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future of the left's Blog

jim fork

It's difficult to express exactly what I felt when I found out, last
wednesday, that the album had made it's way onto the internet.  22nd
april - approximately eight and a half weeks before release and only
three since the fucking thing was mastered and whilst members of the
band don't have shiny little embossed copies there is a promotional cd
of the record on sale at ebay for twenty five quid.

I drank a bottle of Jamesons and began to lecture the cat on copyright
control. To her credit, she simply fell asleep as Law and Order went
about its business in the background.

Myself, Kelson and a couple of the guys at Beggars spent 72 hours or
so pissing around, sending angry emails to proud bloggers (and oh, the
fucking pride of the feckless thief) and, amongst others, a Russian
website that was already charging people for the songs. Motherfuckers.
I guess that since the bottom has fallen out of the arms trade,  any
collection of notes, however obscure, is a legitimate income source.

So, anyway, the fucking thing has leaked despite our desperate
delaying tactics and you may have listened to it / be dowloading it
this second / have taken the position that you'd rather wait for the
actual release - regardless, it feels that getting annoyed about
downloading in this valueless modern age is like taking issue with
water for being wet or night for gradually turning into day because
ultimately the entitlement that most people feel for free music
completely overshadows any moral or legal issues and conflicts that
may arise in the hearts and minds of better people, people who
understand that actions, on both an individual and group level, have
consequences far beyond that moment of instant gratification.

There's so much to say with so little effect on this issue, so many
well-intentioned but wasted words devoted to it ... but anyway,
thankyou for downloading in barely a minute something that we poured a
year of our lives into, attempting (successfully, I believe) with a
great and furious pride to better our previous low-selling (and leaked
three months early) album, a record which flew under the radar for
many reasons but mostly because most of the goodwill poured on it
happened and had dwindled several months before it was available to
buy.

Yes, buy. Such a dirty fucking word. Currency exchanged for goods and
services. Food, Clothing, Butt-plugs and fucking H2O. How far, I
wonder does this entitlement for free music go? My guitars, should
they be free? Petrol to get us to shows? Perhaps I should come to an
arrangement with my landlord, through the musician-rent-waiver
programme.

Perhaps he should pay me, for his ninth-division indie-cred through association.

You will have to excuse me, people of the internet. It turns out that
I just wanted a big party with balloons and streamers to celebrate
everything we put into this thing, released into the physical world
with a fanfare and fuss befitting its status. I'm not angry (in fact I
don't blame you, unless you leaked it, in which case I WILL KILL YOU),
just a little worried that the record we made will get lost amongst
the debris and leave us playing shows like we just weathered at the
laughably bad Camden Crawl this last weekend - fifteen people and a
world of disillusion.*

Anyway - please be careful, or we'll get the world we all deserve.
Hobby bands who can tour once every few years if they're lucky, and
the superstars, freed from such inconvenient baggage as integrity and
conscience, running the corporate sponsored marathon of £80-a-ticket
arena tours and television adverts til their  loveless hearts explode
in an orgy of oppressive branding and self-regard. Some of us, in all
honestly, just want to make the music we love and play it around the
world without living in poverty.

We'll be announcing some deal involving pre-orders of the cd/lp with
an immediate download in the next few days.

Do consult your surroundings before proceeding.

falco

*Next time somebody tells me that i can't drink my rider in the
building I'm playing in I'm going to fuck them with their own shoes.

Comments

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  • Lala Chen

    Good post and welcome to my website: http://www.joyfax.com

    1 year ago
  • Ean

    Qustion: How did it get leaked? Who would have been able to get copies of it? One would think only your record label or yourselves would be able to get copies. Nobody is going to snoop packets on the Internet for the possibility of an indie band sending audio over... so that pretty much rules out anyone on the Internet.

    It's quite likely the one you want to kill is someone you know very well... :|

    So sorry to hear about your luck.

    1 year ago
  • John Mccally

    i paid $ for this record.  it was worth appx $100 per $1 i spent.  please make 100 more records so that i can reimburse you.

    2 years ago
  • Front Porch Hymnal (The…

    Being a musician, I understand the frustration and the feeling of someone stealing your child. I am glad that The Guardian published this to raise awareness of the crisis in file sharing. I linked to this, not only for the purpose of showing ppl the audacity of the crisis but also so they could be exposed to your music. Hopefully it will direct some more traffic that evolves into more fans. What you have done is similar to my proposal and argument Music just can't be free-nothing is.

    2 years ago
  • Boomix Loves Genesis

    It sucks but I dont think there is anything you can do but play 100 shows a year.

    GODluck

    2 years ago
  • Soiled aka Marcus H

    Promo's are always sold on by journo's and magazines. Thats been happening for years. Only before there wasnt the internet. Loads of my promo cds pop on auction sites and dodgy Russian download sites. There aint nothing you can do. For small artists its shit. EVer decreasing returns equals ever decreasing releases.

    For bigger major artists, well they've got lawyers. Quite frankly I dont give a toss about the moaning rants of Lilly and her clan. They make enough on PRS anyway.

    2 years ago
  • The Legendary Frank

    You hit the nail on the head.


    Without any competition from smaller bands and labels, the corporate bands will rule and as you say hobby bands will potter around in the open toilets aka indie music venues.

    I bet the corps are laughing their heads off all the way to the bank and thanking all who think they're sooo clever illegally downloading or buying off dodgy sites.

    2 years ago
  • Martin Atkins


    an artist called Moldovar created a new cd with the song titles made in circuitry and the jewel case contains a light sensitive therimin he is making himself. i was happy to pay $50 for the release. he has, so far sold 500…
    do the math
    Shogun Konitoki have a vinyl release embedded with dots, to see and hear the release in all of its spectacular glory you have to first assemble the battery powered strobe light kit that comes with the release…..and watch a video showing you how to do it. By the end of the process, I guess you are unable to make an objective decision about the music after investing all of this time in preparing to be amazed – you probably will be. cost, $69.00
    In one of my lectures i say FREE IS THE NEW BLACK….that doesn’t mean that everything you have ever done should be free – it means that in the run up to a release of something new (and it doesn’t have to be an album) you give away some stuff, make a new shirt that will be available with the physical release or with a code from the download etc etc/
    according to their manager, the band METRIC from Canada have sold more of the tracks that have been available FREE
    Monty Pythons sales went up 213,000% after they launched their site where you can get every single thing they have ever done for free!
    they took control of this stuff.
    A band in germany Das Ich were also gutted by Russian download sites shredding their sales, they eventually negotiated a deal with the site – it enabled each of them to have a few unique tracks for a week – before they each had everything – this helped a little – but the main benefit to the band was in terms of information that the illegal download site gave them – they managed to turn this information into 6 shows in Russia……..they have since been back to Russia three times – i think the last tour was 15+ shows….
    so, i think there are two paths;
    you can’t download a t-shirt, a battery powered hand held strobe light or a light sensitive theramin……so go the extra mile with the imaginitive packaging you put around your music (its important enough for some imaginitive bubble wrap isn’t it??)
    OR, release material in smaller, shorter bursts – 6 eps a year perhaps? so that, as you give away #3 for free with a shirt ($10?) someone gets interested and wants #1 and #2………which are $10 each (maybe with a shirt maybe not, maybe the free shirt with 1 & 2 deal has expired)
    You are not just increasing the choices and the frequency that you communicate around a special event – you are also shrinking the time between creation and availability. Some of the examples above show that FREE is not the enemy – even of a small band – but you have to be prepared to deal with the many factors at work in the new ‘economy’ and the harsh new reality – not constantly be surprised ……..
    Martin Atkins

    2 years ago
  • Merankorii

    So, you blame your lack of sales to the fact that the album is available on a .torrent file somewhere?

    2 years ago
  • tre

    Never heard a ya. Never would've hadn't i relied upon any means neccesary to find out about new music other than the shite they push on the radio. I've not yet even listened to the record. Part of me wants to throw it out after hearing your rant - which i don't disagree with, btw. But....as you well know - the Future of your trade needs some serious overhaul. NOT the band, their music or anything like that, but the distribution, promotion and everything inbetween. I know you pour your soul into everything you do as an artist. I do the same working in a creative field myself, but sometimes in order to get more work, you have to do a pro-bono job. Work it, not just live it. Unfortunately in the 21st century, we ALL must figure out a new way - especially the music industry. If i enjoy the music you make, you can be assured i will attend any show you bring to my area, buy a t-shirt or even buy a hard copy of your CD at the show i saw you at because you most certainly deserve it. Shit, if i could, I'd paypal you directly in order to just hear the music that has been overtaken by PIMPS that 'promote' you in improper ways given technology and modern society. How much of that 15$ CD do you actually get? I know some well to do's in your industry and I know it ain't a lot, even when you start selling out those stadiums, and - dare i say - selling out yourselves....I'd rather buy you a drink, buy a t-shirt or a copy from you directly than give any of those scam artists a penny. That 'craft' worked in the past, but the few that actually got heard then, compared to the millions that can be now.....c'mon! Allow the world to see you - if you are good, you will be far richer than the little dude dowloading your music on the internet.

    As you can tell from this post, I didn't even come across your work till after its release. So early or not, for me its all the same. Just trying to find new, great and inspriring music. If i like it you will see my money and all of my friends money who i can tell about how great your music is. If not, I'll toss it never to be heard by my ears again, yet I'd still wish you luck, because no matter what your art, just because I don't like it doesn't mean the masses won't - or the estranged individual...

    3 years ago
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