The big news this week in the music world has been, of course, Neil Young removing his catalog from Spotify in protest of J** Rog*n getting paid ridiculous amounts of money to spread misinformation, lies, and terrible takes on their platform. Also underlying this is the whole Spotify paying fractions of fractions of cents to the musicians that are on their platform whether they like it or not.
There’s a few things at play here: tech companies dictating how and when and where you experience art (and at what price and what they pay artists), misinformation, a generation and a half raised on the ideal that wasn’t so ideal of “music like water” and so on. What it boils down to for me is folk need to buy music instead of streaming it but that’s not an option for everyone nor is it the preferred method for a lot of people.
*sigh* I saw several artists lamenting that THIS was the straw that broke people with regard to Spotify. It sucks. Streaming services should’ve been paying way more a long time ago. Then I saw people attacking artists for not pulling THEIR catalogs or suggesting that they should’ve never have had their music up there in the first place. People don’t grasp the concepts of “maybe they don’t own the rights to their own music” and “some musicians can’t afford NOT to be on a platform like Spotify.” It’s big and confusing and people just want to listen to music. But musicians need to get paid fairly. So buy your music. Hardcopy if possible.
Look, smarter people than I have laid out how to pay artists more, how to keep music flowing, how to break away from this current mess. All I can do is continue to buy my silly little cds from my local bands and toss some money at their bandcamps and merch links and encourage you to do the same.
Most of the big box stores where I got my cds as a kid either don’t exist anymore or got rid of their music section. You can find cds, records, tapes, and other physical objects online doing a search or by going to a local record shop and asking around. A good record store will make you feel welcome and will help you out. Also, look towards you local library! Many of them have cds and records for loan as well as the stuff to play them on. Yeah, it seems weird to have to explain this but then again I remember 8 Tracks so let’s not get into that.
Go to bandcamp this Friday. Get a cartfull of stuff. Support your locals.