Sunday, April 27, 2014
Getttin' Back To 'Em...
All my music (30 albums and counting, soon to be 31) are all available for downloading free or with a donation at my site www.GeneBurnett.com I've been doing this for over 7 years now and I'm really enjoying it. It felt like returning to my deepest "folk" roots.
It totally released me up from a whole barge load of energy draining considerations and freed me up to focus on the aspects of music that I love best: writing, recording, sharing my music online and performing locally. Of course it really helps that I'm not trying to make a living from making music and have no expectation of ever being able to do that. It's not my career, it's my life.
I'm really glad to see other people taking to this idea. When I first started, the only other band I heard about doing it was Radiohead and they just did it for one album. I think it's a great way to go. Let people decide what things are worth to them. It also helps to educate them too, about what it takes to make art and try to live a creative life while somehow making a living.
The alternative...plunging into an adversarial relationship with your potential audience, tracking down every nickel, endlessly pissed off about who might be enjoying your work without paying for it...just doesn't appeal to me at all. Again, perhaps because music, and especially selling recorded music, is not my main livelihood, it's easier for me to feel this way. I can understand why a lot of artists are really into this anti-piracy stuff...I just have to go the way that feels right to me and so far, this is it. The other way seems doomed and like pushing the river. I'd rather go with the "music is free" thing than fight it. Plus, there is nothing quite like receiving a digital tip from someone online for something they could just as easily have taken for nothing. It feels like a real trade rather than a sale and I like it.
(This movement, incidentally, is actually a retro-movement because for the vast majority of the time that humans have been on Earth, music has been free. People created it, offered it to their communities and took back whatever came back. In other words they played for tips. It was considered some kind of divine inspiration and then more or less community property. Claiming and owning music is relatively new thing.)
I would say this is where many artists are headed...not sure at all how much of "the industry" is on board. I couldn’t care less actually. I don't much care for the industry as it now stands. And they sure as hell don't care for me. In the back of my mind whenever I contemplate an "end of civilization" scenario, whether it be a daydream about climate change or peak oil or some mega-natural disaster, I always have this "silver lining" feeling that, Oh well, at least this legalistic commodification of art and everything else will go down too.