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“The Problem with Music” in Spanish o “El Problema de la Musica” en Ingles

A few months ago before we got incandescantly busy, Alfredo Vargas from Colombia sent in a great Spanish translation of Steve Albini’s “The Problem with Music”. This is the English version on Negativland’s site and here is the long awaited Spanish version. It helped me brush up on Spanish and reminded me of the major points of Albini’s article – the picture that major label A&R guys paint to young, striving bands is one that glosses over how much they’ll be paying to get a record out and play a month of shows, and how record companies make millions while bands that only sell about 250,000 albums (!) make around 4,000 dollars. The glory of selling 250,000 albums seems to easily diminish after these bands realize they are still locked up in their contracts for at least the next few albums. Albini points out that the t-shirt companies these bands are hooked up with also charge more than bands can afford, so that’s why we think indie bands should go to our man, Jake or to vgkids. We believe it is possible and we think it is important for music that everyone who wants a chance at fame shouldn’t have to run the major label dungheaps to get there.

Speaking of fame sans dungheap, independent labels and bands seem to be doing well; especially Beggar’s Banquet since the M.I.A. album blew up (with the help of internet-say). She’s everyone’s favorite, (especially Holmes’) because she’s good at fashion, dancing, singing, creating art, and thinking. Anyone have actual record sales numbers? I’m also delighted that people I don’t expect to have heard of Mirah have heard about her. There’s lots of reasons to like her work, she’s very inclusive. We went to TT the Bears to see a major label band the other day and afterwards, the club was listening to Mirah there and my friend there knew about her. Mirah, like other K Records bands play shows where “there is no “difference” between the musician and the audience, you can ask them to hang out afterwards”, says Tricia. It seems Mirah and K Records are doing well for themselves without all the slime.

Alfredo also had the help of Jupiter from CC. Thank you so much to the both of them for reaching out to Spanish speakers. Alfredo says he’ll also be translating our flyers into Spanish too, so watch for them in your Latin American and Spanish-European countries soon. Alfredo, we might have another translation job for you too!

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