Tangled Web: A weekly column featuring intriguing online music-related issues & destinations. This Week: Prince, InSound and Pure Volume
NEW POWER: Prince has added several new tracks to his growing New Power Generation Music Club Web site, nearly doubling the number now available for purchase. The Musicology Download Store now includes a live performance of "Satisfied" from a post-NAACP Awards "Vanguard Jam" along with a live single from 1987 and a three-track collection from a 1995 performance in Paisley Park.
While anyone can download the tracks from the NPG site, members of the Music Club receive a discount on downloads and purchases from the NPG retail store. The cost of membership is a one-time $25 "donation," which also offers access to pre-sale concert tickets and access to online forums and chat rooms.
AN INSOUND INVESTMENT: For music fans who like to discover their own new artists, InSound offers is the place to go to download full songs from new and previously released albums in indie, emo, garage, electronic and punk. Launched in 1999 as the "little indie store that could," the site has grown into a place where visitors can sample music, buy CDs and vinyl, read artist bios , browse a number of independent music magazines and get the latest news on upcoming releases.
The site places well-known artists like Beck and the Shins next to artists with less exposure on the constantly-changing homepage. The founders of the site have also started their own record label, Tiger Style Records, which is home to more than twenty artists.
Visitors can also sign up for the site's newsletter to get more information on upcoming bands and join chat sessions with other fans.
KEEP IT PURE: The site that states "We're listening to you" offers a chance for its visitors to listen to a lot more. At Pure Volume, visitors can stream entire albums before they buy then and download free music from both signed and unsigned punk, hardcore, emo and rock artists.
The site also lists the day's top artists, and features "Pure Picks" and "Pure Promos," which offer more exposure to new artists, who can include bio pages along with their music. Artists can sign up to be featured, but the Pure Volume staff ultimately decides who makes the cut.
Pure Volume also offers exclusive tracks and videos from bands like Thrice and Louis XIV for streaming or download. Visitors can also join the listeners area for free, which allows them to keep track of their favorite artists, create a profile and receive news and updates.