Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ash - Doin' It Right

Consider this an online music commerce post. I just wanted to mention, again, that Ash are really impressing me with their A-Z subscription (y'know pay less than fifteen quid and get a new song every two weeks for a year). They're making it easy to buy their music online (that's me saying 'If You Like It Buy It'), but if you want a physical copy you can get a cool seven inch, and they're providing what I... hesitate slightly to call... fan service. This week I got a bonus track they recorded earlier in the year and a link to a podcast of Tim Wheeler's honeyed tones introducing a selection of some of his favourite music. More of that and I'll be feeling like I haven't paid them enough money and want to buy my subscription all over again.

And the songs have been remarkably strong too:

Forgive the video, that kind of cut up thing from old videos gives me a headache. No it doesn't, sorry, it just looks shit and pisses me off. Just stick it over a picture of the cover you wankers.

If Ash can make money this way, by selling things online through their own label then that is a very good sign for the future of bands making music. Not for major labels but... for the future of people making music for a living. Because Radiohead and NIN have done it but with the best will in the world, Ash aren't Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails. They're kind of... on the next level. From them the next step would be seeing a band start from scratch with that kind of model. Somebody's probably already done it, and I'd imagine it's hard work but - y'never know.

Special shout out to Carina Round too, whose US major label daliance has, I guess, come to an end, and who is selling a new EP with a bunch of super-special bonus business (e.g. you can buy her ep for like a thousand dollars or something and she'll throw in a performance at your house) to finance her next album. That's how more and more artists will be working, and I really hope they can make a go of it.

That and the fact that people look at the charts and talk about album tracks charting now as if it's always been that way makes me very happy. But of course - there are a lot of horror stories about how the big record companies are paying out on online royalties so... y'know "Albini Was Right" and all that on a red tee with a picture of his buzzcut instead of Magneto's helmet.

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