I received the following email from Wilco about their forthcoming album. It is an interesting approach to community and to reminding everyone of the rules of this particular conversation.
By now, you know that next week is the official release date of Wilco’s 7th album (or 9th depending on how you count). Hence the slightly serious tone of this note. Tuesday, to be precise, marks the US release of Sky Blue Sky on Nonesuch Records. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the on-demand stream, by all means click here and take it for a spin. We’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy the ride.
But once you’ve done that we hope you’ll take a moment to reflect (see, I told you this was serious) on how this dynamic has worked over the years — the dynamic between us and you. We (and this “we” means the band, first and foremost) expend a lot of time, energy and other resources trying to make this something you are not just a witness to, but a participant in and we genuinely hope you can feel that.
We’ve been asked many times if we’d consider changing the way we do things, usually by people who are convinced we’d be more successful if we did. And either out of stubbornness or something else, we keep refusing. Instead, we just do what we do and somehow it all works. We continue to make lots of music available free to all in the road case, continue to allow taping/photos at shows, and basically just try to keep the things we do charge for of a quality that make you feel like you got a bargain. You know, mutual respect and all that. We like the way it works… a lot. We really do believe in trying to keep as much of it as free and open as is humanly possible. That seems pretty obvious… but somehow it remains a slight novelty in the modern day music business. So much so that people continually mention it in their stories when they write or speak about the band or the somewhat sad state of the music business.
Anyway, what we’re getting at here is that right now we need you to participate in a way that is part of what has made this nice little story work. We’re actually asking you to please go out next week and do the right thing for Wilco. That is, vote with your feet and prove the band’s faith well-placed and buy the record. It’s available from Tuesday at all kinds of retailers everywhere. Ask for it by name.
Okay, enough campaign speeches. You get the message. And we trust that you’ll act on it as you always have.