Albini Continues to Talk About Amanda Palmer and the MediaPosted by Liana Robertshaw
Stemming from Palmer’s views on crowd-funding and her friendship with Emily White, the NPR intern who started a controversy over file-sharing last summer. According to Amanda Palmer’s blog:
“if you haven’t heard of her, Emily White was an intern at NPR’s “all songs considered” who found herself smack-dab in the middle of her own kerfuffle a few months ago when she posted a blog on the NPR site called “I never owned any music to begin with…”
“…which, as you may remember, started a FULL-BLOWN MOTHERFUCKIN’ BATTLE between the old school (people must pay for digital content or musicians will starve and die!!!!) and the new school (digital content cannot be locked, the floodgates are open, let’s figure out a new creative solution!!!)”
if anybody understands my philosophy and the complicated collision of art, commerce and asking for help…it’s the folks at National Public Radio…
and goddamn….i couldn’t have run into a better person [than Emily White]. we went to a bar after the show and got to talk a little.
no doubt about it: my band has hit a DEEP, PAINFUL cultural nerve.
many musicians and artists are SCARED right now. the economy is sucking. traditional record sales are plummeting. digital content is rampantly freely shared (and many artists like me are encouraging people to share and copy). big, previously untouchable musical institutions and symphony halls are shutting down. a lot of musicians fear for their livelihoods…and fear often breeds hate and anger. a lot of musicians really don’t know where their next paychecks are going to be coming from.
and everyone has a different approach. this is the nerve we’ve struck. and i am a really convenient target at the moment.
Says Albini, who obviously expresses a much different viewpoint,
Since you appear to think the point of my first post on the topic was to call Amanda Palmer an idiot, I’ll break it down for you like a lesson…
There is a whole culture of people who do things independently and efficiently, and it isn’t an accident that they have been at the vanguard of culture for decades…
…I used the poorly-considered word :”idiot.” I implied that Amanda Palmer was an idiot by describing this idiot behavior which the reader would then ascribe to Ms Palmer, making the inference that she is an idiot. It was rude and poorly served my argument, but then again I was speaking informally to a familiar audience of peers on the forum, not the world at large…
On the part of the fans, I totally understand and sympathize with this impulse [to play for their favorite musician for free]. That’s starkly different from a millionaire asking people to do things for free, under the guise that she is giving them something by indulging them. It’s cheapness repainted as generosity and it’s gross. Using people in this way, exploiting their good nature for one’s own benefit, is a cancer that taints many enterprises and it always reflects poorly on the exploiter. It’s one of the things I hated most about the old-school record business, the practice of fucking with people who loved music so much they would put up with endless greed and abuse just to be a part of it. A new music business paradigm, if it is worth anything, should strive to be free of exploitation and be honest about its motives….
Nobody’s an idiot, some ways of conducting business are just uglier and more exploitative than others.