Like I mentioned yesterday in ‘TRADITIONAL MEDIA KILLED IT ALL,’ the quote that got me was, “(podcasting) started as a homegrown endeavor before traditional media got into the game.”

Then I read ‘You Don’t Really Miss Blockbuster‘ by Chris Dalla Riva, and something else hit me between the eyes:

“Blockbuster was also constantly maligned as the corporate behemoth that bowdlerized mom-and-pop video shops.”

Oh, yeah, that’s right. The town I grew up in had several mom-and-pop video stores, one was run by people I knew!

But then Blockbuster rolled in, and the mom-and-pop establishments closed one by one.

It’s like maybe these corporate giants who waltz into our communities don’t have our best interests in mind (see also Conde Nast buying Pitchfork, Bandcamp left in the hands of Epic Games).


Peter Kirn at Create Digital Media talks about SoundCloud and Bandcamp, and how they’re devolving into money machines for corporate shareholders.

“It’s a simultaneous reminder that we need to build something new, maybe this time not for the investors, but for the eu-IVs – for each other.”

Let’s stop waiting for the next publication or platform to save us. The fix isn’t waiting for tech bros to share a tenth of a penny more in streaming payouts – the power is with people reading newsletters and creating websites.

“Yeah, but Seth, these things cost money!”

Well, buy a domain name or wait by the phone for the next big platform – I turn 50 soon and I ain’t got time to wait.

The mass scale of social media was a mirage and we all fell for it. Going viral is the draw to get you in the casino, and you pay with hours of your precious life feeding the social monster for your chance at 12 likes.

Let’s start using the internet as a tool to find our freaks and build our communities. Make things and launch projects.

Make the weird shit you want to see in the world, and don’t just do it for likes or shares – reach out to the other weird shit people and start conversations.

It’s like we’re meeting at the mall food court – find your fellow weirdos and then get the hell out. Go to the record store downtown, go to a friend’s house and watch skate videos, hang out at a park – these are all the things social media platforms are afraid of.

Are we replacing Pitchfork tomorrow? No.

Will another site become the new Bandcamp?

Probably not.

But why have we become compliant little pawns in all this?

Are we so powerless to change the current situation that we sit back and hope somebody else fixes everything?

And then what? That person will sell the company to a Nabisco+Tide hedge fund subsidiary, and we’ll be back where we started.

Maybe centralized kingdoms of power and influence aren’t the answer.

Local music scenes seem to get along without local press, huh?

Gallery openings keep happening with zero coverage from local media.

I’ve seen individuals host creative Zoom sessions with 45+ people spanning several time zones.

I see artists speaking directly with their fans with reliable email lists, selling tickets and albums in the process.

Now imagine if all these pockets of culture and art and magic started organizing and working together.


“That article reads as a kind of elegy to SoundCloud’s heyday, before multiple pivots through chaotic monetization and promotion. At least Bandcamp still works – for now. It’s a simultaneous reminder that we need to build something new, maybe this time not for the investors, but for the eu-IVs – for each other. For a reason to keep producing and uploading, and a place to do it. And, importantly, for listening.”

Peter Kirn at Create Digital Media

I love this so much: “a simultaneous reminder that we need to build something new, maybe this time not for the investors, but for the eu-IVs – for each other.”

WordPress can have a steep learning curve, but get a few friends together, figure it out, and we’ve got a new “media outlet.”

I’ve seen some music newsletters on Substack, but I fear shit like that can implode at any point, too. Sure, I’m sure as heck using it, but making sure this blog is updated, secure, and the domain name ain’t gonna lapse.

Like… we need need to stop waiting for the next MUSIC PUBLICATION to figure their shit out, and just make it ourselves, like we used to back in the day.

Our bands couldn’t play the big venues, so we rented VFWs and firehalls and made it happen.

Like, Spotify and Apple Music will not magically start paying artists more.

The big outlets aren’t going to feature you, and even if they do, it probably won’t amount to much because the big outlets have devolved into showcasing death and drama, turning their readership into gossip-hungry zombies.

I’m jaded as fuck at this ‘cuz I’ve seen it devolve for the past 20 years. The fix ain’t waiting for tech-bros to develop new platforms – the power is with the people on the streets and the bedrooms to make it happen.