Home > The Internet > Give a Little Love, Part 1

Give a Little Love, Part 1

I think Trent Reznor is right. You have to give away your music to get rich off of it.

And as much as “You have to let people not pay so that they will pay” seems like a contradiction, it’s actually a sort of old idea. Remember shareware? I don’t, because I was four at the time, but it was a way to distribute your product, anything from spreadsheet software to Doom, where the user could use a select part of it without paying. That part — like the first campaign in the Doom single player — was free, but if you wanted the other three campaigns, that would cost you.

And really, although the model has changed in many ways, that’s the way that computer games sell these days, despite no one calling it “shareware”. Instead of downloading the entire game for free and only having access to parts of it, while the rest stay encrypted or otherwise off-limits, games just release demos that are much smaller than the full game and only have a smaller amount of content. Sure, the playable sections are shorter than an entire Doom campaign, but it’s the same idea: gamers will buy it if they can play it and like it.

But anyways, about the music. Lacking both a pool of test subjects and musically interesting friends, I”ll have to limit my analysis to my own thoughts and patters, which I hope to be rather telling. For consideration, I offer the three latest albums I have come to own: Why Try Harder: The Greatest Hits by Fatboy Slim, Bang Camaro by Bang Camaro, and Sonic Firestorm by Dragonforce.

I was actually about to type out a comment about how the first of these could be discounted because it was a case of “dude, you’ve got to hear this” where I listened to a friend’s copy of the CD. Although I tacitly discounted this for being a rather pedestrian way of musical infection, it occurs to me that it also plays right in to my hand. That is to say, I was compelled to buy the CD by hearing it, at no initial cost to me, and finding it pleasing.

As for the Bang Camaro album, that is entirely the fault of Harmonix, the company behind the first two Guitar Heroes and Rock Band. In GH2, they included a Bang Camaro song (Push Push (Lady Lightning)) which simultaneously frustrated me with having to play the guitar part, and amazed me with the quality of the guitar part. It is easily one of the more memorable songs I found out about via the game, but it wasn’t quite enough to get me really interested.

Then comes Rock Band, which has a second Bang Camaro song, this time Pleasure (Pleasure), but now you may pretend that you are one of three guitarists in the band, or one of fifteen vocalists. Although I’m reasonably sure that I’d never actually heard the song before, when I played it for the first time, it resonated on the level of a powerful and well-known song like, let’s say, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. This warranted a closer look, and after some investigation on the interwebs, I decided that this would be an album I would value, to say the least.

Now, I bought Guitar Hero 2 and Rock Band for the gameplay, not the song selection. However, there is something about the tactile relationship you develop with a song by playing a simulacrum of it that acts a crucible to filter out the more boring ones from the ones that cause panties to be thrown onto the stage. Put another way, playing through the songs forces you to concentrate exclusively on the music, which is such a fantastic venue for any band that I’m surprised the entire franchise hasn’t become awash in bands attempting to throw cash at the developers in the hope of having a single song included in the game.

Categories: The Internet
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  1. March 19, 2008 at 10:49 am

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