I grew up a large fan of the Smashing Pumpkins. I have seen them in concert many times, the most recent being in Raleigh in 2008. While they have been through their share of bandmates (how I miss D’arcy!), you cannot argue with some of their efforts to keep the fans in mind. They gave an entire cd away a few years ago for free. They put together a website where they encouraged, yes encouraged, fans to post video clips and pictures to their website. Now they are giving away their songs for their new cd, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Plus, you can put a sidebar on your website that allows others to download it (see below).
Why would the Pumpkins, or any commercial act for that matter, do that in today’s culture, especially with the economy tanking?
From their webpage (www.smashingpumpkins.com):
“Astral Planes” is the final song to be issued for TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE VOL.1: SONG FOR A SAILOR, the first of the eventual 11 EPs to be sold in record stores. TEARGARDEN BY KALEIDYSCOPE VOL. 1: SONGS FOR A SAILOR is set for official release on May 25th thru Martha’s Music / Rocket Science Ventures. This very limited edition collector’s EP will be packaged in a beautiful collector’s silk-screened wooden box. Each box will contain a 4-song CD, a vinyl 7″ and a hand-carved obelisk.
So it’s that simple entice you with a few songs, then get you to buy more. Looks similar to their collection, The Aeroplane Flies High, where they put a couple cds into a 70’s style LP box. Charge $50.00, and there’s profit. Kudos to the Pumpkins though for going against the traditional grain. These things work. Don’t give us a cd that has 1-2 good songs and 9 garbage songs. Give us something up front, then we’ll come buy the entire collection. Unfortunately the Pumpkins are rare. A few other bands tried this, and I hope many more will.
Would you not love to see textbook and media companies do this for schools? We’ll give you Bio and Human Phys free for buying Chemistry. Instead of giving us the weak laptops or clickers, give us something good. Or else, buy an Geometry text, and get a FREE (as in beer and freedom) application similar to Geometry’s Sketchpad (or whatever that title is!!). That could really do something for us! I am not one to think the iPad or eReaders are the answer.