Unlikely as it may seem for one so hip, I'm listening to Johnny Cash, courtesy of we7 and it's perfect. Johnny Cash is so counter-intuitively cathartic when your life is falling around your ears; skint, ill, frustrated by idiocy and depressed by the dark evenings. Try him some time, you'll be pleasantly surprised - it's a bit like your first cigarette...
If you haven't tried we7, I can also recommend them - it's another one of those free ad-funded music services, with a great selection of artists and dare I say it, not being a natural idolator of the-latest-internet-fad, a service that is easily as good as Spotify (better actually).
Go underdog go...
The we7 venture is based in the UK, Milton Keynes to be precise, and they get my thumbs up after their CEO Steve Purdham was one of the few industry executives who had the balls to hit out at Mandelson-dark-lord-of-the-night and his governments new policy on illegal filesharing (it is HIS government - don't be fooled) - branding their plans for a “three strikes and your out” as “missing the heart of the issue.”
Purdham went on to say “Piracy is a reaction to an unsustainable situation, where reasonable, legitimate access to music has struggled to match demand. File-sharing sites have risen in the gulf between what consumers wanted and what has been available. Internet users don’t want to use p2p networks.”Hurrah for some uncommon sense, I have worked in and around technology all of my life and have witnessed the same hand wringing over the end of one 'industry' or another, wheeled out at every advance of technology. From Gutenberg's printing press, through to still photography, cine photography, wax cylinders, wire recorders, reel to reel tape recorders, compact cassette tape, video tape recorders, video cameras, recordable CD media, recordable DVD media - and on, and on - all considered a threat that heralded the demise of a 'traditional' information monopoly. That's what good technology does, replacing what went before with something better - and along the way liberates and empowers, enabling in this case access to previously inaccessible or expensive information - whilst engaging new consumers.
He also said that punters shouldn’t be expected to change their habits in order to find ways for artists to make money. “People want to support the music they care about,” he said. “But it is not for them to find a way to do that; the onus is on the government and the industry to monetise music instead of demonising and punishing the general public.”
The problem is not the new technology, but the incumbent industry and it's outdated technology; technology moves quickly and poses new challenges to lumbering unimaginative corporations whose raison d'être is the mass exploitation of the consumer, through control of supply. It is they who have to adapt, not the consumers or innovators, and in time they will - change is painful for all of us, but invariably worth it.
Since Ug managed to fashion some iron ore into a rudimentary blade and attach it to a piece of wood with his best friend's upper intestine to make the first chib the Captain caveman who owned the blunt stone sharpening business has been complaining about advances in technology - "What will become of my stone sharpeners, who will trade with me now?"
Without change what is there? Without advancement what is there?
Stagnation and more of the same?
What's the point in a world like that?
Time for another song, one of my all time favourites - Change (in the house of flies), courtesy of those nice people at we7 and the sublime Deftones.