When it comes to de­liv­ery, some bands know how to change the par­a­digm, oth­ers don’t

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC -

It’s a rum state of af­fairs when the two big­gest mu­sic sto­ries of Septem­ber in­volved the un­sexy mat­ter of de­liv­ery so­lu­tions.

U2 and Thom Yorke, two of rock’s big beasts still stand­ing, re­leased new al­bums, but the talk was as much about how their new al­bums were re­leased as what was on them.

In the case of U2 com­ing to­gether with Ap­ple for Songs

Of In­no­cence, I’m strug­gling to think of any­thing new to say. Look, the al­bum is in your iTunes with­out your per­mis­sion so go deal with it.

Yorke also chose a dif­fer­ent way to dis­trib­ute new al­bum

To­mor­row’s Mod­ern Boxes. While you can still ac­quire it as a deluxe vinyl pack­age, most peo­ple will likely spend a few quid to get the al­bum via BitTor­rent. Yorke calls this “an ex­per­i­ment to see if the me­chan­ics of the sys­tem are some­thing that the gen­eral pub­lic can get its head around”.

That’s a smart state­ment. Yorke ac­knowl­edges that the majority of the gen­eral pub­lic have never come across tor­rents be­fore. Many of his fans may be savvy in this re­gard, but that’s a small enough con­stituency in the greater scheme of things.

Fur­ther­more, tor­rents are some­thing that are wrapped up with piracy in many minds due to how the mu­sic in­dus­trial com­plex has cho­sen to spin P2P tech­nol­ogy. That a re­spected artist such as Yorke has de­cided to go this way gives an im­pri­matur to this al­ter­na­tive mech­a­nism. He could, of course, have sold the al­bum via his own web­site or any num­ber of di­rect-to-fan net­works, but he ob­vi­ously had his rea­sons for se­lect­ing BitTor­rent.

It’s a sign that megas­tars can do things dif­fer­ently and still make a liv­ing. One thing that rubbed peo­ple up the wrong way about U2’s ap­proach was the con­stant blather by Bono about pay­ments. Yes, dude, we know you got paid. We know money mat­ters to you de­spite the mil­lions you al­ready have and the tax you’re sav­ing by us­ing dif­fer­ent ju­ris­dic­tions.

What­ever your feel­ings about their mu­sic (IMHO, only one de­cent al­bum and that was

Kid A), Ra­dio­head are a band who have the courage to do things dif­fer­ently. Their In

Rain­bows pay­ment ex­peri-

That a re­spected artist like Yorke has de­cided to go this way gives an im­pri­matur to this al­ter­na­tive mech­a­nism

ment was hugely in­flu­en­tial, while in­di­vid­ual mem­bers are con­stantly seek­ing to stretch their cre­ative mus­cles.

Yorke could have sent his man­ager out to seek a big cheque from a cor­po­ra­tion such as Ap­ple for the new al­bum, but that’s not his style. In­stead, he sought a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem of how mu­si­cians get their mu­sic to peo­ple in 2014 and still get paid de­cently for it, with­out all the world­wide huff­ing and puff­ing and self-af­fir­ma­tion. It’s a les­son many more acts should heed.

YOU’VE GOT TO HEAR THIS Jen­nifer Evans – Works From

the Dip & Foul (Del­phi) Evans is a singer-song­writer who has long caught the ear. Her de­but al­bum is a strik­ing riot of moods and colours, with rich, at­mo­spheric songs and beau­ti­ful widescreen can­vases ren­dered with washes of jazz and blues.

Set for re­lease in Novem­ber, it’s a de­but truly well worth wait­ing for.

ETC Hard Work­ing Class He­roes Con­ven­tion This comes with a dec­la­ra­tion of in­ter­est (I’m in­volved in pro­gram­ming and chair­ing the event). To­day and to­mor­row, the HWCH Con­ven­tion will fea­ture a host of mu­sic bizre­lated pan­els, work­shops, con­ver­sa­tions and lec­tures fea­tur­ing mak­ers and do­ers from here and abroad. The venue is the NDRC in Dublin’s Lib­er­ties, ad­mis­sion is free and full de­tails are at hwch.net.

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