Wednesday, March 25, 2009

June Madrona and the Music Industry


Last.fm has announced Yesterday a rather controversial change in policy that would mean listeners would have to pay 3 Euros per month to be able to stream songs on their net radio. An interesting point: listeners from the US, UK and Germany will get the same service - for free.

The wisdom and apparent less than even handed approach here may be questioned in light of the current global economic situation, especially when similar financial models from the past were not too successful. Judging from the initial amount and content of the comments by last.fm users in response to the announcement, success is not guaranteed in this case as well.

With all these changes coming (and more still to come, look here), I just hope that the site's main raison d'être, music discovery, will continue even on this new and limited format. After all, I owe last.fm the introduction of many great songs and artists (here's my profile there).

The latest are Olympia, Washington based group June Madrona. Though its members have been rotating now and again, the band's main singer-songwriter Ross Cowman has endured. Together they create warm and earthy folk, sometimes reminding me of early Decemberists, sometimes of quiet New Pornographers. Mostly though, they are a unique and original group capable of enchanting their audience in an other-worldly atmosphere. Just take a look here for a live example.

Check out June Madrona on MySpace, last.fm and their touring blog for updates and tracks. Get their CDs on Bicycle Records or Waterhouse Records.

June Madrona - Five Views of Rainier {MP3} (from A Long and Ugly Road)
June Madrona - An Early Spring {MP3} (from The Winged Life)
June Madrona - Bedroom Faeries {MP3} (from The Winged Life)

2 comments:

milli said...

i deleted my last.fm account on the strength of this announcement!

many of my friend around the world have too!

shows uncanny bias!

Oded said...

Hi Milli. I can definitely understand how you feel in the face of the last.fm announcement - I feel the same way. I'm still waiting to see if the users' outcry would make a difference; after all, it does have power to change things in the web reality. In the end, I suppose we should be good consumers: stand up to what's right and look elsewhere if the service no longer lives to its promises.