How to misstreat your fans – struck by lightning

Warning – this is a rant and a rather emotional one at that and not based on anything except my own feelings and the hurt status of them. Expect a lot of foul words and generalizations that stretch the truth far. You have been warned…

This year I think I have more or less pre-ordered more albums from the artists themselves or their fan clubs etc then ever. It is something new, and it feels rather satisfactory to deal directly with fan clubs or artists this way. Not sure how much it actually benefits them or not – but the feeling gets a bit closer at least. Most are pre-ordered at least and it has been up to now a rather pleasant journey. It started with ordering Nick Cave’s CD from NickCave.com – and everything worked fine. Did receive it the day after official release though – not very fun, but I will explain why the release date is important later.

First to arrive after this was Queens of the Stone age, which arrived on time.

I then pre-ordered both Anna Calvi’s and NIN’s CD’s. Both arrived on the day. Very pleased at this. In all fairness How to Destroy Angels “An Omen” was first – but that was digital download, albeit in 24 Bit loss-less…

Received Motörhead’s CD today, which is the stores release date in Sweden for this album. Good.

ZZ Top came earlier this year on time etc.

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So why pre-order in the first way?
Well, for me it gives the illusion to secure some future of hope for artists that I like to see release more material. It is a way for them to actually have an economical situation under control. Much like securing capital during a production, risk investment etc 🙂 It sounds rather big right, its only a CD? No – it is big business in the end, just because we might think of it as “only” this or that – make no mistake – people make a living and good living out of ordinary items and CD’s are one of those things you still make money of. Another thing is that I completely and utterly loathe iTunes, and iTunes has become synonym with music release in US and all artists are screaming about pre-listening and pre-ordering on iTunes. Now Amazon exists as well – but come on – MP3’s? Hardly any better than the radio quality we here (slight over exaggeration) but I want AT LEAST CD quality for my music. If you say you can’t hear a difference or that no one can – you obviously haven’t used your ears well enough.

Secondly, I don’t want my enjoyment in discovering a new album on my own. Not polluted by others’ thoughts and arguments. I don’t want to hear it on my way to the bus on lousy Spotify quality. I want to sit down, have it either loss-less in my headphones over my DAC – or in my chair in front of the stereo with a booklet and browse through the text as I listen to the Album for the first time. Yeah, I might be old or odd – but I do listen to Albums – not just songs. It is important to me and if you dislike it – go fuck yourself – I let you listen however you want and being over defensive regarding this is because it is my last bastion of self indulgence.

Thirdly – it is a bond to your favourite bands/artists. A sort of – I like you enough to keep you doing this, and I expect you to treat me with some white lies and talk to me as if I had a group personality 😉

Enter the fuck-ups and poor fan treatment
I was at the cinema and saw Metallica’s Through the Never and loved it. I really do like Metallica and I’m not one of those that called every album a sell-out. I have my definite favorites both new and old and I don’t feel that Metallica is best at making money. They are good at it, but they treat their fans right. They thank them, they respond to them and they made an impression by signing autographs and giving back. Now they are the example of something I consider good.

We’re getting closer. The band – one of my absolute favorites and I really love their music, Pearl Jam started things off by making some rather arrogant referrals to MTV pop and awards and it was like “Yeah they kept themselves apart from that”. Then they said they were going to do not only the best Pearl Jam record, but the best record ever. Really? Did you inherit the Gallagher brothers ego?
Next, we are treated to a shitstorm of Lightning Bolt tweets and information that you as a 10C member can pre-order the record. From iTUNES but also physical. So, said and done – I pre-order the 10C edition. Digital files and CD in one. Sounds nice.
Twitter shitstorm continues and the inevitable pre-released songs hit the internet. It is nigh impossible not to hear it. Then song nr 2 is released and then my hate nr 1: the full stream of the album and all of a sudden the bloody internet is full of overly fan-gasm reviews and cheers. And you still don’t have the CD.
So, turn off the Tweets and sink your head down, wait for D-Day. D-Day – it is with light steps that I rush from my car – all day I have had this shitty day at work. It is stressful and stuff happen – you know work. But today – I know that I have something to look forward to.

YEAH WE KNOW WHERE LIGHTNING STRIKES! 😀
Apparently not in my mailbox.

Grumpy I think, sure it is one day late most likely – the shipment however said is was sent the 4th of October. I thought in all honestly that I would already have it.

Today, it is the 23rd – still no fucking CD. I asked the TENCLUB shipping for some information and status – I got a brief explanation that shipping is 10-14 days – yeah right…. but could be internationally from 4-8!!!! fucking weeks. Pre-order at Ten club why?
And if the CD haven’t arrived after some gruesome 90 days! it is considered lost. 90 fucking days? It’s a quarter of a fucking year! And then I have to wait til next CD is shipped. Or…
I could get store credit….

Fuck that, I want my money back so I can take the few steps to a store and pay the dude or dudette hard-earned cash to a money-grubbing megaindustry that gives me my fucking CD in the hand – I walk out and can slap the thing into my stereo once home.

Now didn’t I mention digital files? Oh yes I did. I downloaded the high res (which turns out to be shitty CD wav files – what is high-definition about that?) and starts tagging them to fit into the media library. I listen and I’m not impressed. Not impressed by the quality. It is low sound and the album is, pop:ish and has some true hits – some real MTV bangers and some elevator tunes. I guess my foul mood is coloring it blacker here, but this isn’t the best record ever (now that is a fucking laugh – a dry and cynical at that) it isn’t close to being the best PJ album ever – nor in the 2000’s. It is OK – but nothing else.

What really grieves me is that I’m not alone. We are many fans shopping at the TENCLUB, posting in the forums of CD’s that don’t arrive and Vinyl’s not coming and being of shitty quality.
The Vinyl problem is officially mentioned by some TENCLUB dude in the forums. Sure, that’s a nice thing. In the forum where people wondering where their albums are – it is dead quiet from the TENCLUB or the band.
Would it hurt the Pearljam twitter account to mention that they are sorry to hear fans aren’t receiving their PRE-ORDERED CD’s from their own fan club?
No, go on to Jimmy Fallon and have a Pearl Jam week you fucking Grunge Hobbit. Sellouts? No – PJ has become full of themselves.

Nothing.
That is not what I feel whenever the display shows a Lightning Bolt tune coming up – I feel anger and I skip the song.

Motörhead have been tweeting like hell these last weeks, they are retweeting happy fans. They are enjoying it. They have a shit-load of core fans. It is crazy – in a happy fun way – even though my Twitter sessions means scrolling past the last missed 100 retweets of happy Motörhead fans. Well, I guess that the elderly gentlemen in Motörhead (and many other bands) have more time to take care of things like playing music and making the fans happy then the band that is disgruntled with media shows and MTV awards…

Through the neverInstead of ending with a slide remark, I will simply reconnect to a more important thing. Through the never was a great experience. Our show was so loud that I had sore ears for a day or two afterwards. The live movie clips were fun, the side story a bit weird but kind of fits well with a metal-video:esque feeling. The re-recorded material however is nothing less than mind blowing. I went home and ordered the double CD and I love it. Great to hear the new Metallica feeling hungry and closer to the original – but with a rather hefty bag of experience do this return to old material. If you can’t see them live this year – go watch Through the never – hell – go see it anyway! the 3D is gimmicky and while I don’t like it – it doesn’t distract too much from the rest of the experience IMO.

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About sketchywolf

sketchywolf(aka Foolwolf) is a blog where I will try different hobbies and document them on. Certain ramblings and may even start some story writing etc. I will also try to have a collection of my reviews of all things that I try and wants to share...
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