Free Music is Good (right?) for Musicians

 

I subscribe to Very Short List and I am happy that I do. Recently they highlighted John Doe’s new album, A Year in the Wilderness.  They do this interlocking pie chart meant to show that the subject is a combination of the performances in the graph. In this case the chart included Billy Bragg & Wilco, Richard & Linda Thompson, and Don Delillo. 

238_chart.gif

That was enough to make me click through to the free, streaming album. It sounded pretty good so I forwarded to bunch of people including a friend with punk rock leanings. He thanked me for the turn-on and then pointed out that John Doe was playing in town the following evening. We went to the show and from the front row right it was great, and ever since then I’ve had the song The Golden State stuck in my head.

 

Now, here’s the rub. Mr. Doe (can I call him that?) is streaming the new album for free. I can hear that cool California song all day long if I want. Consequently, I don’t want to buy the album. But, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the concert without the streaming album. So, even though I won’t buy the album, it’s good that the music is available for free, right?

 

Nice John Doe interview/performance here, and I love this video of The Golden State with Cindy Wasserman.

     John Doe sings

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1 Comment

Filed under alt.country, Golden State, John Doe, Music, NYC, video, Wilco

One response to “Free Music is Good (right?) for Musicians

  1. The Grateful Dead (and countless jam bands since) had the model of giving away the music for free (at least the live stuff; although they never really had many hit records of course) and making the money on touring.
    With the ease by which any recorded output can be downloaded, most bands will have to look more and more towards recorded music as being a “loss leader” to and make their money on tour.

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