Steve albini essay the problem with music

He listened religiously to every single record he received in the mail, devoting hours of every day to the task. I sent him a copy of the first album I ever made and not only did he play the record on air, he sent me back a postcard with a personal remembrance of Chicago, of visiting a matron aunt as a child in Evanston, the suburb where my post office box was kept. I treasured that note as the first indication that John Peel was a great man. So these independent bands had to be resourceful.

Steve albini essay the problem with music

There are diagrams, construction details, a image, and more. The control room is designed to have minimal reflected energy, to provide uncolored sound from the loudspeakers. This provides accurate and even sound, which is great for studio monitoring, but not necessarily appropriate for dancing or making out.

For these purposes we recommend the lounge or client offices. The Problem With Music is a famous rant about the economics of the music industry that Albini wrote years ago. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it.

Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fucked. Matt Linderman wrote this on Jan 21 There are 13 comments.

I knew several other minor guys that were pulling in far more than majors. The majors I knew that made the most money in the industry are known as divas or jerks…but in real life are decent people with actual values and care about how people treat them.

Which for me is akin to someone ditching a graphic designer in favor of MS Publisher or the year old nephew with Photoshop. Then again, I think that everything the music industry is blamed and guilty for these days has little to do with the art of recording in itself. Albini is well aware of this.

Technology has moved fast- I now have the technical ability to create a recording that can compete with the best. Do I have the ears?

But my priority is getting my music out there.


I have only music that I want to make and share with others. In reading Getting Real, did see some lessons that I could apply directly to music production.

Steve albini essay the problem with music

And it is possibly those mistakes that kept me from successes in the music business. But the opportunity to self-promote and fill niches is so much better now.

Is taking VC for your web app company like getting singed to a major label in a bad deal? I am reminded of Aaron Schwartz rant after Reddit was purchased and they moved him to the Wired office. Music, books, and software no longer require large amounts of capital to produce and distribute.

In fact, those, like Albini, dedicated to the craft of making quality recordings, might shun this approach. The same way the audiophile musician winces at MP3 quality, an author who loves his work might bemoan PDFs. The music industry considers the bands raw material, like a bucket of sand, and does not care what happens to it in the process of generating income.

In that light, most bands are better off on their own, where they have control of all the decisions that affect them and, more importantly, get to keep all the money. Such a contract is essentially worthless to the band that signs it, but remains an important coercive tool for the record company.

A contract is meaningless unless you have the wherewithal to enforce it, and can endure the time sometimes years it takes a dispute to wind its way through the courts during which time you will be earning nothing. That may be a more interesting topic for discussion than our studio, but thanks again for noticing our website.

You DO leave a lot of decisions to others as they are expected to know more about these issues than you do. Unfortunately this almost never happens through either inexperience, greed or neglect.

The internet is levelling the playing field to a large extent these days. Bands have many more alternatives than just getting signed to a record company. The recent Radiohead situation shows well what can be achieved when you are willing to accept a larger slice of a much smaller pie.

OF COURSE they are going to ask for everything…and yes, when you are talking about something that is going to entail years and years of accounting, you need a contract. When you submit that imbalanced contract, you know full well that the negotiations may make it more equitable but your intention is always for the end product to be more in your favor.

Why should musicians even bother dealing with a situation where the deck is stacked against them?Albini, the stalwartly independent musician and producer whose famous The Baffler essay "The Problem With Music" became a sacred text on the subject of music .

Steve Albini. No. 5 December The Problem with Music. s a l v o s. W henever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context.

I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit.

Steve Albini: The music industry is a parasite and copyright is dead - Music Business Worldwide

I imagine these people. It’s now 20 years since Steve Albini, the legendary rock music producer best known for Nirvana’s last studio album In Utero, penned a seminal essay for the literary magazine, The Baffler. The man who produced Nirvana, Pixies and wrote the essay, The Problem with Music, has always been an industry outsider.

Steve Albini was the music industry’s resident and persistent cynic. I feel that some posts miss the point on Steve Albini’s Problem with Music essay. I don’t think he’s arguing against traditional methods of craft – recording in a studio, using an engineer, printing a book.

The man who produced Nirvana, Pixies and wrote the essay, The Problem with Music, has always been an industry outsider.

Steve Albini was the music industry’s resident and persistent cynic.

Steve Albini: the internet has solved the problem with music | Music | The Guardian