Benoit's World News
All Disasters come in batch of three, so the saying goes.
So I am proud to deliver the third issue of my newsletter, in time and hopefully without typos. Quite a few people wrote to me to express their satisfaction and enthusiasm, I hope you will like it too.
Presented by Paul McCartney:
Hey June, don't make it bad
And any time you bring the rain, hey June, refrain
Advice: Don't listen to Sir Paul, and instead go to listen to some "hot jazz", that'll brighten your day.
History: "50 years of Benoit Viellefon"
As you can see below, Benoit Viellefon (me) was brought to this world exactly 50 years ago on May 13th 1973 by an eccentric creator who decided to bring someone on earth to save mankind. As you have guessed the success of the operation is debatable, but there is still hope.
I could not organise a splendid birthday party for the occasion, but I may if my finances improve. If You think turning 50 is a rite of passage that needs to be celebrated and you want to send me some positive wavelengths, ultrasounds, and love vibrations, cards, or bottles, please don't! Do something that would make me truly happy instead: follow me on Bandcamp, listen to my music there, write some album reviews and show my profile to you friends, share it, ask them to join, or even better subscribe for £3 a month and I may one day be able to afford a party after all... thanks to you.
Nowadays touring has become extremely expensive, and near impossible abroad because of Brexit. So, We have to rely on album sales to make a living. Bad news! You know very well that almost nobody buys any CD or vinyl these days. The cost of living, housing, energy, student loans, interest rates, having children, driving a car, and most importantly the dramatic price increase of beer, crisps, trainers and fish and chips are destroying physical sales of music.
Nevertheless, people are listening to music more than ever on their phone and other devices for free on Spotify, Youtube and otherplatforms despite being relentlessly bombarded with advertising. But those platforms don't pay musicians or content creators a penny. Nothing unless you have millions of plays! 70% of their revenues go to licencing rights, the rest is for operating their business at a loss of hundreds of millions a year, aiming to destroy all competition in order to establish a monopoly a la Amazon. They now have over 90% of the market.
Worse still, younger audiences now seem to think that music is free, has always been free and that it's a right acquired from birth as long as you have access to Internet or 4G. To add salt to the injury musicians can't even use crowdfunding platforms to record an album because most people do not want physical copies anymore thanks to the evils aforementioned. Artists are left with only one option to keep on producing, writing recording, and living: the Subscription model.
I hope the folks that love music and understand that musicians need to eat to sing in tune will pay a little thought for the struggle we're up against. I must confess that I have seriously been considering becoming a full-time estate agent, traffic warden, or white van driver, whichever is worst, to pay my rent.
If music fans support their favourite artists, we can survive and keep recording the stuff you like, if not it's game over.
The subscription to my music cost £3 a month, we get £2.25 after fees, and it's the price of a coffee. To put things in perspective the parking fine I just received while gigging is equivalent to 4 years of subscription, so you can understand how I am really tempted to become a traffic enforcement officer.
Please subscribe, you'll get all my whole catalogue in any format you like, without advertising, on any device you like. You can even make CDs from audio files and some of the albums are exclusively for the subscribers. I'll be able to invest all the money into recording and releasing a couple a thing a year. It would be the most perfect 50th birthday gift!
Culture and entertainment
This summer there will be not much culture around since most public budgets have been halved by 13 years of austerity, and the highest rate of inflation among developped nations is still taking its toll. Forget festivals, club gigs, restaurants, weddings, and cool parties... as Louis Jordan was singing in the 1940's: "You can't get that no more ('cause some other is making more money than you)". So I will only perform 3 shows a month this summer. But rest assured, we still as a nation have world beating entertainment so you won't get bored. When Britain was falling on hard times during the 1970s and 1980s, the Monty Pythons and series such as "Yes minister" were there to cheer up the mob. Now, so lucky we are, it has become even better and so realistic. Instead of sharp budget comedy and satire we get the real deal: the government and their daily exploits. I can't stop laughing, crying, gasping, all at once; seriously, who need entertainment and culture when you can get that kind of uplifting material aired instead... daily?
There is not much happening your life this month. You will not get a pay rise, forget it. But you should vent your frustration at work and get on the streets if need be. With Jupiter in the 5th house, your chances of finding love in the current climate are minimal unless you drive a yellow Ford Fiesta with a rear spoiler, 17' alloy wheels, an obnoxiously loud exhaust, and blue lights.
Boost your lucky charm, seductiveness, and increase your good karma by getting a subscription to Benoit Viellefon or offer one to your loved one to win some love tokens. You'll find it much cheaper than pink shamanic crystals or spending a year salary on customising a little yellow car worth no more than the price of its tyres.
From the Editor
I hope that you have enjoyed reading all this. I had pleasure writing it for the third time. Please email me if you have any feedback or questions. I will be delighted to reply and maybe publish your reviews if you write one.
A bientot. (French: meaning "See you soon")