The New York Times write about three albums coming out today (Coldplay's X&Y, the White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan, and the Black Eyed Peas' Monkey Business) and how they are symptomatic of the music industry's decadence:
The big record companies continue to insist that the only route to profitability is blockbuster sales of a few titles, and the result is all too predictable - music that matters more for how it sells than how it sounds.
You say that everything sounds the same
Then you go buy them! There's no excuses, my friend
Let's push things forward
While I fully realize that my one-man boycott of the RIAA is not going to convince them that their actions are immoral and wrong (hell, they will just blame the declining record sales on filesharing, anyway), I really do not care. You could argue that I am depriving myself of music that I would like to listen to (like the Dead Milkmen, one of Philly's best punk bands) without having any external effect, but this action is not about having an external effect. It is about resolving the internal hypocrisy I feel when I buy an album, only to find out later that the label is part of an organization that likes to sue college students, or the artist thinks filesharing and peer-to-peer are inherently evil (which Magnetbox's RIAA Radar does not help with; maybe I will code something). I will think it's cool if you decide to join me in this boycott, but it ultimately does not matter, because I am making this choice for myself. Music critic Sasha Frere-Jones (via BoingBoing) says something similar to my mindset while describing why he refuses to review albums which he cannot listen to when and where he pleases (because of attempts to stop music reviewers from leaking CDs to peer-to-peer networks):
So I represent nobody but myself when I say this: I will not write about any piece of music unless I have unlimited access to a portable version of it, renderered in either the CD, MP3 or vinyl format. I have broken this private rule a few times, when I cared especially for the artist, and I think those were stupid, weak lapses. No more.