The odds are, if you’re reading our website, you’re one of the people who values music. Hopefully, that value includes paying for songs. You understand that we musicians—especially when we’re not huge rock stars—we don’t get free gear from endorsement deals, we pay for our own recording and packaging and distribution, etc. So I never get preachy here about buying music vs. “acquiring” your music for free. Although I did rant a bit about Spotify, when announcing that we’re on it (and for many hundreds of plays, we’ve only earned fractions of a penny…but I digress).
I did, however, want to point you to David Lowery’s Letter to Emily White. David Lowery, for those who don’t know or remember was the lead singer/guitarist in the seminal 90s indie bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker. Emily White is an NPR intern and DJ who wrote a heartfelt blog about how she had a lot of music she’d not paid for, and her ethical conundrum of loving music and wanting to do the right thing. Without sanctimoniousness or ego, Lowery lays out in a lengthy but incredibly well-worded letter the situation, and gives a lot of practical suggestions of how Emily can make good. I think it’s a must read for anyone on the fence about legally buying music—and a must send to anyone that you may know who doesn’t see the value of paying for music.