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Monday, December 31, 2007

We're all refugees and we're all drifting like leaves

Perusing through Eric's year-end list, I came upon this write-up for Bloc Party's A Weekend in the City:

Back in January of 2007 I posted a Bloc Party track from this record and was swiftly asked to remove from my blog by someone in the band's camp. While I was cool with the request, it may have negatively colored my perception of this record that I've only recently begun to get into.

This got me thinking about something I've never understood, but have written about before. However, there's a new perspective on this. Hence why I'm revisiting the subject.

I'm very well aware of the uphill rig-a-ma-roll it takes to get people to pay attention to anything. Be it a record, movie, book, or show, it usually takes an amount of money and a lot of time trying to get the word out there. (The process of getting a song on the radio alone is a doozy.)

In the case of a record, if a blogger wanted to share a song from it as an MP3, who would be hurt by the exposure? On top of that, what if it was a blog that was widely read and had a great reputation? Who would want to put a stop to this if it was a legit MP3 from an album about to come out?

I remember when Torr posted a track from the highly-anticipated debut album by the Tears. The following day it was removed and replaced with a warning letter from somebody involved with the band. For me, I wondered what the crime was in wanting to hear a song and maybe consider checking out the album. Instead of allowing people to hear things that might help the band, people involved in working with the band want something else. Usually the exact opposite. Um, huh?

If any blogger were to take any interest in posting an MP3 from a band I've been in or a portion from a book I wrote, I would not try to stop that blogger. I'd be flattered if anyone wanted to take his or her time to spread the word about something I'd like to share with people. If it was an MP3 of a song that completely misrepresented my band or a portion of Post that was long deleted from the final draft, I'd attempt to clarify things, but not become some whip-carrying codger. Remember what they say about free publicity?

A decision like this often hurts a record. I recall how A&M Records asked KROQ to stop playing face to face's "I Won't Lie Down" because they started playing it a few weeks before their anticipated start date for radio. The record's momentum was stopped cold. This was incredibly stupid then and it still sounds stupid today.

So I ask, what am I missing here? Why does this momentum killing still go on?

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