Factor Responses

The Factor article is still generating crazy hits, but the other side is absolutely quiet. I guess the best defense is to shut up and hope that the criticism goes away. I know for a fact that the people who I directly implicated have seen it, but the closest to an acknowledgement is the drummer from Broken Social Scene calling me a “brave motherfucker.”

Which is kind of sad in a way. It shouldn’t take “bravery” to point out the truth. Shows how far we’ve gone down this rabbit hole: afraid to speak up out of fear of bursting the bubble.

Aaron Levin, the mastermind behind Weird Canada, a guy who I value as a dear friend (and who has been the most vocal critic of this blog, a testament to the strength of our friendship) pointed out on twitter the other day that the single best fix for FACTOR is to stop funding bands and businesses, and start funding services:

“Fund the eco-system that produces art: fund venues, fund open/public studios, fund jam spaces, fund recording education, fund transportation. Avoid the sticky issues surrounding “subjectivity” by empowering *everyone* to produce art.”

I think that this is exactly correct. Weird Canada just got a large FACTOR grant to start one such service – the WYRD DISTRO, which is a service that will allow smaller/niche bands and microlabels to distribute their physical goods with minimal interference from middlemen.

How it works: you send the distro a few of your tapes, CDRs, 7”s (or whatever), Weird Canada puts them on an online database, and when music lovers or record stores buy them, the money is automatically put the money aside for you. Weird Canada’s consignment fee is $1, and because they are a registered Non-profit, the money will go to new, artist-friendly programs. Win-win.

Not to reiterate the point for the millionth time – but it was never my intention to say that FACTOR is evil, but to point out how it has been co-opted by savvy businessmen at the expense of Canadian music in general. We get the systems we deserve, and I believe that we deserve better.

Thou shalt not tiptoe quietly towards death.

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