Tuesday, November 16, 2010

RIP eMusic

Until further notice I will now be referring to eMusic as iTunes Jr.

They have just informed me that in order to raise their prices by adding music I don't care about they are having to sever ties with Domino, Merge, and Beggars Group. "Please know we have done everything we could to keep them from leaving," eMusic iTunes Jr. reassures me. Hey, I have a novel idea. Don't raise your prices by adding boring/bad/ancient music I don't care about and those record labels won't leave. They've leaving because of your stupid decision iTunes Jr..

I want to compare the list of "Coming Soon" bands on iTunes Jr.'s site (aka the marquee artists they're adding) with the list of bands they're losing from the aforementioned labels. Keep in mind that many of the artists they are adding are spectacularly good... but ask yourself when was the last time they released a good album.

Coming Soon
U2, Jay-Z, Sonic Youth, Beck, PJ Harvey, Marvin Gaye, the Who, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, Nine Inch Nails, the Supremes, Steely Dan, Velvet Underground, Weezer.

A number of these artists are dead. Half of them are no longer active at all. The rest of them have recently put out a stinker, or a series of stinkers. Every single one of them is past their prime.

Now consider some of the artists from the labels that will be leaving indefinitely:

Arcade Fire, Spoon, the National, Vampire Weekend, the xx, She & Him, Caribou, Titus Andronicus, Deerhunter, Warpaint, Destroyer, the Mountain Goats, M. Ward, Radiohead, MIA, My Morning Jacket, Yo La Tengo, Antony & the Johnsons, Atlas Sound, Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai, Bon Iver, Beirut, TV on the Radio, Wild Beasts, Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors.

Every single one of those bands is active. And you could be forgiven for mistaking that for a list of "some of the best bands making music currently." Fifteen of these bands have appeared or will appear on my best albums lists from 2008-2010.

So. In order to secure the back-catalog of a bunch of has-beens, iTunes Jr. is raising their prices and sacrificing the cream of the crop of current music. If that's not losing your way, I don't know what is.