Innovations in Music Distribution

I was at a concert the other day, and as usual, I checked out what wares the musicians had to sell in the interval.

And there was this box:

… with a card inside:

It’s USB!

Isn’t that great?

It conducts light really well, so that if your USB hub has a LED, it looks all purdy and stuff.

(On the USB drive was an album of Melodies & Fragments .wav tracks and a bunch of .mov and .mp4 files with visual components, as well as a 40 minute live show. It’s great! Sten Sandell 4 ever!)

My New Innovations in Packaging blog

While unpacking this week’s haul, I was surprised when unpacking a Laraaji album (Sun Transformations) sent to me by…

… All Saints Records.

It’s this intricately, but beautifully cut paper. It feels like just kinda normal paper, but since it’s been cut in this way, it replaces bubble wrap. It’s kinda magical: It’s light but has kept the album safe during shipping.

And this is much, much, much better than previous paper-based packaging material I’ve seen: I’ve had some just kind of pour out of the package and get into everything.

I hope everybody starts using it.

Crimson

I’m not a King Crimson fanatic, but I really love the three albums with Adrian Belew from the early 80s (the ones all Crimson fans hate). And it turns out that Fripp is re-releasing the entire oeuvre in a ridiculously lavish fashion.

It’s like 20 discs per “era”. It’s ludicrous! I love it!

So I got the Discipline/Beat/Perfect Pair set:

It’s 19 discs! It’s CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays! It’s total overkill! It’s endless Crimson! It’s the best! Yay!

8K: Metropolis

Look!

*gasp* The number of albums er um musical units I have surpassed an arbitrary nice-looking number in the decimal number system!

But what album was the eight thousandth?

It’s this one!

Metropolis! A jazz-ish album from the late 60s by Mike Westbrook, who I discovered recentlyish after Phil Minton did a gig here, so I got the wonderful Wesbrook Blake album, which had Minton singing in a mode that I wasn’t aware of him singing in.

Everything’s so complicated.

And buying music from before my time seems to be a theme in my music buying habits lately. I even got the new The Beatles box set. *gulp* Shame! But I’ve been getting most of the music the last half year from discogs.com. It’s such a frictionless way to explore and buy old music: I’ll just be listening to some album and then think “hm, I wonder whether they’ve done any albums/EPs that I’ve missed somehow”, and the answer is almost always “yes”. Click, click, pay, click, then be surprised the next week when I get a package in the post.

And paradoxically, as physical formats for music grows steadily less a thing, the ones that do release new music physically put more work into it.

The other week I discovered a German (?) label called Oscarsson. I’d randomly bought two of their albums because they looked nice, by Jung Body and David Allred, and they were both great, so I decided I could just as well start buying a bunch of stuff directly from them.

And the releases are all like that. With booklets and pasted-in photos and stuff.

I got them yesterday, so I don’t know whether the music’s any good yet, but c’mon. It’s gotta be.

I do buy some music “digitally”, but all other sites than Bandcamp is just too much hassle. Bandcamp sells zip files with flac files inside, and with all the metadata and covers I need inside, so it’s just so hassle free.

Hm. I do see that I have about 1K of releases on mp3 only. Shame! They’re all pre-2002-ish, I think, though, so it’s bad mp3 as well.

Whatever will album er musical thing 10K be?