This year, a pretty mind blowing collaboration happened– and somehow it went entirely under my radar.
I the event that you missed it too, I feel compelled to tell everyone on the planet.
Danger Mouse made an album with Sparklehorse.
It’s called Dark Night of the Soul, and it’s got cameos by people like The Flaming Lips, Super Furry Animals, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Frank Black, Iggy Pop, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, and Suzanne Vega.
As if that wasn’t amazing enough, they are releasing it as a book, with visuals by none other than film legend David Lynch.
As awesome as all this is, and as much as I want to share it with you, there’s another reason entirely why I’m bringing it up.
Due to a dispute with the record label EMI, the album may never be released.
however the book is available for sale on the official website for Dark Night of the Soul along with a blank recordable CD-R and all copies will be clearly labeled:
“For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.”
Let’s think about that for a second, shall we?
This is a way that an artist is encouraging the consumer to find the material by any means necessary.
Reading this conjures up images in my mind of things like attending illegal basement shows– reading directions on photocopied flyers that say things like:
Take a left at the weird intersection and keep driving until you hear noise.
It makes me think about graffiti and public art– about punk rock, and about Doing It Yourself.
This is putting the effort of actually obtaining this music into the hands of the consumer.
It’s a fun idea- made even more fun by the prospect of breaking the law.
Shaking up the simple formula of going to a store (or a website) and buying it, and instead having to get it by some other means.
In my head there’s some bizarre Lynchian scavenger hunt going on, where one has to follow a number of clues and meet a number of pretty ladies and backward talking midgets to obtain the fabled album.
In reality, it’s just a matter of navigating the internet or asking friends if they have it.
But still, there’s an element of scarcity there– and the added value that scarcity implies.
There’s effort involved, as well as interaction, not to mention that since it’s released with a book, it’s got a physical component, too.
This thing is clearly more than just an album, it’s a full scale art experience.
- What do you guys think about this idea?
- Is it different because it *has* to be this way for legal reasons, as opposed to being a chosen aspect of the artwork?
- What kind of lengths would you go to, to get a copy of a favorite band’s album?
- Would you be more or less inclined to participate in finding it if it meant breaking the law in a minor way?