David Byrne on the music industry

There are a fascinating pair of articles on Wired involving David Byrne. First, and most interesting to me, is David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars. Byrne does a good job of outlining 6 possible business models for musicians becoming apparent now that the Major-Label music industry is dead. Definitely a good read for people interested in music and how to earn income from it.

Secondly is David Byrne and Thom Yorke on the Real Value of Music, which is Byrne interviewing Yorke (of Radiohead), mostly about how they released their most recent album, where they offered it as a free download, giving people the opportunity to pay whatever they think it to be worth.

I find this passage from Byrne’s article interesting:

one of Radiohead’s managers, Bryce Edge, told me, “The industry reacted like the end was nigh. ‘They’ve devalued music, giving it away for nothing.’ Which wasn’t true: We asked people to value it, which is very different semantics to me.”

Different semantics indeed. This way of thinking (“they’ve devalued music”) is representative of the muddled thinking so often present in corporate/capitalist reality. Whitehead would have called it the “fallacy of misplaced concreteness,” which is “mistaking the abstract for the concrete.” In other words, it’s not music that is being devalued, it is an outmoded form of parasitic economic exploitation, known as The Major Label Music Industry, that is being devalued.

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