So with all the talk about iTunes and gatekeepers in the last symposium, I was reminded of something Thom Yorke did on the weekend. He released his second solo record Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, and distributed it through BitTorrent where you can download one song and video for free, followed by a $6 pay gate, in which you purchase the rest of the album. Thom Yorke and Nigel Groderich probably explained it better than I could in their statement on Radiohead’s website. Here they state that, ‘If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to the people who are creating the work. Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves. Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.’ A step by step guide to getting the album can be found here.
I personally found the process of buying the album just as convenient as iTunes and it was cheaper, so I have high hopes. It’s kind of everyone’s goal to give Apple as little money as possible, right? Anyway, as for the album itself, I’ve found it pretty great so far. It follows, fairly closely, the largely electronic and downbeat style of Yorke’s amazing first solo album, The Eraser, and it comfortably remains very separate from Radiohead’s work, proving to be more than just some music on the side. In saying that, Radiohead fans, and Kid A fans in particular, should find something to like in this album.