Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things I Learned In 2008

Over the past year I have learned a few new things:

  • Spiralfrog is amazing! I read about the site, which offers free legit downloads from most of the major labels and big indies, last January in a year end recap that predicted it would die a quick death. The site runs on a model similar to the subscription based versions of napster, rhapsody and zune offering drm-protected wma files that play back with windows media player and on wma compatible mp3 players. While it won't help ipod sheep the site offers a quality way to preview music in a way that the public has been looking for since original version of napster went mainstream.
  • Publicly calling your label out on being stupid works. At least sometimes: Moby posted a missive about the merits of beatport and how he couldn't understand why his label wouldn't allow his music to be sold on the site when everything in the music business had fallen to pieces. After what he said was years of privately arguing with his label his material was posted on beatport within a month.
  • Neon Neon's "Dream Cars" borrows at least half of it's melody from The Drifter's "Under The Boardwalk".
  • Major labels still don't know how to handle import releases. This year saw late, often internet only, releases from Robyn, Kylie, Groove Armada, The Egg (put out in 2004 everywhere else) as we still wait for Roisin Murphy, Girls Aloud and who-knows-what-I-forgot to come out stateside. While not all of these are out on multinational labels one would think that it would be a fairly easy to avoid losing US sales on acts like this. Simply release everything you have the rights for digitally at the same time across the world so you catch the early adopters. Then if the label decides they can actually push an album do a CD release when the artist is available to promote it in the US. Problem solved. Get to it guys.
  • When revisiting Pet Shop Boys albums I haven't listened to in some time I find myself reaching new insights that I later realize I actually read at GeoWayne's site at some point since my last listen. Here I was thinking that I had become older and wiser.
  • Matinee Club are once again The Modern. Honest.
  • No clear favorite album this year but it seems like there are too many albums I have yet to give a proper listen to. I found myself most often playing the offerings from Ladytron, Robyn, Midnight Juggernauts, Cut Copy, Neon Neon, Blank + Jones and Goldfrapp.

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