" those rules have evolved and it is what makes a culture"
Excellent point, and very pertinent to the discussion at hand, which is that these rules *continue* to evolve. Attempting, as you are, to stem the progress of this cultural and technological evolution is a fool's errand.
Most musicians don't make money from CD sales because physical media is dead. Get with the times, ya dinosaur... The only people who like shiny plastic discs are the old white guys in suits who manufacture them.
I'm a lifer local musician. Last night was one of those nights where, lacking a gig of my own, I was out in the clubs flying the fan flag for buddies who *were* playing. The 'Amanda Fucking Palmer' issue came up last night between sets, and the consensus amongst a bunch of skilled, well trained and over-all 'professionalish' players was an overwhelming 'meh, whatever', with a few interesting provisos.
The first point of dissent raised concerned AFP's decision to go with paid pros at the larger market venues. With ticket prices being the same from venue to venue, AFP being willing to subject, say, Minneapolis to a pick-up band while ensuring NYC heard a full professional ensemble created a two tiered audience experience.
Given the rough-edged nature of an AFP performance in general, it was agreed than this was likely not a real big deal, until the 'you're playing for exposure' part factored in. On-stage exposure with a Big Name In Music has a lot more meaning, and potentially a lot more career impact in NYC than it does in Minneapolis, and we kinda concluded that she would have appeared w-a-a-ay cooler had she provided the same amount of exposure to her 'professionalish' fans in the big markets too.
The only other point of contention that came up was her decision to pull a quarter of a million off the top to cover her debts from the previous 4 or 5 months when she wasn't out touring. It woulda looked better had she budgeted out the entirety of the KickStarter funded project before dipping into the cookie jar to cover what was perceived of as ludicrously high past expenses.
In the end, we concluded that AFP suffers a bit of cognitive dissonance between how she perceives herself (a creative but impoverished artiste bringing her rag-tag band of merry minsterels to the adoring masses any way she can) and what she actually is (the highly successful standard bearer of a new funding paradigm for professional musicians).
There are always a few bumps on a new road; she learned. Everybody else learned too.
Been a long week, has it? Maybe doing double shifts as a republican for a nickel a post over on the Huffington Post? I know times are tough and you've gotta make ends meet, but this pace is gonna kill you.