Get in Formation

So… okay. Real talk for a moment. You guys ever heard of Beyoncé?

That’s a trick question. I’m pretty sure none of you are living under a rock on Mars.

Way back in the mists of time, around 2010, I was young(er) and foolish, and I wrote a blog post about the idea of Beyoncé’s music having deeper meaning, and whether that meaning was being read into the lyrics by a critic’s over-active imagination as opposed to being put there by the artist. Now I read that post and CRINGE, you guys. I cringe to the deepest part of my soul. I sound so godawfully pretentious.

Words on paper

Leave Your Egos at the Door, Please

Words on paper“The consumer [says] ‘Where’s my free music on the internet? Is this a free download?’ Fuck off! It cost me a quarter of a million pounds to make it, you’re not getting it for nothing. I want my quarter of a million back, thank you very much. That’s why we’re rock stars.”

Noel Gallagher, famous British singer of the band Oasis.

An ego is a terrible thing to waste. C’mon, Noel, tell us how you really feel about your fans. It’s okay. Only some of them will be too offended by your attitude to buy your new album.

It never ceases to amaze me that artists take this kind of tack; that the mere act of them spending money on and ascribing value to their work means that everyone, everywhere, could spend money on and ascribe the same value to it. This is absolutely, obviously, not the case at all. We all make our own judgements on the value of certain objects, especially in art. There are people who would walk through fire to own a genuine Jackson Pollack, and there are just as many who would be happy to chuck it into the fire to rid the world of a little perceived ugliness.

Two days ago, David Lowery of the Tricordist blog posted a long article in the form of a letter to one individual music pirate, but that really addressed all pirates. Their main point – that there are no excuses, and one should pay for music, for many many reasons – is outside the scope of my blog, of course, but I found it interesting in how they ascribed value, and how those they addressed did the same.