Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hail to the thief

here's a really interesting piece by a member of too much joy (i've heard the name, but have no idea who they are) about being an EX major label band trying to collect digital revenue earned since leaving the label. the author not only was in the band, but now works for an online distribution company.
So I was naively excited when I opened the envelope. And my answer was right there on the first page. In five years, our three albums earned us a grand total of…


What the fuck?

I mean, we all know that major labels are supposed to be venal masters of hiding money from artists, but they’re also supposed to be good at it, right? This figure wasn’t insulting because it was so small, it was insulting because it was so stupid.

view as an updated companion piece to albini's legendary article about the bullshit major label system of finances and its outright disdain toward the artist. you couldn't make this shit up if you tried.

gibby hayne's quote put water through my nose.

nod to jimmy eight cats for the tip.

1 comment:

Kiko Jones said...

Too Much Joy were a decent pop/rock band circa late '80s/early '90s from upstate NY that never got very far, in terms of popularity. (Check out their Cereal Killers album; not bad.) Their biggest claim to fame might be getting arrested for performing a few songs from 2 Live Crew's As Nasty as They Wanna Be album in 1990 at a Miami club where said record was banned.

Tim Quirk--TMJ's lead singer--might lose his job over this. I mean, if he in fact used his position at Rhapsody to get an inside track on certain info--which he sort of admits to--they could can him for that. I hope not, for his sake. But regardless, he shouldn't have publicly admitted to insider info and perhaps gone the Moses Avalon route.

Btw, I remember reading an interview with big-time entertainment attorney Don Engel--who represented both authors and musicians--where he stated that he rarely, if ever, found a discrepancy when auditing a book publisher, but when doing so with the major record labels, there was ALWAYS a discrepancy. Every. Single. Time.

As we enter the second decade of the 21 century it seems clearer that the role of the major labels, in the last days of the previous century, was to give artists access --thru the companies' big checkbooks and media dominance--to an audience they could later tap into on their own without a corporate middleman. And those that didn't have that opportunity...sorry, Charlie.