Garth’s Store

I’m just one or two years and a couple of changes behind you

“Fountain Of Sorrow”
Jackson Browne

Apple discontinues the iPod and Garth Brooks puts up an MP3 selling site, believing it’s about the deal, unaware that no one wants gasoline in an electric world.

Well, we haven’t quite hit that point in automobiles, and maybe hydrogen wins, but haven’t we had enough of Garth’s self-satisfied, aw shucks demeanor wherein he lectures us whilst saying it’s all about his family and his fans?

Come on Garth, it’s all about you, always has been.

And I hear he’s doing half the shows he wants to, but what intrigues me is the deafening silence re his download store. This is a guy who holds a press conference for a fart, who weighs in on the minutiae of his career, why no victory lap delineating the sales of his music?

Because the numbers are bad.

Can I prove that?

No, but neither can you.

That’s the world today, you whip out a falsehood and hope it sticks, believing everybody’s too busy to fact check. Kind of like the Miss America pageant. Watch John Oliver’s takedown of the organizations proclamation of its delivery of $45 million in scholarship money here:

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Miss America Pageant

In other words, even when Garth Brooks comes out and tells us how many files he’s sold, don’t believe him.

But the truth is files are dead.

But what stuns me is the people who are now defending files over streams, who once upon a time defended CDs over files. They too are living in the past.

And then there’s Garth’s single. What a piss-poor effort. So treacly upbeat as to make one go into sugar shock. Garth couldn’t see the game had changed? People loving people? In the land of Ferguson? He’d be better off hooking up with Dallas Davidson and the usual suspects since country radio is a game and either you’ve got to play it or live outside it, unlike at Burger King you cannot have it your way.

So what we’ve learned here is it’s about the game, not the player.

And that stunts work once, like Garth’s CD sale at Wal-Mart, and then they die. Yup, seen any superstar selling exclusive product at the reviled discounter recently? Not to the point anybody knows about it.

Turns out country fans are streaming too, which is not hard to believe when the hits contain rap and electronic elements.

Your job as a musician is to make music.

Race car drivers don’t build automobiles.

Baseball players don’t make bats.

And they’re called Sony and Canon, not “Spielberg.”

Garth, you’re a has-been. Who’s been so busy making lunch and driving your kids to school that you seem to have missed the entire internet era.

You could catch up.

But U2 couldn’t.

P.S. You won’t watch the above John Oliver clip, because it’s fifteen minutes long, but his fans did. Furthermore, notice that HBO has not issued a takedown notice, knowing that when you’re building your enemy is obscurity. But John Oliver is so good that he’s developed a cadre of fans. And in today’s world, where it’s so difficult to gain critical mass, those who do have power. Yes, while Garth and the rest of those left in the last century play to the media, the youngsters play to their fans, they go down. Knowing that what’s in the media can be easily ignored, it’s seen for what it is, hype, and you establish fans one by one and if you’re truly excellent they convert others and build an army. But John Oliver is on fire, Garth Brooks is a smoldering ember at best.

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