The Out Door #3: Losing the Little Labels

Most of us, at one point or another, have been guilty of pirating music. We’re all “broke,” which makes downloading, seeding and trading somehow justifiable. Unfortunately, so are the labels that work tirelessly to fulfill our niche tastes:

“Three Lobed, like many taste-driven micro-labels in the experimental music world, has long specialized in convincing listeners to pay for music by bands they’ve never heard. From the maligned metal syndicate Northern Heritage to the raw roots-plus imprint Mississippi Records, small, focused labels generally establish a theme or an aesthetic and build a fanbase around it. That is, if you love one of their releases, chances are you’ll be interested in what’s in the catalog or on deck. These labels, oftentimes side jobs for those that run them, work to attract enough return consumers to sell out of most everything they make, replenishing the coffers enough to fund the next project. But file-sharing sites, coupled with the current economic malaise, have started to filch these consistent consumers to the point that, for some labels, the end might be right about now. And given the important curatorial roles these labels play in keeping music diverse and surprising, that could be a big problem for all listeners.”

A highly recommended read. Great work by Pitchfork’s Grayson Currin.