Thursday, 20 May 2010

This week...

I have mostly been listening to:
Meursault on (Which irritatingly i can't link directly to)*
Trouble in the Wind on myspace
Chris TT's new album on my CD player
Natalie Merchant's new album on my phone.

I'm trying to avoid overdosing on the Mumford and Sons, Joe Purdy** and Langhorne Slim albums (alba?) that i bought the other week and was in definite danger of over-playing.

Now, one of the things i've been doing this week is illegal. And it's not listening to the first two artists for free.
Yep, copying the Natalie Merchant album (that i bought legally) to my phone is format-shifting and that's illegal in the UK. What a pissing ridiculous law. Hopefully the new coalition won't stop at repealing the digital economy bill. But i suspect they have other things on their mind at the moment so i won't hold it against them if it takes a while...

Whilst i'm briefly on the subject of Natalie Merchant's Leave Your Sleep, i should point out that it is, without a doubt, the nicest piece of CD packaging i have ever encountered. If you want an example of how to add value to the hard-copy in a digital world this is it.
The challenge comes when you think about how much this cost upfront. And this remains the challenge for trying to make money in a band by merchandising; whichever way you play it you've got to pay costs upfront, and that's money that could be spent on your next studio session or petrol to play at more gigs.

More thoughts on this will follow once i've checked out CD baby.

Oh yes, and be sure to check out Vestan Pance coverage of the Giro d'italia, complete with a the latest on the Landis saga.

* for someone in my job i should really be a bit more technically literate
** Is this the most ridiculously priced album on amazon?

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Yet Another Music, Design And Cycling blog

Welcome, Wilkommen, Bienvenue, in the words of the best band in the world ever*.
So here we are on our first of an irregular series of blogs that will cover, generally speaking, Music, Design and Cycling. I've chosen to write about these three things as they are intrinsically linked in a singular way.
I.e. I'm interested in them.
But nowadays with music comes technology; so i'll be touching on that here and there as well.
In fact, we'll be starting with that.
I've just finished reading a very interesting article on The Technium called Better Than Free; it talks about ways to monetise a product in a world where copies are free. And it's a lot better thought out than most posting on the subject.
This is especially true when read in conjunction with two of his other posts: The Reality of Depending on True Fans and The Case Against 1000 True Fans.
It seems the debate is still very open with only one clear example of someone managing to make the new paradigm (did i really write that? I guess i did, oh well) work being Jonathan Coulton.
I suspect that where we will end up is with the rise of either the marketeer / artist or close collaborations of the two. Either way, it's not enough just to produce music and publish it on the web, nor is it enough just to produce music and play live. There's a huge amount of effort required to persuade people to get off their arses and come to a gig, and then another chunk of effort to persuade them to buy what they can otherwise get for free.
And sometimes that's kind of hard to do at the same time as holding down a day job.

* Blot - Midnight Oil