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Scodiddly
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Post by Scodiddly » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:04 am

It's a stereotype of hipsters to be into obscure music and other art, though. Even a sort of status symbol to be into bands nobody else has heard of.

Which sounds like a crappy way to make a living performing your art, if you have people deliberately not spreading fandom for you.

I suspect that the "offline" future will be people having conversations on mostly abandoned web forums that only flourished through word-of-mouth in the first place. Like this place. :?

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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:48 am

That phenomenon is hardly new to hipsters. It's true of any kind of fan, really. From jazz aficionados digging for that obscure record to Deadheads trading bootlegs to rich art collectors buying some obscure painting by a famous artist or some obscure artist they feel is underappreciated. People define themselves to a large degree based on their taste. People want to feel special and unique, so they enjoy liking things that not everyone else does. People also enjoy feeling part of a community that validates their taste. None of this is unique to hipsters-- it's universal.

This phenomenon is part of what would drive this, if it were to happen, and is clearly what's driving the little bits of it that exist now, but if this were to happen in a significant way, it would not be market-oriented (i.e. not about making money). I'm definitely not presenting this as a way to make a living at music.

The internet is becoming increasingly corporate, and privacy online is pretty much non-existent. The entire culture is so rah-rah internet that if these trends continue, there will likely be some kind of backlash. It won't be among today's youth-- the whole "phone" thing is still too new and exciting. But possibly some future generation, when (and if) the internet has become too confining and claustrophobic, may look for another option, and cultivate an alternative that's not so easy to be co-opted by the corporate world. It would have to contain an element of anti-capitalism.

I also don't think it would be about rock bands, or songs. It would probably be some other form we haven't heard yet, one that doesn't lend itself easily to the online or corporate worlds. The whole idea of a rock band playing songs is so thoroughly enfolded into the dominant corporate culture that it's impossible to extricate it, IMO. There's nothing rebellious about playing in a rock band and releasing songs (not that rebellion needs to be the goal, but that's the image that's sold). It's sold (mainly) to young people who don't know any better and mistake a rebellious pose for actual subversion. It serves to channel youthful rebellion back into the marketplace and capitalist world that we all live in.
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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:53 am

ubertar wrote:Hey, Chris. If lots of people are doing this already, cool. That just proves my point. Though you are apparently talking about different people when you go on to say their fans already have their mp3s, etc. How is that vinyl/cassette only? Or are you saying they put out some of their catalog as vinyl/cassette only? Ok.
No. It doesn't prove any point that you're making. When you predict something that's already happening, and someone points out that it's already happening, that doesn't prove any of your points. It proves that you're not really keeping up with artistic "movements" and that you're quite possibly missing out on some that you would find interesting. Regarding fans already having mp3s, I'm acknowledging the reality that even "offline only" releases eventually end up online.
ubertar wrote:Again, as I've said already a few times in this thread, I'm not really advocating for this (though I like the idea). I'm just speculating on future events. There's a big difference between a few bands putting out some stuff that's analog-only and a movement toward an offline-only cultural stream that intentionally flies below the radar. The latter hasn't happened yet, and might never happen-- but it's fun to speculate.
It's only fun to speculate because you're oblivious to the fact that it's already happening and has been for years. It should be noted that acknowledgement or even awareness from ubertar isn't required for a "movement" to exist.

I'm not the only person in this thread to mention that this is already happening. You seem to think that your limited exposure to all of the art of the world somehow puts you in position to define when and if a "movement" is taking place. Your obliviousness on this is sad. Your arrogance about it is downright Palin-esque. The "real" underground?!?! Right there in the thread title you've been insulting enough that most people involved in "movements" like these would just tell you to fuck right off.
ubertar wrote:Yes, it's not that hard to convert records or tapes to digital; I've done it plenty of times. But not everyone is equipped to do it, and people who are into the artists who do this from an ideological standpoint rather than just exclusivity will likely respect the intentions of the artists, or be shunned by fans who do-- it becomes a community value system.
Oh, you mean like punk rock. There's a subculture, or artistic movement that believed that they could police their own and enforce their own value system.
ubertar wrote:It sounds like these bands you're talking about are using the exclusivity aspect of this as a marketing tool, which is a side thing but probably part of what will drive what I'm talking about, but is still a side thing. The subversive part of this whole thing comes from being off the grid, like having a solar house or growing your own food, in a way-- a flawed analogy, but hopefully illustrative.

But you still miss the point when you use words like "merch", and the word "market" appears three times in one paragraph. Ick. I need to take a shower after reading that.
I get it now. This is just a crazy anti-internet rant disguised as an interesting conversation. I mentioned "merch" and the "market" because it's my job to consider those things. If you're really talking about some kind of artistic utopia where artists don't have to earn a living and can surround themselves with like-minded unabomber-types, who want to be "off the grid", then you're obviously talking about a movement so incredibly small that it's no surprise that you don't know that movements like this already exist.

There is definitely already an "underground" that avoids digital distribution of music. How big does it have to get for you to notice? My guess is, it's never going to get that big. It's also definitely not any more "real" or "legitimate" than other underground movements.

Let me know when this whole internet fad is over. Post about it here on the Tape Op Message Board.

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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:57 am

ubertar wrote:There's nothing rebellious about playing in a rock band and releasing songs (not that rebellion needs to be the goal, but that's the image that's sold). It's sold (mainly) to young people who don't know any better and mistake a rebellious pose for actual subversion. It serves to channel youthful rebellion back into the marketplace and capitalist world that we all live in.
Yeah, fuck right off.

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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:02 am

Everyone is a sucker, making music for the man, serving corporate masters on little internet devices. Put down your iDevice and line up for ubertar to validate your art!

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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:16 am

You're cracking me up, Chris. You are the poster boy for the "music industry", a vile term if there ever was one. Your contempt is a badge of honor.

For the umpteenth time, I'm not advocating for what I'm discussing here. The idea appeals to me on some level, but that's as far as that goes. I'm a capitalist myself, as owner of a small business, though I try to avoid the worse aspects of capitalism. I also sell my music online, through a label.

I don't deny that there are things going on that I don't know about. I'm not involved in the "music industry". Since I stopped teaching, I'm not in touch with today's youth. I'm online at this moment... I'm not anti-internet. I think it's funny this is getting you so riled up, and I'm enjoying that. Thank you.
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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:18 am

chris harris wrote:
ubertar wrote:There's nothing rebellious about playing in a rock band and releasing songs (not that rebellion needs to be the goal, but that's the image that's sold). It's sold (mainly) to young people who don't know any better and mistake a rebellious pose for actual subversion. It serves to channel youthful rebellion back into the marketplace and capitalist world that we all live in.
Yeah, fuck right off.
Hit a nerve, there, eh?
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:28 am

i like it when you two fight.

really!

i guess i don't understand how keeping your art offline makes you subversive. all my art is currently sitting on a hard drive that's not connected to the internet. no one's heard it but me. is this subversive or just lazy? if i pressed up a bunch of vinyl copies that no one would buy, would that make me more subversive or just poorer?

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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:34 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:i like it when you two fight.

really!

i guess i don't understand how keeping your art offline makes you subversive. all my art is currently sitting on a hard drive that's not connected to the internet. no one's heard it but me. is this subversive or just lazy? if i pressed up a bunch of vinyl copies that no one would buy, would that make me more subversive or just poorer?
It doesn't matter. If ubertar hasn't heard of it, it couldn't possibly be a "movement".

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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:53 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote: i guess i don't understand how keeping your art offline makes you subversive. all my art is currently sitting on a hard drive that's not connected to the internet. no one's heard it but me. is this subversive or just lazy? if i pressed up a bunch of vinyl copies that no one would buy, would that make me more subversive or just poorer?
That's just lazy. :D

When it becomes subversive is when enough people do this that the really living and vital parts of the culture are inaccessible to the corporate world because they exist outside of its means of distribution. If what you're doing isn't all that different than other stuff that's available online, you're not depriving the corporate vampires of anything. That's why I said it probably won't be rock bands-- rock bands are a dime a dozen. The rock band paradigm is established. It's an institution. That's not a reflection on the quality or talent of the musicians and music. I see it as an ongoing tradition rather than a place for experimentation, as it once was. There's nothing wrong with playing rock, any more than any other traditional form... it's just silly, IMO, to pretend there's still something subversive about it.

A lot of rock's early subversive appeal was in its reaction against the repressive sexuality of the 1950s. Now our culture is, if anything, over-sexualized, yet rock and pop especially (twerking, anyone?) continue to try to push boundaries that have long since been erased, or that deserve to stand (do we really want hardcore porn in toothpaste commercials?). What is there left to rebel against? That's worth rebelling against? The economic system.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

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https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:55 am

chris harris wrote:It doesn't matter. If ubertar hasn't heard of it, it couldn't possibly be a "movement".
If Chris has heard of it, it's most likely a marketing scheme.
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

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Post by holidayhell » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:57 am

I think Ill go to a mall food court. When I catch someone staring at me for what I consider too long I shall yell "Stop listening to the songs in my head! You are not coll enough!". Then flipping the sign of the new revolution to the digital addled masses I will high kick it back into the future (and parking lot).

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Post by ubertar » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:04 am

If this happens, it will probably start among a small community of artists who are doing something that doesn't exist now. It won't be rock, but rock may be one of its influences. It won't be individuals or bands... it will take a community, and a new form of music. An individual or a band here and there will not be enough to gain traction, and if it's the same kind of music that's online, it won't mean anything. And we're not talking about just a new style of music, but something really different, that doesn't fit into the categories we have now.

And no, I don't mean my music. Though I'd be happy if this were to happen and the new form was microtonal (and also not just intonation). That's pretty unlikely, though, at least anytime soon (or in my lifetime).
get a hammered sound from guitar or bass! http://www.stringhammer.com
hand-made version to raise money for manufacturing... kind of like kickstarter, but you get a fully functional item now

Album!
https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/album/one-eye-awake

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:13 am

ubertar wrote:When it becomes subversive is when enough people do this that the really living and vital parts of the culture are inaccessible to the corporate world because they exist outside of its means of distribution.
well, what if i make a website and sell my shit there? no one gets any of the dough besides me. the means of distribution are either my hard drive to yours or me walking a disc over to the post office. that seems pretty non-corporate to me.

what's the difference between that and me putting a handful of records on consignment at a local record store? the only differences i can see are that
1. the website is a more direct means of distribution
2. there's a slightly higher chance someone might actually hear my shit online.

i'd say that the really living and vital parts of the culture are already inaccessible to the corporate world. i could rattle off the names of tons of really cool bands that no one's ever heard of. they're all so far under the mainstream radar that i can't see where it makes any difference whatsoever if their music is online or not.

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Post by chris harris » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:22 am

Yeah, man... I'm such a corporate whore for putting my money where my mouth is and providing an outlet for artists to get their music into the hands of their fans. All this time, I could have done much better for humanity by making Nostradamus speculations on an internet message board, about what "art" will be, and which of it will be "real" three generations from now, while subsequently distancing myself (multiple times) from an argument that I'm clearly trying to make.

I bet you're right. I bet your music will lead this revolution as soon as this whole internet fad starts to get boring.

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