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Slouching toward Relevance - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Slouching toward Relevance
Music, itself, may be better than ever- its range, its sound quality, and the number of new and different ways to listen to it.  Nonetheless, its age-old system of distribution- through labels, stores and radio stations- is deader than a doornail.  It's frustrating to see how Old Music tries to use its remaining influence to hold back its best upcoming performers from its own public, just to protect these ancient shills.

Here are a couple of examples.

We adore Sara Bareilles. She's talented as all-get-out, is still funny and accessible in her media presences, and is still playing small venues around these parts (which, sadly, we've missed seeing her at). Last week, her latest album finally arrived under this roof, a week or so after the Amazon auto-rip came.  None of this was without excess teasing, though. First, they pre-released "Brave," an awesome single- but they apparently expected, solely on the strength of her fandom, that we'd all run out and buy that and only that before the full album came out. Which, of course, we didn't. But we had it on our phones anyway, because the Internet's nice like that.  Then came a week of sponsored Facebook posts about the whole album being available, but only in streaming form, so you couldn't take it with you. Next, the physical album did come out, but through a Starbucks-only tie-in.  When I approached my friendly neighborhood barista about that, they had no copies, and she wasn't even sure if they'd gotten it yet. One brownie iced mocha later, I'd given up, and Amazon finally took over the following Tuesday and brought it into the house just last week.

Now I'm going through the same shite with the Avett Brothers. I heard tracks of theirs when they were on World Cafe a few weeks back, they've also done a couple of gigs around here at mid-size outdoor venues, and they sounded worth finding out more about. (I am, however, missing why they've suddenly become the Next Big Thing when they're basically a cross between Carbon Leaf and steampunk.)  Yesterday, WRUR played this single of theirs, and it was catchy enough for me to track down on their playlists.  It's new! It's the pre-released single from their album due out in October! And you can't buy even the single until August 20th!

I can almost damn-guarantee, though, that it will be on my phone before then and that I'm not going to put up with this dribby-drabby nonsense of theirs until I can walk into a record shop in October and come out with a copy of the whole thing.

There's no doubt that there's old-fashioned payola involved in these decisions to limit access. The physical stores, and mp3 sellers, and even sainted playahs like NPR are getting tangible benefits from getting the early dibs on these finds. Yet what's good for them is bad for the public, and only encourages them to seek out other means of securing the music they love and playing it when, and where, they want.

I'll have more to say about this on my upcoming podcast. Next month. Sponsored by Mighty Taco.

This entry was originally posted at http://captainsblog.dreamwidth.org/148642.html. Please comment here, or there using OpenID.
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digitalemur From: digitalemur Date: August 10th, 2013 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

B: I heart Sara Bareilles so much!
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