The Fleet Foxes have started branching out into video and so far, the results are pretty good.
Their second video just landed on the internets, and like Radiohead before them, they’re taking the animated route, using the glass pane technique to create a four minutes of dancing papercraft. It’s definitely not what you’re used to seeing on TV (even by the standards of symbolic music video epics) but it’s only as strange as the music is, and in more or less the same way.
Now that Guitar Hero and Rock Band have catapulted music into the video game sphere, everyone’s getting in on the game…and the results are getting pretty ugly.
Microsoft Songsmith, for instance, is meant to make songwriting accessible to everyone with a computer and a non-metallic ear, but it’s turned into a near-endless supply of 90s soft-rock shmaltz. And, unfortunately for Mr. Gates, it’s far better as comedy than music.
The result is a long string of previously beloved songs—“Creep,” “Roxanne,” and “Beat It,” for a start—digitally chewed up and spat out until almost unrecognizable. But a good music video always helps…
Radiohead have taken a crowd-friendly approach since In Rainbows hit filesharing networks in March, but while they made big news with the pay-what-you-want release and opening a few songs up to remixers, their video ambitions very nearly slipped under our radar.
Apparently the band partnered with aniBoom for a large-scale, crowd-sourced music video contest. The plan was to name a single grand prize winner and give them a hard-won $10,000 for their troubles, but the outpouring was strong enough that the band ended up bumping the number of winners up to four.
The music industry is looking pretty Paleolithic these days, and it may be up to artists to save themselves. And not everybody’s Radiohead.
Wilco’s been pretty savvy so far, though, and they’ve got some ideas that should be useful to bands and industry folks alike. From the beginning, they’ve cultivated a healthy web presence, posting bootlegs on their website and rewarding fans with the occasional download-only EP.
Now, they’re trying their hand at new technology. They’ve resurrected the seldom-heard 2003 More Like the Moon EP as a PlayApp, a program that bundles all the songs, a mini-player, and a few liner notes and pictures in one manageable package. They also appeased design-minded fans with a scattering of agrarian-themed posters. If only Axl were this generous…
After a half-dozen pay-what-you-like internet releases, it hardly qualifies as news anymore. But when the album comes from two 70s vets, each with a long, legendary track record, it gets a little closer to newsworthiness.
More importantly, the album has been put up Radiohead-style as an offering to the internet and the nascent New Record Industry. Unlike the others, this one’s offered as an embedded stream and we’ve posted it below, meaning it won’t be taking up space on your hard drive, but you can click through any time you want to hear it.
The word “effortless” gets tossed around a lot, but when you’re putting out a TV show from your basement, you’ve probably earned it. Producer/mastermind Nigel Godrich (the genius behind Radiohead's *OK Computer*) has been doing just that for most of 2007, and after a year of limbo they’re finally making it to the small screen.
When it's this wintry outside, the best thing to do is grab your girl and a bottle of the good stuff and just stay home for once with some great tunes. Thankfully three of the most stylish men in music—two living and one, alas, dead—have obliged with a trio of need-to-hear new box sets: Elvis Costello (pictured), Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Nick Drake, who overdosed in 1974.