Featured Article

Listener Supported Music
Share this Content

As is often the case when we get a bunch of great guests and callers talking about something they’re all passionate about—we run out of time. Today’s show about the future of music was one of those days when we could have used an extra hour on the air to get to everything. (Special thanks today to The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano and WNPR intern, Logan Hasson.)

We did, however, get to talk about a number of artists using new technologies and new strategies to get their music out to thousands of potential fans. One of those artists is Mark Marshall.  He was the first listener to call into the show today.  His Four For 4 Project is an example of an innovative approach that many musicians are taking: asking listeners to contribute to and participate in the creation of an album. This new artist/consumer relationship is making it increasingly possible for artists to bypass record labels—taking their music straight to listeners.

It’s a great option for people like acclaimed singer-songwriter Jill Sobule who, tired of chasing a new deal with a major label, set up jillsnextrecord.com. Sobule asked her fans to pre-finance the creation of her next album. And her fans responded, putting up $75,000 in just two months. She released “California Years” in April on her own label-- and not without sticking to the man a little. In her song “Nothing to Prove” Jill sings, “I’m here at a meeting. Trying to impress someone at a dying record company.”

Guess she showed them.

Other artists doing cool things that we wanted to talk about but didn’t get to: Danger Mouse (listen to the NPR piece here), Girl Talk, Fan Farlo, and Radiohead.