Fetishize The Past? Google Executive’s Double-Vinyl-Gatefold-Sleeve-Rock-Opera Of A Straw Man Argument.

Paul Resnikoff at Digital Music News was masochistic enough to transcribe a rant  given by Google’s Tim Quirk at Future Of Music Coalition Conference last month. Tim takes a blog from The New Yorker that may or may not romanticize shopping for vinyl in shops in the 90s.  He then makes a false equivalency between that and artist’s current criticism of the current digital services and royalties.

This is the mother of all straw man arguments.  And again we need to call him out on it.

Artists are not fetishizing the past.   They are simply asking for fair pay in the digital age. End of story.  

Of course there is another interpretation of this.  Is Quirk implying fair artist royalties are some sort of fetish from the past?

If this is the case, count me as really confused. For wasn’t it Tim Quirk who in 2009 magnificiently ranted on his band’s website (Quirk was in the band Too Much Joy)  how his old record label Warner Bros was not properly crediting his account with digital royalties?


I quote from his blog:

“So I was naively excited when I opened the envelope. And my answer was right there on the first page. In five years, our three albums earned us a grand total of…


What the fuck?”

So what happened to the 2009 Tim?

I’ll tell you.  He got a Job at Google.  Meet the new boss Tim.  Yourself.

(BTW all artists should read the transcription of Tim’s remarks.  There is a visceral hostility toward artists throughout the entire piece that is quite startling  considering he is an executive in Google’s music division. Just saying.)

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.

5 thoughts on “Fetishize The Past? Google Executive’s Double-Vinyl-Gatefold-Sleeve-Rock-Opera Of A Straw Man Argument.

  1. Recently I’ve been messing about with one of these streaming sites, and what I notice is that a large number of users have 1000s of artists in their play lists, and mainly listened 3 times to each of the artist (whether that is one song 3 times or 3 different songs).

    How can one say that they are a fan of anything when all they’ve done is listen 3 times? It doesn’t seem to be a way of gaining a deep appreciation of music, its a more shallow experience. Looking at the listening stats even absent any listening to albums, there doesn’t appear to be any WTF moments. You know, where you’d say wow and back up to listen to a track several times. Nothing but Artist A 2 plays, Artist B 3 plays, Artist C 3 plays, Artist D 1 play, Artist E 2 plays, Artist F 1 play, Artist G 3 plays …

    But perhaps I’m just old and nostalgic for the time we sat arround the gramophone and listened 1000 time to “Wake up little suzy” cos that was all we had.

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