Dan Bull, Amanda Palmer & El-P: A Big Week For Artists' Voices On Techdirt

from the change-of-pace dept

Today, instead of the usual community favorites post, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight our own top picks for the week. It was an easy choice, because we love it when artists and creators visit the site to speak about their experiences, and this week we were lucky enough to have guest posts from three different musicians. They all had a lot of great stuff to say, and here are a few highlights.

The first came about as a result of my post on rapper/producer El-P's friendly message to fans who downloaded the early leak of his album. El-P joined the comments, then followed up with a guest post discussing his approach to the music industry, and his thoughts on the popular debates about it:

So how do I feel? What's the right way? Fuck if I know. But I'll adapt and I'll do it with respect and class and not kicking and screaming. There's a hell of a lot I could say about both sides of this particular subject, but honestly does it matter? You all have formed your opinions on it already and in the end people like me are still out here trying to make a living no matter what those opinions are... right, wrong or in-between.

Unfortunately the comment thread on that post was hijacked by one particularly obnoxious AC, but amidst the noise there was also a strong response from some community members who were grateful to El-P for sharing his frank and thoughtful opinion, just as we were.

Next, we got a visit from the one and only Amanda Fucking Palmer! Amidst all the excitement surrounding her Kickstarter project, Amanda deftly employed an allegory about bamboo to describe the campaign's massive success, and the many years of work that made it possible:

There's a great story about how bamboo grows. A farmer plants a bamboo shoot underground, and waters and tends it for about three years. Nothing grows that's visible, but the farmer trots out there, tending to this invisible thing with a certain amount of faith that things are going to work out. When the bamboo finally appears above ground, it can shoot up to thirty feet in a month. This is like my kickstarter campaign. The numbers aren't shocking to me, not at all. I set the goal for the kickstarter at $100,000 hoping we'd make it quickly, and hoping we'd surpass it by a long-shot.

Incidentally, as I pointed out on Twitter, Amanda Palmer is an anagram for A Mr. Panda Meal. Coincidence?

Last but not least, Dan Bull took a break from writing epic raps to write an epic post. After Dan successfully used the Pirate Bay and its Promo Bay program to get his new single on the charts, we wondered what he must think about his country's decision to censor the site. Now we have our answer: he thinks it was pretty damn ridiculous.

Now, thanks to the High Court ruling, no aspiring musician will be able to use The Promo Bay to gain exposure in the UK. Once again, the British Phonographic Industry is throttling any channel of distribution which doesn't allow them the cut to which they believe they are entitled. I'd like to see what the BPI's head, Geoff Taylor, has to say to George Barnett, the unsigned British songwriter whose fanbase skyrocketed after being featured on The Promo Bay. The only thing that the BPI has done for George is to entirely prohibit his primary means of exposure.

Of course, those aren't the only choice words Dan has for the BPI.

Big thanks to El-P, Amanda Palmer and Dan Bull for stopping by and sharing their thoughts! For some other creators featured on Techdirt this week (just not in person), check out game developer Stardock's Jon Shafer on building a loyal fan base, producer Swizz Beatz on embracing technology, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields on a dispute with Sony, and author Paulo Coelho's stats on his $0.99 ebook sale.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 May 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You made up that he downloaded a different more expensive product.

    He specifically wrote he downloaded 'industry standard software costing thousands of pounds'. Cubase doesn't cost thousands of pound, nor is it industry standard.
    Pro Tools is the industry standard DAW, Ableton and Logic are pretty standard for urban/dance music. And yes, Reaper is every bit as functional as Cubase.
    Here's the thing you all can't get your heads around.
    You don't need software costing thousands of pounds to record and release superb hip-hop.
    If you want to work digitally you need a computer, basic interface and a DAW (Reaper $60). You need a sampler, hardware or software, and a microphone.
    That's it!
    As 'beatz' are fundamental you might want a sampling drum machine, but that's a luxury as Reaper and a software sampler can play that role.
    So once again, Bull is operating on off the backs of abusing other young workers, when he DOESN'T EVEN HAVE TO.

    That AC doesn't know that answer to those questions because he/she has never used any of that software, never played and instrument, never sang or performed or recorded. He/she is a cubicle employee behind a desk. If not, he/she would do like other artists and identify themselves.

    Wouldn't it be great for you if that were true. Sadly for you it isn't. You don't seem to be able to handle someone with more music experience than Bull telling you he's wrong, so you can only seek to persuade yourself and others that person (me) has no clue what they are talking about. In fact it's you (and Bull) who have no clue.

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