I am going to veer off task and give little or no advice on practical matters, that is to say, I will rant about music and listening to music rather than saying something dreadfully clever about landing a gig or firing your bass player. (Go ahead and fire him… all bands must come to an end)
The interwebthingy that offers evil bastards like me the opportunity to warp young minds also aids the giant zombie musical death machine daily opportunities to track your movements and attempt to pick your pocket. At the mega labels they are just figuring this out. If they truly understood the power of it they would have killed off rock and emptied every chicken out of every pot in the western world. It is a great stroke of luck that the Major Labels have largely been staffed, in recent years, by complete imbeciles. Despite this handicap the labels are starting to spread their vampire wings across the cyber sky and circle around your carcass with other vultures like Google or Microsoft or The Council on Foreign Relations.
Lately, as I have been drifting along from webpage to webpage I noticed that Rhino Classics label has been following my every move. I’ll admit that I have actually visited their website. And yes, when I glanced at their page they stuck a homing tracker suppository in my ass and have been bugging me ever since. This kind of action falls under the principle of “If I can do it to you I will do it to you”. The utter retards in the label marketing departments, drunk on their own power, had the same brain flash that all of the other megafuckulists have had in the past ten years – that is to say – they decided that the web was there to allow them to pick your brain and your pocket. It will never occur to them that we, the music listening public, do not see it this way. It will never enter their rodent brains that this is somehow immoral, in poor taste and extremely bad manners.
Now for an obligatory disclaimer. Rhino Classics is Warners Music, ie WMG. The reason I happened to go to their leachlike website was to find their damn phone number so I could call them up and scream at them. It wasn’t actual screaming it was hyper polite since I have manners. I called to tell them I was suing them for failure to pay royalties for two years and for sending me fairy tales as royalty statements. That, in the music biz, is considered screaming. So there you have it, I am suing these gentlemen. In fact, since they, by being complete turds, forced me into a situation where I had no other choice, I am going to sue them for lots of core issues that matter to all artists as well as to me.
So back to the “If I can do it to you, I will do it to you” school of business practices. This attitude has nothing to do with ethics. For example I can try to sell you an ice cream cone on the street. If you refuse I can then beat your beloved dog with a shovel to influence your actions. As another example that is, perhaps, closer to the case in point – if I sold toilet paper I could place a camera in your bathroom to study your personal hygiene. I then could sell this valuable info to all interested parties. Just because you can do something as part of doing business doesn’t mean it is right.
For the past few weeks the ads that have followed me have pitched The Ramones on heavy vinyl – a dream come true for audiophile collectors. They are trying to be oh, so clever. They know that you can just download the music. Since it will be a digital copy it will as good as the next downloaders copy. They also know that on some levels digital audio is just not as good as analog (ya know vinyl..) copies. So when they pooled their collective brilliance together they came up with a plan (pronounced scheme) to sell you these rare jewels at these exorbitant prices. They are desperate to sell you anything since they are all going broke fast. Soon, if things continue on the current path, they will be in such trouble that they will lose control of what’s playing out of your radio and which band you will hear about being the next big thing. Shortly thereafter they may be forced to get real jobs. This sucks for them since they have heard rumors that there are no real jobs.
This brings me to the Ramones. The Ramones were great. They were one of the creators of punk. They rocked. I once saw them do 31 songs in a 65 minute set. I recommend that you acquire every Ramones record, even the one produced by Phil Spector the brilliant homicidal producer. Do not buy them from WMG on 40 gram vinyl. It’s the fucking Ramones for god’s sake. Buy their records at thrift stores, garage sales and out of luck friends that need to raise cash for dope. This is the only way to buy Ramones records. You don’t own a forty thousand dollar stereo do you? Why, in God’s name would you want a slab of vinyl that costs twelve times the cost of a cheeseburger?
As a sidebar here I will say that I have met a few rich audiophiles. Ya know the type. Perfect apartment, expensive car, fancy pants yobs that have the absolute peak of audio perfection to impress their lady friends. They invariably have eight audiophile records hermetically sealed in some kind of astronaut album sleeves. These recordings were carefully chosen for their recording clarity and the recommendation of some writer that also owns a sound system with its own mortgage. Oddly, one of the titles is always Dark Side of the Moon even though the guy has never smoked a joint. The only other guys that own audio systems that involve CIA Black Program technology are record industry executives and they never listen to music. Well they might listen to the 40 gram vinyl version of Rocket to Russia and wonder in quiet terror whether you will buy it……………….
©Brad Morrison/Billiken Media 2011