This month, on the eve of a headlining performance at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival, the rock band Wilco released a surprise new LP entitled Star Wars, making it available for free download through the band’s official website, in exchange for an email address (it’s also available for free though leading digital retailers iTunes and Amazon).
After we’d all had a few days to listen, the band followed up with an emailed note to everyone who downloaded the album:
[…]Now a bit of background… We consider ourselves lucky to be in the position to give you this music free of charge, but we do so knowing not every band, label or studio can do the same. Much of the “music business” relies on physical sales to keep the lights on and the mics up. Without that support, well, it gets tougher and tougher to make it all work.
You may have already heard the news about the unfortunate death of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Jay Bennett, whose talents graced the Wilco records Being There, Summerteeth and the seminal Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. (Bennett's departure from the band is partially documented in director Sam Jones' Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.) read more