at the bottom of my site you will see a new flash widget thing. it’s a promo for the new Saul Williams album which was done with Trent Reznor and is supposedly the next chapter in the Year Zero saga. or at least supplementary material. Trent said a couple weeks ago on his blog that he’s now officially label-less and while the new year zero remixed album will be released on interscope, he apparently has no specific ties to a single record company — and this is a good thing. so the new Saul Williams album is being released without a label. you can pre-order the album now and on November 1, you can download the tracks. there are two price plans, $5 gives you the files in 192kbps mp3, 320kbps mp3, or lossless, CD quality FLAC. $0 gives you the files in 192kbps mp3.
last month (maybe not that long ago), Radiohead released their new album, In Rainbows, in a name-your-own-price method. and apparently they actually made money off it. this kind of shift in the dynamic in the relationship between artist, fan, label, and content is exciting to me. in both cases, the cash goes directly to the artist and is not filtered through the numerous loopholes and proxies caused by labels. people think that recording artists make ever penny off a record sale but that’s not true. steve albini (has produced various artists like PJ Harvey, Nirvana, the Pixies, as well as numerous indie acts) wrote an essay a while ago called “the problem with music” which breaks down how much of what the band “makes” the artists actually receive. there’s some staggering figures in there that are surprising if you aren’t already aware of just how f’d the music industry is.
so i’m excited by these artists because it gives me a chance to support them directly, just like by buying a cd at the booth at a live gig at a small club, i’m giving them gas money (or beer money, or whatever) for the next leg of the trip. no filters, no proxies, right to the customer. and i’m a lot more interested in supporting the artist than supporting their label who already has a lot of money, and, judging by current and pending lawsuits, always wants more. the In Rainbows album i plan on buying anyway, but I spent my ~$7.50 (converted into pounds) for the Radiohead mp3s and my 5 bucks for the lossless Saul Williams tracks (since I don’t know if it will even be printed on a real cd — this might be the only way to get it — so I figure I can burn a disk from the FLACs and then rip them to mp3 after that) and I did so happily without any dirty feeling like the artist is never going to see this cash. a while back Harvey Danger released their album Little by Little for free mp3 download, which i downloaded, and then bought. and i recently saw something on slashdot that said that there’s a music industry in portugal or something that is entirely based on pirating — and money is made from it. i’m hoping this is the beginning of a shift towards offering dynamic content at a realistic price model in which the artist gets more than 2% of each sale. Wired reported that the In Rainbows album averaged about $6/download — when there was no requirement to pay a penny. If that’s not proof that this concept works, I don’t know what is. granted, Radiohead’s audience is a particular breed of most likely highly intelligent (and obviously tech savvy, if they’re getting the download) twentysomethings, but i think in general people are disenchanted both by the music major labels are putting out and playing on the radio, and the attitude the labels have towards listeners, which in recent years, with all the lawsuits and the RIAA saying that ripping mp3s off a cd you purchased is as good as stealing, has become very adversarial.
i’m building a new website. this one for me, separate from jazzsequence.com. this will be the home for our independent web design stuff. i’m going to put a portfolio with the screenshots i’ve taken of the sites i’ve done as well as some other graphic design both erin and i have done in recent years. our services will mostly be for web design, but with plans to expand to creating graphics for print and tshirt printing. i may also host some sites on my server, since i figured out how to run virtualhosts (which is what the web design page is on, currently). right now the site is at a free no-ip domain, thinktank.geekgalaxy.com but when the site is done i plan on registering a domain for it. the main page doesn’t have anything on it, but i’ve finished the copy for the about page which talks a bit about the services i plan on offering and the plan.
speaking of virtual hosts, i’m going to try (again, i did this once before, but i’m bolstered by my success at mapping the thinktank site to a directory in my web root to a different domain) to get domain aliases working. i.e. music.jazzsequence.com, forums.jazzsequence.com, gavin (or possibly) kids.jazzsequence.com, blog.jazzsequence.com, etc. so far, no luck.
i’ve been told i should update my wish lists since i have a birthday coming and then there’s the holiday festivus. any cds i might want are on the lala wish list, since that’s updated most. i’ll check my other lists soon too, particularly amazon which probably needs some love.
Now playing: Apocalyptica – Heat
…oh and in other news, i get snipped today…