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Image for I paid $750 for an album

I paid $750 for an album

Originally published in September, 2012

Artists connecting with fans in a tangible and meaningful way is the real solution to piracy, writes DAVID SWAN.

If anyone asks what my favourite moment of life has been, without blinking, I’d point to a 2010 gig in Portsmouth, UK. It was Circa Survive, and my friend and I travelled to an oppressively grey sea town we’d never heard of a few hours out of London just to hear them play songs. But what we got was a band playing with fierce, demented energy, and smashing it out of the park. Towards the end of the set, frontman Anthony Green leaned heavily on my shoulders as he preached to the audience, then looked at me and asked if I was OK. I nodded, and he ruffled my hair and resumed jumping around the stage in a spastic frenzy. After the gig we met in the merch area and talked about music and life for 10 minutes, and I left with a grin that greets my face whenever I think about that night.

Money can’t buy experiences like that. Money can, however, make sure experiences like that can be replicated by music fans the world over.

When you support stuff you love, more stuff you love gets made. It’s a simple concept but one that gets forgotten when talk of torrents, Spotify and record labels failing dominates the industry discourse. When the band decided to leave Atlantic Records and self-release new album Violent Waves this year, they put it up as a $5 download, but I didn’t hesitate paying $750 for the highest tier package. Limited to 11, the package included a handwritten lyric sheet, a video call with the band, pencil sketches and artwork, a vinyl copy of the record and vinyl jacket hand-painted by the band.

$750 is a lot of money, sure. But how much is an emotional connection worth? What price do you put on hours of singing along in the car or the raw catharsis of crowd-surfing at a gig? With 100 percent of the funds going to the band through their choice to self-release, compare that to one third of one cent, which is what a band makes when a song is played on Spotify.

I’d illegally downloaded each of the band’s previous albums, and thousands of others since the days of Napster and Kazaa. This was penance, I’d taken hours of enjoyment for granted and hadn’t felt guilty. If everyone had that same mindset, who knows how music would survive at all. Everyone talks about how the music industry is “dying” and there’s no money it in anymore, but the good news is that artists are just being forced to become more creative with how they earn a living.

American indie outfit Murder By Death used Kickstarter to fund their new album Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, and offered up a $6500 ‘Kentucky Bourbon Trail Blowout’ package, in which two people could tour whisky distilleries with the band in a limo, followed by a restaurant dinner (flights included). No one bought it, but the band raised $187,000, including one person paying $750 for the privilege of dictating what tattoo the band’s drummer, Dagan, would be next subjected to. The $250 option was a one year’s subscription to the “MDB book club”. Once a month the fan receives some recommended reading from the band, with each book containing an inscription from a member of the band describing why they love the book.

Serial Nine Inch Nails/Devo collaborator Josh Freese was probably taking the piss when he offered a $75,000 package for his solo album where a fan could take shrooms in Danny from Tool’s Lamborghini and have Josh join their band for a month, but the $20,000 package included a minigolf session with Maynard James Keenan and Mark Mothersbaugh, and someone actually bought that. The $10,000 package included Josh’s old Volvo, and that went too.

“When you support stuff you love, more stuff you love gets made.”

Fans of American angst-rock outfit Say Anything can pay $150 for lead singer Max Bemis to write and record an acoustic song about anything of their choice, and I took up that offer several years ago as a birthday present to one of my close friends, who then had a three-minute chronicle of our friendship in audio form. Is Bemis “selling out” by singing songs about stuff he doesn’t actually give a shit about in order to make some extra money? Maybe, but if the fans are happy and Bemis gets to then keep making genuine art, there are no losers.

In a recent piece for FL, editor-in-chief Darren Levin wrote, “Your collection of digital music isn’t worth the $100 Dick Smith hard drive it’s imprinted on” – and that’s spot on. More permanent though are handpainted vinyl jackets you’ve spent hours working to afford, or the memories formed through meeting a band or receiving a personalised book every month.

Acts have finally worked out a way to make money from music again, and it’s in the best possible way – through cutting out the middleman, taking some creative freedom back and at the same time rewarding their fanbase through more direct and outlandish offerings that were previously impossible, or just not thought of.

Bands and artists connecting with fans in a tangible and meaningful way is the real solution to piracy. “You get what you pay for”, Green sings on track two ‘Sharp Practice’, and that’s never been more true than it is now.

Comments

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46174
01seb

01seb said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Great article, summed up my feeling exactly.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Circa Survive: You know, if we get through to just that one little davidswan, it'll all be worth it!

Record company: Yes. Particularly if that little davidswan happens to pay $46,000 for that record.

Circa Survive: What?

Record company: Oh, nothing.

humanracin

humanracin said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Have people here heard of Pledge Music?
It's a pretty cool site where the artists sell directly to the public with no middle man.
I find myself pledging more often lately and more well known acts seem to be catching on to this site.
You can get cheap downloads or cds or more expensive pledges for rare times.
http://www.pledgemusic.com/

Richard Slimmins

Richard Slimmins said on the 27th Sep, 2012

reeeally well-written article. but...

are these packages really a good development? these super deluxe packages are just as bizarre as vip festival passes...they're exclusive and take the focus away from the music and place it on second hand volvo's, hand-painted ukuleles and limo rides. i don't see how that's something worth celebrating. the solution to piracy is great bands creating music so important that people feel the need to purchase it. we shouldn't be celebrating shrewd marketing, we should be celebrating high art that reaches beyond the urge to steal.

people keep getting distracted by how shit it is that piracy exists without wondering why piracy exists. because the passion just isn't there for a lot of people anymore. this article suggests that the passion for an artist means spending $750 on an lp/cd/tote bag combo. it pretty much says 'i was passionate about this artist for a very long time, but i couldn't afford the cds, so i pirated them, now i have a good job and a savings account and a tax refund, so i spent $750 on it and thus my hands are clean.' some people won't ever have that disposable income, these options are for very few people. everyone else will continue to pirate/stream and that shouldn't be demonised, that's the reality of how we engage with music now.

good article by a really good writer though, and this isn't meant as a personal attack. i just think that the sentiment isn't right, and i'm really surprised so many people celebrate clever marketing over clever tunes!

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Best username/avatar in ages.

Aidan1234567

Aidan1234567 said on the 27th Sep, 2012

such an awesome article man, i feel exactly like this, i rarely listen to my vinyl but i still buy it, bought about $200 worth yesterday purely because i wanted to have those albums, have them for years to come and actually have a piece of them

"you can't ask someone to sign your mp3 file"

davidswan

davidswan said on the 27th Sep, 2012

reeeally well-written article. but...

are these packages really a good development? these super deluxe packages are just as bizarre as vip festival passes...they're exclusive and take the focus away from the music and place it on second hand volvo's, hand-painted ukuleles and limo rides. i don't see how that's something worth celebrating. the solution to piracy is great bands creating music so important that people feel the need to purchase it. we shouldn't be celebrating shrewd marketing, we should be celebrating high art that reaches beyond the urge to steal.

people keep getting distracted by how shit it is that piracy exists without wondering why piracy exists. because the passion just isn't there for a lot of people anymore. this article suggests that the passion for an artist means spending $750 on an lp/cd/tote bag combo. it pretty much says 'i was passionate about this artist for a very long time, but i couldn't afford the cds, so i pirated them, now i have a good job and a savings account and a tax refund, so i spent $750 on it and thus my hands are clean.' some people won't ever have that disposable income, these options are for very few people. everyone else will continue to pirate/stream and that shouldn't be demonised, that's the reality of how we engage with music now.

good article by a really good writer though, and this isn't meant as a personal attack. i just think that the sentiment isn't right, and i'm really surprised so many people celebrate clever marketing over clever tunes!

Really appreciate the feedback and the time you've taken to engage with the article. And the avatar/username, of course. I'm not super rich, by any means, so it wasn't a matter of just having heaps of extra disposable income. It was more a change of mindset for me, to go from thinking 'this music is here for free online, I'd be an idiot not to take advantage of that', to 'hey these dudes need my money if I want to keep enjoying myself and enjoying their art.' And it's a change of mindset for bands as well to say 'let's give fans something they can actually remember us by/give them cool experiences', rather than just putting out a CD every two years. It's a legitimate value add.

In terms of your point that the solution is 'great bands creating important music', that's right, and that's really why I paid $750 for the album. In terms of literal value did I get $750 worth, from a wooden box, LP, hand drawings, video call etc? Probably not. Did I get $750 worth from singing along, rocking out in my car, dancing around like an idiot? Absolutely.

I'm not demonising pirates/streamers, I'm just saying from my perspective music is the thing I enjoy most, so therefore I'm going to direct my funds appropriately. To me there's nothing more hypocritical than saying "I'm a massive music fan", then torrenting whatever album Triple J just played because you think you might potentially like it. That used to be me. I think the reality of how we engage with music now ideally shouldn't be passively streaming/pirating... it should be through having a more personal relationship with a band, and that includes bands offering up more creative ways of enjoying the music, and fans taking them up on that.

Richard Slimmins

Richard Slimmins said on the 27th Sep, 2012

yeah, sorry about that - i didn't mean to say anything about your wealth, etc (even though i actually did, that's really rude!)...that was more a comment on the idea of paying exorbiant amounts of cash for a product when you don't have to, rather than a personal assessment of your income bracket.

for me, i've been a long-time music pirate, guilt-free. it's available, we live in a free market, if i have the option to pay or not, i'll go for convenience. i think that's how almost everyone thinks these days, and it's not a bad thing to do, it's common sense. streaming has now legitimised it. we can accept the fact that bands aren't gonna make a whole lotta cash from the bulk music listener now. you're right that these options are smart from the band's point of view. if someone is willing to pay money for something (even as ridiculous as i find paying anything more than $30 for a new record is) then it's just smart business. (should note that i buy about 30 new records a year on vinyl, and they're local, and they're by the most exciting artists in this country...people i think are worthy of my money!)

what i don't agree with, is that deluxe options are a good thing for most music listeners. it's just another thing most can't afford. for most people, effectively nothing has changed. good for the artist, bad for the fan. i think if a fan wants to engage with music by going to shows, pinching music, and having that $750 worth of value rocking out in the car for zero dollars, that that's completely fine. it's like saying someone shouldn't have fun whilst fucking unless they shelled out for high fibre count sheets and ceiling mirrors.

a personal relationship with a band doesn't mean fingering the vinyl. a personal relationship can be from something as simple as being moved by a lyric. money should never come into account when we're talking about appreciating and loving music or art, the music comes first and the music should be for everyone.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Oh man, your first comment was okay, but this one you went way off.



We don't live in a free market, when it comes to music. If artists/labels were putting their music out for free, and then asking people to pay for it, then yes. But what actually happens is, the artists/label decides they want X for it, and the first few people who do pay for it, or acquire it by non-paying methods (ie review/advance copies) then decide they're happy to forego the wishes of the artist/label, and from there, everyone decides they want it for free.



Yes, streaming has now legitimised it, in that artists/labels are being paid (admittedly not a premium) and they are CHOOSING to put their music into these services.



So the albums you download and then decide not to buy, you delete them right away, after one or two listens, right? After all, they're not exciting, and not worthy of your money, so you don't keep their music, right?



How is it bad for the fan to have deluxe level items at higher price points? If they were the ONLY purchase options available, sure, but as long as the album, on its own, with no fancy bells and whistles, is available, who cares if there are other options out of your price range? You buy the level of interaction you can afford.



Once again, does that mean every time you download an album, you 100% guarantee you have gone/will go to their show? If not, a band has provided you with $750 of rocking out, and you've given them nothing in return.



100% unadulterated bullshit. If you don't pay musicians anything, they're not going to make music, or certainly not in any way that you can engage with. Someone provides a valuable experience to you, either live, or in the car, or wherever, they should be compensated for the effort they went to, and their use of creative expression and imagination.

batdan

batdan said on the 27th Sep, 2012

Davey Swan is coming up with the goods. I would pay $666 for a Slayer CD made from Satan's sweat.

Richard Slimmins

Richard Slimmins said on the 27th Sep, 2012

[fuck, just wrote a reply, navigated off page and lost it alll...]

i agree with pretty much all your points actually, you're right...except that i guess i don't really mind, and this shouldn't be a music piracy discussion, that's me taking it away from david's piece! on the last point, i'll settle for 84% bullshit. do you really think that if musicians don't get paid, they'll stop making music?

my point, i think...these are rambles (obviously)...is what good is a $10,000 volvo and lp package to 98% of music fans? i suppose it's good that one wealthy contributor can fund an artist enough to keep making music, but to be honest, i couldn't care about radiohead or amanda palmer, etc's fortunes who have fan bases big enough to create these kinds of packages. it still doesn't help new bands who sheepishly put out a record and hope someone will go to their show and/or pay $20 for it...

..thus these packages aren't the saviour at all. they're still only looking after bands that are already established. i don't think they're a great thing at all...it'd be lovely if bands got paid, but that's just an unrealistic ideal in 2012. bigger acts can offer these deluxe things. the options for other bands are only to be good enough to attract payment. that's who i put my money towards. if you have something of value, people will pay for it.

andy_chalmers_102

andy_chalmers_102 said on the 27th Sep, 2012



A lot of them probably would, yes.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 27th Sep, 2012

I really am nitpicking but I don't really consider that paying $750 for an album.
I paid $200 for a mint condition of The Replacements Let It Be. Though, I really would have paid an extra $550 if I got a nice little chat roulette session with Paul Westerberg.

Richard Slimmins

Richard Slimmins said on the 27th Sep, 2012

maybe the careerists. there'd be plenty of good, passionate (realise that much of the time, that equates to 'shit') bands who will carry on

Piko

Piko said on the 27th Sep, 2012

If i download or spotify a new album and I like it, then am more likely to go buy it on vinyl and pay to see them live (which is good money in Australia at the moment to be quite honest). If I don't like it but maybe like one song? No I don't delete it. But hey, they weren't good enough to motivate me to buy anything after i downloaded and listened. At least they got the opportunity for me to listen to their album and be a possible paying customer. I don't see it as far removed from hearing a song on the radio and not liking it and not becoming a paying customer.

I am giving them an opportunity to inspire me and earn from it, better than not at all.

And yer, on a side note. more musos live off minimal income now than those that make enough to live comfortably. And I am sure most of them would be happy if a mate told me to listen to them and i downloaded their music and loved it and became a paying fan.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 27th Sep, 2012



There's a distinction there, and it's one worth making - one of those is illegal (depending on who you talk to), against the wishes of the band and record label, and provides them with nothing in return. The other one isnt.

At least they got the opportunity for me to listen to their album and be a possible paying customer.

I am giving them an opportunity to inspire me and earn from it, better than not at all.

How gracious of you, oh magnanimous one.



Once again, important distinction - bands/labels give their music to the radio stations to play.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 27th Sep, 2012

I know a lot of artists that think that Spotify is the devil's new form.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 27th Sep, 2012



i'm sure there were many who thought that the advent of the CD was the devil's new form. then equally as many probably thought the same about mp3s. both have been around for a while now and the music industry still stands strong in both the quality of the output and the money the industry generates.

i was a massive hater of Spotify and its equivalents but really it's no different to every other apparent threat to the music industry.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 27th Sep, 2012

I love Kanye West but I also love keeping my money.

To solve this conundrum I used a legally questionable internet site to download his new mixtape for free.

I was then able to spend some of the money I saved on a can of Pepsi and spend my afternoon listening to new Kanye West while practicing going down on Lana Del Rey all for $1.40.


I'm so very alone.

davidswan

davidswan said on the 27th Sep, 2012

i'm sure there were many who thought that the advent of the CD was the devil's new form. then equally as many probably thought the same about mp3s. both have been around for a while now and the music industry still stands strong in both the quality of the output and the money the industry generates.

i was a massive hater of Spotify and its equivalents but really it's no different to every other apparent threat to the music industry.

The music industry may still be strong but music shops are definitely a dying breed, every Sanity/HMV I ever used to visit (or work at) seems to be long gone, JB seems a bit immune coz of its diversity. Would be interested to see how the specialty vinyl record stores (Polyester, etc) are doing now compared with before.

I love Spotify in terms of what it offers consumers but if bands are getting paid one third of a cent per track played, and if that listener chooses to exclusively listen to music via Spotify rather than buying the record(s), I don't see that as a positive outcome for bands/music.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 27th Sep, 2012

i'm sure there were many who thought that the advent of the CD was the devil's new form. then equally as many probably thought the same about mp3s. both have been around for a while now and the music industry still stands strong in both the quality of the output and the money the industry generates.

i was a massive hater of Spotify and its equivalents but really it's no different to every other apparent threat to the music industry.

Yeah I don't think you get it. The artists make money from cd sales. When you realize how little they actually make off spotify compared to the amount of revenue spotify makes, it's not so rosy.

Good read. http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/spotify-is-not-good-for-you-complete-post/

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 27th Sep, 2012

The music industry may still be strong but music shops are definitely a dying breed, every Sanity/HMV I ever used to visit (or work at) seems to be long gone, JB seems a bit immune coz of its diversity. Would be interested to see how the specialty vinyl record stores (Polyester, etc) are doing now compared with before.


the premise on which Sanity/HMV have operated on for so many years. that is, we'll give you good customer service if you pay double what you would anywhere else. is very outdated and will inevitably result in their demise. as much as i love and respect small independent vinyl store i don't think their disappearance will result in anything but a sentimental loss. but as vinyl becomes more and more popular i think they'll stick around for a while longer.


I love Spotify in terms of what it offers consumers but if bands are getting paid one third of a cent per track played, and if that listener chooses to exclusively listen to music via Spotify rather than buying the record(s), I don't see that as a positive outcome for bands/music.

as music streaming becomes more prevalent the market will naturally become more competitive. record labels will be more inclined to give the rights to their music to websites who will give them more money per play. it'll work out just fine in the long term. in the same way other technologies have.

it's a cruel world out there. artists and bands need to stop acting like they have some special right to decide how much money they make.

shazie

shazie said on the 27th Sep, 2012

If i download or spotify a new album and I like it, then am more likely to go buy it on vinyl and pay to see them live (which is good money in Australia at the moment to be quite honest). If I don't like it but maybe like one song? No I don't delete it. But hey, they weren't good enough to motivate me to buy anything after i downloaded and listened. At least they got the opportunity for me to listen to their album and be a possible paying customer. I don't see it as far removed from hearing a song on the radio and not liking it and not becoming a paying customer.

I am giving them an opportunity to inspire me and earn from it, better than not at all.

And yer, on a side note. more musos live off minimal income now than those that make enough to live comfortably. And I am sure most of them would be happy if a mate told me to listen to them and i downloaded their music and loved it and became a paying fan.

I think I have a similar attitude with this. While I don't see it as "dance for me monkeys and entertain me!" (and I'm sure you didn't either, I'm just using an exaggeration), downloading music has lead me to spend the majority of my money on concerts. I couldn't afford to go to as many concerts as I do if I bought every album I thought about listening to (i still buy albums though).

Does it mean that I'm free from guilt and am a good Samaritan? Nah, I still do feel guilty about downloading. On the other hand, I know that if I never downloaded Sleepmakeswaves "...and so we destroyed everything" just in passing, then the chances of me going to multiple concerts, telling other friends to go see them, and buying merch/music from such an amazing band would've been much lower. I can live with that trade-off.


It does raise the issue of bands who don't tour in Australia though, or aren't around anymore or don't actively tour.


Also, great article. Needs more shoutouts to Nothing Rhymes With David and the bonuses he has for his upcoming album though.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 27th Sep, 2012

I really am nitpicking but I don't really consider that paying $750 for an album.
I paid $200 for a mint condition of The Replacements Let It Be. Though, I really would have paid an extra $550 if I got a nice little chat roulette session with Paul Westerberg.

Would you have your cock out, as per custom?

The Great Monkey War

The Great Monkey War said on the 27th Sep, 2012


Once again, does that mean every time you download an album, you 100% guarantee you have gone/will go to their show? If not, a band has provided you with $750 of rocking out, and you've given them nothing in return.

I download a lot of albums. Sometimes I don't even listen to them. Some I listen to once and then delete. Others, I listen to lots of times and then see pay to see the artist live the next chance I get.



Yep I agree. I'm also a firm believer in the sentiment that you should support the stuff you like to encourage more stuff you like being created. Which is why I get frustrated every time I get dragged along to see bad or trite films at the cinema.

davidswan

davidswan said on the 27th Sep, 2012




Gayvid does.... trust me. Will check it out though ;)

batdan

batdan said on the 27th Sep, 2012

I want Davey Swan to review Nothing Rhymes with David and then MAB to say it should've been reviewed by that other guy.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 27th Sep, 2012

batdad bringin' the hardy-harz 2k12

I would genuinely love to know what you guys think of my album. It's out Wednesday :)

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 27th Sep, 2012



It would be rude if I didn't.



http://indiainfotech.net/wallpaper/cricket%20star/cricket6-big.jpg

mondo22

mondo22 said on the 28th Sep, 2012

If i download or spotify a new album and I like it, then am more likely to go buy it on vinyl and pay to see them live (which is good money in Australia at the moment to be quite honest). If I don't like it but maybe like one song? No I don't delete it. But hey, they weren't good enough to motivate me to buy anything after i downloaded and listened. At least they got the opportunity for me to listen to their album and be a possible paying customer. I don't see it as far removed from hearing a song on the radio and not liking it and not becoming a paying customer.

I am giving them an opportunity to inspire me and earn from it, better than not at all.

And yer, on a side note. more musos live off minimal income now than those that make enough to live comfortably. And I am sure most of them would be happy if a mate told me to listen to them and i downloaded their music and loved it and became a paying fan.

I mostly do the same. If I like something enough, I just go on amazon.com and add it to the shopping basket, wait til I get a wad of cash and then checkout eventually. Sure, local record stores might miss out on my business, but I don't feel I owe anything to them anyway, just the artist.

I can also concur with being happy for people to appreciate my music without getting much of an income. Only a very small percentage of musicians in the world can actually make a proper living out of their craft where they don't need any other income streams. I think part of the issue is that too many artists approach music with only career prospects in mind. It should be something that you love doing as a means to express yourself. My feeling is that if it so happens that people really love what you do and are happy to pay you for it, then that's a great bonus, but the core reason for being a musician should be for the love of playing music.

Evil_bob

Evil_bob said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

good article and i don't necessarily disagree with you but....are circa survive really you're favourite band? or so much that you could actually justify $750 for that package?

there's plenty of bands that i like that nobodys ever heard of and there's plenty i like that everybody's heard of but i'd be more inclined to buy this package of a more "famous" (only word i can think of, fames not really the issue) band just to have the longevity of its showiness. that might sound incredibly shallow and actually i'm kind of embarassed to be admitting it but its just the truth i'm afraid. its the reason i have all of nine inch nails and smashing pumpkins albums and singles and not third eye blind or supergrass.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

the word you're looking for is acclaimed.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 2nd Oct, 2012



No. He made the whole thing up.

nos235

nos235 said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

it's a wonder we aren't seeing more product placement in songs like we do in films

oh and btw, that's only $185 in the picture.



davidswan

davidswan said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

good article and i don't necessarily disagree with you but....are circa survive really you're favourite band? or so much that you could actually justify $750 for that package?

there's plenty of bands that i like that nobodys ever heard of and there's plenty i like that everybody's heard of but i'd be more inclined to buy this package of a more "famous" (only word i can think of, fames not really the issue) band just to have the longevity of its showiness. that might sound incredibly shallow and actually i'm kind of embarassed to be admitting it but its just the truth i'm afraid. its the reason i have all of nine inch nails and smashing pumpkins albums and singles and not third eye blind or supergrass.

..Did you read the article? Seeing them was/is my favourite moment of life. They've been my favourite band for four or five years. I didn't buy it coz they're 'famous' and I can potentially resell it later. If anything I think the connection would be diminished if I'm one of millions of fans. The package I bought was limited to just 11, so I'm one of 11 people in the world who are part of this special thing.

Bands that are not as big probably need support more than massive acts like Smashing Pumpkins/NIN anyway, who have a large core fanbase. Part of my reasoning as I said was financially supporting bands so they could keep doing what they're doing.

davidswan

davidswan said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

it's a wonder we aren't seeing more product placement in songs like we do in films

oh and btw, that's only $185 in the picture.

FL spent the remaining $565 paying the hand model

kaydee

kaydee said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

batdad bringin' the hardy-harz 2k12

I would genuinely love to know what you guys think of my album. It's out Wednesday :)

Wait. What? MAB has an album coming out? And I thought Laneway going on sale was the best thing that was going to happen tomorrow.

Great article by the way.

Evil_bob

Evil_bob said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

..did you read the article? seeing them was/is my favourite moment of life. they've been my favourite band for four or five years. i didn't buy it coz they're 'famous' and i can potentially resell it later. if anything i think the connection would be diminished if i'm one of millions of fans. the package i bought was limited to just 11, so i'm one of 11 people in the world who are part of this special thing.

bands that are not as big probably need support more than massive acts like smashing pumpkins/nin anyway, who have a large core fanbase. part of my reasoning as i said was financially supporting bands so they could keep doing what they're doing.


jesus, don't have a cow man.
i was just wondering.
i did say that i was embarrassed to be admitting it.
a little bit more embarrassed now.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

where did that saying come from? I mean cows are quite docile and loving creatures that provide things like milk, meat, and leather. having a cow sounds more beneficial than being cowless. is it because you simply don't like the person and are telling them they can't have a cow and all the cool stuff that comes with it? and what is with the continuous verb of 'having'? having a cow what? for lunch? over for brunch? tile the roof? all I'm saying is that I don't think it has been thought through properly.

/random gregg thought.

http://www.freewebs.com/the_k_man/111112.jpg

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

I assumed it was along the lines of "don't give birth to a cow", which I imagine would be a quite frenetic and panicky experience for a human, especially a male human.

Evil_bob

Evil_bob said on the 2nd Oct, 2012



thats how i took it to mean
in my head it came from bart simpson circa 1990

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

Don't have a cow comes from the John Hughes film Sixteen Candles.

oldgregg

oldgregg said on the 2nd Oct, 2012

a little less sixteen candles, a little more shut the hell up.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

reeeally well-written article. but...

are these packages really a good development?

See I grapple with this too.

As much as I want to support a artist, is it really just Shit I Don't Need?

I think this conundrum especially applies to emerging artists: I already know that Metallica or *insert mega-act here* doesn't need my money to record their next album/pay the week's rent/pay a recording studio.

But does fandom (any fandom) have to be about having more fucking stuff?

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I think it appeals to the fact that most humans are collectors and place plenty of value on owning something they consider to be important, rare or sentimental.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 3rd Oct, 2012



So when does it become stupid consumerism? I mean, I have about 40 band t-shirts. Which is kinda neat, but I can't wear them all at once. Just like *insert rich guy here* can't drive all his ferrari collection at once. I have more posters than I can put on my wall, so can i really justify dropping money on a poster for a band? Or a tote bag when I have 500 coles bags already sitting in the corner of the house.

I don't think my appreciation of insert band/author should have to be based on the acquisition of stuff. But that's the paradigm. And I'm not sure it's a good one, because it just turns us all into consumerist whores.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I guess most people will move on at some point and start collecting other things or they will become a serious/crazy collector and increase that collection by acquiring more and more.

Maybe next time, David will decide to spend his hard earned money creating an experience rather than something to keep. For his next Circa Survive concert he could get a hotel room and a bag of coke instead of a limited edition box set.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I don't think I've ever met a band fan who said, or implied, that they were a bigger fan because they had X piece of extra merch that someone else didn't have.

I bought the special edition of the new SFK album, which comes with a totebag I probably won't use, a sketchbook I'll probably look at once and then forget about, and a signed cd inset, which I'll also probably just forget about when the CD goes into storage. I did it because, as my favourite band, I wanted to buy the maximum level possible. (I stopped short of the vinyl, as our vinyl player isn't set up, but I ended up getting a preview copy on cd, so now I wish I'd gone the vinyl.) When the band tour in a couple of weeks, I'll certainly pick up a shirt if they have one in my size, or just buy it through the website.

Having said that, I'm in a pretty comfortable position with a decent level of disposable income. I would never begrudge anyone deciding they were just going to buy the album, from the cheapest place possible, as that was the level of purchase they felt they were able to afford. And I would never say their interaction or level of meaning assigned to their experience of the album was less than mine.

I would also never begrudge a band for making these higher level purchases available. The main thrust of the whole music-copyright-infringement-downloading thing seems to be that now that a band's music can be digitised and distributed for free, bands need to find other ways of making money - providing items and experiences that can't just be digitised and distributed. Well, this is exactly the sort of stuff people should be getting behind.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 3rd Oct, 2012



One is effectively the same as the other -- both still involve consumerism.

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I really think that the default outlet of fandom is collecting and buying merchandise. And I think this is problematic.

davidswan

davidswan said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I don't think I've ever met a band fan who said, or implied, that they were a bigger fan because they had X piece of extra merch that someone else didn't have.

I bought the special edition of the new SFK album, which comes with a totebag I probably won't use, a sketchbook I'll probably look at once and then forget about, and a signed cd inset, which I'll also probably just forget about when the CD goes into storage. I did it because, as my favourite band, I wanted to buy the maximum level possible. (I stopped short of the vinyl, as our vinyl player isn't set up, but I ended up getting a preview copy on cd, so now I wish I'd gone the vinyl.) When the band tour in a couple of weeks, I'll certainly pick up a shirt if they have one in my size, or just buy it through the website.

Having said that, I'm in a pretty comfortable position with a decent level of disposable income. I would never begrudge anyone deciding they were just going to buy the album, from the cheapest place possible, as that was the level of purchase they felt they were able to afford. And I would never say their interaction or level of meaning assigned to their experience of the album was less than mine.

I would also never begrudge a band for making these higher level purchases available. The main thrust of the whole music-copyright-infringement-downloading thing seems to be that now that a band's music can be digitised and distributed for free, bands need to find other ways of making money - providing items and experiences that can't just be digitised and distributed. Well, this is exactly the sort of stuff people should be getting behind.

This is exactly how I feel. I'm not going to get $750 worth of value out of the stuff I've bought, I mean most of the stuff the package came with is simply to read/look over, so people looking at my decision on face value could argue I've been 'ripped off'. But it's like donating in a way, it's showing appreciation for the enjoyment you get from the music. If I was broke though and couldn't afford the package I wouldn't look at myself as less of a fan.
And some of these new options that people are coming up with like paying a band to write a song for you, or being able to do a whisky tour with a band, that's the sorta stuff that'd stay with you forever while being a massive financial boost for the band at the same time. Can't see how anyone could argue against that.

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 3rd Oct, 2012

I have 3 x $500 gig canvas prints hanging on my walls. You Am I, Eddy Current and Dirty Three with Nick Cave. They're not official merchandise but fuck they really tie the room together.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012



hanging in my lounge room is my most expensive music item - the canvas that Paul Dempsey, Vampire Weekend and Yves Klien Blue did backstage at Splendour for FL.

It completely doesn't fit the room, but its the most money I spent on anything music-related (won it in a forum auction, I think I ended up paying around $420?), so it has to have pride of place :)

http://sphotos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/p206x206/6571_108065047395_3081157_n.jpg

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 5th Oct, 2012

I bought the one by Bridezilla and the Saints.

I can't remember what I paid although it was much cheaper than $420.

It has been on the wall for the last couple of years although currently has been replaced by a relief sculpture that my girlfriend made at art school.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012

I got caught in a last-minute bidding war for mine, ended up paying more than I had originally planned.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 5th Oct, 2012

Thankfully not many people wanted my artwork.

I thought it was close to the best of the bunch too. It just didn't have trendy names behind it like Vampire Weekend.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012

I couldn't afford to go one minute longer without Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa written on my wall in one form or another.

batdan

batdan said on the 5th Oct, 2012

I'm thinking about buying Link Meanie and just getting him to stand on a plinth in my lounge room.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012

You should be able to get that for like $350, tops.

Evil_bob

Evil_bob said on the 5th Oct, 2012


i bought the special edition of the new sfk album,

pardon my ignorance but who are sfk?

Evil_bob

Evil_bob said on the 5th Oct, 2012



ah i see.
not being a native of this country i'm still trying to acquaint myself with homegrown bands.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. :)

Something For Kate.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 5th Oct, 2012

Where's the love for Simon's Funky Kittens?

batdan

batdan said on the 5th Oct, 2012



Yeah but the running costs will be high. Endless supply of wine and Melbourne Bitter will add up quickly.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 5th Oct, 2012



I thought it was Slayer for Kids.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 5th Oct, 2012



That stays between Simon and the Kittens.