On the record


Should artists get paid for music or should it be free ? JIM CARROLLon music

DO MUSIC FANS really care if an act gets paid for their art? That question comes to mind after a week spent observing the to-ing and fro-ing inspired by a pair of blog posts.

The conversation began with Emily White. She’s an intern at NPR’s All Songs Considered show and wrote about how she has purchased just a handful of CDs in her life. The bulk of the 11,000 tracks in her iTunes came from mix-CDs and her college radio station’s library.

While the piece started out as some musing on the move from physical formats to digital, White did include comments such as “I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums.”

Enter Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery. He wrote a lengthy retort to White on The TriChordist. As often happens, both posts went viral.

When you’re gauging the reaction to White and Lowery, an interesting divide quickly emerges. Those on the artistic and business side favour Lowery’s arguments about how music has a cost, while many music fans wonder what all the fuss is about.

For many of the latter, music has become a free, always-on commodity and the business should simply react and adopt to these changes. Certain lines are usually trotted out to back this up – one of them is “we buy tickets for the gigs and spend money at the merch stand” – but those at the coalface know that’s not enough to keep a band in business.

You’d hesitate to call it a generation gap as it crosses all ages, but there’s a growing divide between the side who won’t pay and the side who think they should. So which side are you on?



Los Angeles-based duo Rhye’s debut Open EP for Innovative Leisure is full of mesmerising, slow-motion, soulful hooks and perfectly pitched Sade pop.

Not much is known about the pair, but we hear there’s a debut album in the can so more tunes like Open can, we hope, be expected soon.



Lies is the only track available to date from Glasgow outfit Churches, but it’s more than enough to get things going. It’s a pulsating, monstrous tune with plenty of dramatic peaks within its brooding cinematic hip-hop. We look forward to more from these Scottish indie stalwarts

Soundcloud.com/ churchestheband


Smashing synth-pop with sharply idiosyncratic tunes (such as the sparkling Wild Light) from Nashville duo Keegan DeWitt and Jeremy Bullock.

The debut album, Youth, is due for release later in the summer and should be noted by fans of off-kilter melodic pop.



Adrian CrowleyI See Three Birds Flying (Chemikal Underground)

Crowley’s forthcoming sixth album sets new standards in astute, erudite, mesmeric songcraft.

The Casanova WaveThe Light (Blue Stack)

Twinkly, sparkly electro featuring guest turns from Sleep Thieves, taken from Brian McCartan’s debut album, Joy Of Being.

PoolsideSlow Down (Different)

Shimmering, chilled disco-haze from Los Angeles duo Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise.

Mik PyroIn the Rain (Sound Training Centre)

Republic Of Loose frontman’s version of The Dramatics’ classic, from The Shortest Night, the new Sound Training Centre compilation of soul covers in aid of Dublin Simon Community.

ThunderbirdGerard Thunderbird (Self release)

Forthcoming single from the New York rapper hunkered down in Berlin comes with art-pop oomph and filthy beats.

For more see irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.