More on the music

>> Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I don't know exactly why I subscribe to Wired. No, that's not true. I know exactly why I subscribe to Wired. I subscribe to Wired because it's too cheap not to.


There are a lot of problems with the magazine. For starters, their beat no longer suits itself to monthly articles. Things move so quickly for the digitally-inclined nerd these days, that it's really unusual for Wired to get a story before it's been hashed to mush by Slashdot or the Penny Arcade guys or Wil Wheaton or Cory Doctorow or a dozen-times-a-dozen other online reporters, pundits, commentators, snarkers, residents, watchers, etc. That's one problem. Another problem is that Wired just tries too damn hard: it's not enough for some book, movie, album, game, programmer, inventor, investor, guru or whatever to be new or interesting; no, the Great Whatsit has to be the most radical reinvention of the whatever since appropriate milestone here. This is why George Lucas, according to Wired has reinvented movies, like, 378 times.


But subscriptions are, what, $12.00 a year to renew now? You have to ask yourself if you're going to get $1.00 worth of enjoyment out of an issue. Let's face it, I've spent ten times that much to see a lousy movie in the theatre. Sure, I'll probably get an average of a buck's-worth out of each issue, even if it takes forever to get to one and they eventually make the whole thing available online.


Anyway, I have a few old issues lying around the office, and I finally got around to reading David Byrne's January article on the death of the CD and the rise of alternative business models for the music industry. Which, if you failed to notice, has been a recent theme in the past few weeks. Byrne, of course, is a longtime veteran who's done it all: the wildly successful big-label band, the indie career, the soundtrack composer, the small-label owner, the world music promoter, a number of other things besides. He has some interesting and thorough comments, and the article's worth checking out.




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