Wow, this is quite the op-ed in The New York Times yesterday: Elegy for the ‘Suits’ – The Internet, Not the Labels, Hurt the Music Industry.

It’s everything you despise about The New York Times and The New Yorker rolled up into one! Paean to power and old authority? CHECK! Unchecked nostalgia for the prime of the Baby Boom era? CHECK! Slavish worship of corporate culture? CHECK! Fear of agency resting outside the hands of white guys in suits? CHECK! “What an asshole!” working just fine as a punchline? CHECK!

Really, it’s terrible and hilarious. And just wrong, of course – as I’ve written, the labels – via their industry group, the RIAA – destroyed the industry just fine on their own by making music ownership a negative value. Not to mention that they also drove the more aware musicians out through their ruinous strip-mining of artist value. It’s been almost 15 years since Courtney Love did the math, and the sharecropper approach wasn’t new then. If you signed with a label, you were giving them all the value and keeping something below minimum wage – if that. And they owned everything you made.

So no, “the Internet” didn’t “hurt the music industry.” The labels are the ones who set up the teetering edifice. The internet just let musicians break out and tear it down.

ps: talking of, pre-order the new album! We have a mastering engineer to pay. 😀