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Web Letter

"Now that (music is) no longer a supposedly viable commercial venture..." Hmm... No, it's likely not, given the rise of P2P networks and such.

While I find Mr. Cocker quite intelligent, and his thoughts on GarageBand and music collecting in the era of the iPod and mass storage devices rather insightful, I wish he had a less resigned attitude about P2P. I suppose, though, since he's already made his millions it's not such a concern of his. Yes, it would be nice if musicians could sit around galleries all day, playing music just for the sake of playing music. Unlike Mr. Cocker, however, 99.9 percent of musicians still need day jobs to pay the rent, and in the era of P2P the odds of breaking out of that cycle--however slim they were before--are slimmer still. We simply can't while away our days creating art. Only the wealthy, like himself, have that option.

Mr. Cocker might note that the price of his new CD--$21.45--is about 150 percent of what it would have cost some ten years ago. Has the cost of raw materials increased in that time? Has general inflation increased by 50 percent? Certainly not by that much. And while perhaps the suits Mr. Cocker wears that cost $2,000 in 1999 now cost $3,000, the increase in purchase price is, I suspect, not merely for the sake of keeping him in this year's Yamamoto but to offset the losses due to illegal downloading. Mr. Cocker is, as much as he tries to put himself objectively outside the fray, just as concerned with the bottom line and keeping-up-with-the-Joneses as everyone else. Only his Joneses are in a far higher tax bracket than the rest of us.

Perhaps, with his millions, he could set up a fund from which innumerable artists could have paid residencies in these galleries and yoga studios he's so fond of, and spend their days simply making art for art's sake.

Seth Gordon

myspace.com/soundnotmusic<br />New York, NY

Sep 3 2009 - 10:34am