JV’s ahead of the curve–tells bands to give away mp3s in 1999

This week may be a bit John Vanderslice heavy–I’m working on a piece for tomorrow and I’ll probably review his show at the Rickshaw on Tuesday–but this is just too good not to post.

I was reading some old stuff about Vanderslice. The early days of Tiny Telephone, before it was the gold standard for an analog indie studio, fascinate me. I found this article in the SF Weekly, published October 6, 1999. In this quote Vanderslice comes across as something of a prophet:

This week, he launched an MP3 site at Tiny Telephone’s home page[1] (www.tinytelephone.com) featuring songs from bands both local (Granfaloon Bus, Chantigs, Mommyheads, MK Ultra) and national (Spoon, Sunny Day Real Estate’s Jeremy Enigk). Despite much of the ongoing debate about the usefulness of MP3 files, Vanderslice stands his ground. “It’s really in their [the bands’] best interest to give away their songs for free,” he says. “I just think if things are available for free that your audience is much, much larger, and people are willing to take a chance to listen.”

These days almost standard procedure to have a couple mp3s up for free when they release an album. JV was about 10 years ahead of the curve on that one, it seems.

Speaking of:
John Vanderslice – Too Much Time (mp3)

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[1] This was one of the first places I downloaded an mp3 from. JV had some Mommyheads mp3s up, back in 1999 or 2000.

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