If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now?

—Cormac McCarthy

I honestly don’t think people care about music the way they used to. That’s not a lament so much as a call to arms: we should be constantly looking for ways to engage and advance the art form. We should be dodging all the diatribes about where and when and how music should be purchased. But we appear to be content with ignoring the huge red flags of commerce and technology and fucking progress in favor of the same nothing we’ve always done, happy to sit mesmerized by our favorite new albums without having to acknowledge the blood debts that were incurred in producing them.

I was happy to do it, too, until I stopped being mesmerized by new music. The drugs don’t work. Even the good stuff sounds like garbage now, and the machine that makes the garbage is old and rusty and missing several key parts and full of gunk and swarms of bugs and who knows what else. And it can’t even produce decent garbage.

The big news this week is the music industry is doing something new and exciting by consolidating all the different release dates into one worldwide thing that will happen on Fridays instead of Tuesdays. Why? Who knows? Will it make any difference? The IFPI in their infinite wisdom didn’t provide much justification to the move beyond a bit of anti-piracy posturing. So we’re left in the dark as to why they want it— statements like “it’s what our consumers want” and it’s “about celebrating new music” don’t cut it for me.

Do you care? Do you know anyone who cares?

A lot of resources have gone into planning and executing this shift. It’s clearly a priority for the IFPI, which is why it bothers me. I fail to see how this benefits any fan (I won’t stoop to calling them “consumers”—what a disgusting term) at all, in the least. Am I frustrated sometimes when a record comes out earlier in the UK? Does it suck having to pay more for imports? Sure, but these are not the problems that I want the music industry to address. It’s not even in the top 10. I want them to get their books in order. I want them to pay artists what those artists are worth. I want them to negotiate fair contracts and behave ethically. They don’t do any of that right now, and they want to sell me on a new release day for music? Forget it.

This newest distraction falls perfectly in line with the music industry’s shameful habit of treating fans as enemies and criminals. I know you, dear readers, can’t contain your joy at having this magical new release day bullshit to have to adjust to, but do you know what else the music industry is doing for you at this very moment? They’re plotting to destroy streaming services. Permanently. It’s a love-hate relationship right now, since streaming is providing them with a huge influx of cash, but they don’t feel like it’s enough.

So in the past fifteen years we’ve gone from being yelled at for not paying for music (Napster), to being yelled at for only paying a little bit for music (iTunes), to now being yelled at for not paying for music in the right way. And this is probably the biggest reason why people don’t care about music the way they used to. I certainly don’t.

[Post image via Shutterstock]

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