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Desecration Smile May 10, 2006 – 9:46 p.m. – Permalink
Celebrated but undisturbed
Serenaded by the terror bird
It’s seldom seen but it’s never heard
(Serenaded by the terror bird)
DESECRATION SMILE,
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS

Or, A Case Study: Stadium Arcadium (working title).

Yesterday I purchased the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album entitled Stadium Arcadium, and my first reaction upon listening to the songs was “wow.” The Peppers’ tone is wonderful as always, even on a rather subdued album compared to the others. I particularly enjoyed their focus on lyricism rather than — hang on a minute, wasn’t there a leak?

In the music industry, the World Wide Web is the worst thing ever to happen on Earth (something my friend Sam has reiterated more than a thousand times to me). Just ask yourself: How easy is it to share music freely and without any major repercussions? How simple is it to download music illegally while still getting caught? How much does the music industry suffer from music sharing and downloading?

The answer to all of those questions is “very.” Want to share music? Limewire or Kazaa. Want to download music? BitTorrent or BitComet. Want to kill the music industry? All of the above.

One of the worst things that have been happening consistently since the Web was invented by Tim Berners–Lee is album leaks. As Flea (Michael Balzary) wrote in his journal on May 2, 2006: “When I woke up this morning I was was confronted with the news that our record has been leaked to the Internet. It does not come out until May 9 but now it has leaked. And not that I know a lot about this kind of thing but I guess now it is possible to download it for free if you want. ... And that will break my heart, it will break John Frusciante’s heart, it will break Anthony Kiedis’s heart, and it will break the heart of Chad Smith. Yes, we worked for a year and a half to make the epic record of our lives and this is sad to me for the business reasons of course. But also, I think we are selling something really cool and we put all we had into it; 28 songs, 2 hours of the best that we can offer.”

By inspecting closely how Flea feels about his band’s work, you can tell that he isn’t pleased at all by what has been occurring recently around the Web in relation to music. One has to realize that the iTunes Music Store isn’t the only way to obtain music. It’s so simple a fifth–grader could probably download the entire Red Hot Chili Peppers discography off of IsoHunt or Torrentspy with ease.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers exerted a lot of energy and time working on this album; it’s instantly recognizable with the first riffs from “Snow ((Hey Oh))” and the bass line in “So Much I.” It’s essential that we understand how much work it takes to record an entire album. And to have it leaked like Stadium Arcadium was is the worst desecration to music possible, even though the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still smiling.

It’s not a matter of whether you have all the lyrics or not. It’s not a matter of whether you have the members of From First to Last glaring on the back of their albums or not. It’s not a matter of whether you have something to show off to your friends or not.

It’s a matter of respect. Whether it’s Stadium Arcadium or something else you want to download freely, show some respect for hard work and actually buy the album for a change.

In other news only one person entered the logo contest. Perhaps it was a mistake to hold it after all.