Tuesday, August 21, 2007

business discussion with a record store troll

JW went up to it, the desk.

"How many web sites can we sell you today?" JW asked playfully, with venom in his stride, as he whisked past the proprietor, who was in his habitual mode of staring at a computer screen. JW advanced rapidly, heading for the far end of the record shop, where he settled in briefly, pretending to forage.

"None," the scraggly owner retaliated. "You must really want something," he continued, in reference to the driving rain that was forcing other customers to stay at home and wait it out.

"No. My boss isn't coming in for another hour, and it's 11:30 already, and I'm bored. So I thought I'd come in and harrass you. If I'm really stupid, I may buy something. But I better not."

JW stared intensely at the used CDs. Nothing there to tempt him, not today anyway.

"So your band is playing at Blues Fest, eh?" JW interjected abruptly as he moved toward the check out area. "End of August, 31th. What time?"




"How long?"

"Hour and a half."

"Good, an nice extended set," JW replied with a hint of a smile. "You want me to set up an internet channel for live streaming video so your fans can watch you live, right? They can say, that's the band right now! Performing live. They can watch it happen, on their computers at home. That's what you said you were interested in last time we talked."

"What? No. Not a live stream," he said gruffly, like it was some horrible thing. He was freaking out at, automatically assuming, the possibility of this project requiring a new web site to be purchased, not realizing it cost nearly nothing.

"I just want someone to take a video camcorder and film us playing, then give it to us in a file format that we can attach to a newsletter, or upload to YouTube and MySpace."

"What?" JW asked.

"But I don't want to spend any money on it. Anything beyond...breakfast...I'm not interested," the record store owner growled solemnly.

He continued in a violent display of vocal aggression and desperation: "I'm not spending any more money on a band! Never again!"

JW could see through the grim demeanor. Just a plain vanilla loser, a wounded animal who's angry at the entire world and all its representatives. The message was clear: if you want to do any work for me, it has to be free. Maybe I'll buy you a cheap breakfast at Hardees, for doing the video work.

This hateful barb was pressed into JW's aura to cause psyche depletion, like puncturing a balloon full of personality instead of air. It was an ugly, misanthropic attack, a hoped-for hurt inflicted by a down-trodden.

The message: "You are shit. Your so-called expertise is worth no more than a breakfast to me. If you're hungry, I'll pay for your breakfast, but that's it. I don't care about my music anymore, so I'm taking it out on you. Punishing you makes me feel better, maliciously, inhumanely."

"There are all kinds of free music marketing tools out there, in what they call Web 2.0. If you have the talent, the tools exist!" JW exclaimed as he exited the dilapidated rotting mess of a broken building that housed the record shop.

It was painfully obvious. He dumped a lot of money into his band, but nobody wants the kind of music his band plays, it's just a bar band doing cover tunes, and nobody cares.

Now he's bitter and spiteful, ending his days doing eBay deals, losing money again, but not knowing what else to do. Any talk of promotions, marketing, web sites, or video streaming is just more salt in the wounds.

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