Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Juliana Hatfield, Pearl Jam and Secretly Canadian.
A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE: At this late juncture, most artists have an idea how they're going to deal with digital distribution and the perceived threat of peer-to-peer file-trading. Something going on at Juliana Hatfield's official Web site to this end demands the attention of the curious.
Hatfield, whose last release was the 2004 album "In Exile Deo" (Rounder), has been posting unreleased tracks at her Web site since early December, offering MP3s for unlimited download, on the honor system. Remember the honor system?
Yes, next to each pair of tracks posted for download, Hatfield provides a link to Paypal, the popular online payment site, where a donation can be made to the artist. The iTunes-forged standard of a buck per song is suggested. Alternatively, downloaders are urged to send a dollar in the mail.
So far, the system seems to be working, as future postings have thanked listeners for their donations. So far, 14 Hatfield songs have been uploaded, essentially spanning her solo career, and to accompany the latest batch, the artist wrote a letter explaining the origins of each song so far posted.
LIKE A CLOUD DROPPING RAIN: Forgot about Pearl Jam? The group is working on its first studio album since leaving longtime record label Epic, which should see the light of day sometime this year.
But in the meantime, fans who haven't partaken should head directly over to PearlJamLive.com, where Web-goers can listen to a host of streaming live concerts for free!
The music spans the band's career -- from the "First Week Rehearsals of October 13-23, 1990" to no less than 77 selections from the 2003 world tour -- making for a diehard fan's paradise. Enjoy.
SECRET FUN: Bloomington, Indiana's finest, Secretly Canadian Records, has a large host of MP3s available for free on its official Web site, providing a peek into its large catalog.
Windsor For The Derby, Songs:Ohia, Nikki Sudden, Swell Maps, the Early Day Miners, Ativin, Damien Jurado, Panoply Academy, Magnolia Electric Company and more are here, including new videos by the likes of Jens Lekman ("You Are the Light") and Early Day Miners ("Comfort/Guilt").
FAREWELL: After 95 "Tangled Web" columns, I'm taking leave of Billboard to embark on a new adventure. It's been an enjoyable run, and I leave this space in capable hands. Take care.