Many have commented, including Radiohead, Trent Reznor, and Jack White, that they really don’t know for sure what the future business plan for unsigned musicians will be. In the meantime, however, Ryan Adams and those listed above seem to be settling in on a compromise for the present day: surprise free MP3s, self-released music, and web-based multimedia projects. White and Adams, in particular, seem to be fond of boutique vinyl labels, while Reznor and Radiohead are all about the cryptic online sleuth-baiting.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Ryan Adams launched the digital branch of his Pax Americana label last week and since then, he’s already handed out two free demo MP3s, including a 2008 demo of Cardinology track “Let Us Down Easy,” via email thanks for signing up for the Pax-Am mailing list, and “Sink Ships.” The latter was a consolation gift to the victims of a lag in Pax-Am’s “digital single delivery system.”