Radiohead (pictured above in a rare candid moment with lead singer Thom Yorke doing a Bono impression) is releasing their first album in four years on the 10th.
If not musically brilliant anymore (I still miss the days of The Bends and OK Computer), they have earned back a bit of the respect they lost from me with the lesser level of music they have been putting out since OK Computer by employing this brilliant method of releasing their album. Before we go on, about that level of music they’ve been putting out of late…. It’s all my humble opinion of course. All the cool, holier-than-thou music genius kids would beg to differ I guess, but I think Radiohead’s basically been pissing away their talent. Not to say their albums have been shit, but compared to what they could be doing, they’re pretty much a disappointment at best.
But yeah, anyways, in a totally unprecedented, insanely brilliant (or dumb?), and bold move brimming with unbridled confidence/arrogance, they are offering their highly, highly, almost orgasmically (for some poor, unfortunate souls) anticipated album, In Rainbows, for any price you want. That’s right, you go to the album’s site, inrainbows.com, and you are offered two options. One is to buy the “disk box,” which contains all sorts of goodies, like the album, vinyls, and other stuff for a hefty $81 bucks. The other option is to pick the “downloads.” You click on “check out” and you are offered blank white spaces where the dollars and cents go…and it tells you “it’s up to you.”
Wow…it’s like paying what the art is worth to you. Man…it’s like they’ve proven idealism can be a reality. And they’re not exactly just offering it all for free like Wilco did a while back. (But you really CAN put in “0.00” and get the album.) It’s like they’re messing with your head by making you name the price! Not a paypal button in sight to ignore or brush off. Just a blank price tag staring at you, daring you to name a price.
The band is not currently under contract with any label and last I heard, they were deciding how exactly they would go about distributing their album. Well I guess they’ve made their decision. Wow…a band as huge as they are. I’m almost positive I won’t like the album nearly as much as The Bends/OK Computer. I’ve been suffering varying degrees of let-downs after listening to each of their subsequent albums after those two…I’m sure this album will be at least enjoyable…
But this move alone makes me want to give them the ridiculous 20 bucks that the major labels coldly charge oftentimes to music lovers everywhere. I haven’t bought the album. I got to checkout and it was like I froze, not knowing what to do. Then I cleared my basket and came here to write about it.
Wow, I want to think of what this could mean and what this could be the start of in the music industry. Can this lead to the evolution of the music industry that has been so sorely needed in order to finally learn how to accept and work with the advances brought along by the internet?? In other words, will it “solve” the “problems” of file sharing? (And no, iTunes is not an adequate “advancement.” People are freely downloading more than ever.) In this single move, Radiohead has defied the record industry AND has directly (yet wisely) addressed the self-justified “file-sharers”…uhh…like this blog…and myself included I guess…. But I’m too tired to go all into that right now… How much are YOU paying for the new Radiohead album? That is the question I am going to be asking for the next week.
I will let you ponder that while you listen to these Radiohead songs I’m offering to “share” with you. This is the Radiohead I want on the album…but I have sort of given up on seeing these guys again…
Radiohead – “Karma Police”
Oh and…The Bends is my favorite Radiohead album. Cuss me out if you want.