Thursday, 17 January 2008

And now for something completely off-topic

I received an email today from UMRG, which included this snippet that caught my eye and my media studies/critical theory mind:


The Mars Volta have just announced that they will be releasing an exclusive USB Flash drive that contains their new album, The Bedlam In Goliath, along with album artwork and the video for Wax Simulacra! Each USB flash drive has a 1GB capacity and is Windows and Mac compatible. And for added value - on the 29th of every month, plug in your flash drive and you can get new content from The Mars Volta all year long directly on your computer. Content includes B-sides, webisodes, limited edition wallpaper, exclusive tracks, and much more. All at no extra cost!

Pre-order the USB Version of The Bedlam In Goliath today on Amazon!


Radiohead decided at the end of last year to prerelease their latest offering (why do we still call them albums??) via the web, purchasable for a cost nominated by the downloader. Now Mars Volta are providing an alternate form of music publishing, which still includes storage (as does a CD) but it’s updatable on a regular basis, circumventing traditional music publishing avenues. Control is retained by the artist, a connection is forged between the artist and audience in a way not available by simply purchasing a cd, the method engages new technologies and new ways of interacting with and utilising that technology. The whole process takes both the producer an consumer back to the era of cottage industries (or bespoke as it’s now called, which has different connotations, mainly around luxury and exclusivity), releasing them in some ways from our current capitalist regimes, and providing an artefact that is unique (the consumer controls the content as much as the producer/artist) yet “cool” in the universal recognition of it’s functionality and use. That’s just a quick gloss of a a deeper conversation that could and should be had regarding the way the music industry is changing, and the way it brings attention to alternate ways of being a consumer/producer in the current economic and political climates.

No comments: