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Music like water 27.04.2008

Henrik Moltke links to an interview, or rather discussion, between Chuck D and Lars Ulrich about Napster, and the new shape of the music industry, on Charlie Rose. It's a great 20 minutes, really, and I'm guessing it's from somewhere around 2000-2001, back when the Napster case was flaming hot.

I really like Chuck D and his view, that the power shifted to the consumer, and that the bus of total control, that Lars Ulrich so desperately wants a seat on, left.

I've been spotreading Gerd Leonhard's Music2.0, where I found a link to a NYT interview with David Bowie from 2002. In it he says:

"Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity,'' he added. ''So it's like, just take advantage of these last few years because none of this is ever going to happen again. You'd better be prepared for doing a lot of touring because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left. It's terribly exciting. But on the other hand it doesn't matter if you think it's exciting or not; it's what's going to happen."

Seeing what artists have begun to do, giving away albums for free (Radiohead, Saul Williams, Nine Inch Nails, Charlatans, and quite possibly a lot more that I haven't heard of), David Bowie was right on the money 6 years ago.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a concert with Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings here in Dublin, which was bloody great, true entertainers they were, and especially her. The support act was Noelle Scaggs, formerly of L.A.-based The Rebirth (and has done extensive guest performances, on Quantic releases for instance). Before she started playing, you could sign up on her mailing list, and during her concert, she said that everybody who had signed up would get a link to download her new album, for free, before it was released.

I haven't received the email yet (I still trust it will arrive), but the idea is very much in tune with Bowie's idea of doing a whole lot of touring, and Kevin Kelly's 1000 true fans concept. It's great to see artists embracing this, and realizing that rolling with it, makes more sense than trying to fight it.


alfredo | web | @ / 21:10 / 28th of april / 2008

Also, Jonas, i now enjoy a lot of concert getting to know artists just because of Internet and different sites as Lat, Seeqpod, Songza and others.
I often don't have their cd, but i'm more than happy to pay to see them live.
Albums are now a promotion tool, and bands have to make their best to prove they can perform a good show.
It is really terribly exciting!

Jonas | web / 21:21 / 28th of april / 2008

Damn right, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings was an experience like that for me. I had gotten their stuff on mp3 from a friend, which made me buy tickets for the concert on the day they went on sale. At the concert I bought all three albums on vinyl, and I'll be sure to push their live performance to anybody I talk to, they were great!

I also enjoy using some of all the web services for being made aware of music, especially I like's calendar function that let's you add a calendar feed with upcoming gigs in your city, that you are likely to be interested in, based on your listening habits.

Truly exciting it is! (:

Thomas | web / 12:40 / 29th of april / 2008

Here's an interesting article about Metallica's 2008 view on music distribution: Metallica now embraces file shaing?. It's amusing to read how Metallica has "been observing Radiohead and Trent Reznor..."

Jonas | web / 12:59 / 29th of april / 2008

Interesting read, Thomas, thanks for that. I guess they got smarter watching Radiohead and Trent Reznor over the years, while seeing the landscape in general change as well.

I'm happy they now take a different stance, but it's a bit unauthentic of them doing it now. On the other hand, happy to see that Radiohead and NIN is having an effect on the bigger and once aggressive opponents of changing the music business.

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