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.
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?
John Doe sings