Elisa Bray: Caught in the Net

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The Independent Culture

The Dandy Warhols were one of many bands dropped by Capitol when it merged with Virgin last year. But the party band set up their own label, Beat The World Records, and devised a subscription service. Download their sixth album Earth To The Dandy Warhols now at www.dandywarhols.com, where they are already streaming clips. In exchange for £17.50, they promise, as well as the download, to deliver a CD copy before the album's official August release date, with a limited edition silkscreen poster.

The "real big idea" is posting downloadable B-sides, live tracks and videos to fans throughout the year so "you don't have to fly to London, bid against other fans on eBay, or slog through the internet just to hear a new Dandys tune", they say.

Also departing from the traditional record-label route, and selling his new album, Wilderness, early via an exclusive subscription service (Music Club) is the ex-Suede frontman Brett Anderson. He says: "I made this album with the purest of intentions: to create a beautiful suite of songs untethered by second-guessing markets and playlists and music biz." Those subscribing to Music Club, an online music community offering its members monthly unreleased download-only albums recorded at Peter Gabriel's studios, at www.bowerswilkins.co.uk/sos, don't know what music they are going to get, but it's guaranteed to be good sound quality. Twelve albums for £33.95 is value, and Anderson's fans should make use of a free trial offering.

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