Sanchez Saves the Starving Rock Star! Thankful Sanchez must express his gratitude that he lives in the same world as Ann Powers?as long as she's writing, he'll never go hungry! "'Perhaps Ms. Powers is just as thankful for the continued existence of Jon Pareles,' comments the pithy Sister of Sanchez," the Sister of Sanchez commented pithily, "for isn't her job description essentially to make him look good?"
Envious Sanchez wants two of whatever Powers has been taking! "'Tiny purple fishes running laughing through his fingers,' murmurs the Sister of Sanchez," the Sister of Sanchez murmured. Powers goes on and on about how "a deeper conflict resonates behind the money issue: the question of a rock star's control of his art, his time, even his own identity," and positing puzzling parallels with the deaths of John Lennon (aha! Murdered by a fan!) and Kurt Cobain (murdered by...uh, himself, but, you know, maybe because he didn't like his fans!). Powers writes: "Metallica's move against Napster is much like the angry shove the rock star gives the unlucky hundredth fan who clamors for a chat, a kiss, an autograph." Confused Sanchez wonders if this comparison is perhaps rooted more in some traumatic experience Powers had with one of her teen idols than any realistic idea one might have of someone's attitude about an artist's public demanding that they abandon their vocation and start working for free? If so, Sanchez politely requests that Powers drop the Times gig, go back to waitressing and instead channel her critical abilities into a fanzine published by a bored Kinko's employee.
"'Powers might as well hail K-Rock as an arm of the revolution,' sighs the put-upon Sister of Sanchez," the put-upon Sister of Sanchez sighed. Though, come to think of it, K-Rock sure did help Rage Against the Machine sell a lot of shirts with Che Guevara's mug on them, and that's power to the people, right? But absentminded Sanchez digresses. What Powers seems to be missing is that neither Metallica nor fellow Napster-denouncer Dr. Dre need really worry about their bucks?rather, the musicians who stand to lose their shirts are the artier set, the bulk of whose paying audience is drawn from the college students with whom Napster is such a huge hit. Helpful Sanchez suggests that if Powers really wants Kid Rock to have all the available cash from the teenage allowances of America, she simply start canvassing for direct donations; and if she really wants to eliminate specialty independent labels, she invest in an elephant gun! Furthermore, the most immediate casualty of the file-sharing revolution will probably make a direct impact on Powers'?and every other critic's?wallet: what label in its right mind is going to send out an advance copy of any release to any reviewer if doing so all but ensures instant, worldwide bootlegging? Though Sanchez can see the benefit of taking away all the free CDs from the writers, thus eliminating the single perk of the job and thereby?trembling Sanchez is beside himself!?eliminating the profession itself! "'Now why would nasty Sanchez try to make Bob Christgau cry?' scolds the peaceloving Sister of Sanchez," the peaceloving Sister of Sanchez scolded. Anyway, fatalistic Sanchez shouldn't let his blood boil over this stuff: it's clear to clear-eyed Sanchez that very soon all music will become shareware?any artist who doesn't want to aim for TRL or who won't (or can't) live on tour (and profitably so!) must be content with merely being a hobbyist, and those who don't know enough about computers to download the free shit will be paying $80 for a CD.
NEXT: Sanchez declares victory! Billy Corgan announces a Smashing Pumpkins breakup due to an inability to "fight the good fight against the Britneys"! Superhappy Sanchez provides complimentary beverages for the entire Tri-State area!