We’re All Going To Die (but not before we download the new Radiohead album)

I was stuck for six miserable hours at Atlanta International Airport yesterday. What to do but break with habit, buy the latest Rolling Stone, and trace a theme between the various stories, interviews, reviews and news stories. My conclusion? The music industry is doomed, in fact the whole planet is doomed, but don’t worry, there will always be Lily Allen to make us look smart.

“I would sooner expect a goat to succeed as a gardener than expect humans to become stewards of the Earth.”

James Lovelock, founder of the Earth-as-Gaia theory, believes the human species is f***ed.

“It’s a beautiful country: It’s non-nuclear, with no genetically modified foods, an authentic populace, a real democracy and a progressive health-care system. There’s a very small population, and they’re ecologically the most progressive country in the world.”

System Of A Down’s Serj Tankian, born in Armenia, has found a place to prove Lovelock wrong: New Zealand.

“The American idea still has enormous power in its best manifestation. And ten George Bushes cannot bring that idea down- a hundred cannot bring that idea down. What we’re going through now, we’re going to be out the other side at some point.”

Bruce Springsteen
, born in the USA, keeps his faith in the homeland.

“My faith in human nature is not such that I would leave it up to consumers to decide how much to pay for music.”

Mike Mills of R.E.M. will not put his faith in the Radiohead route to record sales.

“All of it rocks; none of it sounds like any other band on Earth; it delivers an emotional punch that proves all other rock stars owe us an apology.”

Rob Sheffield paid $5.27 for the new Radiohead album, In Rainbows, and clearly believes he got a bargain.

“This is a huge injustice.”

Jammie Thomas, a 30-year old mother from Minnestota, after losing a $220,000 judgment to the RIAA, which represents the major labels. Thomas was found guilty of sharing twenty-four tracks; her penalty works out at $9,250 a song.

“To the extent that anyone had any ambiguity about the law or about the strength of the cases that we do decide to bring, this verdict may help provide some useful insight.”

RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy believes justice has been served.

“It’s hard to see what the RIAA suits against file-traders accomplish, except further alienating the kids who already regard the majors with greater contempt than they do Big Oil or Halliburton. (It’s more personal – Halliburton doesn’t sue their friends.)”

Joe Levy, RS Executive Editor, offers a critical opinion on the RIAA’s policy.

“Madonna is leaving her longtime record label, Warner Music, to sign with concert promoter Live Nation. Under the $120 million deal, Madonna would receive $50 million for performances; a total of $50 to $60 million for three new albums; and a $17.5 million advance.”

Madonna leaves the RIAA behind, jumping ship from Bugs Bunny to the company formerly known as Clear Channel.

“The Rolling Stones took in $557,255,524, crushing the previous tour record of $389 million, which U2 set on their 2005—6 Vertigo Tour. The Stones sold 4.68 million tickets while playing 144 concerts on five continents.”

Figures from the Rolling Stones tour indicate why Madonna would choose to sign a new record deal not with a record company but a tour promoter.

“Face value tickets cost $22 to $66 dollars, but prices blew up within hours on StubHub and eBay. After the Miami show sold out in seconds, scalpers offered top seats for as much as $4,000.”

Figures from the Hannah Montana online scalping scandal indicates that the real money in the music business is not, in fact, made by record companies or tour promoters but by the scalpers – ticket touts. Scalping, in the form of “ticket brokers,” was just legalized in New York State.

“The Eagles, now running their own label, have chosen Wal-Mart as the album’s exclusive retailer (for their new album Long Road Out Of Eden). There is an inevitable contradiction in buying a record that attacks corporate greed and blind consumerism from a superchain with a bleak record on employee rights and health care.”

David Fricke should just go right ahead and call The Eagles for what they are: a bunch of self-satisfied rich hyprocrites who say one thing and do another. It’s acts like this that give liberals a bad name.

“You don’t choose how much to pay for eggs. Why should it be different for music?”

Lily Allen refutes the Radiohead option. I guess no-one raises their own hens in LDN?

“I would sooner expect a goat to succeed as a gardener than expect humans to become stewards of the Earth.”

James Lovelock, founder of the Earth-as-Gaia theory. It bears repeating.

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November 2021