Regular activity on this blog will resume shortly, but first, I’d like to spark a bit of a debate. Recently, I’ve gotten a few emails and comments from musicians involved with the projects I’ve been posting, some of which are amazed to see such interest in their art, while others who are somewhat peeved (though only one has threatened legal action, back in this blog’s salad days) to see their records offered up for free. As a musician myself, I definitely understand this concern.
Here at Systems of Romance, I make a point to push and encourage the lot of you to buy the records I zip up, and oftentimes include links to pick up the records if they’ve been re-released. I seldom post material that is still in print and easy to get ahold of, if I can at all help it (naturally, many of the coldwave discs I posted a few months ago would cost us $50 or more, with the depreciation of the dollar to keep in mind). Otherwise, most of what I post hasn’t even made the jump to compact disc, or if it has, it’s long since off the shelves and impossible to track down without paying heinous prices on ebay.
In the end, if any artist is upset about seeing their work offered up here, I entreat you to drop me an email and say so, but also if your record is still in print to please tell us where we can get a copy. The way I understand it, an ebay auction does no justice to the original artist, so if it means paying $100 to get a particular record, there’s no money involved that goes back to the creators, it’s pure profit for the lucky sod who managed to get a copy before it became scarce. At least more folks can enjoy it here. However, if anyone feels strongly against seeing their work posted here, a simple email saying so will suffice, and I’ll happily take it down and point people in the proper direction to purchase a copy instead.
These days, it’s hard to draw the line between blatant theivery and free promotion, when CD sales are dwindling and most classic obscure material remains so. However, a whole new resurgence of interest takes form in blogs like these and soulseek/limewire/etc. Personally, I find it to be great exposure for otherwise low-key artists during their tenure. As I mentioned above, I would prefer if folks paid for the Funeral Crashers album, but if the price tag stops folks dead in their tracks, I’d rather give our record away for free than let it remain unheard. It just doesn’t make sense to me to have a record collect dust, in print or even virtually, when it’s meant to be enjoyed…
Anyway, I’d hope some of you, musicians and fans of this blog alike, would chime in and express your opinions on these matters, for I’d like to hear what you all think. Regular activity will probably resume next week, but I’d like to hear something from you kids out there in the crowd.
*ps: if you’re reading this on livejournal or on your feed program, please visit the home page and leave your comments there, as your words will most likely go unseen.