All text copyright Stephen Coates 2006 - 2015


I occasionally get asked about illegal downloading. It's a complex area and I never quite know what to say so I'm always interested to hear other people's opinions. I do feel rather sympathetic to this piece by Jack of the White Stripes.

But it is a good time for the listener - and we're all listeners. And the same technology and changes that have made all the file sharing possible has made so many wonderful things happen too - especially being able to connect and interact with people all over the world. People can give so much back. For instance, we've played several times in the Russian Federation and whilst I don't believe I have ever had any royalties from there, it has been wonderful to see a crowded venue enthusiastically singing along to the words of a song - especially as I often have difficulty recalling them correctly myself..

And that brings me to Maria Delice from St Petersburg who sent us this:

Lovely stuff and much appreciated Maria.

Maybe I should get an autocue.


Daria said...

Occasionally I will download an album to hear what it sounds like. If I like it, i'll buy either the cd or lp.
The key word here is "disposable".
If I lost my hard-drive, i would be very upset, but mostly about the pictures that would have been deleted.
On the other hand, if my home went up in a fire and i destroyed my cd/lp collection, i would be inconsolable.
Too many memories associated with them.
I can honestly say that i am without one emotional attachment to an MP3.
And really, isn't that what music is for?

spillyjane said...

Mr. White is a very wise man.

As a collector and a completist, I prefer the actual physical object rather than downloads. They just feel too disposable -- one wrong click and that file is gone forever. I find myself not taking them as seriously as I would an actual record or CD.

And then there's the question of preservation, as in, what one is left with once that form of media is overtaken by a newer form. An old vinyl record is a physical object that leaves proof of its existence, readable or no. One can gather other types of information from that object as a pure artifact. An unreadable file, on the other hand, is just a wee grouping of words on a screen -- again, more transient, less informative, and in my opinion, much more useless once it is rendered "dead." Once it's gone, there's nothing left. Was it ever really there?

paulo said...

I'm quite good at the non-naughty downloads. I always used to just buy cds/vinyls, but over the past couple of years I've also subscribed to emusic, so I get cheap albums from there- mostly new stuff to try out, or stuff that I'm not expecting to love. Old favourites and albums I know I'll love I will still buy on cd.

But it's good that you get good audiences in Russia, cd buyings or none!

and congrats to Maria. Great little video. I think I will listen to I, Lucifer again now. I enjoyed the Union Chapel gig last month- twas good. I just hope the lil' uns didn't hear the bad words!

One final thing. Listen to the song Lately (Deuxième) by Memoryhouse here:
Tis the same guitar chords/tune as Blood Sugar Love. Makes me instantly warm to the song.

clerkenwell kid said...

Yes - it's not the money , its the disposability isn't it?

Apart from Daria's point that you could instantly lose it all so quickly, it would be a terrible shame if everything gets devalued.

The access to wonderful things is amazing now but is the pleasure of anticipation and prolonged, patient discovery being lost? I hope not

Things always change and that always feels a bit worrying but maybe it just takes a while to work it all out.

Sixties: Electric Guitar
Seventies: Keyboards
Eighties : Drum machines
Nineties: Samplers
Noughties: File sharing!

clerkenwell kid said...

Thanks Paul

I see what you mean!

Very nice though.

Memoryhouse is also the title of a wonderful album by Max Richter