Radiohead lets fans pick price for new album

Sweet fancy Moses this is awesome!* BB reader Daniel says,

Radiohead has just announced the details for their new album, In Rainbows.

They’re only selling it through their website (at least for now), and for the digital download version, they’re letting listeners pick their own price for the album – it’s literally a donation-based product.

Obviously this is sparking confusion among many, but the only help the website provides are the words “It’s up to you.”

Link, album’s out October 10. To recap: the box set (Glorious thick 12″ vinyl! and “enhanced CD”) is $80, but the downloads are name-your-own-price. Some readers are reporting that you get the downloads for free anyway if you buy the box set.

No details on the download file format. Does anyone out there know? DRM-free? MP3s? What bitrate, what quality?

I just bought my copy (download, though I’ll probably go back and buy the boxed set, too). I got wonky html on the purchase confirmation screen indicating some code glurbles going on at the online store — not sure if my transaction actually took. Perhaps the shop’s overloaded right now, announcement just went live.

This is major, and it’s such a slap in the record industry’s face. An unsigned superband, treating loyal fans and customers like loyal fans and customers instead of thieves — what a revolutionary concept.

In related news, the band is dismissing a hoax website that duped fans this weekend:

The site — — launched on Friday with a countdown timer due to reach zero on Saturday morning.

It claimed it would be making a big announcement about the band.

Fans speculated the “Creep” hitmakers were planning to reveal details about their next album.

But a spokesperson for the band has called the Web site a “hoax” and “nothing to do with Radiohead.”

Link to SF Gate blog post.

Update: More on the band’s unusual indie sales approach in these news and blog reports: Green Plastic (fansite online since 1997) Billboard, Idolatr, FQMB.

But Bob Lefsetz, as usual, sums it up best:

It’s not like Radiohead’s living in a different world. But they’re playing by a different rule book. One that says the money flows from the music, that people have to believe in you, that you’ve got to treat them right.

Shit, you can barely get a ticket to a Radiohead show. The venues aren’t big and the demand is incredible. They’re doing it all wrong, don’t they see??

Well, obviously they don’t.

This is big news. This says the major labels are fucked. Untrustworthy with a worthless business model. Radiohead doesn’t seem to care if the music is free. Not that they believe it will be. Because believers will give you ALL THEIR MONEY!

This is the industry’s worst nightmare. Superstar band, THE superstar band, forging ahead by its own wits. Proving that others can too. And they will.


IT Crowd Season Two – the sexy finale

The season finale of The IT Crowd aired last week — the sex episode, where Jen ends up working as personal assistant to her lecherous boss, leaving the boys to go all Lord of the Flies. This is probably the funniest episode so far — and remarkably restrained for a sex episode. Hard to believe the season’s over already — here’s hoping for season three!

Eric adds:

I loved The IT Crowd so much, I went searching for other shows with the same actors. So far, both shows I’ve sampled have been fantastic. They’ve been mentioned in comments by BB readers, but never in an actual post:

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” is a fantastic show featuring both Richard Ayoade (Moss) and Matt Berry (new this season as Douglas Denholm). It is a send up of 80s horror/scifi — spoofing Dr. Who style production on bad Steven King plotlines. A previous BB reader called it “the single best reason to have a multi-region DVD player”.

Another show with Berry in it is “The Mighty Boosh”, though he’s only in four out of fifteen episodes. However, guess who one of the co-stars is: Noel Fielding, IT Crowd’s Richmond. His character in Boosh, Vince Noir, is a too-cool punk zoo keeper, and yes it’s as funny as it sounds.

Link to Pirate Bay torrent

(Disclosure: I was an unpaid consultant on series one of The IT Crowd, and my fiancee works at Channel Four)

See also:
Previews of IT Crowd episode six
IT Crowd, season 2, episode 5: the boob joke episode
IT Crowd Season 2, Episode 4 — and DVD!
IT Crowd Season 2, Episode 3: Great anti-piracy PSA sendup
IT Crowd Season 2, Episode 2 — keyboard-destroying nerd sitcom
The IT Crowd — season two, episode one

New Movie — Inventing Swear Words 3

At long last, I have finished Inventing Swear Words 3! Choose one of the links below to watch the movie—Stage6 is the best quality.

Inventing Swear Words 3 on Myndflame

I said in my trailer that I would finish it sometime this summer, and since summer officially ends September 23rd, I feel comfortable saying that I’ve met my goal. If you haven’t seen Inventing Swear Words 1, 2 or the trailer for 3 (which doesn’t have anything to do with 3), then click on the “Movies” link above and check them out before watching Inventing Swear Words 3.

I am pleased with how this movie turned out. I literally spent every waking moment when I was not at work on this thing. You know you are spending too much time locked up in your apartment when you look in the mirror one day and are startled at how long your beard has grown. For a while there I was marking time by how long my fingernails had grown. I’m pleased with this movie, but I am also very glad to be joining the real world again and attaining some semblance of normalcy.

I have to give major thanks to Nathan Allen Pinard, who is a true hero of this project. I asked him to complete the sound track in four days, and he did it—and it turned out perfect! He really came through, which is why I was able to release this movie today. So stop on over at Nathan’s site and thank him for working on Inventing Swear Words 3.

I have a brand new website! Scott Repka contacted me a few weeks ago and offered to redesign my website, and I must say, it is very handsome–much better than my old Homestead one. The “Writings” section will be updated here in a few days, but in the meantime, check out the new “Movies” page, and the adjacent “Characters” page, where you can find out more about the characters from my videos.

I have updated my store with lots of cool new items! Craig Lynn offered to design some images for me, and with these I was able to flesh the store out with new shirts for men, women and children, including black and dark colored shirts, as well as other odds and ends like mugs, steins, mouse pads, pillows, aprons, magnets, posters, coasters and more. So check out the new store, and see if anything catches your eye!

Well, with that, I think I am going to take a long overdue break. Maybe I’ll go hiking this weekend. Or maybe I’ll just sleep. I have a few days to decide.