Last week, Atlas Sound (the solo project of Bradford Cox, also leader of the critically acclaimed band Deerhunter) released four free volumes of Bedroom Databanks in as many days via the Deerhunter blog. He'd used the site before to clue the world into the prolific, insatiably creative inner workings of his mind, but never to this extent. These 49 new recordings were all made in 2010 (except maybe for a "Talent Show audition" allegedly recorded in 1975, before he was born). And they're really good, ranging from instrumental soundscapes to folk songs, with nods to Bob Dylan, Kurt Vile and Royal Trux. Here are some of my favorites below, on the Free Music Archive:
Then, on the fifth day, Sony Music (which previously had nothing to do with Bradford Cox) sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice to Mediafire (the junky filehosting site that had actually been hosting the song files) stating that volumes 2, 3 and 4 were "copyrighted sound recordings owned or exclusively distributed by Sony Music." This statement was made under penalty of perjury, following the DMCA's "Safe Harbor" provisions, and poof, like that, the songs were gone. Mediafire sent out a notification to Bradford Cox (as they are required to do) letting him know about the DMCA's counter-notice and put-back procedures.
"Apparently Sony Music owns my bedroom," Bradford Cox wrote sarcastically on his blog (in a post that has itself since been removed) as he re-upped the files. Sony "apologize[d] for the inconvenience" this week, citing "a mistake," and thankfully they were not able to destroy every last remaining copy, so the databanks survive!
It is still frightening to think that this could even happen in the first place, and some are calling for Sony to be punished for their "mistake" so that this type of abuse of the DMCA does not continue. As the Guardian noted, Sony's takedown order recalls February's "Music Blogocide," in which previously approved tunes (in fact, entire blogs!) were removed by the industry's own law-enforcing bots, trampling not only over fair use but also the interests of the music industry's promotional arms, which had approved the tunes in the first place (ye olde left hand knoweth not what the right hand doeseth). I had a lot more to say about all that over here.
Maybe this just is a friendly reminder from the music industry to savor the music. Well, if you haven't had a chance to check out Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest (yet another Bradford Cox 2010 recording/release!), it's gonna be topping a lot of year-end lists, so get to it. Speaking of Deerhunter, the group makes their national TV debut on Conan O'Brien tonight.