Like many others, we had speculated that Trent Reznor might do something bold following his move away from his former major label, which happened to occur right after Radiohead’s online experiment with In Rainbows. Although he’s not yet doing anything with his own music, the Nine Inch Nails frontman has produced Saul Williams‘ latest album, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!, which fans can download either for free or for a fee. This third full-length from the much-lauded spoken word poet-cum-hip hop artist is available as either a free download (at 192kbps MP3) or for $5 (no more, no less), which goes directly the artist (and is available in multiple forms: 192kps MP3, 320kbps MP3, or lossless FLAC). While speaking with Reuters, Reznor claimed, “Radiohead is one of my favorite bands, and if I were sitting on a finished Nine Inch Nails record right now, I would do exactly the same thing they’re doing.” When asked about the price, Williams was less idealistic, “Five bucks seemed pretty fair. It’s the cost of a good latte, so you’d hope people would pay that much for a good record.” That’s right — skip the latte, read the interview and download the album.
Following a more typical business model, Radiohead‘s former label Parlophone (EMI) is following the hype created by the band and is releasing all seven previous albums (six in studio and one live) as a box set on December 10, just in time for the holidays. For any Secret Santas with deep enough pockets, the albums are available in three forms: a CD box set, a digital download, or, for those willing to risk buying a 2007 equivalent of the 8-track, a kicky, if impractically shaped, USB stick.
In further Radiohead news, the fan site Atease reports that the band will perform their first webcast in five years this Friday. No further information is available just yet, but BBC 6Music’s Adam Buxton announced on his show that he will be helping out. (Thanks to The Music Slut for the heads up.)
The Decemberists own experiment, the dually scheduled “The Long and Short of It” tour, has been canceled. While no details have been released as of yet, the band states on its website, “One of our band members has been ill for a while but we thought all would be well in time for these tour dates. After a couple shows, though, it has become clear that the illness is much worse than we had initially realized. We need to return home so our friend can mend.”
Moving in a different direction in effort to build upon her fan base, Australian pop chanteuse Kylie Minogue has launched KylieKonnect, a new social network directly related to her music. According to the welcome video, fans will get “exclusive” (quotes hers) footage, the opportunity to enter “competitions” (quotes mine), and network with other fans. Whether KylieKonnect will become more than a fan portal remains to be seen. If her fans are anything like Bob Mould’s — the former Husker Du and Sugar, and now solo, guitarist and songwriter polled his audience to see what sort of payment model they would prefer — KylieKonnect (thankfully she doesn’t have another “k” in her name!) could be another step toward artist independence. (Story via Mashable.)
Personally, if I’m looking for perks while I’m waiting for the next new release from my favorite artists, I’d rather pick up a game of hoops with Built to Spill‘s Doug Marsh than chat with Kylie. Thanks to Sound on the Sound for pointing out an amusing and challenging, if not impossible, game that slipped under a lot of people’s radar last year.