Selling Out: A Pearl Jam Story

    Selling Out: it’s by far the dirtiest term in the music industry and defines the constant struggle between art and the act of exploiting it. It’s the classic tale of a young band starting out, achieving the good fortune of being “discovered,” swiftly given a record deal and later linking to large corporations to sell and advertise their work. For artists, this means getting recognized, traveling the world and actually making a living off playing in a band. For business owners, this means reaping the cash benefits from someone else’s work, and making it widely available to consumers. For many fans, it means disappointment.

    So what happens when the artist in question wants to stay old fashioned, but still intends to cooperate with the lords of mass production? According to Slate.com, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is one such musician who has inevitably “sold out.” Vedder has in the past stated his strong preference for buying vinyl over MP3s and even refused to make music videos in the early 90’s for fear of marketing themselves. Today however, Pearl Jam albums can be found in massive box sets with tracks used as promotional ringtones. Slate explores “Selling Out” through the lens of Vedder in a critical essay, which discusses Vedder’s long-standing idealism, and the general hypocrisy of Pearl Jam’s deciding to allow corporate chains to profit off of them. [Slate.com] via [Daily Swarm]