The debate continues as to whether or not Radiohead's "you name the price" model of selling In Rainbows online, giving fans the option to snag the tunes for free if they choose to do so, is the potential future of the music biz. Saul Williams has followed Radiohead's lead with his latest album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust, so the experiment continues. While it will be interesting to watch and see if any other artists go this route, it is pretty easy to see that it is an option worth exploring for some.
Although she isn't offering an entire album for free (yet), Kirstin Hersh has helped launch the Coalition Of Artists & Stake Holders, or CASH Music, to offer up her newest recordings. The cool part about this particular system is that she is offering up the download in multiple formats, including lossless audio. She also includes lyric sheets as well as "works in progress" demo versions of each song. She even makes her songs available to the CASH community by keeping them in a "read-write" format, offering Pro Tools-friendly cuts as well. Now THAT is pretty rad!
About CASH Music, Hersh's site says: "We're committed to not holding music hostage, the music will be free. At the CASH Music site you have the opportunity to subscribe to Kristin's career - past, present and future. You are free to use the music as you please, to create different mixes or maybe be inspired to create art based on the music.
The business of music clearly needs an overhaul. We're going to present our ideas - and with your help, we'll endeavor to create a sustainable, fair-trade music business model.
This will be a strictly independent and self-sustaining venture -- for better or for worse. No record label, no distributor, no middle-man -- just Kristin, the songs and you."
CASH does accept one-time donations, so if you feel that their service is worthwhile, throw 'em a bone. Now head over and download Hersh's new track "Slippershell."