Free - a critique of a book i've not read

so i felt really out of touch, with the slew of free albums out last year, to be charging for bruised pilgrim. i honestly wouldn't have minded giving it away, paying for the pressing out of my own goodwill and effort and lobbing it out to people who i thought would probably appreciate it. which to be fair, is pretty much what i've been doing with most of my copies anyway.

but i think mr. wired longtail is wrong about his 'free' conjecture. and here's why:

there's only two ways to support the 'free' hypothesis (i changed my mind, it's not a conjecture anymore); either by promise of money in the future, or by ad revenue.

in terms of promise of money in the future, imagine every band gave their albums away for free until they were popular enough to sell their music. anytime that a band got to that point, not enough people would buy the paid-for album - they'd switch away in droves to all the music that was still free, or just pirate the paid-for albums, since they were so used to free music.

in terms of ad revenues - come on. maybe on the internet, but a) i can't see band websites having banner ads that cover the cost of hosting, let alone recording and promoting music, and b) where's all this money going to come from? who are these adverts for? at some point, somewhere along the line, someone must be transacting some money, so this point regresses into an infinite loop.

maybe if the people who are selling their wares spend all their profit on advertising through the people who are giving stuff away for free... ah this is just stupid. you either do it for free, or you don't. the free economy is a con.


you can tell it's a recession

i wandered into the photocopier room and heard an advert break on the radio. something you can imagine i don't hear very often.

the first was american express: it's not just for posh stuff! you can use it to pay for burger and chips!

the second was for bt landlines: calling your parents is so much more special on a landline.

i feel sorry for landlines. i agree, there's something nice about tucking yourself into your cosy chair next to the immobile phone and just sitting and talking, without the option of getting up. having a little space just for calling friends and family.

but that's not the point. both adverts sounded so desperate. imagine, amex trying to shake their elitest image. bt, trying to convince people to use one phone instead of the other. these weren't advertising anything new, anything different; it was just broadcast pleading. cheered me up a bit.


bloggy blog blog

so i just laurence's post on fake meat, and thought that's some good bloggage, and read dan's post on january 18th, and thought thaht there's some good bloggage too, and then thought, hey, wasn't i thinking today that i missed my blog?

so i thought i'd write. i've not done that very much because of the pgce, which feels like, to borrow XLR's tagline, 'drowning in ditches of white noise', but not in a good way.

i've been listtening to a lot of old metal recently. earache's peel session 3cd set and choosing death (book). digesting pig destroyer's album 'terrifier' while planning a lesson on volume is an irony not lost on me. reading 'choosing death' is such fun - all these legendary bands were just kids when they started. i mean like 14-16 - you think heavy metal junior is a joke but it's not far from the truth. the brutal truth. they really were just obsessed with extremity above all else, sometimes it all sounds so spinal tap. although the tape trading scene thing that was going on was such a weird thing to have happened. it's all zines and that isn't it? DIY but not localised.

somewhere along the way the band is still limping along, about a practice a month and a gig every two. we're not progressing much, more in stasis. have a couple of new songs, but that's half the amount of this time last year, and that was half again of the year before. actually those weren't even new then, so that's that theory shot down.

i think my favourite album of last year has been euros childs' 'son of euro child'. that might not be surprising coming from me, but i have been his harshest critic too - i don't rate his previous two albums very highly (he doesn't even count 'cheer gone' on his website. well i've got it euros, and i remember it very well. lol - actually i couldn't tell you the name of a single track). i think son of euro child is might be the best tracklisted album since bowie's low, or at least kid a. it's perfectly silly and cynical, fun and moody, joyous and bleak yada yada yada.

basically i'll try and write stuff when i can but i have more ideas than time and i don't have many ideas. xx