Put It On

Put It On

I haven’t asked you to review a site for a while, so I thought I’d get your take on this one. Put It On claims to be a home to the World’s Undiscovered Artists, which, depending on your point of view makes it either sound like a treasure trove, or a creative ghetto.

What do you think? Vibrant community? Showcase opportunity? Admission of defeat?

Sola Rosa

<a href="http://solarosa.bandcamp.com/album/get-it-together">The Ace Of Space by Sola Rosa</a>

I thought I’d try the Bandcamp ‘share’ widget right here on my New Music Strategies page for a few reasons.

First, I’m doing some advisory work for Bandcamp (Disclaimer!), and I feel like I need to push this thing to its limits – and tell you all how insanely great it really is (and I’d genuinely say that even if I wasn’t helping them out).

Second, I really love the new Sola Rosa record and thought you might like to hear it.

And third, I wanted to actually get a bit of music onto New Music Strategies for a change. Hope that’s not too competitive or too much of a change of gear for you. I figured you probably like music just as much as I do.

Enjoy. And go get your own music up on Bandcamp too.

By the way – let me know how you get on listening to a whole album from within a blog page. Does it work for you?

What's a Netlabel?


There seem to be three main approaches that independent artists take to the idea of record labels these days.

The first is that record labels are the best way to get your music out to the public. The internet is all well and good, and we are in favour of it, but people in record labels know what they are doing, they understand marketing, they have things like connections, promotion strategies, radio pluggers, PR, graphic design, branding, distribution, chart registration, barcodes, licensing, finance, and deals on pressing all sorted out. We’re going with them. 20% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

The second is that we live in a post-label world. We are all about DIY. There may be artists signed to record labels and that’s fine for them, I suppose… but this is a brave new era and we’re going to self-release. We’re not unsigned – we’re independent. We have all of the tools at our disposal to record, release, distribute, promote and make money from our music on our own terms, beholden to nobody, keeping all of the intellectual property and making all of the profits ourselves. We’ll do it on a tight budget, but we’ll do it because we are empowered to do so.

The third can be broadly categorised thus: We’re going to release through a Netlabel. As soon as we can figure out what a Netlabel is, that’s what we’re going to do.




Jamendo is a site on which artists can give their music away to audiences for free, under a Creative Commons licence (which can, of course, include prohibitions against people using that music in a commercial context elsewhere). Fans can make a donation if they wish, but there is no requirement to do so.

Fans get free music via mp3 download, or complete albums via BitTorrent or eMule — and artists get access to a whole community of people that might otherwise never have found them.

Do you need help giving your music away for free? Is Jamendo a solution looking for a problem? How is this useful to you? As usual, let’s have your review of this site in the comments.

But if they steal it – how can I make money?

ChillApologies in advance. This is a long post.

Take the weekend to think about it, and I’d be delighted for you to weigh in with your thoughts and comments. I’ve linked to some other reading, which I think would also be helpful. This is one to mull over, and I’d love your take on it.

In a roundabout way, it’s about this recording.

Piracy revisited
I wrote a post back in April called ‘Should I Be Worried About Piracy?‘, to which my answer was, in a nutshell, “no”.

This was meant to be a bit of a controversial post, though at the time I didn’t get much of the flak that I was bracing myself for. So I figured that most people saw the sense of it. I even had some good feedback about it elsewhere.

But today, I received a passionate and very angry comment on that post – and it highlights some important issues and it raises some things that are both emotionally charged and based in the world of real, day-to-day economics.

I’m going to republish that comment here in full, and then I’m going to respond to it directly.


Cliff Bolling is a hero

Cliff Bolling's studio

The Wired Blog points to the Herculean effort of one Cliff Bolling who has been digitising his collection of 78s and uploading them for the world to listen.

The thousands of files are at 128kbps (though Cliff has been saving the source WAV files to DVD) and the ID3 metadata tags are just begging to be reworked so that artist and title display properly in iTunes, etc. – but what a heroic and selfless act. The man deserves a medal.

Listening to the music itself is like a window into a time not so far gone in history, but it’s largely been buried because it’s simply not economically viable to release this stuff in large quantities on CD. This is, I’d argue, what the internet is best at – and why we need to change copyright.