Innovative Releases

In honor of Yeasayer’s Internet Scavenger Hunt this week that releases video clips of each song from their upcoming release Fragrant World (August 21st), we’ve assembled a short list of other creative ways that artists have released, sold, and marketed their music. Whether it is to make a stand against capitalism (*cough* Radiohead *cough*), to draw media attention, or just because they can, these artists’ releases undoubtedly spice up the music industry.

 

In Rainbows- Besides Napster, Radiohead’s 2007 release may be one of the biggest statements against massive record labels.  Instead of telling their fans what to pay, Radiohead asked for a free will donation based on how much fans thought In Rainbows was worth.  Sure, this worked for Radiohead- because it was their first release in four years and the fact that they are Radiohead and they can basically do whatever they want.  But still, it’s a nice thought that an album can be profitable, fans can be satisfied, and major labels are nowhere in the equation.

Childish Gambino- Donald Glover’s career as a rapper has received mixed reactions (mostly terrible), but the fact that he has not one, not two, but three free mix tapes available through digital download make his music just a little bit easier to enjoy.

 

It also helps that Tina Fey raps along side Glover in his most recent release, Royalty, on the track Real Estate.

Blood Vinyl- Well, its not surprise that Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips did something strange.  The surprise is how many people he got on board with his Record Store Day release this year.  Blood samples from contributors of The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends record are inside the fully functioning record.  Samples from Ke$ha, Bon Iver, Neon Indian, Nick Cave and others are included. A mere ten copies of the Blood Vinyl were pressed, selling for $2,500 each. What a bargain!

Shut Up Little Man!- Everyone has been to a restaurant  where a table of loud-talkers distracts numerous groups of people from enjoying a meal.  But when these loud, crude, and repulsive people are your neighbors it begins to become too much to just ignore it.   That’s why Eddie and Mitchell began to record the loud fights between their two neighbors, Peter and Raymond, and released a record of the ridiculously offensive tenants next door.  Because they wanted everyone to enjoy the heinous fights Eddie and Mitchell heard every night (that became particularly heated when rent was due), the pair essentially displayed a pro-copyright statement on the release encouraging artists to sample the audio clips.  Devo, Nirvana, and many other artists gladly took advantage of Eddie and Mitchell’s gift to the recording world.

Abbey Maynard

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