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    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2008 edited
    "College rock" hero Paul Westerberg (formerly of the Replacements) released an album to the internet last week for half a dollar. It's called 49:00. I think.

    Here's a link to the entry.
    Outside the US purchases here.

    Why is this interesting?

    Well, it's always cool to hear new music from Paul. He's somehow become more disheveled in his sobriety. He continues to refine the Stereo/Mono formula from a few years back. I just wish he'd do away with the lazy drumming, and hire someone to play them for real.

    But the real curiosity here, especially if you're not a fan, is the sales model. Warren's musings on technology and culture always seem to mention micropayments and the Internet as a delivery medium. This may that mythical and sustainable New Way Forward for artists to support themselves. Paul here is releasing an entire album in exchange for the change in your pocket.

    There's also the dimension of overhead. Paul's studio is his basement. In addition to sweat equity his expenses may have been just guitar strings and 2-inch magnetic tape. There's no physical distribution, no A&R, no promotional costs (I've seen no promotion so far), etc.

    From finding out about the album to actually listening to it took maybe 10 clicks (installing Amazon's MP3 Downloader software) and 5 minutes. And now I'm listening to a wonderful throwback record using a bold new delivery model.

    • CommentAuthorbuzzorhowl
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2008
    Honestly, I'm gonna buy this from Tunecore so I don't have to deal with Amazon's MP3 downloader. But still, way into this.
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
    I think Amazon's MP3s are now all DRM-free. So at least there is that!
    • CommentAuthortitivil
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
    Thank you for the link. I'm not so much a regular visitor to the music sites these days, so who knows when I would've heard about this.

    And my friends that I carpetbombed with the news thank you as well.

    It's pretty fuckin' good.
    • CommentTimeJul 23rd 2008
    Yeah, I'm kind of surprised how good it is. I don't thunk I have the vocabulary for it yet, but the sequencing and layering amazes me in a way that a DJ's set might.
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2008 edited
    I snarked violently on Boing Boing last week about not being able to d/l 49:00 in the UK. "When will Amazon come up with the goods for MP3 outside the States? Grump, humph etc."

    Shoulda known the "Chapel would have the scoop. Thanks vrbtm. Have you noticed though that it has a different title on Tunecore? Or am I (as usual) missing something?

    EDIT: yes I am. 5:05 is, logically enough, a 5' track, not the full album. At the time of writing, the album is nowhere to be had. The Westerberg site Man Without Ties has as much news as can be gleaned.

    Which still leaves me with one lousy (actually, v. good) track from an album that I'm busting to hear!