A Modern Age Retort

The Modern Age can be counted on for many hours of entertainment, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. I’ve gone on about the site in the past, giving it many props and I even talk to Laura online pretty often. She really should be writing for jeansandatshirt.com. She’s one of the biggest music snobs I know, though some of her rants border on a five year-old throwing a temper tantrum. She has this thing against Moby, who I happen to think is pretty swell and smart. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so here’s mine:

Laura, chill! The fact that Moby gets your Urban Outfitters panties in a wad is kind of a compliment to him. He tries to stir things up a bit, make people think and apparently he’s done quite a number on you. The fact that it’s starting to “consume [your] life,” is a little sad.

Yeah, I’ve been reading about this “Pearl Jam effect” that he came up with for quite a while too. I actually think he’s on to something when he talks about how the people that bootleg (a.k.a steal, download, rip, post, trade, etc.) Weezer and Pearl Jam outnumber the people that bootleg an artist like Pink. Maybe not by much, but I think he’s correct. Sure, you can use Manhattan as an example to prove your point about the number of Mizunderstood bootlegs showing up on the street versus the number of Maladroit bootlegs, but remember most places don’t have a guy on every corner selling them. It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to download it online, and need I remind you that Weezer offered their album, in its entirety, before it hit stores, on their own web site? Pink did no such thing. Never mind the fact that Pink sells more records than Weezer.

Weezer (or any other Internet savvy band) post a lot of stuff to their fans via their web site. Rivers even talks to a lot of his fans online. Weezer fans are extremely “techno-savvy,” and I would say quite a bit more so than Pink fans. If for no other reason, Weezer fans gets something extra from the band’s web site.

Celine Dion records sell, not because people are idiots (though I’ll go so far as to say that if I heard someone listening to her I might smack them), but because the people that buy her records don’t have the amount of spare time that Weezer fans do. You’re talking about two different audiences, not to mention age groups, and let’s face it, to download a full album by anyone is a pain in the ass, unless they post it on their site.

I think that if Pink (or another “fluff” artist, as you call it) were to do what Weezer, Pearl Jam or even U2 did, as far as using the Internet to communicate with her fans and give them a little something extra, Moby might have a bad argument. You can only speak for you, and I understand that’s what you’re doing, but I gotta call you on it.

It’s not about saving Moby’s good name. He doesn’t need me for that. It’s about making people think a little more logically before they shoot their mouths off. Moby said in his post, “My concern is the way that the industry looks at the success of a musician or of a record that sells or doesn’t sell. Popular artists traditionally sold a lot of records. In the future that might not be the case. In fact, even now that might not be the case.” I’d say that’s a pretty intelligent thought. There is something seriously wrong with how the industry judges the success of an artist. I don’t think I need to explain that one any further.

I’m not going to even bother commenting on your stereotyping of Weezer fans, except to say that it made me laugh quite a bit. Moby’s album is selling quite well and the fact that he uses his site to communicate with fans is awesome. There are not that many artists doing that. The fact that he uses his celebrity as a pulpit to make people think is commendable, at the very least. By saying that, I’m not trying to take anything away from you or your site at all. Like I said, I enjoy it and I visit every day.

Now, give me my Ritalin back.

3 thoughts on “A Modern Age Retort”

  1. I’m going to argue here that Celine Dion communicates more often and more directly with her fans than Pearl Jam does. Pearl Jam don’t communicate, they have these vague one-word missives posted on their official sites. No one really knows who is doing the posting, who answers the questions, who decides what gets asked. It’s fucking ridiculous. Compare that with something like, say, foofighters.com, where you’re getting a straight deal. Hell, PRINCE communicates with his fans more directly than Pearl Jam.

    But Moby don’t know shit about Pearl Jam fans. They are the ones buying THREE COPIES of the record so they can have one everywhere.

    People aren’t buying the Moby record because it’s boring, maybe.

    And if you think the music business is in trouble from the perspective of intelligent people buying intelligent music, well, the book business is even worse.

  2. Well, you would know better than most, so I’ll take your word for it. The point wasn’t necessarily just about communicating with fans, but saturating their audience with stuff (i.e. all the bootlegs they released) makes things less special and precious when they release it. That’s just my two bits.

    Don’t bring books into this. There are plenty of really awesome books that get the praise they deserve, but like every form of entertainment (movies, television, music, etc), things slip under the radar. Artists (authors in this case) aren’t given the attention and aren’t given the chance to develop. Ugh, I’m already getting into it. I’m done.

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