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You Can Always Go Back To School with Virgil Dickerson

DENVER, CO (Hypebot) – I am a regular subscriber to Wired and having already read the "Long Tail" by Chris Anderson, I was excited to read about the "Why FREE is the Future of Business" piece. As I read, I thought about all the possibilities of how this could pertain to music and thought about a few scenarios as to how it could pertain to my label Suburban Home. I came to the realization a while ago that if people wanted to get the releases I put out for free, they could do it with ease and honestly, I think there are lots of people who discover music in 2009 by downloading/sharing albums.

I see it all the time with Vinyl Collective, my vinyl-online store. Take for example the band Bomb The Music Industry! (yes, I know, they have an amazing band name). People can freely download every album BTMI have ever released. Just stop by Quote Unquote Records and you will be able to download 25 different records for free, 6 of which are records by Bomb The Music Industry! By certain measures of success, BTMI, may not be your definition of a breakthrough act. With our online store alone, however, we have sold thousands of BTMI's albums on vinyl. The band have been drawing bigger and bigger crowds in the states and in the U.K. I attribute much of their "success" to the relative ease with which people can acquire their albums.

Next week, I plan to announce our attempt at FREE. We will be giving one of our upcoming albums away for FREE digitally. We will be releasing the album on LP, CD, and digitally (through ITunes, eMusic, Amazon, and so on). The act will be touring all year long in the states and in Europe. It will be an experiment and with any experiment, we plan to document our results. Over the course of the next year, we plan to share with you every piece of data that pertains to the release of this album. We will share with you our sales and will tell you how the tours do after the album makes its rounds for FREE. I want to share with you my Hypothesis. It is my belief that after a calendar year, we will have generated more revenue from legal music sales (even digitally) and that this act will see larger crowds at their shows. Wish us luck, it should be a fun ride. This experiment could change the way we do things with all of our future releases.

For the time being, I wanted to share with you a FREE Suburban Home Records sampler. The 25 song sampler features tracks from all of our recent releases. You can download the tracks individually or download the entire album as a zip folder. For those of you who take the time to download the sampler and listen, we hope you like what you hear. You will hear tracks ranging from Alt-Country to Punk to Rock to Folk. The sampler ends with a few live tracks from a few of our acts. The cover art is a photo of the daughter of one of our band's fans drawing what she saw on her daddy's beer cozie. The page features links to purchase the albums of all the acts on the sampler.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Suburban Home Records Spring/Summer Sampler

I am really excited that Bruce and Hypebot are giving me a chance to be a contributor. I plan to share with you all of my experiences good and bad and hope it can help you to make decisions with your band/label/company. – by Virgil Dickerson