Unlike Trent Reznor, Saul Williams isn't disheartened (CNET)
MS: I think it's early in the game. I'm not disappointed at all. I think Trent's disappointment probably stems from being in the music business for over 20 years and remembering a time that was very different, when sales reflected something different, when there was no such thing as downloads. Trent is from another school. Even acts that prospered in the '90s, you look at people like the Fugees or Lauren Hill selling 18 million copies. That sort of thing is unheard of today. But Trent comes from that world. So I think his disappointed stems from being heavily invested in the past. For modern times, for modern numbers we're looking great, especially for being just two months into a project.
DRM Is Dead, But Watermarks Rise From Its Ashes (Wired)
MS: Watermarking offers copyright protection by letting a company track music that finds its way to illegal peer-to-peer networks. At its most precise, a watermark could encode a unique serial number that a music company could match to the original purchaser. So far, though, labels say they won't do that: Warner and EMI have not embraced watermarking at all, while Sony's and Universal's DRM-free lineups contain "anonymous" watermarks that won't trace to an individual.
Looting the Bins with Alejandro Escovedo (Harp)
MS: “Street Hassle was really the record that inspired me to use strings in my music,” he confesses, pawing through the store’s collection of vintage Reed vinyl. “There’s a suite that runs through the whole record that we used to cover as a song. That’s where I got the idea of using the strings that way, where the strings are as loud and powerful as the guitars. It’s very hard to find string players that are classically schooled but can also improvise. You gotta find people that are somehow damaged by the whole classical experience and dropped out of school but still know the shit. I remember we were listening to a lot of Bartok at the time, but Street Hassle was what I was kinda aiming for. I wanted to be able to take away the band and just play with the strings section and have it drive the song like a rock and roll rhythm section.”
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