Los Angeles has long been a draw for rock bands. The whole “city of angels” thing and Manson and the Whisky…it’s all very alluring.
The Charlatans - Plastic Machinery (Official Video)
The golden hue has got to be even more enchanting if you grew up in a grimy industrial town in northern England so we can forgive the touristy vibe of the Charlatans’ new video for their new single, “Plastic Machinery,” which unfolds like a running Instagram feed.
Of course, it’s hard to ignore the irony of a song seemingly about the shallowness of consumerism, including the music industry, told through a video that almost entirely focuses on the one member of the band who still looks like a young hipster.
Welcome to the machine!
“Plastic Machinery” features Johnny Marr & Pete Salisbury and is the first single from the upcoming album Different Days, out May 26 om BMG. Pre-order now.
If you would’ve told me back in 1991 that the Charlatans would still be making music twenty-something years later, I would have scoffed. Back then, as much as I enjoyed their Some Friendly album, it was obvious to anybody reading imported copies of the NME that these guys were total bandwagon-jumping posers. The Stone Roses were the real deal and everybody else was a sad imitation. But time has a funny way shaking things out. So here we are in 2015 and the Charlatans are still touring and releasing albums and making videos.
Frontman Tim Burgess revealed “We always knew this album was gonna be given away for free, even before we started writing so we wanted to make it the best album we’ve ever made. This isn’t a case of left over tracks and b-sides, we wanted to give our fans a quality record.”
Leader Tim Burgess talks to Wired: “It was actually by complete fluke that the day that we announced [giving away our music], two hours later Radiohead announced that they were going to do their thing also…” Doh.
What is puzzling is how those who decide to pursue music as a full-time endeavor will be able to support themselves in any way that would allow them to have a roof over their heads that won’t be corrugated and to eat things that don’t contain dodgy ingredients from China. Certainly, there is a bell-shaped curve as regard the amount of money that can be made as a musician. This ranges from those who are generating busker-like incomes to, say, the Rolling Stones. There is, perforce, the bigger middle.
But now the economies have changed and are changing.
With Radiohead and the Charlatans announcing that they’re going to an alternative income-sourcing model for their latest releases by putting them online for download (the former asking for a pittance at a minimum; the latter going out there with whatever the downloader deems fit), does this portend a situation wherein there will be sustainable full-time musicians or will this become the purview of, say, hobbyists?