An entire music label goes “pay what you want”

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An entire music label goes “pay what you want”

Deep Elm’s entire catalog has gone to the “pay what you want” model. Already I have discovered (and paid for) music from three bands I’d never heard of before.

Keystone Kids’ “Things Get Shaky” is pleasant, well-done synth-pop, Lights and Motion’s “Unreleased” is really nice orchestral, post-rock, and their “Reanimation” sounds like the soundtrack to a movie I’d like to see, and Moonlit Sailor (also post-rock), is more intimate, also really good background music – especially liking their “We Come from Exploding Stars.”

I think it shows a lot of confidence to do this – believing that giving away your music is going to gain fans who are willing to pay. It’s already worked with me!

Lights & Motion’s “Unreleased”

Moonlit Sailor’s “We Come from Exploding Stars”



Simplify Media is cool

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Simplify Media is a tool that lets you listen to your home iTunes library from work (my “killer app”) and it also lets you choose up to 30 people to share with as well.

You might think the RIAA will be all over these guys to shut it down, but they’ve done a couple clever things that I think will keep the RIAA at bay (even though I think it’s going the way of the dinosaur soon anyway):  first, the music is only streamed to your friends, they can’t copy the files via the tool.  Second, the 30-person-limit keeps you from sharing all of your music with everybody in the world (a-la Napster).
One concern I have is that it will saturate the uplink direction of my DSL connection if multiple people are listening to my library at once. Hopefully, someday, DSL bandwidth in the U.S. will start improving past 1.5MB/s, as it has done everywhere else in the world.
It makes me happy because this was the feature of TrueDisk* that I missed the most.  It’s also heartening because Simplify Media has a better interface than TrueDisk had, and it’s a free service — they’re having “issues” with their business model, just as we were at TrueDisk.
* TrueDisk was a startup I spent an exciting three years working on with a great group of people…

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A lunch with David Byrne and Brian Eno

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I grew up admiring David Byrne and Brian Eno.  From the great music they’ve made to the incisive social commentary to being consistently ahead of the curve in both technology and cultural trends (the good ones).

I found the audio clips attached to this Wired article charming — you get to listen in on a casual lunch between them.  This both brought them down from the stratosphere in terms of approachability, as well as bolstered my preconception that their signal-to-noise ration is higher than 99% of us achieve.
Great stuff. See the sidebar 1/3rd down, titled “David Byrne in Conversation with Brian Eno” 
Oh, and it’s not news, but I’m ever more convinced after listening to these guys that record companies, as we know them, are doomed.

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So Heidi’s reading the Harry Potter book…

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So Heidi’s reading the Harry Potter book our USPS guy dropped off today (man, that must have been some serious logistics…).

I’m surfing the web, and thanks to metafilter, found these amazing videos of the Talking Heads, doing a concert in Rome in 1980.
What an amazing band. In 1980 they had a following, but not nearly the recognition the deserved (and later got, once they took the hint and stopped writing songs that made sense)…but their confidence and energy on the stage in 1980 is phenomenal.  They knew they were that good, and it didn’t matter whether the world had caught on or not.
This is more or less a preview of the wonderful things to come in Johnathan Demme’s wonderful movie. More raw, some of the songs are better here…some not as polished. Adrian Belew is quite a character in many of the songs.  What an amazing show.

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Weird Al is amazing


OK, I just turned 40, but Weird Al, “significantly” older than me, seems to be perpetually in his 20’s. What an inspiration! Of course, I’m talking about his latest video:

White and Nerdy

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