Gatekeepers of the Creative Industries

This morning I received another ridiculous email from a well-known bookstore, one that is loved and respected by people from all around the country. Thank God I had a great and relaxing day yesterday, or I’d be feeling much more violent about it right now.
But seriously, each week that passes, we are more sure that we need to help in destroying the very business we are part of. The publishing business. The bookstore business.
Why? Because we love books. We love writers.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace gave an interview to Sopitas. Among other things, he ranted once more against Spotify. If you don’t know, Radiohead/Yorke pulled all music from Spotify not too long ago.
This is not just a case of an artist who doesn’t understand techonology (that would be Jonathan Franzen) and is longing for the good ole days.
Here are a couple of excerpts that I found myself nodding to in agreement:

To me this isn’t the mainstream, this is is like the last fart, the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part… It’s like this mind trick going on, people are like ‘with technology, it’s all going to become one in the cloud and all creativity is going to become one thing and no one is going to get paid and it’s this big super intelligent thing’. Bullshit.

What happens next is the important part. That’s my favorite line, although the desperate fart thing is a great and accurate description. We are constantly thinking of what’s next, sometimes at the expense of what we are doing now.
Let’s go back to the ridiculous email that I received. I don’t even want to get into specifics. Let’s just say it has everything to do with an old attitude where they think they’re doing me/writer a favor. Gatekeepers trying to control the flow of art and commerce.
So what does Yorke think about this and why did he pull all his music from Spotify?

When we did the In Rainbows thing what was most exciting was the idea you could have a direct connection between you as a musician and your audience. You cut all of it out, it’s just that and that. And then all these fuckers get in a way, like Spotify suddenly trying to become the gatekeepers to the whole process… We don’t need you to do it. No artists needs you to do it. We can build the shit ourselves, so fuck off.

Uh huh. Nodding. Direct connection between artist and audience.
I guess the fact is, if we accomplish all the things we want to accomplish with Writ Large Press and DT•LAB, we will put ourselves out of business because we won’t be necessary.
What a strange and wonderful goal.

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