So who’s going to help break the back of the mega-music corporations by buying – at any price – at your price – for nothing – a download of the new Radiohead album In Rainbows? I did it this morning and I feel good about it. I’m now promised an email with a download URL for the entire album tomorrow.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to the world’s greatest art rock band, their new album is downloadable tomorrow – without the cooperation of any record company. You pay what you want. You can pay $.01. You can pay $10.00 – that’s what I did. They deserve it and I’d like to see this business model work. And get this, they don’t even have a record company any more. They’re supposedly taking bids on who will get their hard copies into the record stores. Have any S21 readers bought the album? How much did you pay?
FWIW, I currently give away for free, all of my albums and scores and as far as I know was the first musician in the world to do that, starting in 1991. I even caused the L.A. Times to write an article about the other Harrington, David, from Kronos, about how he was freaking out the music world by giving away music back in 1995. I had to call them and ask them to issue a retraction.
But the model I’m thinking of switching to for my albums and scores is this – pay what you want. I think it’ll work and at the same time, it’ll keep poor people, poor students, from being discouraged from learning and listening to my music. It’ll mean setting up some type of PayPal system and hiding from the tech-savvy haxxors but I don’t think it’ll be that much trouble. When I get it done, I’ll post an article here about how to do it. We can all use a little money, and this model nicely allows for a hit album to benefit the artist directly and financially. For kids without a credit card I’ll probably implement a questionnaire/honor system, forcing them to describe their deepest fears about music.
However, from where I’m sitting, unlike the rock world, the new music world isn’t burdened by the record companies. It’s burdened by referral networks, academic networks, and critics who refuse to pay attention to the online world. For the new music world to become truly independent, democratic and egalitarian it’ll take this type of new thinking that Radiohead has begun. By selling, even at any price, I believe it’ll create less of the appearance at my website, which is totally natural, that I can’t give this sh*t away. Haha…
Excuse the LOLCAT reference in the title of this article if you don’t get it.
P.S., the Coen Brothers movie shoot on our street in Brooklyn Heights I mentioned in comments a few weeks ago is finally over. Here’s some pics for anybody that is curious. It was exciting and exhausting. And our garden may never be the same.