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Ben Folds, Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, and Damian Kulash Defy Record Companies

April 8, 2011

Monday, April 25th will be a special day in the longstanding struggle against the evil empire of record corporations.

Musicians Ben Folds, Damian Kulash (Ok Go), Amanda Palmer (Dresden Dolls) and author Neil Gaiman will unite in one of the most intriguing music projects of the modern era.

Gathering at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, the foursome will write and record eight songs in eight hours, from 4 p.m. to midnight, before releasing them 10 hours later as part of the Rethink Music Conference. The conference, which takes place in Boston April 25-27, joins business and creative minds  in solutions-focused discussions about the future of the ever-digitizing music industry.

The Rethink Music Conference takes place April....wait, what am I saying. Just read the embedded picture...

This forward-thinking collaboration will also be broadcast live via rethink-music.com, while the album will be available on Bandcamp for purchase, with first-week proceeds going directly to Berklee City Music.

If this isn’t an interesting enough idea of a seminar, the group will also participate in a presentation of their recording process the next morning, Tuesday, April 26th, starting at 10:40 a.m. That night will include a performance of their new album at the Berklee Performance Center at 8 p.m.

This is all within a mere 28 hours.

But, what’s the point you ask?

Well, aside from participating in a highly creative and imaginative project, this is a science project in the superfluousness of today’s record companies; namely, their profuse exploitation of hyping and marketing music of their artistic clients.

“Can the album cycle actually be reduced to a single day?” said Kulash. “If the recording industry is supposed to be a means of connecting musicians to music listeners, well, then, here it is — spontaneous and circular.”

“The four of us are creative internet addicts with our own huge Twitter circles. This project is exciting as it will give us the opportunity to collide our circles,” said Palmer. “I think the Rethink Music conference is going to be a groundbreaking event, and I’m hoping to engage in a dialogue about things that are very close to my heart, namely the importance of audiences and artists creating a new society of patronage and virtual busking.”

This is the greatest slap in the face to the record companies we’ve seen since Shawn Fanning boldly led us into the u-download age with Napster.

These four revolutionaries are unmasking what is obvious to all of us; the record companies are slipping into obsolescence. With the age of the internet, accessible home-studio technology and an endless horizon of talented and inspired musicians, the age of business exploitation in music is coming to a close.

“Digital technology allows singers who can’t sing and musicians who look better than they play to sing and play in tune and in time,” Fold said.

“At the same time, it empowers the musician to distribute music without a middle man and directly to an audience within moments of its creation. It even allows two-way communication during the process so that the audience might collaborate to some extent or be present in some way — like live music.”

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

The internet thrashes business while exalting creativity. After all, its in its digital coding.

Stay tuned to Hot Hot Music for a review of the album, available April 26th!

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