photo from MySpace
Remember The Crimea? The British band were once poised to take over the US, and while they didn’t gain the popularity they might have wished, they did catch our attention with memorable tunes “Lottery Winners on Acid” and “White Russian Galaxy.” That was early 2005. Two years later, the market is flooded with other British acts like trying various blends of post-punk and new wave to rise above the rest. Kaiser Chiefs, Bloc Party, and The Bravery, all contemporaries of The Crimea, have been more productive, and new UK bands like The Fratellis, The View, and The Holloways have sprung up in the meantime. So what’s a band to do? Why not give it away for free!
The Crimea are currently offering their second release for free on their website. The entire album is available for download in mp3 form for your listening pleasure, which media outlets are claiming is the first time an “established” band has done such a thing. However, The Crimea are not the first to try such a radical (and I mean radical!) method of promotion. Here’s who else has given away the farm:
Joseph Arthur & The Lonely Astronauts – Ten Crack Commandments (MP3)
Lily Allen – My First Mixtape (MP3)
Mark Ronson – Stop Me (MP3)
We All Have Hooks For Hands – Hold On, C’mon (MP3)
There is no doubt that music market is re-adjusting, but there are many questions yet to be answered. What do these artists gain from giving it away? How much is an mp3 worth? or an album? Will The Crimea benefit or lose albums sales due to this marketing stunt? Will such promotions become the norm? And how will the market shift to re-coup funds? We’re already seen panic in the form of the CRB, for instance, yet we’re also seeing more artists and labels willing to contribute to our podcasts. Hopefully, one day all labels will see the promotional value of giving it away.
Speaking of promotion, we’re excited for the Elliott Smith collection of rarities, New Moon, which comes out tomorrow. We’ll leave you with this beautiful video, “Lucky Three,” a tribute to Elliott and to Portland, by Jem Cohen. You can read more about the video and find a link to another video at New York Magazine:
To send us your thoughts about giving it away, or to share any other interesting music news, email @kexp.org.