Friday, July 18, 2003

Rain Dog records has put together a packaged targeted to unsigned/independent artists. One of the features of the package includes encoding and delivery of the artist's music into the iTunes Music Store.

I haven't looked at the contract and I certainly don't claim to be a lawyer, but their president-- Micah Solomon-- has this to say in regards to the deal offered:

I wrote the agreement myself, in consultation with counsel. There are no legalistic tricks in it, simply a really fair deal on some astounding products-products that literally yesterday were utterly unavailable to independent musicians. Rain Dog even gives you an "escape" clause in case you get signed by a label requiring that these rights revert to them! (This is ALMOST UNHEARD-OF in the music business.)

I have no association with these guys nor do I have any clue if they are even legit -- I don't have any reason to doubt them either. I do know that Oasis/Rain Dog will certainly not be the first company to put together a deal like this and that deals like these will change the face of the music industry.

It is also interesting to note the likelihood with which weblogs will play a central role in the popularity of certain pieces of music/media/entertainment that might not have otherwise received any marketing attention. I know that there have been many pieces of media that I have experienced via links on random web logs long before I have seen the same make its rise to popularity in "regular" channels.

It isn't that there are that many people that read weblogs, but that every weblog crosses some arbitrary geographical, cultural or industrial boundary. That is, weblogs are an extremely effective catalyst for building the popularity of a meme. Where mailing lists or your typical web site are focused on a particular topic, a weblog typically has one or two major focuses (OS X, Python, Flowers -- in my case) and several random minor pieces such that it draws eyeballs from groups that would normally be in the same place.

In any case, offering relatively unknown artists easy access to markets through companies like Rain Dog combined with extremely low-overhead, you-pay-for-what-was-actually-delivered, distribution channels like the iTunes Music Store combined with word-of-mouth style communications channels that cross cultural boundaries will make for some interesting times, indeed.

I have followed a number of very small local bar-bands through to the point where they were largely to hugely successful (Primus, Phish, Deep Banana Blackout). For every one of those bands, there must be dozens of bands that I would like every bit as much that I simply never hear about because bands tend to be local phenomena when they are first starting out. I am hoping that is about to change.

Update: CDBaby has announced details of their Digital Distribution Program.
10:13:57 PM  pontificate    

A spider egg case apparently hatched in my bathroom earlier today. By the time I noticed it, there were a couple of hundred very tiny spiders all over the bathroom.

Being the nice guy that I am, I grabbed a dish towel and swept many up onto it with the hopes of throwing them outside where there are hopefully a few more bugs than in my house. Actually, it has little to do with being nice and much more to do with being practical-- I have long tried to maintain a decent spider population on my houseplants (indoors or out) because the spiders certainly keep the mites and white fly under control.

While it was amusing to have a towel with a couple of dozen baby spiders hanging by threads off the bottom of it -- a sort of spider-mobile, if you will-- the whole exercise largely proved more annoying than useful.

Ultimately, I don't think I really removed any significant number of spiders.

Beyond that, the little bastards can bite and did so quite enthusiastically -- I now have little itchy, burning, spots all over my right hand (nothing worrisome, mildly annoying and slightly amusing).

I'm not at all afraid of spiders beyond giving the really nasty ones-- black widows, brown recluse, etc-- a respectful bit of space, but I must admit that I'm having a bit of the "bugs are crawling all over me" syndrome at this point.

Of course, that could be because I really do have spiders crawling over me. Seems that a number of the little buggers landed in my hair-- of which there is quite a bit. So, about once every ten to fifteen minutes, yet another tiny spider wanders out of some random spot near or on me.

Next time, I think I'll use a vacuum. Then again, I'll just have baby spiders crawling out of the vacuum for a while. Maybe someone makes a "bug friendly" vacuum that can be used to suck up bugs for later release.
5:44:23 PM  pontificate