Finally, someone understands what music downloaders want…

…and, unsurprisingly, it’s Rhino Records, who’ve already been catering to the music geek community for years with their Rhino Handmade label.

It hasn’t been publicized nearly enough, but if you visit the label’s website, you’ll see a link to a new section simply called “Digital.” It’s not a particularly glamorous section; in fact, the intro only consists of three sentences.

Sometimes great albums go out of print. It’s just a fact of life. Here are some from the Warner Music Group vaults that we’ve brought back as high-quality digital downloads.

The downloads are 99 cents per track, and they cover various genres, but those who’ve wanted to hunt up certain out-of-print discs but couldn’t afford the eBay pricetag will be giddy to hear things like Guadalcanal Diary’s Jamboree, Marshall Crenshaw’s Downtown and Mary Jean & 9 Others, the Dream Academy’s self-titled debut, or the Dead Boys’ We Have Come For Your Children will now have their chance. Selection is pretty limited at the moment, but here’s hoping the endeavor proves successful enough to cause the Warner vaults to be opened wide…

Now, there’s one thing you should note: as it stands right now, these tracks are available as WMA downloads for Windows users only.

Which sucks.

But, still, it’s a start…


A perfect reason why even indepedent labels sometimes deserve a punch in the nose

Lost Highway Records is, on June 27th, reissuing Van Morrison’s “Pay the Devil” album, adding a bonus DVD which features Van the Man performing four songs live.

Hey, great! Thanks, Lost Highway! Oh, and a very special thank-you for doing that LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS after the album was initially released! That way, you’ll make sure to totally fuck over the fans who bought the album when it came out in the first place…!

Okay, I admit it, this shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, given that I got a promo copy so that I could review it; really, this’ll be the first time I’ve actually put money in Van’s pockets…or, more realistically, Lost Highway’s pockets. This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled a stunt like this; they did the same thing with Elvis Costello’s “The Delivery Man,” although at least they waited six months to do it, and they included seven extra tracks and a DVD. But no matter how much more you add, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s totally fleecing the fans who went out of their way to support one of their favorite artists as soon as the album hit stores. (I had to laugh when I looked at the Amazon listing for the expanded version of “The Delivery Man,” where someone commented, “I think I’ll wait for the Rykodisc reissue, which should be out in time for Christmas 2005. Rumor has it that it will include the little-heard Elvis demo entitled, ‘Shilling the Rubes Was Never This Fun.'”)

So, seriously, Lost Highway: why do you do this? We love the music, but this treatment is simply unacceptable.


Jessie gets rid of her label

Jessica Simpson has dumped her label, kids. First Nick, now this. Here’s what I don’t get, though. She’s hopped from Columbia over to Epic. Now as I recall Epic was always distributed by Columbia, so technically, isn’t she working for the same umbrella corporation? Maybe someone will finally teach her how to sing over there. Chances are though her boobs and acne-free chin will keep selling them. C’mon, there can’t be that many 14 year old girls out there who still wanna hear Jessica. This chick’s career has gone on far too long. I mean she’s such a much better actress than singer.

Read the rest after the jump...

Universal loves you

Perhaps complaining for long enough sometimes actually works. Universal Music is going to open up its vaults to release over 10,000 currently unavailable albums for downloading. Score one for the new and old school. I just can’t help but continue to complain here, however. As one of those in the “minority” of people who still enjoy collecting music, I’d much rather have an official CD of an album with all the booklet and all that jazz rather than just a CD-R with perhaps some artwork files to print out and put together. That’s just too damn much work. I’m not bitter. This could be fine and all. I just like actual product in my hands and on my shelf, so I can then rip it myself and have mp3s. Hmmm.


Sony’s gonna settle wit’cha

After Sony’s hugle blunder by encrypting some of their CDs with malicious anti-piracy software, the mega huge company is going to settle the lawsuits brought against it. So what do you get if you were one of the folks who was burdened with their bullshit discs? I hope you’re excited:

“The proposed settlement would enable consumers who bought, received, or used a Sony CD loaded with XCP to exchange the disc for a replacement CD, an MP3 download of the same album, and either a cash payment of $7.50 and one free album download or three free album downloads. Consumers who have a CD containing MediaMax 5.0 will receive a free MP3 download of the same album and one additional free album download, while those with CDs containing MediaMax 3.0 software will receive a free MP3 download of that same album.”

$7.50?! Um, what universe are they living in? Even with a frickin’ free album download, they should at least give back full retail price. Oh well, I didn’t buy any of those crappy discs, so enjoy your rewards!


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