By at 11:57 AM Tuesday, June 9th 2009


Right And Wrong

Britney Spears, Music


This morning I find myself somewhat fascinated by what we can- and can’t- get away with posting online. We exist to nurture the art of recorded music. We’re a small group of hardcore fans, supporting a larger community of like minds. We are the consumers of music. We buy the albums. We buy the concert tickets. The t-shirts. The deluxe box sets. Yet we have to toe a line, because if our methods of support ever dare conflict with a marketing scheme, we’re hauled out as traitors and thieves.

Britney Spears Topless

The other day we got some really cool demos from the recording sessions for the new Pearl Jam album. But we’re not going to post them or talk about them, because some lawyers somewhere think… Well, who knows what they think? They’ll take away from the impact of the new album’s marketing efforts? Maybe it would cut into sales? We know that neither of these are likely; The fans would talk about them incessantly (right through walking into Target on release day), while the casual passers-by would simply ignore them. They’re really rough demos. And any internet buzz it might incite would only raise awareness for the album among a bunch of people that haven’t been aware of a new Pearl Jam album since before Axl started working on Chinese Democracy.

But we’re not posting them, for at least two reasons: First, of course, I still await sentencing for “promoting” / “damaging” the aforementioned GNR album, and a new criminal charge would likely send me straight to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

Second, we’ve come to respect the artist’s right to determine how their art is presented.

Britney Spears Topless #12

…I think.

See, we can post these newly-unearthed topless photos of Britney Spears from the Gimme More video shoot, and no one gives a shit. Does posting these photos of Britney’s spheres, at the height of her 2007 psycho breakdown, not disrespect her right to present herself in her own way? Of course it does (not that this right hasn’t already been taken away from her by her omnipotent handlers), but no one really cares, because it doesn’t threaten any marketing plan.

The times, they are confusing. What we know to be promotion is occasionally called betrayal, by parties that we know know better. We know it because we’ve caught them faking it. And when they’ve done it “by accident,” with no one but themselves to blame, what happens? No one gets fired. The album debuts at #1 but… well… it would have sold even more!

If only less people heard it…

That’s just the political side. I suppose I’d “get it” if I was in spent more time in the Industry. But I’ve been an American citizen my whole life, and I’m still struggling with the First Amendment.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails recently went on a well-publicized tirade on double standards:

“Wal-Mart went on a rampage years ago insisting all music they carry be censored of all profanity and ‘clean’ versions be made for them to carry… NIN refused, and you’ll notice a pretty empty NIN section at any Wal-Mart…

My reasoning was this: I can understand if you want the moral posturing of not having any ‘indecent’ material for sale- but you could literally turn around 180° from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film Scarface completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?”

And that’s how we feel every time we have to make a judgment call as “bloggers,” as journalists. We have to weigh apples against ostriches, every single time. Rough demos are a violation of discretion, but stolen photos of an artist butt-ass naked are perfectly fine. Last week, we got a scary cease & desist order for posting a fan recording of a band that fucking “welcomes” fan recordings!

We weren’t the only ones confused by that one.

We’re doing our best to play along according to rules that seem to change daily. We don’t understand how the record industry would prefer that we operate. Not that we’re waiting on them to tell us- They’re clearly still trying to figure out how to operate themselves. But it’d be nice to know the common ground from the battlefront. Because as it stands, we don’t.

Here, invade Brit Brit’s privacy. Disrespect her with all of your filthy, deviant fantasies. It’s okay. She’s famous.

Just don’t listen to the new Mars Volta album, or the new Clutch album, or the new Incubus album. Don’t play them for your friends. Because they aren’t on sale yet.




Meanwhile, On The Internet...

  1. Stoo says:

    That first paragraph was spot on. These things mystify me.

  2. zoopster says:

    Well said.

  3. Mirella says:

    I wish band members would actually read this, instead of all their ‘legal advisers’, who are mainly non music loving scum, in my opinion.

  4. Joe Finger! says:

    so now major corporations want to control free minded journalism?

    whats next? the world?! if not already..

    damn. somethings gotta be done … since last year!

  5. hairboy says:

    I don’t know how ‘big’ this site is, but I wish it was ‘bigger’.

  6. Skwerl says:

    and we wish there were millions of people as cool as our readers, to make that happen.

  7. hairboy says:

    pirate more albums, duh.

  8. zeynox says:

    Great article…
    I wish there were more like you; like us.

  9. choirboy says:


  10. junkyard says:

    Her nipples look fucking chewed up man.

  11. tng/dharma69 says:

    I obviously missed this article but it’s worth responding to: I remember watching Bill O’Reilly (yeah that’s right, I watch Bill O) and he commented on the ridiculousness of these photos because he just “knew” that they were leaked intentionally, probably by Spears herself even with the exposed boobs. Making it one more reason to care less about them. Personally I thought that since they were photos of Spears that that was the one reason not to care about them but I’m not one of the masses, therefore clueless. Anyway, I never thought that Reznor and I had anything in common but I’m glad to have been just as confused by the WalMart’s moral ambiguity. But the moral (ha!) of that story is that while physical record sales have steadily declined, sales of video games and movies seem to be doing just fine. WalMart simply does itself less damage by limiting the availability of NIN albums than the merchandise that moves and they can still claim to be looking out for and preserving a sense of decency values. And yes, this article should be in every band’s back pocket…or at least in the back of their minds.

  12. Karl says:

    I think the pictures make her money and this is way. Whether you like to admit to it or not Britney is damn hot. Even though some will disagree with this she is still one of the sexiest women on earth. If you look at her fan base shes getting more and more straight guys listening to her everyday. Take me for example. I have a girlfriend, been with her for the last three years. I am one of those straight guys. I have all her albums. 30% of the reason is because I liked what I heard but the other 70% was all down to my dick. Just being honest. I mean if those guys who deny that brit is hot, if they were givin a shot with her their pants be down in a sec without question. Heck even my girlfriend said she’d have no problem screwing Britney haha. Anyway enough blabbing. Point I’m tryin to make is that whether Britney was betrayed or not or if this was some kinda fucked up marketing scheme I bet Britney is damn glad that those pictures are out there now because with all the awards she’s won for just lookin pretty all her life, the huge growth in her fan base especially with the dudes. These pics have definitely helped her carrier in the long run. Because she has made a massive comeback. She’s got more money than she ever had and all shows since the release of the “blackout” have been soldout. Brit probably wasn’t too happy with leaked pics at first but she’s one happy girl now I’d say. Nobody cares bout brits nude bod on the net except for the guys that WANT to see them ;). I’m another example of that. Cause I fuckin googled them and thats the only reason why I read this article. Friend told bout pics n I got interested. Sorry for the graphic talk but I believe that honesty is the only way to make a true and valid point.

  13. Robert says:

    Thank you, I love to read articles that are informative and beneficial in nature.

  14. Ah, Mall-Wart: can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Imagine my shock when I spied a copy of A Clockwork Orange on Blu-Ray this past week. *rolls eyes*

    • Yes you absolutely can live without ‘em. Just choose not to and find alternatives. And why would you be shocked that a very common cult-favorite movie would be for sale there?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>