Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Never Quite Worth What You Give Up To Get It

"Like an Indian casino or a tank of unleaded it's never quite worth what you give up to get it."

We are in the midst of the most progressive time in music, perhaps since the '60s. The standards of what music is and how it is distributed seem limitless. If you're a music lover, it's a good time to be alive.

This summer, limits were pushed again as Derek Webb released his controversial album, Stockholm Syndrome. First, there was the release. His music label wouldn't allow him to release the full album primarily because of one track that communicated some provocative ideas with some choice language. So, Derek began to promote his album on his own with an Alternate Reality Game that led fans on a search for "stems" of different songs that were left all over the country. He set up secret websites, had a strange RSS feed, used Twitter to fake people out and offer clues, and even had passwords at various points. Overall, the experiment was compelling, drumming up anticipation for Stockholm Syndrome. Then, there was the content. "Stockholm Syndrome" is the psychological diagnosis given to hostages who, over time, become loyal to their captors. One could surmise that to Derek the term is analogous with those of us who continue to hate rather than abandon our prejudice. Webb's usual thought-provoking, incisive commentary is ramped up even more, with each song containing a lyric, or ten, that make you say, "Hmmm." His word choice forces the listener to listen, rather than passively let the music play. It's participative.

A few weeks ago I was able to see him play live in Charlotte. The electonic synth and skittering beats made for quite an enjoyable show.

This is his visually interesting video for the controversial track, and best song on the album, "What Matters More".

Go visit his store to download the full album for just $7.99. It will definitely be worth what you give up to get it.

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