wilco (the stream) happens

I just got this e-mail from Wilco HQ:

Well, we made it nearly a month with copies of Wilco (the album) floating around out there before it leaked. Pretty impressive restraint in this day and age. But the inevitable happened last night. Since we know you're curious and probably have better things to do than scour the internet for a download (though we do understand the attraction of the illicit), we've posted a stream of the full album at http://wilcoworld.net/records/thealbum/. Feel free to refer to it as "wilco (the stream)" if you must.

We also have our usual guilt abatement plan for downloaders. If you have downloaded the record, we suggest you make a donation to one of the band's favorite charities, the Inspiration Corporation — an organization we've supported in the past & who are doing great work in the city of Chicago. Information and donation button here: http://inspirationcorp.org/.

That's all. Enjoy the stream. Tickets for summer shows, etc. http://wilcoworld.net/tours/ Note that we'll be holding a free online midnight screening of the "Ashes of American Flags" film this Friday night (at both midnight US Central time and again at midnight Pacific). So get the popcorn or whatever together and be sure to log on and tune in on Friday.

Wilco HQ

This is so smart, and I hope Wilco gets some public recognition for doing this. Sure, they could play whack-a-mole and try to get it offline until it's officially released, but what's the point of that? It's impossible to win that fight; it just wastes a lot of their time, money, and energy.

Giving their fans a legitimate way to hear the album reduces the incentive someone would have to steal it, builds excitement and buzz for the official release, and acknowledges that Wilco's fans love their music so much, they (we) just can't wait. They even suggest a really great way for people who downloaded the album to get some kind of "I was sort of a dick" offset.

I really admire the way Wilco embraces their fans (and reality) when they do things like this. I'll be listening to Wilco (the stream) in about five minutes, and I'll be purchasing Wilco (the album) as soon as it's available.

On the off chance that anyone from the band sees this: Thanks for all of your music, guys. I love what you do, and it's really meant a lot to me.

29 thoughts on “wilco (the stream) happens”

  1. Wilco have been doing this for years, ever since “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” They would stream the whole album for a while before the official release and encourage their fans to actually buy it if they could afford it.
    Here’s a quote from a 2004 email that I happened to save, after “A Ghost Is Born” was released (and it had been streaming on their site for some time):
    We should probably admit that this is a thinly veiled reminder to get
    out there and support the band in whatever way you see fit… And if
    that involves picking up a copy of the cd, well that’s all the better.
    Of course, that’s optional; we’ve kept the stream up for those of you
    who are too busy, broke or otherwise unable or unwilling to pull the
    trigger. Regardless, if you do venture out, don’t forget to support your
    local record shop. Those folks have had a hard time of it lately.

    I’m a big fan, of both their music and their politics and values.

  2. Class act from a band I’ve liked since I first heard them, awesome. Didn’t hit the stream at work, figure that’s going to be tonight’s raiding soundtrack.

  3. Wil Wheaton says: “Don’t be a dick…
    …but on the off-chance you have been a dick, donating to an appropriate charity counts as a dickiness offset.”
    Dude, you’re like the Al Gore of dickitude.

  4. Metal bands like to do this all the time. They post the albums on either myspace or their label pages, so you get a taste before the real thing comes out. It’s great. I probably bought 4-5 albums in the last 3 months just because I had already heard them. I knew that not only did they not suck, but that this band I hadn’t heard of before was actually pretty good and that I might want more of the same.

  5. Well, you know I’ve heard about this Haitian guy that works wonders on helping people forget about certain things ;)
    Just throwing it on the table…not admitting to anything…

  6. I love the “the attraction of the illicit.”
    More like the attraction of listening on the ipod.
    Any details on the deluxe vinyl deal?

  7. Wilco’s common-sense approach to this is refreshing. It’s frustrating to see many of my favorite artists still fighting YouTube, music sharing, and other peer to peer networking. It’s a lot more productive to accept that the Tubes are Big and Wide, and nothing can be secret, and instead, count on the community values in the people enjoying your stuff.
    I think we all have a pretty good idea of who the people are who share openly, and who the people are who jealously guard their shit. I know which end of that spectrum I’d like to support with my limited cash.

  8. LOL. Ron Jeremy is actually a pretty cool (and by “cool,” I do not mean annoying popular celeb!), smart guy. I watched him on that show that I forget the name of, with the “has been” stars, you know. And I found that I really quite liked him. …Sleeping with thousands of women aside. LoL.

  9. You know, I really could use a Haitian like that to purge my memories of the show that Haitian would be coming from to purge my… no wait, hang on, this is not starting back up.

  10. Little known fact about Ron Jeremy. He has a Masters Degree in Education and was actually a Special Needs teacher before he got into the skin flick industry. I’m pretty sure that after sleeping with thousands of women in “Adult Entertainment” films, nobody would want them near their child, who knows, at this point it’s probably illegal. But the fact that he worked in that field before becoming a porn star makes him really cool in my book, since I have an understanding of how much dedication and patience it takes to work with them, and also how rewarding it can be at the same time. Who would’ve thunk that one about him? Never, ever judge a book by its cover, people.

  11. Meh, easier just to install quicktime for the afternoon on the work computer and deal with the bloat, the album’ll be worth it. :)
    Being there was the soundtrack to many a night of after work poker nights.
    *Edit*
    Wil (or anyone else), what’s your take on Son Volt if you’ve also chased down that side of Tupelo?

  12. You do know that the “H” word guy is like Bloody Mary, right? If you invoke his name enough times, you will get a visit from him. You have been warned.

  13. I know. That’s why I say he’s a cool smart guy. He really is.
    I’m pretty sure he could teach if he wanted to though. He’s not done anything illegal by being in porn. Porn is 100% legal. He has not committed any lewd acts by doing it, nor endangered children or committed felonies, etc. Nothing about porn means someone isn’t allowed near children.
    That said, I imagine almost any parents who knew the name, would cause too much of an uproar to allow him to teach their children. Which is sad, because I imagine he’s probably quite good at it, seeing how reasonably he conducted himself on that show with all kinds of fools around him, heh.
    And yeah, I was a daycare teacher for a few years, we had autistic kids in some of our rooms, as well as kids with …emotional instability. It’s rough, but I gotta say, most of those were my favorite kids in the joint.

  14. Just finished listening to it. It’s very good, but on first listening I’d say they missed Greatness. But then, I thought the same thing of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and that album seriously grew on me over time. This fell a little too easily into background music for me, although I am of course at work so that has to influence it some. Definitely going on the purchase list.

  15. Yeah, I was mostly kidding about it probably being illegal for him to teach kids. I’ll admit to seeing some of his work outside of the education field, which was pretty educational, itself the first time I ever saw it. lol.
    And I agree with you about the special needs kids, too. I decided that it’s not worth fighting against the NCLB law and am in the process of getting more training so that I can hopefully get a job as a TSS worker. It’ll take some time before I can achieve that goal, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

  16. That’s so insanely fantastic. Just finished listening to it, and I really think it’s the best one since YHF. Makes me even more excited about seeing them live for the very first time in Gothenburg this summer. And yes, I agree it’s a really cool thing to be able to listen to the stream. These guys definitely rule! Greetings to Wilco fans everywhere in the world!

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