[Jandek] Torrent/file sharing Jandek music

John Libby jwlibby at gmail.com
Sun Mar 7 12:50:46 PST 2010

While I agree with the idea of supporting artists (and particularly artists
such as Jandek), I do not believe that the argument of the law as sacrosanct
is a valid one.  The idea of music as a commodity is also no longer valid.
 Marx nailed it when he coined the term "commodity fetishism" as music as a
physical commodity ceased to have any meaning related to the labor of it
long ago (and let's not just focus on the artists and promotional aspects,
there are also those in processing plants processing/packaging/etc. these
discs out by the millions).  All of these aspects of music have been largely
overlooked for some time, with the exception of the artists themselves,
which provide the public face of the commodity.  With the proliferation of
the internet, the abstraction has been furthered almost to its logical end.
 We don't even have a label on electronic distributed music (legitimate or
otherwise) other than the basic details of the track, a thumbnail, and
occasionally an included pdf.  Before music was recorded, the live work of
an artists was all they had.  So why are we so hung up on the
licensing/copyrighting (which is a relatively new concept) of music?  In the
terms of these responses to the original post, it is to a) pay homage to the
artist and b) recognize the work that goes into it.  For point a, I agree,
but only within the limitations of music as being an ongoing and active
process.  But no one should have to pay to download Woody Guthrie's This
Land is Your Land, for instance.  Not only is he beyond being paid tribute
to (both through money or respect), his music has become part of our
cultural landscape, and, as such, should be beyond something as crass as
propriety.  And I think he would probably agree with me.  For point b, the
major labels (and to some extent the independent labels as well) bring
nothing to the table at this point.  Music creation is advanced enough that
anyone can setup a studio, distribution can be done wholly on the internet,
and advertising and marketing can (and is largely) being done through online
blogs and sites.  Supporting these methods as opposed to traditional
marketing avenues makes sense and leads us to a more democratic society.  So
my opinion to the original poster is:  download whatever you like, if you
like it enough, buy it legitimately to support the artist, but also
recognize that when you go buy that 60-cd Miles Davis box set, you aren't
doing anything more than lining the pockets of some rich executives that
care nothing about the music other than as a way to make money from you.
 And this (box set reissues) seems to be their new m.o. - package and
repackage the stuff that is old enough that they have a complete
stranglehold on the music.  They don't have anything new!  At some point the
twentieth century will probably be viewed in history as the dark ages where
a small group of people, through legal means, owned a large portion of the
cultural wealth, as opposed to thousands of years before it, and eventually
subsequently after it.  We are in a transitional period which is redefining
the terms of what can be owned and what is part of the free domain.  I
honestly believe those lines will be redefined in favor of freedom.


On Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 11:33 AM, <Michael.Goldman at ch2m.com> wrote:

>   As the curator of the Atlanta and Gainesville shows, I concur with Danen
> completely.  The fact this music exists at all and that it's creator is
> willing to pratically bleed through the eyeballs to give it life is gift
> enough.  We should be paying for it.
> Michael Goldman
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* jandek-bounces+mgoldman=ch2m.com at mylist.net[jandek-bounces+mgoldman=
> ch2m.com at mylist.net] On Behalf Of Danen Jobe [danen1970 at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Friday, March 05, 2010 8:31 AM
> *To:* jandek at mylist.net
> *Subject:* Re: [Jandek] Torrent/file sharing Jandek music
>   This will sound snarky, but it's really not - I swear to God it's all
> about the chicks. the conflict, see, is that he doesn't get any, few to no
> "groupies" (in the Pamela DesBarres sense) backstage at any show I've seen.
> But there he is, playing his axe, howling at the world. This lack makes his
> music even more intense, and the next thing you know we've got "Worthless
> Recluse" (still, in my opinion, the funniest Jandek album ever. Really!).
> I think it might be feasible to imagine somebody uploading a "Jandek comp"
> sort of thing for people to try out, but then again Jandek isn't supposed to
> be easy. That sounds pretentious, but it's not - Corwood has intentionally,
> I think, kept from doing this sort of thing. He also has never authorized a
> downloader (that may happen yet, but what would a Corwood album be without
> the picture and the Garamond font on the side?), so it's safe to say he
> would be opposed to a torrent, especially in the "complete works" sense. If
> Jandek is for free, he'll give it away.
> As for the $ game...as someone who curated a show (in Denver) and watched
> few small pressings of CDs go out of print over the years (the first album
> being an obvious exception), I can tell you that this music is a gift from a
> very generous creator. Appreciate it. I promote constantly, and I have
> uploaded a SONG or two to a blog as example (can't imagine he'd care), but
> would never do an album. I respect this too much. My two cents.
> Danen
>  On Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 1:38 AM, brendan stewart <
> brendankifostewart at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi. This is my first post on this mailing list, glad to be on it! I
>> had searched the archives a little, I couldn't see if this was
>> discussed before or not, sorry if it has been brought up recently.
>> I've been wondering about this for a while, and thought that this
>> mailing list would be the proper place to bring this up. I was
>> wondering what some of the opinions on file sharing/torrenting Jandek
>> was. By file sharing/torrenting, I mean things like limewire, torrent
>> sites, megaupload, any sort of sharing for free.
>>  I can see how this would be viewed as a negative thing (and can't say
>> I don't agree with that conclusion, to be honest). Not to make too
>> heavy an assumption, I picture Corwood :at best: breaking even on this
>> whole Jandek thing. I also picture them not doing it for fame, or
>> money, or women or anything else like that. Obviously, he also loses
>> control of how the music is distributed, whether it result in the
>> cover art not being shared with the albums, or in not knowing how many
>> records are out there, or anything of that nature.
>> At the same time, there are some positive things about it. Besides the
>> music being more widely available, it may help certain albums from
>> getting 'lost forever', as has happened to many, many artists (I
>> believe there is a boards of canada cassette that is completely gone
>> from the face of the planet, not that I'd miss it...), and, in my
>> opinion most importantly, there are lossless copies of all of him
>> albums, mostly ripped from vinyl (when available), which not only
>> helps the not vanishing thing, but could also (wishful thinking) give
>> Corwood access to completely lossless copies of all the music, in the
>> case of something horrible happening.
>> Honestly, I'm split. I'm not going to pretend I never torrented any of
>> his music (only did it in the past, when I first got into Jandek), but
>> I have recently considered sending payment for the albums I downloaded
>> to Corwood as a sentiment, so I don't know how to feel really. Anyone
>> have any opinions on this?
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