Monday, February 13, 2006

From the band who was ready for the Internet, before it was the Internet, BNL Presents: iTunes Originals - Barenaked Ladies.

Barenaked Ladies, off the road from their last tour, are off recording a new album at Steven Page's house. Now I sincerely doubt that Steve's "garage studio" is anything but a state of the art recording facility, but it brings back the nostalgia of young bands and parents basements. For the creative types, I imagine it's a convenience that allows for 2am inspiration to become art as opposed to lost (although I'm sure it also creates a mass amount of terrible things that are blamed on the Chinese takeout leftovers he snacked on a 1am.)

Now albums take time to produce, and I'm not going to be the one to get in there with a flail and tell them to make music faster, they have a creative process, and it works. What they have done, is continue to show how internet savvy they are, and producing a stop gap measure to sate the music hungry masses.

To digress a moment, I have alluded twice now to the bands technological awareness, and I want to explain. The first is a little more tongue and cheek, and that is the bands name, if you can think of a name of a successful band that generates more hits on the internet, by accident, then Barenaked Ladies, then that band can have these accolades, until that band comes along, then my kudos goes to BNL. I remember the early days when the band was not aloud to play the New Years Eve concert in Nathan Philips Square because there name was too controversial. For those of you who have no idea what the band looks like, they are neither bare, naked, nor ladies. In fact they were 5 average looking young guys who were a little overweight. Now they are 5 average looking middle aged men, who have a little less hair, and a little less waist line. By definition, they are the typical Canadian Superstars, which is to say, they can go out into a crowds, ride the subway, take their kids to soccer, and nobody notices, or at least nobody starts a flash mob and rip their clothes off. So there controversial name, which is probably the driver of a lot of incidental traffic to their web site, was just the first of the internet savvy things they have done. Since then they have been on the edge of slurry of internet trends, offering news groups, chat rooms, concert listing, fan club, blogs, media clips, music videos, and download exclusive songs and albums.

That brings me back around to my topic, so at first BNL started offering live concert recordings from their website, so you could go to their concert, have a great time, then go home and a couple days later download a copy of the concert you attended. Now BNL as taken it a step further and produced an exclusive internet only album and Apple has the exclusive rights to distribute it through there store. The album, iTunes Originals - Barenaked Ladies, is one in a series of exclusive albums offered on the iTunes store. The album is all new recordings of some classic songs; the track list represents a cross section of their discography, as well as something that will show up on the upcoming album. Interspersed between the tracks is banter between the band members (mostly Steve and Ed) discussing the history of the bands, and the various tracks. All in all a great album, filled with great anecdotes, and acoustic versions of a couple of my favorites songs (For those who don't know, I am a big fan of the acoustic sound, so this was a treat for me.) All this for the low price of $9.99, a price model that I'm a fan of, as I will mention in the upcoming rant mentioned that will be linked to from here.

So fans of the band, who are jonesing for something new, check out their work in the iTunes store, and BNL, keep up the great work!

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