Indie popsters Stars will be shooting a new video in Toronto tomorrow and Thursday and they want you to be in it. If you missed the Joel Plaskett shoot we told you about earlier this year, you’ve got another shot at your 15 minutes of fame (or at least becoming known among your acquaintances as “the one who was in a music video”). Aspiring extras should send photos and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org for their chance to hobnob with Stars.
The video will be for a track off their fourth studio album, In Our Bedroom After The War, which comes hot on the heels of their remix release Do You Trust Your Friends?, released in May. The new album has been for sale as of last week—but only online.
Such close release dates weren’t originally planned. In Our Bedroom After The War was set to be unleashed on September 25th (which is when the physical version will be made available), but in an era when album leaks are a case of “when” rather than “if,” they thought, “Why wait?” The band’s Toronto-based label, Arts & Crafts, had the album ready for fans to purchase a scant four days after it was finished.
Usually, only promotional copies (the ones that cause leaks to spring) would be sent out so soon after an album is ready. But, as Arts & Crafts put it on their website, “We believe that the line between the media and the public is now completely grey. What is the difference between a writer for a big glossy music magazine and a student writing about their favourite bands on their blog?” (Torontoist would argue that bloggers are actually more awesome, but that’s just us.) With a quicker and easier distribution method in the internet and a new media landscape, there’s no need to follow the old model.
The band and label are hoping with this bold, innovative move “that given a clear, legal alternative to downloading music for free, you will choose to support the creators.” In other words, you can’t use your eagerness to hear the album as an excuse for downloading a free copy, because the free and for-purchase copies are available at the same time. Your love for a band is no longer a twisted justification for stealing from them.
It may not seem like a big deal, but in such a rapidly changing industry, it really is. The music business is in need of new ways of doing things if it wants to save itself, and the speedy release of In Our Bedroom After The War is the kind of idea that fits the bill. If other labels are smart, these short lead times will become the standard—thanks to Canada’s Soft Revolutionaries.
Photo by A. De Wilde.