Music & New Media

New media has affected the music industry in some pretty cool (and not as cool) ways. Here are some of the nuggets we already have in 2009:

  • M. Ward‘s new album, Hold Time, is streaming on NPR a whopping five weeks before its Feb. 17 release date. (Thanks, Jes!)
  • Nine Inch Nails have made available, for free (again), more than 400GB (!) of HD concert footage to its fans. Though I don’t really get down to NIN anymore, Trent Reznor’s been one of the biggest supporters of new media in music and wants to give you free stuff like an animal. And that’s something I can get behind.
  • Over the past year, Chicago’s own Andrew Bird has been writing for The New York Times‘ songwriting blog, Measure for Measure. In his posts he’s chronicled (with text, audio and video) the making of his forthcoming album, Noble Beast, and album supplement, Useless Creatures, which get released next Tuesday. Very behind-the-scenes-ish and cool.
  • Bono, ubiquitous as ever it seems, has begun writing for The New York Times as well — about metaphysical things and things far more important than music, but, ultimately, about things that are not as important as U2’s own music, nor any of the tracks on No Line on the Horizon, which apparently hits arenas soon. There’s even audio of him reading his own article. Hooray! Because we want to hear that.
  • With the premier of the second season days away, Flight of the Conchords will be posting their songs to iTunes after each episode airs, available for purchase every Monday morning.
  • You can listen to Neko Case‘s new single from Middle Cyclone (out Feb. 3) starting now, and for every blog that reposts the song and/or iLike user who adds it to their profile, Neko and the label will make a cash donation to Best Friends Animal Society. The promotion runs from Jan. 13-Feb. 3, 2009, and $5 will be donated for every blog post and $1 for every iLike user. So, ahem, without further adieu, Harold’s Kids and Abraham Lincoln present “People Got A Lotta Nerve“!
  • Last but not least, I would be remiss if I did not link to Steve Alberts‘ music blog. Steve (director for Marsteller here in Chicago) and his 4-year-old daughter, Lily, have formed kindie-rock duo The Chestertones, complete with distorted, fuzzed-out riffs from dad and brooding, cynical vocals from daughter. I smell a gold record brewing, Steve!

– Dave


5 Responses

  1. Whoo-hoo! Awesome post, love it.

    A. Bird also has an NPR Exclusive listen-first up and it’s STELLAR.

    And by the way, the FOTC season 2 premier episode has been up on Funny or Die since before Christmas. It’s … eh. (sad, I know, but I expected it. How could they follow up to such hilarity in the first season?)

    And don’t be so hard on Bono – U2s music can like, save the world. And stuff. I can’t wait to hear him read his article… (in case I can’t read one day or maybe I’ll download it and take it on a run)

    And don’t forget the exodus of musicians to Twitter. Ryan Adams (or, Cardinology, rather – thanks to you for head’s up!), Brett Dennen (yay, hippies!) and the lead guy from Bad Religion are a few that I follow (oh and whatever happened to “THE REAL BRITTNEY SPEARS?”)


  2. That’s right! Sweet. Thanks for the additions, Jes.

  3. Ooooh – I love this post! Lots of meat on the bone. I’m listening to Neko Case right now – one of my faves – so thanks, Dave!

    Okay, seriously, Bono is now writing for the NYT? Oh well, since Sean Penn sometimes writes for the SF Chronicle, it shouldn’t surprise me.

    Glad you mentioned the ‘Measure for Measure’ blog. I got to be the (temporary) cool person when I told my musician friends about it. I need to be reading it more regularly.

    Terrific round-up, Dave!

  4. Forgot about Penn guesting for the Chronicle. Thanks, Heather!

  5. Great stuff, Dave.

    Speaking of Andrew Bird, he also participated in an interesting segment on NPR recently in which fans asked questions via an online chat room, and a producer then asked Bird selected questions on the air in real-time.

    NPR posted the resulting interview and an archive of the chat conversation here:

    Maybe next time they’ll use Twitter instead of chat?

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