There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Anything to feel weightless again

One of my favorite bands, The Handsome Family, has a new Internet-only CD of crap that wasn't good enough for a real record. Of course, I had to snap it right up. This is an interesting trend I'm seeing a lot of lately, bands that make own-release CDs to sell via their web sites. I think this maybe started with them making tour-only CDs. Sometimes they're live, sometimes they're demos. It's fascinating to see this happen. It didn't used to work like this in the old days. Oh, maybe once in a while a band would release some demos through a fan club, like the tape XTC released through Little Express in Canada back in 1987, but it wasn't a common thing. Or at least it wasn't something you could get your hands on without being well-connected. But today, the confluence of the easy availability of CD burners and the ability of the net to publicize things among a small group of devoted fans, the practice seems to be expanding. The other day, I received a package of CDs that I ordered from Calexico's web site that are not available in stores! And next week or thereabouts, I should be receiving a few Billy Bragg official bootleg CDs. Not to say that these are CD-Rs, mind you; the ones I've seen are actual full-fledged CDs, not something that the musicians burned on their Macs in their spare time. But the advent of home CD recorders, home studios, etc., makes it easy for the artists to set up their own cottage industry in parallel to the Big Bad Record Industry. I'm not sure if it's possible for someone to bypass the industry completely like so much hype claimed in recent years, but I think something like this that adds another revenue stream for artists while not hurting the fans is a good thing.

I wonder if online stations would have to pay royalties for broadcasting these official bootleg CDs. I suspect not, since they're not officially released, and stations like KPIG which have shut down their webcast of commercially-recorded music (disappointing some high-profile fans) are continuing by streaming nothing but music they've recorded live. I'm not sure I'd want to be the one to take on the RIAA over this, but it's an interesting thought.

Posted at 8:56 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I've always wondered why artists haven't taken to this yet... You always hear about how little money they make (and the producers and everyone else takes their cuts off the top). Why aren't artists using the Internet to distribute their music directly?

Currently, you can get a shopping cart set up on your site for you with the hosting agreement. Is it the lack of control once the paid download is complete? Hmmm... Isn't that the same lack of control after a CD is burned? Oh yeah...there's anti-piracy stuff on the CD... Ban all those damn magic markers!

Posted by BlueWolf at 9:41 AM, July 21, 2002 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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