it's a bun! no...a band!
In the last few years, it seems more and more people have actually stopped buying records. 'Official' release dates don't mean much anymore. Tuesdays were the days I went to a record store and waited for it to open so I could get whoever's new album as soon as I could. Now, albums are 'leaked' online days, weeks, even months before their supposed release dates. I love getting my hands on an actual cd or record, because looking through liner notes helps me learn more about the band; that's just part of the fun. I don't get the same satisfaction looking on the internet for album credits, etc.
The internet definitely makes access to music so much easier: instead of going to a record store, you can go to myspace, Band Camp, iTunes, or other file sharing sites. Sometimes, there's an online bonus: not only can you get an album online weeks, sometimes months, before its physical release date, but you get bonus films, rare tracks, etc.
One band came up with an innovative idea: Kaiser Chiefs let their fans choose their own version of their new album The Future is Medieval. Instead of just getting the 'ready-made' album, for a limited time, you could create your own version of the record by choosing your favourite 10 tracks from the selection of 20 they offered as part of the new album. You could preview one-minute streams of songs, choose which ones you liked for your version of the album, and then customize your own album artwork. On top of that, you could share your version of the record once you'd created it, and if someone bought your version, you earned a bit of money.
Kind of makes it seem that there'd be no 'official' version of the album, but there is. A few weeks after they launched this, Kaiser Chiefs released the official album tracklisting, featuring 12 of the 20 available tracks, with a previously unheard song...and a physical version of the album, too (13 tracks plus bonus on this one). They JUST won the Best Artist Promotion Award at BT Digital Music Awards for the launch of this new album, The Future is Medieval. The only song that WASN'T one of the 20 tracks available on their website because it wasn't ready in time for their online album launch is "Kinda Girl You Are".
Kaiser Chiefs were supposed to be here on Saturday night, but had to postpone (something about their American label going belly-up), so now, they're playing at the Commodore on March 24th.