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jessevdoom on 11/26/2012 at 12:00AM

Can Open Source Technology Save Music? — by Jesse von Doom & Maggie Vail of CASH Music

CashWe are now more than a decade into the technological revolution that turned the music industry upside down. Initially, it felt like there was so much possibility, that the internet might be the great democratizer, that it could empower artists to take more control over their careers, and ultimately allow them to see more of a percentage of income from their music. There have been some success stories, but it seems the vast majority of artists today are struggling even more, making less money yet paying more middlemen. 

Recently musicians have begun to be more open about discussing their shrinking percentages in this music industry food chain. There’s been articles in the past few months about major indie artists that are unable to pay for their own health insurance, bands frustrated with payments they receive via streaming services, and apparently now Cat Power is even facing bankruptcy.  When artists are willing to publicly talk about money it means that things are definitely taking a turn for the worse.  

People often like to talk about disruption when discussing the music industry but the initial disruption was the easy part, think of it like screaming fire in a crowded theater, it’s actually putting something together after that chaos that is the difficult and interesting work. Every few years we see a different solution touted as the answer. First it was mp3 downloads, then it was internet radio, and now that the cloud is here it’s streaming on demand. This sort of technological determinism is market driven and frankly isn’t necessarily what most artists need or even want.

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jessevdoom on 12/18/2010 at 03:15PM

Some Songs From 2010

It's that time of year again, the end of it, and everyone's posting their best-of 2010 lists. A flood of great music pounds against every blog, so rather than trying to make a list of the "best" music I decided to shine a light on some songs that were real hight-points in my year — from the halls of the FMA with a few new additions snuck in to round things out. 

So without further ado, here are Some Songs:

But wait there's more!

There were two more songs I wanted to add to the mix, but you'd be missing out if you didn't see the videos. So check these out in all their moving picture glory:

If you're looking for a proper best-of list you need look no further than the Free Music Archive homepage or basically any blog — but I'd recommend checking out Greg Kot's Top 10/20 list. (Greg covered all bases, so there's something for everyone in there.)

And there's a lot of really great stuff not listed in this playlist or most year-end make sure you find time for 2010 music from Titus Andronicus, Dios, Magnetic Island, Zola Jesus, Former Ghosts, Philip Selway, Philip Bailey, Well and Goode, Family of the Year, Das Racist, Howl, She Makes War, Frightened Rabbit, Woodsy Pride — and suggest more because I know I'm leaving a lot of deserving folks off of the list. 

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jessevdoom on 10/27/2009 at 11:30AM

Our 'Thank You' Mix

This month CASH has been conducting its first public fundraiser. We're raffling off rare, signed, and one-of-a-kind things from artists like  Kristin Hersh, Deerhoof, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Andrew Bird, Mission of Burma, Xiu Xiu, Family Of The Year, Meanest Man Contest, and many others.

A few weeks ago we added a 'Thank You' mix to our site — free to stream and downloadable with a donation of any amount or any kind of participation in the fundraiser. Not all of the tracks were able to be licensed under a Creative Commons license so we didn't initially upload the entire mix to the Free Music Archive. Rather than add half a mix, we cleared a few tracks and added some new ones, resulting in a great (and fully CC-licensed) mix for the FMA.

New to the FMA 'Thank You' mix are 'Swear To God' by New York's Emilyn Brodsky, 'Losing My Mind' by Rhode Island's Hope Anchor, and 'Let's Go Down' by Family Of The Year; replacing their rad Kid Rock Cover that's still up over at

So check out the FMA/CC version of our 'Thank You' mix here:

And our fundraiser runs through November 1, so please give it a visit. The raffle has some really unique things, and the playlist features additional music from Portugal The Man, Earl Greyhound, Faces On Film, and a new track from Former Ghosts.

Thank You!

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jessevdoom on 06/24/2009 at 01:54PM

Spend an Hour with RENMINBI / 50FOOTWAVE


I'm so pleased to be able to post RENMINBI's 'The People’s EP' to the FMA. In its current form it's 3 quick songs, packed full of awesome, that go a long way towards explaining why I'm so excited about their upcoming Surface EP.

The People’s EP can be found here:

Unless you're one of the bands close friends, there's a good chance you've never heard this EP, and that's a damn shame. It opens right into 'Drug Song' with an unapologetically quick tempo, forcing you to get up for it. Only two songs left one thing is apparent quickly: you'll need to hit the repeat button more than a few times. 

And while we're on the subject of excellent back-catalog gems, let's not lose track of Kristin, Rob, and Bernard's excellent work in 50FOOTWAVE. Their entire catalog is sitting here, ready to hurt your ears in all the right ways. That can all be found here:

or for lossless downloads direct from the tap here:

So right there you've got an hour+ of listening, and if its new to you it'll be a good hour. RENMINBI's Surface comes out in just over a week, July 7, and it'll be a CC-licensed digital release right from the start, with vinyl and a few physical release options available. And Kristin is still pushing out songs at a staggering pace, some maybe destined for 50FOOTWAVE treatments, but all available as solo pieces now. To dive in check out: 


Next time I plan on writing a bit more about some of the great things available here in the FMA that we haven't uploaded. There's SO MUCH. (As a hint, try searching for 'Kurt Vile' way more than you'd expect!)


jesse von doom

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jessevdoom on 04/02/2009 at 08:51PM

Congratulations to the FMA

As of this writing the Free Music Archive is set to go live in a handful of hours. At CASH we're busy as ever and in the middle of a particularly vital push right now, but I'm taking the time to make sure we've tweaked the little details of our profile, uploaded and properly categorized music, dotted 't's and crossed 'i's. Why? It's simple:

The Free Music Archive is important.

Just in case that seems somehow obvious or overwhelming let me repeat myself with a little more emphasis.

The Free Music Archive is important!

Jason Sigal, WFMU, and the team behind this effort have been working like mad to accomplish this, and it's no small feat. The development of this site and the principles on which it stands are important now more than ever. The FMA represents an archive of music that is culturally significant and open to the public.

The FMA, backed by one of the finest radio stations in the world, will not only ensure that this music doesn't fade away, but that it remains visible, accessible, and available for discovery and sharing.

I could go on. And will again. But for now I simply want to say congratulations — and impress upon anyone who reads this just how vital this project is.

Congratulations, and thank you to all who've had a hand in building this.

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