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Another Portland Blog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

 

Why I'm Using Fractured Logic to Justify Not Paying a Single Pence for Radiohead's New Album

Because I'm lame (or not lame enough, depending on your perspective) I haven't listened to Radiohead's In Rainbows since it was released online yesterday. I haven't even downloaded it yet.

Even the Oregonian has reported on how the band, now free from the confines of a recording contract, have decided to "charge fans whatever they're willing to pay" for the new album. I'll snag a copy soon but I'm in a slight bind over where I should download it from. Even if I pay nothing for the album, the band is still charging a 45 pence (around a buck US) "transaction fee" to get it off their site, which I think undermines the whole idea of the "pay whatever" scheme. Plus, when I checked the site repeatedly between 1:30 and 4 PM today, it kept timing out, at least temporarily making it impossible to get the album from there.

I'm one of these people that hasn't paid for an album since the dawn of Napster. I've justified this to myself in several ways, including with the widely-held assumption that bands make very little off record sales and that the profits all go to greedy corporate CEOs (their numerous employees, however, must all be independently wealthy volunteers). Plus, I'm not stealing anything tangible, I regularly attend shows and the bands I like are doing what they love and are making plenty of money doing it. I should also confess that I think albums are slowly becoming little more than advertisements for any given band's merchandise and tours and that the public shouldn't have to pay anything for them.




Does this make me a thief? Maybe, but Thom Yorke doesn't need my 45 pence. He's rich. I'm lower middle-class and, again, I'm not actually ripping anything off here. I don't care if the band and him are charging chump change, I'm "stealing" their album anyway. Hello, BitTorrent, good-bye moral quagmire.

On a side note, KNRK played "Body Snatchers," one of the songs off In Rainbows as I was riding into work today. It sounded good, nothing revolutionary but on-air host Greg and his producer were "ecstatic" over the release, going on to say they felt it would have "made a great follow-up to OK Computer." Then Greg cut to a Bob Marley song before returning to declare Men at Work's "Overkill" one of the best pop songs ever recorded. Yeah, that Kenny G-style horn section on that track is really great...except not at all. Yuck.

Finally, here's what now local Dave Allen had to say about the album and its influence on the recording industry.

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