Dude... Just noticed your blahg post about the new Raconteurs album, how it's getting a hasty (read: surprise) release next week. I, personally, think it's a fuckin' brilliant idea.
You say it's a self-important maneuver? Why? The band is popular. Jack White's a good, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll star. And this move is about giving the fans an honest idea of how the album should be presented according to its creators. It's obvious the band is proud of it, as are the Crowes with their new one. Look, I think that's how good records should be released -- by giving the fans a chance to form their own opinion based on the whole package, not one that's defined by ill-advised pre-hype, frothy blogger/magazine horseshit and single-song ariplay. That's how great albums (my faves, anyway) rose in the past. Sure, I lay out dough for albums based on reviews, but there are only a few writers I can actually bank on. I can count 'em on my fingers. Bill, you're one of a few whose opinion I happen to trust.
And so what? The Raconteurs want to get paid for their work. Good for them. And good for them because it's obvious in the band's statement that they actually give a shit about the album's sonic qualities, the music's dynamic range, which are not afforded in shit-sounding, ephemeral and invisible mp3s. (Look, why slave in the studio when what's heard are square waves, compression and about 40% of the actual music?)
The band's "statement" says that if you want the album, you buy it. If you give a shit about the band and its music, you have to pay for it.