquered up and broke in to the Minneapolis offices of their record label (at the time it was Twin Tone) and stole their own master tapes so they could chuck them in the Mississippi River rather than allow their music to come out on the new uncool, sellout format..."compact disc."
I don't know if that story punk rock urban legend or a true tale of typical, boozed-induced 'Mats "shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-rather-than-wear-fancy-shoes" rock logic. Don't care. Because I love The Replacements and their shambolic, grubby, middle-class, neo-punk, heartfuckingbreaking brand of snot-nosed rock n' roll.
And guess what else...? If The Replacements wanted to get drunk and chuck their meal ticket in the Mississippi rather than sell their music in a format they didn't want....? Well, that just makes me love them all the more. It's called ARTISTIC CREDIBILITY.
Prince has earned the right to be Prince. He can sing his new album into a bucket (albeit a really fancy, purple bucket) and it's his right. He can chuck his whole new album into the Mississippi River alongside The Replacements' master tapes if he so chooses. He doesn't have to sell it to YOU at all. He can do what he wants with it because he's the artist.
Guess who else is right? AC/DC, De Leppard and whole bunch of other big-balled rock stars who decided they didn't want to scrape on bended knee before the vandals who are defacing their art and stripping it of context and value. Record labels want artists to scrape off their album art; chisel seminal concept albums down to a 10-second ringtones and throw the bones on iTunes for a few thankless ducats.
Since when does Terra Firma (a.k.a. the refuse removal company who now owns EMI - yes, a GARBAGE company owns the record label that is home to The Beatles and Pink Floyd's catalogue) get the right to tell Pink Floyd to sell RINGTONES which specifically violates their contract not to mention artistic statement?
Since when do WE the consumers get to tell Prince in what format he should release his ART and how much we think it's worth? You can just not buy it, sure. But that's your choice. Neither I nor Prince care. But I don't see that your opinion matters. Have you sold 100 million albums? If not, you don't get a vote. Just like when I call up Mr. Bugatti and tell him about my cool new pricing plan for the Veyron 16.4.
Music is still art. Musicians are still artists. You don't cut the eye out of the Mona Lisa and sell if for a cut rate -- just like you don't sell "Wish You Were Here" as a ringtone just to make a cool 99 cents.
Maybe it's a Minneapolis thing, but I LIKE the idea of artists who don't have to create art that fits into your iPhone and at the price you decide you might pay -- 'cause if they don't...? You'll STEAL it. Really? You'll just STEAL it...?
Count me in with the 'Mats & Prince. Fuck you. I'd rather just chuck it in the river and have the integrity and sense of self to know that all the fucking great unwashed non-fans, jackals and fuckos who are pissing in the collective talent pool of the recording industry aren't going to get their thieving hands on my goodies.
I like the idea that artists are willing to create art and sell it in a way that satisfies them creatively instead of creating music that can be sliced and diced up for sale like cheap, day old bread.
Here's a link to the article.
And here's a link to The Replacements because they are the fucking best, you just don't know it yet.
And here's a link to the Bugatti Veyron 16.4. It ain't no gumball.