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Music blog downloads?

 
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:05 pm    Post subject: Music blog downloads? Reply with quote

I've been getting my hands on a lot of great weird rare 60s and 70s recordings via downloads from various blog sites, all for free, and I feel weird about it!
These are records that are very rare expensive collector's items, often they have not been reissued on CD or if they have then even the CD reissues are now out of print and hard to find. I figure if I can't buy an album for 9.99 on iTunes, and if I don't see it for sale in a local shop, then my only option is either to try to buy it second hand from ebay (in which case the artists don't get the money anyway) or to just get it free from one of these blogs. It IS quite miraculous that these records would have been almost impossible to hear for the past 30 or 40 years and now, records that cost collectors thousands of dollars to buy, are available for free at the click of a button... really a bizarre world we live in! I suppose every body else on the internet got used to this idea ten years ago, and I'm just coming to terms with it now... but as a musician I feel weird taking all this music for free! I wish I could at least donate to the artists somehow. Especially because all of these obscure people never got ANY money from their music, they made records that never sold more than a handful of copies. It's sad that they maybe don't even know that I'm enjoying those same records so much!
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For example... I recently read a cool description of a 1970s home-made psychedelic album called "Madrigal," I was really curious to hear it but a copy the album just sold on eBay for something like 5 thousand dollars! And so I just looked around some blogs and found a place to download it for free, like five minutes later! So weird. We live in a world where music is either too expensive or too cheap! If all records were something like 5 dollars or 10 dollars that would make a lot more sense.
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Michael



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel equally confused and conflicted over this.

I've been spending a lot of time recently picking up mp3 rips of old vinyl punk rock records which I have in my record collection but which I don't listen to any more because playing vinyl is not very convenient (eg. in the car on the way to work - the only place I can listen in peace, now that we have two young children whose appreciation of Flux of Pink Indians and Rudimentary Peni is still in its formative stages). I figure that if I had time I would do the vinyl rips myself, but I don't so picking them up via mediafire or wherever is quicker and easier. These are mostly albums I've already shelled out for in the past and own in one format or another, so I don't feel too badly.

I have grabbed other rare and out of print stuff too, though, which I don't already own. I have no qualms about not paying $5000 on eBay, because the artist concerned wouldn't be getting any of that money anyway. They would have been paid a small royalty on the original purchase back in the day, so it would be the eBay seller that was missing out by me downloading it for free. And frankly I don't care too much about them - and nor would the sellers as there are still plenty of people happy to pay for the physical item, just so they "have" it. There's something a bit weird and unsavoury about that whole fetishistic, covetous "collector" scene anyway. It seems to stop having anything to do with the music and be more about vanity (or something).

I have paid - and still do pay - a huge percentage of my disposable income for CDs, cassettes and records over the years, not to mention gig tickets, so figure I've given plenty back. And I've paid over the odds for collectable stuff I don't really need but is nice to have (I'm not immune from that "fetishistic covetous collector" thing myself). I certainly don't need all those Andre Herman Dune CD-Rs, for example, especially now that he's made loads of them available on his Myspace for free streaming, but they look good on my shelf and there's something wholesome and old-fashioned about paying somebody in person for their wares when you see them live. I don't download new releases that i want (partly because it feels immoral and partly because I don't really like the sound of the mp3 and would prefer to have a high quality uncompressed copy of the stuff I really like). If I download stuff to sample, I nearly always buy the real thing if I like it. It's the decent thing to do.

I don't rip off small indie or DIY artists/labels either. That would be equally wrong. And I always offer to pay when bands try to give me stuff at shows, but they nearly always refuse (I'm thinking of CDs I was "given" by the likes of Toby Goodshank or Dibs, as well as those low-key punk shows where the bands hand out their CD-Rs as you leave).

Jeff, I know from conversations I've had with you, and from your lyrics and interviews with other folks, that you are an utterly scrupulous fellow and would never knowingly or callously rip anyone off. I also suspect that you are the sort of fellow to beat yourself up where you really don't need to. Jeez, if you spread the word about stuff we've never heard that you've snagged for free on some other music fan's blog, then you are simply ADDING to the cultural richness in the world, not detracting from it.

And if Metallica or whoever wants to take me to court, then that's their prerogative. But in the same way as I wouldn't knowingly rip anyone off, I would hope that the artists who I put my faith in would never dream of suing my ass for downloading some of their stuff. Which is why I don't own - legally or otherwise - anything by Metallica.
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Dav
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Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 2839
Location: Rennes, France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The internet is really a weird place, i'm sometimes quite pissed off that a 7 inch i had a hard time finding like 15 years ago is available via a single clic. It's really selfish i recon, i don't really like the way the internet is making records hunting less fun. It was so great digging crates in a London record fairs and find an old My Bloody Valentine 12 inch that i never heard before. But without the internet i'd never find so many great records, like i buy the first Pink Floyd LP for 15 euro, the real deal from 1967, or some old Pavement 7 inch that i never would think i'd own ever, and all for really fair prices.


As for the illegal downloads, well, you got to admit that mp3 is a really crappy format, sounds bad, got no artwork etc...but as Jeffrey, i like finding obscure ones on various blogs, hoping that someday i'll happen to find the lps that i enjoyed somewhere, even knowing it'll probably never happen...sad...
I almonst exclusively buy records of "small" or unsigned artists, i always buy records at gigs...i don't really care for cds anyway and i buy all i can on 7 or 12 inches, i still think it's the best way to listen to music, i'm pretty sure the brain get more receptive for analogue music and not for ones and zeros.


I use a lot softwares as spotify and deezer, gives me a chance to listen to a lot of things without stealing from the artists, even if i doubt they make much money out of it, at least it give me a chance to hear a record before buying it, i baught many stuff with only one or two good songs on it back in the days, when your budget is limited it's really a shame.


Anyway, i like collecting records, always did, i download but i buy too.
There is too many records anyway, noone can buy it all.

ps : browsing blogs i heard this tune from The Groundhogs called Thank Christ For The Bomb, great song, got some similarities with a Jeffrey song, you should check this one Smile

I also reckon that i don't own anything Metallica!
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Dav
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Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Rennes, France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Records are too expensive anyway, in France you have to work like 2 hours to get enough money for one.
In my opinion the good way would be to have mp3 for free on official bands website and a paypal button for donations, i'm sure a lot of music listeners would give a fair amount of money, i know i would.
As for really obsure artists or really old records i don't see anyway to give money to these people, that's sort of a shame but we got no choices there.
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, that's great that you found that Groundhogs record, as you suspect that has been a favorite album of mine since 1996, right around when I first started writing songs, so you're probably right that "Thank Christ For the Bomb" had an influence on me!
That record is not so rare really... I think I found my copy for ten dollars, and I see it a few times a year, usually around 15-20 dollars now. I have three Groundhogs albums - the best one, definitely, is called "Split" - I never found the vinyl but I bought the CD in Liverpool. Sometimes the Groundhogs make me think of the Wave Pictures, all those amazing guitar solos!

It's funny that nowadays digging through blogs for good obscure albums to download seems to be the equivalent of digging thru record stores... but the finds are free! In a record store the original artist gets nothing anyway... but at least the store gets support... My method now is if I find something on a blog that looks cool, I will first check the internet to see if there is a place where I can BUY the download from an official site, like iTunes or another one. This works sometimes. If there is no official way to pay for the download I just download it.

I wonder who owns the most Andre Herman Dune CDRs!! I have tons of them! But I don't have them all!

By the way, Andre/Stanley and Clemence are in America right now, trying to play some small shows in Miami and San Francisco... catch them if you can...
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Michael



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have tons also, but nowhere near them all. When I last saw him live I asked if he had any new stuff and he produced around 90 worth of albums I didn't have. I got that sinking feeling and then handed over 70 for the best looking seven. It's obscene, but I can't help myself.

Would love to catch Stanley and Clemence in Miami or SF. There's no through-bus from Leeds, though, sadly.
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1272

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long will it be until Stanley Brinks holds the world record for most albums ever released??

When I toured Australia I learned about the legendary Slim Dusty, some call him the "Woody Guthrie of Australia," he was an Australian country singer. Before he died he had released about 115 albums, I guess since the 50s.

Actually according to Wikipedia (I just checked), Slim Dusty had 106 albums before he died, recordings released between 1946 - 2003. He was the first recording artist in the world to have released more than 100 albums (according to whoever writes these things...)

But Stanley/Andre is definitely going to beat that record if he continues!!!
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jack fe



Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 865

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm very much pro-downloading, even if it can feel morally dubious at times.

I collect records and CDs, and still buy as many as I can find and afford. Downloading (illegally) music has only added to the hunger and to my list of records I'm on the lookout for. Just this week, I managed to find Charmed Life by Half Japanese on vinyl, having been searching for about two years, and spent far more than I should have on 330,003 Crossdressers from Beyond The Rig Veda by Sun City Girls, an album (and band) I know very well from an illegal download.

But I also know that not everyone who downloads does also buy the records. I've thought a lot about all bands and labels having a donation box (or honesty box) paypal link on their website. Just throw in a few bucks if you've enjoyed a record and not payed for it. It could be an idea.

It's strange to feel like I'm in the final generation who had to save their paper round money to take the bus to the city and drool over something, reading the linear notes on bus on the way home. That kind of thing has stuck with me (as I'm sure many people who are 18-22 now - growing up as all the internet piracy bloomed) and drives me to buy as much as I can, also feeling good about money going to artists or independent stores.

I don't like the idea of buying a download. When I buy a record, I have an object, that I can look at and that when my hard drive crashes, will still exist. I'm sure that there must have been a party when the major record labels realised that they could sell music with zero physical production cost. Jeff, I'm sure you know about this better than me. Does a significantly higher percentage get to you from downloads, rather than CDs/LPs?

The only occasion I have purchased downloads has been on an artists own website, where the whole profit goes to them (that was on Jad Fair's website, to download a few long out of print records - totally worth it!).

As for Andre Herman Dune, I'm probably getting close to the most CDRs, I have around 30 of his CDRs (and a bunch more Herman Dune and YaYa CDs). The standard of all of them (especially the three from this year) is so high, I don't know how he does it.
Do you know if they're planning to head to the Chicago area? I'm sure Morgan could hook them up with a show. He finally got to see them both play this year. Poor deprived Americans...
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scott



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 94
Location: Greenville, SC, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit off the subject, but I just seem to have missed a Stanley Brinks songwriting conference that happened on Florida's west coast! I am kicking myself. Hopefully there will be something going on with him in Miami! I'll now keep my eyes open.
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