You made your bed, now sleep in it.

I understand that artists are against seeing their work ripped for free. To pour your heart into an album, a book, a movie script only to have someone rip it online must be a hard pill to swallow. However, the people that are really losing out on the cash are the labels, and for that I feel no sympathy.

As far as hipster rock goes, Franz Ferdinand has been cooler than a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce for the last 6 months. Their debut album has sold off the shelves in Europe and here in North America. Take Me Out is quite possibly the best song of the year, and that comment applies to frat rockers, indie nerds, and casual rock fans. The have sold over 2 million copies of their debut album. Two million. Let's say that the average sale is at 15 dollars. You do the math. They won the Mercury Prize for album of the year, and have said they will donate the twenty thousand pound prize to a good cause.

Why am I talking about this? Because the members of the band are broke. The record company pays them 250 pounds a week. 250 pounds. Besides being how much weight Jared lost on the Subway diet, it is roughly the amount you would make working at Dairy Queen. Damn straight, if you sold 2 million Ultimates, you'd be asking a raise. The record company has offered up some lame excuses about saying, you can't give them all the money at once. Rock stars will blow the money. Instead, we give them so little that they are broke. Drummer Paul Thomson said he spends all his money trying to call his new wife. The check for the wedding meal bounced.

I am sure there is a logical reason for holding all the band's money. I am sure by holding it for over a year in an account isn't strictly to let it gain interest and make more money. I am sure they are all on the up and up.

BUT... If I was a skeptical type, I would point out the facts Steve Albini laid out in an article explaining what was wrong with rock n' roll. He might know something about music. He did produce Nirvana's In Utero album. There is no point repeating what he said when I can just link you to it, but to paraphrase, a debut band that makes over 3 million bucks for a record industry, usually ends up being about 14 g's in the hole after the tour. The band members make less than the lawyer, the manager, the agent, the producer, the studio, and of course, the label. In fact, after being crammed on a shitty bus for a month, touring and playing every night, they make less than your average convenience store employee.

So to the record companies who keep complaining about the lack of sales, and justifying the fact they have to raise CD prices to 24.99. You are going to get a lot of sympathy from broke students, and broke bands. I'd like to feel the strain of getting paid 3 million times more than the artist producing the product.


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