Great article about how record companies need to start adapting their business model in order to stay relevant in the modern music industry. While I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get the newest album by "actress-singer" Mandy Moore or, god help me, "the remnants of star 90's grunge acts Stone Temple Pilots and Filter," I think it's important that major record labels wake up and start understanding that they are increasingly irrelevant to artistic success. Before the internet and the direct access to fans that it provides, sure--a major label could reach the corners of the country that you personally could not. But now? What up-and-coming artist would so readily sign away HUGE percentages of their music rights for a crummy advance and the chance at making a music video no one will see? It makes a lot more sense to use the labels as distribution outlets and to do the rest in-house, if possible, to keep the royalties from your music sales in your pockets rather than someone else's. That being said, the Decemberists' major-label debut drops in a matter of weeks, so they must've felt something was missing with Kill Rock Stars that Capitol could give them instead. I'd be curious to see what provisions their contract entails. (Also, I'm really, really excited to hear the album. But I've digressed.)
I did listen to Gnarls Barkley, and I'm rather bummed. I *heart* "Crazy" (I don't listen to the radio, so I'm not tired of it yet) and love "Smiley Faces," so I thought I'd be safe buying the whole album. Alas. There's a dullness to it--is it overproduction? I hesitate to call it that, because the two aforementioned singles are drenched in production and they're still great. "The Last Time" caught my ear, but everything else is too all over the place (or, in the case of "Feng Shui," too darn short) to really stick with me. Sad. Should've just bought the singles like everyone else. Oh, well.