MacKaye, Moore Debate Indie Issues In Brooklyn

Fugazi frontman/Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore took questions from a packed audience at the Brooklyn Book Fair yesterday (Sept. 14) ...

Fugazi frontman/Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye and Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore took questions from a packed audience at the Brooklyn Book Fair yesterday (Sept. 14), and while the panel was intended as a discussion of the parallel worlds of independent music and book publishing, most of the conversation centered around rock'n'roll.

In response to the moderator's use of the word "Google" as a verb, MacKaye began the panel with a rant about the danger of language being a branded commodity. He then discussed his band's now-legendary $5 cover policy, saying that there are always ways for the music industry to be more efficient. At the same time, he encouraged the audience to support artists by buying their music and seeing their shows.

Moore then fielded a question about the declining influence of physical goods, stating that records at this point seem like more of a fetish object. MacKaye joined the discussion with an anecdote about Dischord's venture into the CD market and his discovery that 70 minutes of music on one disc, no matter the band, was too much.

Finally, the pair addressed the hot-button issue of indie bands associating with brands. MacKaye claimed the notion that working with brands was the only way to expose music is a conceit created by advertisers, and that all bands have a choice as to whether or not to sell their songs.

However, Moore said that once a band releases a recording of a song, the song is a commodity for sale, and that bands should be careful who they sell to, but not write off the idea altogether.

In related news, Dischord has just made its entire catalog available as 320 kbps, DRM-free MP3 files via Dischord.com.