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blast-o-rama. Posts

Free Is The New Black

In a rather prophetic post over at Dead of Summer (a blog post that partially inspired me creating this site, btw), I called that the future of all media was free-to-buy.  Generally known as the webcomics economic model, Radiohead started the trend for musicians with their “pay-what-you-want” release of In Rainbows, but last night, Trent Reznor took it to a new level, dropping a brand spankin’ new Nine Inch Nails album: the 36-track instrumental release entitled Ghosts I-IV.

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What really makes this release stand out is it’s multi-tiered approach to selling the album…

For Free, that’s right, Zero Dollars, you get…

FREE DOWNLOAD
Ghosts I – The first 9 tracks from the Ghosts I-IV collection available as high-quality DRM-free MP3s (320kbps LAME encoded, fully tagged) including complete 40 page PDF. Also includes the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, icons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc.

Kick that donation up to $5…

$5 DOWNLOAD
Ghosts I-IV – All 36 tracks in a variety of DRM-free digital formats (320 kbps LAME encoded, fully tagged; FLAC Lossless; Apple Lossless) including a 40 page PDF. Also includes the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, icons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc.

This version is also available from the Amazon MP3 store.Download the PDF Booklet here.

Want to give them $10?  It gets EVEN BETTER!

$10 2XCD SET
Ghosts I-IV – 2 audio CDs in a gatefold digipak package with a 16-page booklet. To be shipped TBD. Includes immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in same choice of formats as $5 Download option. Download will include the 40 page PDF and the digital extras pack – various wallpapers, cons, and graphics tools for your computer, website, profile, etc.This configuration will be released to retail in North America (April 8), Australia (April 5), the UK (April 8), Japan (April 5) and most European territories (April 8).

Still not enough Ghosts for you? Kick Reznor and co an additional 65 smackers, taking it to $75 total….

$75 LIMITED EDITION DELUXE PACKAGE
Ghosts I-IV – Hardcover book holding 2 audio CDs, 1 data DVD of all 36 tracks in multi-track format (in .wav files readable by Mac and Windows), and Blu-ray disc featuring stereo recordings in high-definition 24 bit 96Khz with exclusive slide show. Includes immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in all formats and with all extras mentioned above. Also includes 48-page hardcover of photographs by Phillip Graybill and Rob Sheridan. Discs and art book both housed in fabric slipcover.

What if you’re a creepy NIN obsessive? (and god knows there are…) For the low low price of $300, get this!

$300 ULTRA-DELUXE LIMITED EDITION PACKAGE
Ghosts I-IV – Contains all elements from deluxe package, along with exclusive 4XLP 180-gram vinyl set, and two limited edition Giclee prints available exclusively in this package. Disc book, art book, and prints are all housed in a fabric slipcover. 4XLP vinyl set comes in its own fabric slipcover. INCLUDES immediate DRM-free download of the entire collection in all formats and with all extras mentioned above. LIMITED TO 2500 PIECES, NUMBERED AND PERSONALLY SIGNED BY TRENT REZNOR.

What’s even better?  Trent himself uploaded the free version of the album to various bittorrent sites, such as The Pirate Bay, What.cd, and Waffles, with the following message…

Hello from Nine Inch Nails.

We’re very proud to present a new collection of instrumental music, Ghosts I-IV. Almost two hours of music recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I-IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

Now that we’re no longer constrained by a record label, we’ve decided to personally upload Ghosts I, the first of the four volumes, to various torrent sites, because we believe BitTorrent is a revolutionary digital distribution method, and we believe in finding ways to utilize new technologies instead of fighting them.

We encourage you to share the music of Ghosts I with your friends, post it on your website, play it on your podcast, use it for video projects, etc. It’s licensed for all non-commercial use under Creative Commons.

We’ve also made a 40 page PDF book to accompany the album. If you’d like to download it for free, visit http://ghosts.nin.com/main/pdf

Ghosts I is the first part of the 36 track collection Ghosts I-IV. Undoubtedly you’ll be able to find the complete collection on the same torrent network you found this file, but if you’re interested in the release, we encourage you to check it out at ghosts.nin.com, where the complete Ghosts I-IV is available directly from us in a variety of DRM-free digital formats, including FLAC lossless, for only $5. You can also order it on CD, or as a deluxe package with multitrack audio files, high definition audio on Blu-ray disc, and a large hard-bound book.

We genuinely appreciate your support, and hope you enjoy the new music. Thanks for listening.

See, RIAA? THAT is how you embrace the listeners!  If the fact that the ghosts.nin.com site was down most of Sunday night/Monday morning, and people who bought downloads weren’t able to get them due to the strain were any indication, I think it’s safe to say this release is a success.  And for those of us who don’t like purchasing the album online? An in-store release on April 8th.  Well done, Trent.  You’ll be seeing my $10.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Pegg Scorned

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Sure, Shaun of the Dead is what made us Americans fans of the oft-mentioned-on-this-blog Pegg/Wright crew, but overseas, they were first known for the fantastic BBC TV series Spaced.

If you’ve never seen the series Spaced, I cannot recommend it enough.  Co-written by Pegg and the absolutely fantastic Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes), it incredibly accurately depicts the bizarre age of the 20’s, that slow, awkward shift from adolescent to adult, wrapped with tons of pop culture references and the sharp direction of Edgar Wright.  It is simply a joy to watch, and if you aren’t on route to import the DVD set or download both seasons, you really should.

Especially now that Fox is remaking it.  Without Wright, Pegg or Stevenson. BUT HEY! THEY GOT McG! OF CHARLIE’S ANGELS AND SUGAR RAY VIDEO FAME!
Word of this decision first hit around the holidays, but Simon Pegg didn’t issue an official statement until this week…Fox, you’ve been served.

SIMON’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING THE US SPACED
Thoughts on the subject of an American Spaced. Feel free to skip to the end.

Now that the pilot has been officially announced, I thought it might be a good idea to clarify my position on the subject. The whole affair seems to have inspired some spirited debate and some heartening displays of loyalty and love. All this for a show which is almost 10 years old, is all rather wonderful and a vindication of all the blood, sweat and tears (both of joy and pain) we shed in the show’s creation. It was always our aim to create a comedy which spoke to its audience on such a personal level, it almost felt one on one. It would seem the fan reaction to the news that Fox has appropriated the format, confirms at least, that we succeeded.

As far as remaking TV shows for different territories is concerned, I don’t have a problem. The Office remake being a perfect example. Yes, the original British version is a wonderful and compact piece of comedy writing and performance, but I think it’s bit much to expect a large scale American television audience to fully relate to the minutiae of day-to-day business life in an obscure British suburb. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you are the type of person who takes pleasure in the variety of entertainment you enjoy, relishing the differences between our various cultural touchstones but there is a massive audience out there, which perhaps isn’t as culturally savvy (euphemistic phrase for ‘geeky’) as we are and need their signifiers to be a little more familiar. So, Slough is replaced by Scranton, and the office archetypes become a little more archetypal to an American audience. The spirit of the show remains intact. The performances are uniformly great and the show scores big ratings and wins EMMYs, whether we as comedy purists prefer the original or not. The success of the remake is born out by it’s undoubted success and appeal.

My main problem with the notion of a Spaced remake is the sheer lack of respect that Granada/ Wonderland/Warner Bros have displayed in respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know. A decision I can only presume was made as a way of avoiding having to give us any money, whilst at the same time using mine and Edgar’s name in their press release, in order to trade on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, even professing, as Peter Johnson did, to being a big fan of the show and it’s creators. A device made all the more heinous by the fact that the press release neglected to mention the show’s co-creator and female voice, Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson). The fact is, when we signed our contracts ten years ago, we had neither the experience or the kudos to demand any clauses securing any control over future reversioning. We signed away our rights to any input in the show’s international future, because we just wanted to get the show made and these dark days of legal piracy seemed a far away concern. As a result, we have no rights. The show does not belong to us and, those that do own it have no obligation to include us in any future plans. You would perhaps hope though, out of basic professional respect and courtesy, we might have been consulted. It is this flagrant snub and effective vote of no confidence in the very people that created the show, that has caused such affront at our end. If they don’t care about the integrity of the original, why call it Spaced? Why attempt to find some validation by including mine and Edgar’s names in the press release as if we were involved? Why not just lift the premise? Two strangers, pretend to be a couple in order to secure residence of a flat/apartment. It’s hardly Ibsen. Jess and I specifically jumped off from a very mainstream sitcom premise in order to unravel it so completely. Take it, have it, call it Perfect Strangers and hope Balkie doesn’t sue. Just don’t call it Spaced.

It’s a shame, since the pilot is now a certainty, whether we like it or not, a simple phone call and a few reassurances might have helped to at least curtail the tide of indignation from fans and creators alike. I have, as of yet, heard nothing.

Simon Pegg

Damn.

Great Things Get Even Better!

Sure, we all geeked out about the straight to DVD Batanime Batman: Gotham Knight, but it’s getting EVEN BETTER!

Word is that Batman will be voiced by classic Bat-actor Kevin Conroy, who voiced The Dark Knight in the 90’s Batman animated series, as well as the Justice League followups.  It’s safe to say he’s the most iconic Batman actor, and this makes my personal anticipation for the project even higher.

Sure, this graphic is from the prior animated series, but I felt it appropriate.

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Batman: Gotham Knight hits shelves on July 8th.

I’ll Start Clearing Wallspace Now

Looks like movie poster superstar Drew Struzan is doing a poster for Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

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This rough pencil image above is just a hint of what’s to come.  Struzan created a poster for the first flick, seen below, but he’s practically the trendsetter for movie posters, having created art for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, E.T., Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, The Muppets, Blade Runner, First Blood, An American Tail, and The Goonies.

Sayeth Guillermo Del Toro…

“For me, Drew Struzan’s work summarizes the power of cinematic storytelling. I eagerly await his first sketches for this HELLBOY: THE GOLDEN ARMY poster, and I am incredibly honored by the fact that Drew has agreed to collaborate with me again. Struzan’s fans all over the world, rejoice and be prepared for another beautiful piece to come from the master’s hands!!”

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