Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Long Play with Sam Phillips

Got this news from Sam Phillips a couple days ago:

Sam and her band are hard at work in the studio working on the third EP of her Long Play project. Entitled “Magic For Everybody”, the EP is anchored by drummer Jay Bellerose and bassist Jennifer Condos, who recorded live takes in the studio with Sam. More magic dust is being added as we speak by Sam, some string players and a guitarist or two.

If you’re not yet a member of Long Play, please check it out here. $52 buys you 5 EPs and a full album from Sam, digitally released Apple Lossless, FLAC and highest-quality MP3 formats, plus access to exclusive Long Play content including Sam’s written, visual and audio blogs; behind-the-scenes video; bonus tracks (whenever Sam has something to share); and much, much more. As Sam says, “there is no record company involved, this is just between us.”

I wrote about The Long Play concept back in December, naming it one of my "Top Ten" albums of the year. From the fan's perspective, it's a lot of fun... The opportunity to see into the creative process, to see and hear music in formation. I think Sam enjoys the interaction with the fans too, although I have no idea how it's working out financially. Musically, the two EPs we've already received have been fantastic.

It's just another example of the death of the music industry as we have known it. I love the innovative ways artists are finding to distribute their music outside the industry. Consider:
  • Radiohead initially gave away their latest album, In Rainbows, for whatever people wanted to pay.
  • Jane Siberry was giving all her music away for a while there, but apparently it's not working out... Can't find it anymore. Well, it was cool while it lasted!
  • Derek Webb and all the artists at NoiseTrade have an innovative approach to distributing music.
  • Artists like Waterdeep, Andrew Osenga, Ginny Owens, Caedmon's Call and Andrew Belle are distributing music through Brite Revolution, a $4.99/month subscription service.
  • Derek Webb just started something really cool. It's called "Democracy, Vol. 1," and for $6.00, you get 12 cover songs digitally distributed to you over the course of a year. Why is it called "Democracy"? We original subscribers got to suggest songs and then vote on which ones he would cover. We'll see which ones he chooses, but his first one (got it yesterday) is a winner: While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Someday I'll post about Sam Phillips and her career... She's been a favorite for a long time, for many different reasons. But for now, just subscribe to The Long Play here.

Until next time... Long live Independent Music!

[EDIT 2/8/10]

Just got this today:

Sam speaks with host David Dye about her Long Play project on NPR’s World Cafe radio program February 11, 2010.

National Public Radio’s World Cafe with host David Dye can be heard on over 200 stations nationwide. Fans can find their local station here by selecting a state from the pull-down menu.

…or, worldwide, fans can connect to the WXPN Philadelphia stream Monday through Friday, 2pm to 4pm EST.

Late in the day of broadcast, the audio will be available on the National Public Radio website.

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