Monday, October 6, 2014

How would you like your remains disposed of?

So the other day I received a complaint. It was the first of it's kind but it was a valid complaint that I am taking very seriously. I have received many cds, tapes and vinyl over the years and although some of it will be buried with me, some of it I cannot hold onto. There is only so much space in my life and I am the opposite of a hoarder. A purger if you will. Now I am left with a few options: I can sell it to a record store, I could list it on Discogs, I could throw it away or I could give it away. Let me take just a second to get slightly off track here. DO NOT GIVE YOUR WORK AWAY. Serious. There are, of course, exceptions. Your very close friends who would value your work in a way that only a very close friend would. Yes, of course give stuff to them but you should always be getting something for your work.You need to attach value to your art and you need to receive that value. That doesn't mean money. It actually rarely does but you need to make sure that your work is being valued by the person who is consuming it. Are you going to get a show or be able to tour if you give something away? Are you going to get a review if you give something away? Are you trading? Buying goodwill? Whatever it is you need to be sure that the person on the other end understands or appreciates in some way what you have done. The reason I ask for physical copies is two fold. 1- I want to make sure you cared enough about the work to actually make an object that can be judged for all of it's artistic impact and 2-because it keeps down the amount of reviews I am asked to do of someone's bandcamp thing they did last night. Not that there might not be merit in something presented that way but a needle like that is in a mighty big haystack. People do not value artwork that is free to them. Unless you were raised in a possession-free society deep in the amazon you do not value the art given to you. You might like it, you might appreciate the gesture but the artwork itself needs to be part of a trade somehow. Maybe it's money (which really translates into your time), it may be art of your own or maybe some work of some sort. You need to give something of yourself to be able to receive the artwork and properly appreciate it. This is a little sticky with music as music is an invisible artwork that you consume through your ears. Music has no form and therefore cannot be owned. The packaging and format on the other hand are a separate art forms that can be transferred and, like other types of art, you can become the caretaker of. That's an important point, you can never really own a painting or a sculpture or a 12". They last forever, you do not and therefore you are just the current caretaker of it. Now that I have written this you are probably thinking, "Duh." I know but I think some people have this strange idea that their releases are both worthless and priceless at the same time. I would like them to think about them as art that has value as much as I do. Okay... Done ranting. So here's the poop. If you have sent me something to review, know that you have given it to me. If you want me to do something special with it I will respect your wishes. Those things are keep it,  give it to a stranger, throw it away, sell it for a million dollars on discogs or see if a friend wants it. I will be happy to comply with any of these wishes. That goes for past reviews. You can search my discogs store and see if I am selling something you gave me and we can talk. I don't get paid to write reviews unlike someone who works for a music magazine but on the other hand I don't feel like I deserve to get paid. I do this to spread the word and enjoy the privilege of hearing all of your work. If you remain silent I will proceed as I see fit.