Thank you, Radiohead, Thank you!

Radiohead has long been at the forefront of innovation in music, specifically rock and pop, and their music has evolved greatly in the years since The Bends and OK Computer (The Bends still being my favorite) but they’ve really outdone themselves. I have to confess that their recent albums were lackluster for me. They were less approachable than prior albums – to say the least for me. I respect the artistry but I didn’t find myself enjoying the songwriting. And for me, that’s what I’m looking for in a song – good songwriting. Secondly, I prefer albums, not singles. And their later albums just didn’t do it for me.

But Radiohead has gone over the edge now – in a very good way. Firstly, the broke the seal. THEY BROKE THE FUCKIN SEAL MAN!! And now, there’s going be a flood all across the plains of the music industry. Across the barren, dry, commercially scorched plains of this shit ass music industry that has slowly turned our younger generations into vampire victims, walking around listening to shit – total shit. Turn on the radio and its shit – total shit. ALL OF IT SHIT.

Allow to rant and rave for a moment, just a little more…

I’ve long, LONG, been frustrated by DRM and the shitty choices in online music services. When I say frustrated, I mean, like RAGING ANGRY about it. Ask my wife. I’ve thrown many a temper tantrums about this very matter, and as of late, so has she. For many reasons, none of them very good, I’ve steered away from ever buying an iPod. I don’t know – I just have a moral aversion to doing what everyone and their gramma is doing. Plus, I’m a bit of a gadget freak and I prefer to take my sweet-ass time finding exactly what I want. I bought a Creative Zen Micro a good few years ago, and guess what, like a good dog it just keeps working. The battery lasts longer than any iPod I’ve ever seen. Anyway, take the fact that I don’t use an iPod and combine that with a vile disgust for all things DRM and what am I left with? Well, I’m left with buying CDs, which I don’t mind doing – remember, I like albums, not singles. And I’m left with hijacking friends music libraries when I can, and I’m also left with finding every way possible to crack DRM protected music (note to RIAA: I don’t really do such things, no way Jose! Prove it assholes!). For a while there I started using Rhapsody. What a nightmare that was. I’ve tried a number of other services out there but no matter what, I find myself throwing a temper tantrum all the way to a local music store (never a chain if I can avoid it) and buying the artists CD. And truly and honestly, I don’t mind buying a CD. I really and truly don’t. Infact, if someone said to me, “Ben, you can get this album for free and the artist will get nothing, or you can buy it and the artist will get a tiny wee bit little something. What’ll it be?” My answer will be, I’ll pay it please.

And that, good friends, is what Radiohead just asked me. At they are giving their fans a chance to download the album for any price. It can be 1 cent, or $100. You pick the price. And it’s a hell of a question isn’t it? How much do you think our music is worth? What is the value that you place on our music? And that leads to other questions, like what value do you place on music – music -…. music. Wow…. I cant answer that! There is not value high enough for me. I need music. Daily. My life is empty without music.

So what did I pay? I paid $10.45 (the .45 was for a debit card charge – I’m a cash only kind a dude). Why $10? Well, because that’s what I felt the new album was worth based on their previous releases. If I really enjoyed their last 2 releases I would have proudly paid between $15 and $20. This is my logic. And I got the album painlessly, in a zip file, with DRM free MP3s. And guess what – I ain’t sharing it! If you want it – go buy it yourself, and name your price. Oh, and guess what else? The production quality is pretty insane for an MP3 – a big concern of mine. I’m quite impressed! But not exactly surprised either – I mean hey, it’s Radiohead.

Radiohead has broken the seal. And it seems that perhaps another one of my favorites, Nine Inch Nails, is right behind them. But I believe NIN may do something even more exciting. Trent says on his website, the following:

Hello everyone. I’ve waited a LONG time to be able to make the
following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally
free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have
been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the
business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very ifferent and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.
Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
Exciting times, indeed.

This is extremely exciting!!!

Radiohead has broken the seal and soon, they’ll go down in history as the one’s that started it all.


P.S. – Pardon all my cursing. I try not to swear on my blog but this is a subject I am very passionate and angry about, so the dark side shines through a bit.