I keep drawing shirtless old men.

The fact that WalMart is shitting shutting down the DRM servers that allow customer who have purchased music from them to actually listen to said music is a mostly a non-issue for me. If you looked at all of your choices for online music purchasing and chose the place that gives you a case of Coors and a 30 lb bag of cat food with every oil change, then your probably deserve whatever you get.

I was forced for the first time to pay for DRM’d music when, in order to purchase presale tickets to a Ben Folds concert, I was required to buy his new album through the iTunes store. This was a problem for me on so many levels. Ben is my favorite performing artist of any medium. His music has had a greater impact on my life than I can explain in words and I want to thank and support him for that. That’s why I’ve gone to at least 10 Ben Folds shows in the last 8 years. I pay $40 a pop and he gets a healthy chunk of that. I buy $25 teeshirts and he gets nearly all of that. TicketBastard forced me to pay $13 for a group of crippled files, of which Ben probably gets $.05 per track (if that). His label, Sony, gets a fairly even split with Apple. So now I have to burn those broken files to a disk, re-rip them in iTunes and replace them in my library. It’s not hard. It’s just a hassle, and it certainly doesn’t support the artists, which is the only reason I would ever BUY music in the first place.

I enjoyed Ephram and Paw. I might bring them back in the future. Maybe they can tangle with Pete.

(Thanks to FB, Joe Conroy, for inadvertently giving me the punch line for this comic.)

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  1. This comic is a study in juxtaposition, crate and barrel and fancy laptop, proper tech language and "folksy" colloquialisms, shirts and lack of shirts
    😀 Good stuff

  2. While I appreciate Ephram and Paw having mad applescript skillz, CD-RW works in a pinch. My mind is just boggling to work out how to automate this under Windows Media Player since those are wma files.

  3. Fantastic juxtaposition of technological background explosion dream party collectible fun time! 'Irregardless'… we meet again my old nemesis.

  4. Pretty much right on about wanting to "support" Ben Folds (excellent taste, BTW), and how much the artists get screwed. That was a point brought up at the music panel at PAX (MC Frontalot FTW!), that between labeldickery and piracy, they have pretty much no hope of making money from the music itself. Most of any money they make comes from merchandise; as Liz from Freezepop put it, they've come to think of their albums as flyers for their concerts.

  5. Dougie! How I miss the shorn badgers of yore! If you get a badger shirt then I have to get one as well. Feel the smoothness. FEEL IT!

  6. "I gots over 50 jiggabits of music!"

    I don't think there's a line in this comic that isn't a classic and/or T-Shirt worthy. Great job as always, Joel!

    Also, nice touch with the Cow mailbox. Wonder what they're mailing out?

  7. Josh, this comic gave me a severe bout of cognitive dissonance, and I loved every minute of it. The technobillies seem like almost a direct lift from 'Squidbillies' on adult swim.
    Rusty: "Ain't nuthin gonna stop me now but my innate inabilitree to progress cognatious thunk."
    Early: (referring to the laptop he has just urinated on) " I don't associate with those of the robot race"

  8. "That mule's 'bout to squirt out a pup and you're a'gonna catch it fer me."

    I wanna t-shirt with that on one side and "Caress this shorn badger" on the other.

  9. Another phrase that I think people misuse is "veritable quandary". Kinda like "inconceivable" in A Princess Bride, I think people don't really know what a "veritable quandary" is – they just attach the label to whatever they're talking about to make themselves sound smart by using big words. (Kinda like Sarah Palin and "maverick". ZING!)

  10. I hate "irregardless" too. It's one of those words that no one should ever have thought of, but it seemed like somehow *everyone* thought of it simultaneously – and proceeded to use it with reckless abandon.

  11. That's a clever point that Liz from Freezepop made. Also, I wanted to say that I saw Freezepop at PAX 07 and I can't understand why people like them so much. Still, clever point.

  12. Great stuff, Joel. I really think your art is improving exponentially as the weeks go by. The level of detail of Ephram and Paw and the guest stars of the recent karaoke party strip make the characters feel almost three dimensional. I'm curious to see what the regular cast would look like updated to the same level of detail.

  13. Technobillies are far superior to Squidbillies.

    Although, I believe the floor in their little shack needs more crumpled wrappers/packages from generic snack foods.

    Great comic, I lol'd.

  14. Kinda like "guesstimate"…an estimate is already an approximation and a guess is too! I was not aware that the levels of estimation required such fine definition: estimate, guesstimate, guess…

  15. Any self-respecting and honest person? There wouldn't be a need for DRM if people supported their favourite artists properly.

    But then people would support their artists if most of their cash wasn't directed away to the labels and publishers.

  16. See where bad music leads? DRM. Have you learned your lesson yet or are you still listening to Ben Folds? No one can help you until you're ready for help. The first step etc…

  17. OH Shit, I am so stupid. I knew that…. really…..I just haven't slept for a couple days….<mumbles>….was looking at an archived Josh-based comic….was typing while giggling. Sorry, really sorry.
    In other news I have been duly punished. My PC just died in a cloud of ozone smoke emanating from ? the CPU?
    Damn your razor-sharp wit and precise telekinesis!

  18. This is why DRM is wrong. It is not made to last.

    Consider you well, how many bands busted their butts to produce Wal Mart Exclusive tracks, that are now so much "Dust In The Wind" because the DRM servers are now closed? If all of our music were DRMed, it would only last for so many generations before it faded completely. Doesn't that scare you?

    DRM is not intended to prevent privacy. It is an attack on the perfectly legitimate aftermarket.

  19. Ah… The Ben Folds Five… I remember actually getting to listen to them on the radio with a suprising degree of frequency when I lived in Nashville many moons ago. Oh, the golden days of Lightning 100…

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