Thursday, October 30, 2014

Some Food For Thought: Why I Stream Music

Earlier this week, I came across this article called The Music Industry Has 99 Problems and They Are... written by Paul Resnikoff. One of the issues the article addresses is the streaming of music nowadays. Just scroll down to #11 - Streaming Has Largely Failed Artists and Independent Labels. I definitely would agree with what the author wrote and the problems with streaming. I truly wish companies like Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, and Sound Cloud would be more generous with payouts to artists. If it really was possible for me, I would not stream music and just simply buy music directly from the artists themselves. I do try to do that as often as possible. There are some artists whose music I will just buy without blinking an eye because I am that loyal to them.  Sadly that isn't the case nowadays. As a serious music fan, I am going to defend why I stream music online. I felt like I need to since the criticism towards streaming is so one sided and you don't hear from music fans themselves why they stream music online but that will all change now.

A few nights ago, I decided to stream the new KMFDM album Our Time Will Come. Three songs into the album, I thought to myself "Funny, this sounds awfully familiar like KUNST, WTF?!, and Blitz". I had to quit listening after three songs because the music sounded so repetitive. Had I bought this album either at the Electric Fetus or online I would have sunk $15 of my hard earned money on music that put me to sleep and I would have been pissed off that my money went to an album I didn't like.

If there is one thing I do not like it is wasting money on an album that has about 1-3 good songs and the rest being filler. Our Time Will Come wasn't the only musical disappointment for me this year. I was anything but impressed with Sarah McLachlan's latest album Shine On which I also streamed online to see if it was worth picking up at the record store. Unfortunately the music wasn't worth it. I do not doubt that the reason why the current state of the music industry is pretty much craptacular is because the industry itself shot itself in the foot by being greedy. The industry today is not interested in helping artists to sustain a long, healthy, sustainable career in music. They want hits ASAP which translates to $$$. I think another part of the problem is with the artists themselves. I think some have gotten really lazy or have lost that creative spark from their early days (for me in this case KMFDM).

In the last couple of years I have started noticing just how repetitive the dark electro scene has become and for me has gotten stuck in this complacency of synthesized music which the beats sounds way too much alike. In order for me to find new and interesting music and not end up wasting my money on music I might not like has put me in the corner and turn to streaming music online whether via Bandcamp or Youtube. The only two  bands in the past year who has put out some kick ass music that does NOT sound like Rotersand or Icon of Coil is Youth Code and 3 Teeth. I'm particularly a big fan of Youth Code. I really think this is the band that could bring back industrial music to its original roots. Or at least I hope they do. If they don't succeed, they sure have given the scene a swift kick int the ass which is sorely needed. The repetitiousness in the music is getting too much for me to bear to a point where I am really picky about where my money is spent on hence listening to music on sites like Spotify.

On the more positive note, I have bought  a shit load of music this past year, so far almost $1000 worth of music. I have downloaded music from sites like CD Baby and Bandcamp as well as Amazon, Metropolis records, Alfa Matrix Records, and bought directly from my local record stores. That is more than a lot of people so to put a lot of blame on music listeners for the current state of the music scene is a bit unfair. Not everyone is lazy and just wants music at their convenience.

I don't speak for all music fans. I only speak for myself as a music fanatic, and get my view point on the issue of streaming across. Yes it is unfair of the way artists are ripped off by companies like Pandora and Spotify but it is also unfair to listeners who gets ripped off with less than stellar music when they buy music from his or her favorite artists. 

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