maura @ 11:26 pm
My birthday was last week. It was a good day: I went to Library Camp and ate chocolate cupcakes w/vanilla buttercream frosting, yum. (not at the same time, though.) I am also old finally enough now. “Old enough for what?” you may ask. And I will answer: “everything.”
Among the lovely wishes + gifts, I got the latest release by 50 Foot Wave: “Power + Light.” 50 Foot Wave is Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses fame)’s other band, and they are loud + rocking. Lately this old lady has been all about the rock music, and I am happy to report that this scratches my rock itch. (Which sounds kind of yucky, actually.)
But that’s not what I want to blag about. What I really want to do is give big ups to Kristin & Co. because they have escaped the shackles of the recording industry and are kicking it open access-style. They founded Cash Music as an alternative means of music distribution. They released this new record on beautiful vinyl (choice of 4 colors! I picked cyan), which you can buy. And they also made the mp3 of the whole dang record available to download for free. Which kicks ass for me because now I don’t have to sit there making sure the cats don’t mess w/things while the USB turntable rips the vinyl to mp3. And of course the whole dang thing is Creative Commons licensed, so others can mix + mash these tracks as the spirit moves them.
I’ve been interested in open access/source kinds of things for a while, I guess, but I’ve gotten more and more passionate about those issues since I became a librarian (don’t get me started on the absurdities of scholarly journal publishing). Of course music/content/art producers need to get paid for the good work they do, but so many of them are held hostage by the recording/publishing industry. These models are broken. I’m not sure what the answer is — I don’t think we’ll know that for a while yet — but I’m 100% convinced that things like Cash Music are a step in the right direction.