Paying the Price for Independence & Tunes o’ the Week!

As it may be apparent, I am a huge fan of music, and I purchase music all the time.  Whether it be on iTunes, Amazon.ca, eBay.ca, HMV, wherever, I like to actually own music.  If you’ve been purchasing music in the Top 40 spectrum, I will make the assumption that you can purchase a vast majority of those albums (in hardcopy — ie. CD, vinyl) for $10-13.  And these prices aren’t insane, right?

But…

If you want to go out for your local retailer and purchase, say, Tegan and Sara‘s masterpiece, The Con, you will be paying upwards of $19.  I’m looking forward to purchasing the new Fleet Foxes album, however, I’m quite concerned that this process will end up with me shelling out a 20-dollar bill and getting a few quarters back.  Not that it won’t be “worth” it, but that’s a lot of money for a CD, regardless…

I realize that these “indie” artists are referred to as “indie” because they are on independent labels who do not have the capital and mass production power of the big record labels.  Totally understand.  But these high prices for these great albums are causing a lot of people to resort to illegally downloading the albums, giving zero money back into the pockets of the artists who are creating these gems.

This is where my finger points in a few directions, not just at the consumer who can’t afford to spend $20 on a new, fantastic album every week.

What’s the solution?

Is there a plausible one?  As independent-record-label-music-lovers, are we destined to continually fork over mounds of cash to support the (relatively) unknown artist, while Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are selling albums at $10 a pop?  I know all about the theories of supply and demand, and the argument that for every one independent album sale, Bieber and Gaga will sell about 10,000 each.  But there has to be some sort of middle ground.  Some kind of compromise.  I don’t want to continually buy second-hand Attack In Black or The Shins albums due to the affordable “used CD” pricing, and see none of that money get to the artist who created it.

Anyway, that’s my rant for the week.  I know iTunes has curbed a bit of this issue with their $9.99 price for many and most albums, but that being said, you still don’t get the hard copy of the album with the liner notes and whatnot.

Any independent artists out there who could share an opinion? Or anybody!

But onto a sunnier, more hope-filled place with less bitching and more great music:

Tunes o’ the Week! *cue the angelic voices chanting “Aaaaaaaah”*

Fresh Track:

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness BluesWhen I hear this brand new tune from the Fleet, I picture a grassy, rolling hill with a few small white clouds texturing a bright, blue sky and a single tree in full foliage at the top of the hill with a meadow lark chirping in its branches.  That, or some hippie dudes busking with acoustic guitars in downtown Seattle, where the nearest meadow is hundreds of miles away.  Both images kind of work.

Oldie But Goodie:

Big Wreck – By The WayA subtly heart-wrenching song.  It’s not obvious, but if you listen, you may notice. It’s also not super “old”, per se, but I will consider something from 14 years ago getting up there in “musical age”.  One of my faves!

Absolutely Indie:

Treelines (Matt Lockhart) – When I Get GrownThis is a little bit of a slower tune, but with a simple acoustic guitar, hint of piano and some harmonica, it’s very lovely.  Not to mention some wonderful lyrics. Have a listen!

Leading Ladies:

Hannah Georgas – This Is GoodI may be a little startstruck still, having been fortunate enough to meet Ms. Georgas this past weekend, but hey: she’s awesome, she’s up for a Juno and a she’s a fab-tastic songwriter!

Brutally Honest Track:

Radiohead – Giving Up the GhostI just don’t know what to think.  Somebody help me out.  Sort of wondering what happened to the Radiohead of old, like from 10 years ago.  Also wondering if anybody BUT Radiohead put out this new album, would anyone even give it the time of day… but what do YOU think!?!

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~ by whet_hopped on February 21, 2011.

One Response to “Paying the Price for Independence & Tunes o’ the Week!”

  1. There is something about actually owning the music that is fulfilling and honest. My download days are well behind me.

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