Two Ships Passing in the Night

I couldn’t help but notice two very different sides of the music industry this weekend.  One side is run by sclerotic corporations who are completely removed from the realities of their business.  Their latest move, according to the New York Times: petitioning governments to increase the license fees paid by bars/restaurants/night clubs to play music on their premises.  Apparently Australia is at the forefront of pliant governments and the music industry is hoping to export this globally.

These are massive, monolithic corporations in their final death throes.  Failing at being able to create either great music or an innovative way to deliver it to their consumers, they’re basically using the courts to try and maintain cash flow.

The opposite side of this was on display this weekend at the Brooklyn’s YardMr Scruff was dj-ing there as part of their Sunday Best program.  $10 cover, a couple of hundred people, sunshine, beer, tacos – and an incredibly accessible musician.  Here’s a shot of Mr Scruff spinning – how many dj’s let you actually stand behind them and watch them work?

Mr. Scruff @ Brooklyn Yard

Plus, every attendee got a download code for a one hour mix of the show:

Mr Scruff Download Coupon

It’s stunning to think of the contrasts here: a musician offering you a memento of the great time you had at his show (and consequently getting free press like this blog entry) vs. a company essentially suing to try and get more cash.  Old music companies RIP.