-= Frank Black Forum =-
-= Frank Black Forum =-
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Off Topic!
 Whatever Happened to Pong?
 I also like albums
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Arm Arm Arm
= Cult of Ray =

981 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2009 :  17:55:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't recall the specifics but a little while ago I read an article (in Rolling Stone, on a plane I think) discussing the end of the album, that artists would primarily release ep's and singles. Of course there'd be some exceptions to this.

I like the album.

Even though its length was predetermined by recording technology (vinyl and cd) I still like the idea of bands grouping recently recorded songs together to form a statement of some sort. I might not know what that statement is precisely, I may just be reading into it, but I like the format.

While I do enjoy singles, I mostly listen to artists whose albums are chock full of quality songs. I might like Madonna's new single (I don't know if she has one actually) but doubt I would like the album it's from.

Anyway, I still think bands will release albums (even if its only in the digital realm) because of the artistic potential.



jediroller
* Dog in the Sand *

1718 Posts

Posted - 11/25/2009 :  23:40:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is what Black Francis had to say about this when I asked him a few questions for a French webzine. Our focus was on "the end of the CD", and I think it's obvious that both issues are tied, so I'm leaving the whole exchange - it's short anyway.

Q: Do you personally think the CD is "dead" or "dying"?

A: It all depends on how you define "life". If you define it as the robust record business of 1990, then, yes, the CD is truly dying. But it's use as a physical format I (CDs, DVDs, software, etc) is so prevalent and still relatively compact that I think that it will be a long time before it totally dies. This is my uneducated guess.

Q: Is the demand for music in physical form decreasing among the fans? What prompted the decision to release some of your music as download-only?

A: I think the demand is less for fans. More and more we are living with cell phones, laptops, ipods, blackberries, etc. Also people are doing other things besides listening to pop music via these technologies. I have started to release music as download only because as a music artist I think that you need to do other things besides the traditional approach of releasing an album product followed by a tour. The record shop is gone. Where are the customers? The artist needs to find them. And some of the customers are sitting in front of their computer.

Q: It seems to me that the notion of "album" was always linked to the physical support: two faces of vinyl, a 70-minute CD. This shaped the way music is made, released and marketed. If the CD disappears, these limitations should go with it. From then on, artists may or may not keep making "albums" - they might start selling songs one by one, or by bundles of 6 or 30 or 50... What's your view on this? I got the impression that you never cared much for this sort of distinction (album, EP, double album...) as long as your music was out there. Am I right?

A: You are correct. I wish to make music. I enjoy the "album" concept, especially if it is a good album. But the goal is music. If the format changes then this is interesting to me.

(Sorry about the last question being longer than the answer - I usually hate this in interviews!)

_____________


I also got insights from Cory Brown (Absolutely Kosher Records):
"I think the decline of the CD (which likely won't ever go away completely unless it's replaced with another physical digital format) is less of an issue than piracy and the lack of compensation to musicians for their work. Format has always been a fetish and it's a shame that some of that has gone away while people download shitrate MP3's. The move towards convenience over quality won't be permanent, of course (see TV dinners), but it's still disappointing to put your heart and bank account into something that sounds sublime, only to have people steal a lower quality version. Rather than focus on the CD, I think the dialog should be about how to pay musicians. Labels aren't going away and we'll adapt to whatever the marketplace needs or wants, but generating enough revenue to pay the people that make the records should be as much a priority for the public as it is for us.

As far as albums vs. single songs, I see the aesthetic reasons to want to cling to an album and I think it's important for an artist to be able to present his or her vision in the way it was imagined, but the album format itself is governed by the limitations of format - it used to be 22 minutes a side for LP's and then 80 minutes for CD's. This isn't a pure art. It's just a business and a crappy financial model for one at that. If people want to buy half a record, you can either turn them away or accept their business. I don't know too many folks who'd opt for the former."

_____________


Greg Werckman, co-founder of Ipecac Records, also took the time to answer:

Q: Do you personally think the CD is "dead" or "dying"?

A: No. It is not dead. Sales are certainly declining, but music sales in all formats are struggling. I don't think it is just the Cd. The music industry will try to find a new scam, I'm sure, even though they underestimated digital distribution.

Q: Is the demand for music in physical form decreasing among music fans?
A: Yes, sadly. Just did not seem cool moving from LP to Cd now from Cd to air. I still like to hold something and admire it and smell it.

Q: Have you ever considered switching to download-only, at least for some releases?

A: Yes, seems scary, but the future is always scary.

Q: Do you think that, if the CD disappears, artists will gradually stop releasing albums, or at the very least invent new formats?

A: They wont stop releasing albums, maybe look for a new format. Nothing new there.

Q: What do you think of selling music one song at a time?

A: I think it sucks a lot of the time. The beauty of the complete album and cycle of songs can be so great. However, some artists would be better served just releasing songs one at a time.

_____________

I also contacted Dmytro Fedorenko, aka Kotra, who runs a lable of electronic music named Kvitnu, in Kiev, Ukraine.

Q: I think your opinion would be particularly interesting as you are a small label, who could quite easily decide to turn into a "netlabel" and distribute your music only in digital form, but instead choose to make a particular effort on the packaging of your CDs, making them works of art in themselves. I would assume that this means you don't believe in the "death of the CD". Or do you?

A: let's say that i don't believe in death of "physical object" in music. not yet.
CD most likely might leave us soon, but i think vinyl or even cassettes will still remain.
i would change to vinyl instead of CD already, but it is just technically really hard for Ukrainian label due to our customs laws. so i am ready to forget a CD and change format of releases, it's just a question of time.

Q: Is the demand for music in physical form decreasing among music fans?

A: i think that if there are at least few hundreds of people who still wish to have something more than just a file on a hard drive, it's worth to communicate with those people and not to loose it. and there are still more than few hundreds of such fans.

and i myself don't have a feeling that i release music when i just put files for download somewhere. i need to add a few drops of sweat to work to put life in each new release. some sort of alchemy for me, as in all Kvitnu releases at least 50% of cover creating work is my hand-made process.

Q: Have you ever considered switching to download-only, at least for some releases?

A: no. i don't plan to do digital only releases. there will always be something physical on each release for those who want more than just file. we have global worldwide digital distribution already, so all who want to get Kvitnu music as files can do it easily. so even if for some reason i will not have a chance to make CD/vinyl, it can be 50 copies CD-R, but there should be something more interesting than just mouse clicks in communication.

Q: Also, do you think that, if the CD disappears, artists will gradually stop releasing albums, or at the very least invent new formats?

A: i don't think that artists can invent new formats. using something from industry - maybe, but these days industry is changing much faster than artistic ideas, in the field of releases for example.
and i think artists will release their works in future. it's still a strong tradition that points on many ambition buttons. however i think that even major pop-artists, who now earn more money from performing live than from making releases, just don't need to care about physical media anymore. but the game is still the same yet - there must be a new work every time. otherwise - no concerts, no communication.

Q: What do you think of selling music one song at a time?

A: as a listener i myself can't accept it when i am getting new works from artists.
but i think that if someone feels ok when buying only one song from whole album - i don't mind at all.

________________

Last but not least, interesting thoughts on the subject by a musician named Dan Wallace:
http://www.danwallacemusic.com/2009/03/11/cd-vs-mp3-is-the-album-dead/

"I think itís as likely that making a collection of songs will go out of style as it is that live shows will become just a band going on tour to play one song."




"Les Blackolero, y sont forts en sacramant" - Czar | 06/26/2007 | 20:10:34

free music | Blackolero | Frank Black & Pixies Tributes
Go to Top of Page

Arm Arm Arm
= Cult of Ray =

981 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2009 :  06:20:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for posting these! Interesting thoughts...
Go to Top of Page

jediroller
* Dog in the Sand *

1718 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2009 :  07:16:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was just thinking I might have killed your thread!


"Les Blackolero, y sont forts en sacramant" - Czar | 06/26/2007 | 20:10:34

free music | Blackolero | Frank Black & Pixies Tributes
Go to Top of Page

Arm Arm Arm
= Cult of Ray =

981 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2009 :  07:20:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's okay...it's a zombie!

cheers!
Go to Top of Page

Brank_Flack
= Cult of Ray =

Canada
587 Posts

Posted - 02/10/2010 :  18:28:55  Show Profile  Click to see Brank_Flack's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Nice interviews!
I think the album will stay alive, not because people are concerned with a statement the artist is trying to say, but more because there is something to be said about a song cycle where each song compliments the next and altogether create a mood or a feeling, or something transcending the individual song.
Although i know many people who dont listen to albums and just get songs off blogs, i know as many who get albums because the blogs recommend them. Also, i think musicians (or the good ones at least) have an attachment to the form. I think the goal for most musicians is to create an album they are proud of and that they think can stand among the albums they were influenced by.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
-= Frank Black Forum =- © 2002-2016 Frank Black Fans, Inc. Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000