Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Graham Coxon and Gnomoradio.
BLUR WITH BRUSHES: Former Blur guitarist Graham Coxon's fifth solo album, "Happiness in Magazines," is due Jan. 25 in the United States via Astralwerks, having already been released to rave reviews in his U.K. homeland. The disc is akin to the artist's work with his former band with full arrangements and ebullient pop choruses.
But Coxon is also revealing another side of his artistry via Grahamcoxonart.com, where a number of his original paintings are on display and prints are available for purchase.
"It's frightening to show my work in this way," Coxon admits in his introduction on the site, "and that's as good a reason as any to do so."
Coxon has been a visual artist nearly as long as an aural artist, having met his former Blur bandmates at art school. He painted the cover art for the band's 1999 album "13" (Virgin), as well as that for each of his solo albums.
At the end of October, an exhibition of his art was staged at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. His site expresses hope that the rest of England will soon host exhibitions of his work with the mounting of a traveling show, although nothing has yet been announced or confirmed.
In the meantime, grahamcoxonart.com is an intriguing glimpse into a lesser-known aspect of this accomplished artist's work for fans of Blur and Coxon's solo material.
THE P2P GNOME: The MP3 revolution of the past few years has popularized and made infamous a number of peer-to-peer file-trading applications such as Napster, KaZaA and eDonkey. But "P2P" doesn't have to be illegal and can indeed be a great method of distributing music, say the creators of Gnomoradio.
The site offers its own free software for download, via which users can download, share and listen to music by a number of artists who freely offer their music via the program. As with other free legal music sites on the Web as covered in these pages, the artists aren't well-known, but the allure of technology like this is more to celebrate the freedom and new methods of distribution and discovering music that the Internet allows.