An odd thing is happening in this volatile music industry, thanks to an endless string of who-dun-it's dating back through "pay-for-play", Metallica killing Napster, and the commercialization of music in general: more and more artists (and not just your budding college solo artists) are simply giving their music away. Strangely, the internet has hurt bands almost as much as it has helped them. For every preview blog like mine, there are 10 blogs giving full albums away with nary a review or glance in the rearview. These sites, bit-torrents and peer-to-peer have effectively killed the "release date" as an ever-decreasing number of album sales (physical and digital) attest. Labels find themselves in their most precarious position ever, partly their own fault, but (in all honesty) partly ours. Pretty soon, labels won't be able to afford to pay up front for bands to record albums and get merchandise made for their tours.
But I digress. Perhaps the "label" is truly going the way of VHS and rabbit ear TV tuners. Perhaps we're just returning the model to where it should have stayed: in the hands of the artists, delivering sounds directly to the ears of the fan. Perhaps storefronts (as far as music is concerned) are floating down a similar path. Perhaps in the future all music will be free, and it'll be up to people like me to make sure you know about it. The playing field between have's and have-not's would be leveled.
It's election season and I've decided that CHANGE is, indeed, what I need. But instead of voting Democrat or Republican, I think I'll cast my vote for Conversion Party
. I've been listening to McCain and Obama talk for almost two years and I've only been listening to Conversion Party for 3 days, but I've heard all I need to hear. More No More
has come out of nowhere to be the dark horse candidate for album of the year. Why?
Because it has cajones
. Because their myspace says "I choose neither" and only has 771 plays. Because this puzzle was not made with a jigsaw, but with the sun and a magnifying glass and the edges do not fit perfectly. Because it is a ray of light that has pierced the tree canopy. Because there are numerous eff-you moments, including (but not limited to) the band's name itself (A conversion party is a gathering where people have sex with people with HIV/AIDS on purpose). Because Conversion Party is way cooler than Vampire Weekend and they know it.
Yes, I've done it before, but I haven't really thought about the implications of this until now: I'm pushing an album that is free. I guess my goal with this blog has always been to show you some new music, but also to perhaps goade you into actually supporting these deserving bands financially if you feel so inclined. Conversion Party has made it impossible for me to fulfill the latter. So we're stripped down to the roots here. This record is really good, it's really free, and you should really tell other people about it.
[from More No More