Friday, November 19, 2010


"Song of the Mole" sounds like it's about some senile music forum member whose age and IQ are both about 60, and who has nothing better to do than drool about getting mp3 downloads of music that was a waste of vinyl when it came out 30 years ago. Watta waste of time, but a mole can't see too clearly, and thinks he's going to reclaim his youth by listening to the oldies over and over again, in some delusional form of deja vu. "Song of the Mole" sample lyric:

"He was so pissed off he was dying, he would only play Hall and Oates.
He said if my days are numbered, I'm going to blast the world with Hall and Oates."

Remind you of anyone? There are actually retired people out there who have declared that while "on the government teat," they will now devote the rest of their lives to…giving away somebody else's property! With cries of "blogging saved my life," and "make good use of the time that's left," many a myopic mole spends his life at a computer upping and re-upping and up-chucking Hall and Oates, or other stuff everyone already knows about, and which is in print, and could still earn royalties for the "beloved" artists. But backward mole-asses stick to their notion that they should take credit, Paypal donations and nice comments in the name of Hall and Oates and the others they rip off. Laughably, they have lots of excuses and rationalizations when the plain truth is that they're old enough to know better. Or are they really so old they've gone senile and no longer know better! The best they can do is mumble vague weasel words like "the music industry needs a new paradigm," or "there must be a way for artists to prosper while fans get all the free music they feel entitled to." They don't actually come up with a solution. They're part of the problem, not the solution.

The solution most artists are comfortable with is giving away a few songs (usually on "My Space" or their website, or via an promotion) or trusting that almost anyone who isn't senile, can deduce if they like a song by hearing 30 seconds of it on iTunes. Which they can hear over and over and over (deja vu again) until they think it's worth buying or not.

If it's "not," because you don't think it's worth the money, then don't blame the artist for not thinking you deserve it free. That's just insulting. If you don't want to buy it, fine, listen to something you did buy. We all have more music than we need anyway. You could spend quite a lot of time re-playing this one Mark Eitzel track, enjoying the music, and finding your own interpretation of the lyrics. In the old days we'd often grow to love an album because we did buy it, didn't like it on first or second listen, but since we didn't have much else and paid for it, gave it a few more chances. And it grew on us. Today, another bad thing about the mass downloading is that it gluts us, we haven't the time to give music a chance to grow on us, and we're too busy with the freebies to buy, support and respect more than a few artists.

I found Eitzel the Internet way. While messing around with 30 second samplings on my monthly subscription to eMusic, I heard his cover of "Rehearsals for Retirement" by Phil Ochs. The 30 seconds were good, so I bought and downloaded the whole song and began checking Marc's other work. Emusic charges less than 50 cents a song, so Eitzel is not as lucky as Ochs. The music biz has changed and the odds of making any kind of a living are worse. In Phil's day, he had the support of Jac Holzman (Elektra) and then Jerry Moss (A&M) who bankrolled him, supported him and promoted him…and he also benefitted from the "evil" organizations that sent him royalty checks that kept him going when he couldn't tour and had lost inspiration.

Just what the future is for guys like Marc Eitzel remains to be seen…but maybe not heard. Music is easy to steal. Governments haven't yet enforced laws on the Internet because of confusion over "free speech" vs "copyright" (capitalist governments, that is, the ones who are seeing more and more people out of work, including members of the entertainment industry).

And so guys like Eitzel have been taken down a notch. The blogger who gives away the music is as much a star as the artist. The artist is forced to take a dull day job like the blogger. And at the gig, the artist has yet another job; selling t-shirts after a gig. Which isn't necessarily a bad idea. If Marc Eitzel turns up at a club near me (which I'd only know about if he or his manager made sure to pay for posters and ads), I might go (if the ticket price is FAIR), and if I'm feeling in a position of power and pity, I'd certainly buy a t-shirt. But only if it had "Song of the Mole" on it, is not too expensive, and is brand new and clean (not Spotified.)

Song of the Mole Instant download or listen on line.

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