September's Wired Effect: The Rebirth Death of Music Industry

Anyone who has perused Wired magazine knows how difficult it is to navigate. A popular rant: Why does the Contents section never contain the page numbers for the cover stories that compelled you to purchase the magazine in the first place? In this vein, we're helping to sum up the important stuff, as pertains to you, and even including handy pagination. Don't thank us, just yet. Save the accolades for the comments section.

September's Wired features the musician/artist/Web 2.0 enthusiast Beck on the cover with an apropos quote, "Radio sucks. The labels are lame. Now bands are taking over—and fans are getting what they want." Warning: If you repeat these words enough times, you will become a disciple of L. Ron Hubbard's teachings.

There has been much buzz about the impending release of Beck's new old album, repackaged with technologically enhanced goodies. Some of these goodies include do-it-yourself cover-art with stickers for you to design your very own cover.

If this feels a little amateurish (too Web 1.0, perhaps?), Beck has gone the interactive route with his Remix project where he allowed visitors to his site to sample his music and make their own versions and he plans on expanding. In other words, he wants to go visual, possibly a videogame. Somehow, we can't envision a "Grand Theft Auto"-type format, unless it includes Beck as the pimp and Clive Owen or P. Diddy as the gangstas who get popped. We're still working on the hos part.

Beck also plans on releasing a version of the album on "sites like YouTube." Smart man, that Beck. Staying as far away from a Web-2.0-start-up affiliation as possible. Additionally, Beck would like to release his home videos (done with his handy $100 video mixer purchased off Ebay) on such sites. In any event, we think John and Yoko might have been a bit before their time with those recorded sit-ins of theirs. [p.172]

Schwag-of-Note:

  • Splogs are bad, very bad, but we kinda like saying the word anyways. That, and Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress says "mortgages and viagra, pills and porn." [p.114]
  • Kokora Dreams designs an actroid" that understands sarcasm. We think we know where to find our next generation of readers. [p.149]
  • Pitchfork is the quintessential tastemaker on the music scene? That's like saying Nick Sylvester wrote for The Village Voice. [p.186]
  • Can the PS3 Save Sony? Considering the article starts with the adage, "Never try to introduce the same product twice." We think not. [p.189]
  • Long live the Netflix revolution. Or Ted Sarandos, its Chief Content Officer, since the piece is really a thinly veiled profile of the man. A pleasant read, nonetheless, and a valiant enough plug for a mediocre flick whose creators yell to audiences, "Tell Us We're Brilliant!" [p.096]
  • Mr.Know-It-All advises on frozen embryos, cell phone etiquette, and kosher Provigil. [p.048].

— Beth Gottfried