Free-as-in-beer music redux


About a year ago, a Seattle-based band named Harvey Danger released their latest album,
“Little By Little”, and made headlines by making the entire album available in
MP3 format on their website for free. I’d never heard of the band, but
I figured the price was right, and I could just delete the files if I decided
it sucked. (I even blogged about it.) Well, it didn’t suck, and I grew to quite like the album. A month
ago, I decided that I liked it enough to actually purchase it, since I felt
kind of guilty that I was enjoying listening to this album, while the band
was getting no benefit from my enjoyment. So I went to the web site, entered my
address and credit card number, and got an error, saying that my zip code was
in the wrong format. Well, Canadian addresses don’t have a zip code, they have
a postal code, in a different format than US zip codes. Yet another US-based
web site that doesn’t know that people exist outside of the US. Sigh.

Anyway, I emailed the “webstore” address asking if they could confirm that
either (a) my credit card was not charged, or (b) it was, but the CD will
be sent to me. I never heard back, and promptly forgot all about it.

Yesterday, I received my credit card bill, and lo and behold, there is a
charge for US$19, and I have no CD. I emailed them again, stating that I was
charged, so could they please send the CD? This morning I got a reply, saying
that the CD was sent last weekend, and if I don’t receive it soon to let them
know. The funny part was that the email was sent by Jeff J. Lin (Note: inactive blog), who
happens to be the guitar player for Harvey Danger. You know you’re not dealing
with a big-name band when the guitar player is also responsible for shipping.
You wouldn’t send email to u2.com and expect to get a reply from
theedge@u2.com. After reading some of the stuff on his rather
sparsely-populated blog, it looks like he’s a geek like me (he specifically
mentioned “my CS profs” in one entry), so he’s probably “the website guy” as
well as the guitar player.

Anyway, I thought that was cool. I encourage you to go and check out this
album, if you like their style of music. I’m not sure how to describe “their
style of music” though, other than to say that they have been described as
“college/alternative”. You can hear short clips of a couple of their songs from
their Wikipedia page.

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