||"more than words"
||Taking money from the rich to give to the poor|
||is too late,|
||"Noёl In July"
||a performative and earnestly superficial stunt|
||that will be successful only as long as it takes the rich to hire better temporary security|
||while they quietly replace the amateur thieves|
||with their own professionals.|
||Concentrated riches are not a social resource,|
||they are a symptom of systemic dysfunction,|
||"Amber summer rider"
||and allowing them to declare or concede their own altruism is admitting the depth of the flaws.|
||Mirai Kodai Orchestra
||"Let There be Light"
||The larva of Babel 5
||The rich welcome disorganized banditry,|
||but are only barely more troubled by organized banditry.|
||"b r o k e n"
||Wealth, critically, is a proxy for power,|
||and power is always happy to cower behind proxies.|
||The powerful tolerate pickpockets along their routes with fond bemusement|
||and mental notes about where to bus the homeless.|
||All these things further confirm the establishments.|
||"Symphony of Gods"
||The rich and poor remain.|
||"El Canto del Eltuwe"
||Still, pointless flashes of ill-considered defiance are preferable to disingenuous flashes of petty bullying|
||Never Obey Again
||thinly disguised as benevolent brutalism.|
||Stitched Up Heart
||To The Wolves
||Thus, for example, Universal Music Group's ludicrous proposal to cut the royalty payments of "non-professional" musicians|
||"Get It Right"
||in order to pay (their own) "professional" musicians more.|
||This is regressive by definition,|
||but the particular thresholds selected make it also both baldly cruel and absurdly ineffective.|
||Cuentos Junto a la Hoguera
||The press-release fails to explicitly note the numbers of artists involved,|
||"Rise Of The Witches"
||which is a bad enough sign in itself,|
||"Bring That Noise"
||but triangulating from other numbers later in the text we can tell that the "professional" musicians,|
||by this definition, already account for 98% of the streams.|
||This is supposed, I think, to underscore their professionalism, but it also clarifies|
||"PACK IT UP"
||Snapshots From Beacontown Spring Dance '85 4
||that the proposed redistribution would cut the royalties of "amateur" artists in half|
||in order to spoon an additional uniform 1% raise onto the already-moneyed.|
||As you probably do not know, but they really should and I now do because I just checked,|
||the average month-to-month fluctuation in streaming royalties for even a semi-professional musician is about 10%.|
||So by taking from the poor, this scheme would be able to further enrich the rich by a factor an order of magnitude below the existing random variation in their inertial wealth.|
||"Song of the Dusk"
||In the end, though, post-structural redistribution is hopeless whether you do it with graceful irrelevance or awkward thuds.|
||The gap between the future we want for musicians and their lives,|
||"De Maan, Zon van de Doden"
||De Kronieken Van Het Verdwenen Kasteel II: Nergena 2
||and the presents we seem to be able to currently afford to give them,|
||A Pregnant Light
||"My Right Side"
||The Eighth 5
||is not a bookkeeping challenge.|
||me when the when i
||We won't fund a new middle class by raising the first step another inch,|
||but we won't cultivate it by taxing Taylor and Ed, either.|
||"Twilight of the Machines"
||The richest musicians are barely rich by non-music standards,|
||"En brennende vogn over jordet"
||En brennende vogn over jordet +3
||and a world with a million musicians living off their music currently looks more reachable|
||by passage through wardrobes than through time.|
||The path we're on leads towards that future in the same way that the roads from my house to the Boston harborfront lead towards Belgium.|
||UMG isn't going to fix this.|
||The major labels are the main structural beneficiaries of the current music business,|
||because that's historically what "the music business" even meant.|
||It has not yet been reinvented into a materially different form,|
||MY FIRST STORY
||"CRAZY BEAUTIFUL NIGHT"
||and if it is to be transformed, it is almost axiomatic that this will have to be done by some other force or faction.|
||Although I would love for that force to be streaming services, since I both want a better future and work for one,|
||constellation / cogito tensai no 5
||if streaming services and major labels are issuing joint press-releases you can probably bet that we'll need more help than that.|
||Or, possibly, we're not just wrong for trying to "fix" an existing economy from within it,|
||but wrong in our assumptions about what we want or need.|
||My Life Story
||"I'm a God"
||I'm a God +2
||"Musicians living off their music", we keep saying.|
||Leave Something Behind
||Musicians, music, living: these things we definitely want.|
||But the "off" part encodes the same kind of status quo as the cycles of theft and charity|
||"No Manifesto (bonus track)"
||that currently burn through our matchstick crowds.|
||"Atropine (Single Edit)"
||The reason it's hard to establish a "fair" rate for streaming a song|
||Rulo y la contrabanda
||is that there's nothing inherently fair about having to pay to hear music|
||"Abbiamo Vinto Già (con J-Ax)"
||Il Mondo È Nostro
||or having to pay to eat, while making music, with the possibility of people maybe wanting to hear it after it's made.|
||"Na De Na"
||This is unequivocally the best time in at least the modern history of the world to be a musician,|
||Francois van Coke
||"O, My Donner"
||O, My Donner 5
||because it has never so far been easier to find some way to live such that you also have time and energy to make music.|
||The exponential profusion of artists on streaming services are the most empirical testament to this.|
||Crime In Stereo
||We have reached the point where nearly anybody can make music.|
||"Yes We Can"
||I could have written a new song last weekend if I'd chose to do that instead of reading a book about why the Grenfell Tower fire happened,|
||and I'll count myself in "nearly anybody" because Gail Giltner spent so much energy when I was in middle school getting me to play the cello parts in the Brandenburg Concertos without adding my own bonus arpeggios,|
||but we have loops and AI for that now.|
||Measured by how many of the people who want to make music can,|
||we are nearly all rich already.|
||The rich and the poor are most easily reconciled by making more things free.|
||"INIZIAMO DALLA FINE"
||The moral response to power is its dispersal.|
||The future we think we yearn for|
||is a description of our present pain.|
||"Se Me Ha Muerto Una Flor"
||Lucian Grainge looks at the white-noise loops getting money for nothing and says that ain't working,|
||but this only tells us that he's afraid of another new video killing a new older radio star.|
||"Kesä ja marraskuu"
||But the future he fears isn't one in which there are no more Florence and the Machine albums because every middle-school cellist grew up to earn $2.08/year from Garageband songs,|
||Child of Night
||The Fool +1
||it's one in which everybody named Florence realizes they can afford to tell him to go fuck himself.|
||"Brighten Up My Life"
||The eventual downfall of the major labels won't come from having misunderstand Napster and then iTunes so badly|
||that they're stuck with YouTube and Spotify and TikTok now,|
||it will come from having relied on portraying making and streaming music as antagonisms|
||death's dynamic shroud
||"What? to be human"
||in order to justify a self-righteous mediation.|
||We won't find out for a while yet whether Spotify is this wave's Alta Vista or its Google,|
||"Ngilele E Hotel"
||but if you're any younger than me you never used Gopher,|
||Mzee wa Bwax
||and if you're alive right now we aren't using it to order poké bowls.|
||"Abangoma - Cave Mix"
||Rebirth Of The Drum
||We're not going back to only selling CDs,|
||but even more importantly, we're not going back to only recording in expensive studios,|
||or only writing music for Austrian court orchestras,|
||or hoping the tigers are scared to come this deep into the caves.|
||"Uz' Ungibhale Nami"
||We're not that good at money or foresight,|
||and maybe ultimately "money" is the distracting word for not being that great at collective existence,|
||"Camagu (feat. Lunga Dima)"
||The Return of Sdala B 5
||and "foresight" is the retrospective word for the regrets we survive,|
||but we're good at music,|
||Charle Blue Wa Africa
||"Ndo Dzhia Tsheo, Charle BlueWa Africa & Fortunator x Makhadzi"
||and abject failures at withholding it in negotiation for better terms.|
||Maybe we should let this tell us something,|
||Pleasure Tsa Manyalo
||instead of arguing over 1% changes in how we write the invoices.|
||Mzansi Youth Choir
||If I had been in middle school now, maybe I could go hear what I sounded like.|
||These songs all say whatever they're saying,|
||"I Am Who I Am"
||and then secretly whisper that Belgium is that way, and maybe when we get to the water we'll have some other idea about what to do next.|
||"Garden Of Eden"
||It's not helpful to walk 1% farther into the sea.|
||"Da Prettiest Gangsta"
||Da Prettiest Gangsta
||For $2.08 I can't even afford the dingy trip to the yachts anchored out in the harbor,|
||none of which are built to carry us all.|
||All conspicuous exceptionalism, from smug munificence to Taylor's plane,|
||Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
||"Grown In The Shade Of The Glacier"
||Killer Whale Atmospheres
||is sludge leaking out of a street,|
||not due to anything the street did wrong,|
||and the street will have to get torn up to fix the actual problem,|
||New Model Army
||"Winter (Orchestral Version) [Single Edit] - Live"
||Winter (Orchestral Version) 2
||but while we're tearing it up, we might as well put in some bike lanes.|
||"The Last Day of Our Acquaintance"
||Entrenched power reliably produces wealth,|
||"Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"
||Dancing With Tears In My Eyes +2
||but wealth and power also breed complacency.|
||"My Heart Will Go On - triple j Like a Version"
||Entropy comes for us all, entirely unimpressed by our distinctions.|
||"If It Means A Lot To You"
||It swirls against the castle walls, inviting us out to dance.|
||We are always ready to dance.|
||You don't have to be good at it. We can all afford the free things.|
||"Country Girls (Just Wanna Have Fun)"
||It's the people who rely on the expensive things who are trapped.|
||The Bedroom Jams Vol. 1 5
||You and me, we can believe in the future because there are infinite futures filled with songs and dancing,|
||"Live A Country Song"
||and any one will be amazing and we will still be us.|
||Josh Abbott Band
||If you need one where you're still in charge of something,|
||"We Still Talk"
||we're running out of those.|
||In some of those better futures Taylor doesn't have a plane and Ed doesn't have a castle on a hill,|
||and probably in some of them they still do.|
||"Can't Be Real"
||Things can get better without becoming perfect.|
||"Sex and Money"
||Maybe you've noticed?|
||"Take Me As I Am"
||Some things can't be fixed, they just have to be outlived;|
||"Are You Awake?"
||out, in, everywhere, dancing, swaying, something.|