Tax and Spend (and Spend and Spend and Spend...)
Bragg has announced that he will no longer pay income tax and he's encouraging everyone else to join him in the tax boycott. Bragg wants the government in the UK to step in and limit giant bonus payments to execs at the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is scheduled to pay a reported $2.5 billion in bonuses next month, even while politicians are threatening huge cuts in public spending due to the rising national debt.
Music industry pundits are predicting that the massive growth of digital downloads may level off this year, not because of return to older formats like CD or vinyl, but to an even more ephemeral delivery system — streaming audio.
Instead of purchasing MP3s, more and more music listeners are content to listen to music stored on other people's servers, migrating in droves to services like Pandora, LastFM, Spotify and LaLa (which was acquired late last year by Apple, another sign of a probable paradigm shift).
Technological advancements are making “on demand” services more attainable, and the industry, which was so seemingly caught off guard by the download revolution, is already looking at ways to capitalize and stay ahead of the curve (which pretty much means subscription fees for currently-free sites are imminent). So now guys at bars who had to shift pick-up lines from “Hey baby, wanna come back to my place and check out my huge record collection” to “I've got a massive iTunes library back at my pad” will now have to develop personalities or come up with new ways to pick up girls. “I've got the Barry White station on Pandora bookmarked,” just doesn't have the same seductive ring to it.
If the campaign succeeds, look for new UK holidays like “Black Sabbath” (Feb. 13, the date Sabbath's debut album came out), “Metallicamas” (Aug. 3, celebrating the birth of Lord Savior, James Hetfield) and the Metal April Fool's Day, March 2, the day Jethro Tull won the first Hard Rock/Metal Grammy award, in 1988. We're also looking forward to employers' responses to “religious dress” (torn jeans and faded concert T-shirt) and “It's my religion/It's against my religion” excuses (no Muzak in the office, mandatory 4:20 p.m. “smoke breaks”).