For some reason, I'm filled with a fetishistic glee at the ongoing demise of the record industry. Maybe it's just the nerd in me thrilling to the birth of a new distribution medium, or maybe it's that growing up, Dad used to break Velvet Revolver records on our backs when we were bad.
Whatever the case, I was pleased to see that even the most routine happening in the music world—like the start of the SXSW music festival
in Austin—is as a matter of course paired with a discussion of record executives jumping out of office windows to their deaths and RIAA lawyers furiously and laughably suing people they choose at random off the street.
The next interesting thing to see will be where bands are making money once physical media is purchased only by anachronistic hold-outs who get off on self-indulgent liner notes (ie, Gladstone).
The consensus in rock journalism
seems to be that we're going to return to the era of the wandering minstrel, when musicians earned their keep only through live performance and the occasional ballad about dragon slaying.
Which is romantic, but would probably lead to the premature dissolution of a lot of great, broke future bands. The more likely reality is that musicians will be getting a larger share of their own profits, and more directly, but they'll have to be a little more clever about finding ways to generate it: