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Taking sides: Does the 21st century music fan have too much control?

First there was "American Idol," where fans could help make an anonymous American a bland and ubiquitous global superstar. Then came Kickstarter, where fans could help make anonymous Americans marginally successful career artists. Now someone is actually raising money to pay Weezer to break up. (And Weezer says they might do it for $20 million.)

We lulz to keep from crying, but the frightening question remains: Does the 21st-century music fan have too much control? For our weekly Taking sides post, Click Track's contributors mulled it over -- after the jump.

David Malitz: I think the answer is absolutely yes. While some of the fan-funded projects are innovative ways to deal realities of the 21st-century music/business landscape, the fact is that when art becomes programmed by a consumer it kind of stops being art. This is true even in all of those full-album concerts where band's simply trot out those old albums regardless because that's what the people will pay for. As with most problems these days, the Internet is to blame. When it comes to music online we're used to getting exactly what we want, almost always instantly. Maybe we're just heading back to medieval times where everything is commissioned.

Allison Stewart: Fans always controlled things by voting with their pocketbooks. Not enough people go to an artist's concerts or buy their records, and that was usually that. The 21st century fan just has more overt mechanisms with which they can exert control, and maybe they seem to be enjoying it a little too much. That Weezer guy is something else, though. He has a point, but he should have started with the Black Eyed Peas. That's a cause I could get behind.

Chris Richards: I'm all about power to the people but the aughties have turned music consumers into giant babies. So now it's on artists to start drawing tougher lines. Even if it's just a joke, Weezer shouldn't be entertaining these offers to disband. Where's your dignity, guys? What? You lost it on the green album? Fair enough. But for every other artist on this Earth who is too proud to record a duet with B.o.B. at the age of 40, don't let your fans boss you around.

By Click Track  | October 7, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags:  Weezer  
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Next: Be specific: Sound artist Richard Chartier and the Grand Tonometer

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