I just want menudo like any other, but what do I get?
I only want tamales, husks rapped at the end, what do I get?
Anyway, after reading about Cindy's
tamale eating I miss home. Some of the assistants brought tamales the other day and they were good, but not like my mom's. Man I miss tamales. I'm not saying I'd gut you in cold blood for tamales, but you probably shouldn't turn your back to me.
I did make queso dip. I ran out of tostadas. I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.
So, I'm loafing about drinking fabulous coffee (I made this coffee at home, there was no barista involved and yet it was still fabulous, I wonder if the people at Powell's miss me?) and I came across this stupid
article. It claims that downloading has lowered people's appreciation of music.
A couple of music psychologists conducted a study and that was their conclusion. I won't get into the whole Popperian debate of whether psychology is psuedoscience b/c it's not falsifiable. I'll just say that these guys are dumbfucks. This is a classic 'correlation is not causation' issue.
First they monitored people over two weeks. Quick question, how many of you realized your favorite record was your favorite record after two weeks? How long did it take most of y'all to really start appreciating Orange Rhyming Dictionary by Jets To Brazil? It's a lot freakin' longer than two weeks. It wouldn't have mattered if I downloaded Jets or bought it on vinyl or on CD. It's a complicated record that takes a while to understand. It takes a lot of relistens to appreciate. Bloc Party, Postal Service, Wolf Parade, Screeching Weasel, Teengenerate, Prince, etc took a while to start getting. Some of the music I had to grow into. You can't figure out anything about a person's music in two weeks, except maybe that their taste sucks.
They found that people find music more like a commodity. Hey wow, major label music is a commodity, even MC Snow? This has nothing to do with how it's distributed. That perception is created by its marketing. Is music any more of a commodity b/c I got it through CD Baby
without the trouble of walking to Jackpot
? Having Britney Spears hock Mountain Dew in her new single creates this perception. Major label music is marketed as a commodity. That's what major labels have done to it, not downloading. Nobody will hold a perception of a band like Casiotone For The Painfully Alone as being a commodity whether they download it off of itunes or go buy it from the record store.
Major labels have fed the commoditization of music by creating insta hits, contentless crap like Limp Bizkit, or pablum so bland that you can only relate to it on the most superficial level. Find me one billboard hit that resonates like Iggy Pop's "I wanna Be Your Dog". You can't do it. Did these "music psychologists" ever listen to Sigue Sigue Sputnik
They felt that television shows provided the opportunity to appreciate live music. Christ, Double Christ. If major labels hadn't screwed musicians out of record royalties then musicians wouldn't be charging $50 a ticket for their show to cover their advance. Imagine if tickets were only $15 to $20. People could go see a real show. Where does illegal downloading come into play on unconscionable record contracts? So I would argue, and be right, that it's major labels producing and marketing crap that has caused a more ambivalent attitude towards music, if such an attitude exists. But does it?
These fucking geniuses (It's a latin word so I know I pluralized it wrong and the irony of mispluralizing genius is not lost on me, only the correct spelling is.) go on to say that "people now actively use music in everyday listening contexts to a much greater extent than ever before." That supports your point, pinheads.
They blame technology for the change in the nature of the music experience. It has changed it. I can now get ahold of Ozomatli, Cafe Tacuba, and Molotov. I listen to music within my cultural experience, and tons of people are doing this. I can relate much more closely to Molotov than to Creed. Better bands are reaching their audiences, qualitatively Arcade Fire stomps on anything released by a major label in the last two years (Excluding "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas, b/c that was freakin' inspired.). I can relate to a piece of music that echoes the efforts of the artist better than any prefab boy band sound.
They claim that people have a passive attitude about music. This is the part that kills me. People putting up MP3 blogs (see the sidebar for my music passivity assholes, that's just what I browse for music, that doesn't even count band websites, zines, talking over email with friends, myspace, or going to shows) or learning html to put a song on their myspace page is not passivity. Downloading a song and managing your playlists is a much more dynamic music experience than listening to the radio or reading someone's "Top Ten Records of 2005" out of Rollingstone Stone.
Your relationship to music has nothing to do with how you got your music. It involves the quality and integrity of the music process. Is the audience treated like a person or a dollar bill? The major labels have produced crap and people recognize this. It's not the downloading, it's downloading crap. It's not a lack of appreciation, it's a lack of respect for the major label music system. It's not a lack of interest, it's a lack of interest in major label music.
I can tell you I care just as deeply today about my music as I did pre-Napster. I can even evaluate my music better b/c I have access to stuff I never would have known about before downloading. The Reigning Sound would not mean as much to me today if I wasn't able to google Stax Records and find out about Sam and Dave. I email bands more often than I ever wrote letters or joined fan clubs under the major label system.
Go to warp tour. You tell me all those kids have a passive relationship with music. You tell me there was even anything similar to what goes on at Warp Tour, Sasquatch, or Coachella before downloading. Without music downloading I wouldn't know about some of my new favorite bands. I wouldn't have seen two documentaries in the last two weeks about the Ramones. I would have remained ignorant enough to respect music pyschologists and their stupid conclusions.