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Musician Mike Doughty Offers Unique Copy Of His New Song, Personalized To Each Buyer, For $543.09

from the well,-that's-an-idea dept

Mike Doughty, a frequently awesome musician who may mostly be known for his work in the band Soul Coughing (though his solo work after that is even better), has always been known for creative attempts at navigating the new music world. He's frequently said that the original Napster saved his career and he's been willing to embrace new media and new models in the same somewhat experimental way that he crafts music. The latest offering is somewhere between a business model experiment and performance art (and, honestly, when the two blend together, that's often a good thing). He's written a song called "Dogs/Demons" which is not being released on any album or online in any manner. The only way to get it is to pay $543.09 and he'll record you an entirely personalized performance directly into a voice recorder and send it to you. You can pick which of 3 different keys he'll record it in, there's an optional bridge for an additional $267.18 (you know you want it), and at the beginning of the song, he'll state the date, time, location, the recording number and "the full first, middle, and last name of the person who orders it." The voice recorder itself will also be signed and numbered.

In the FAQ, he makes it clear that the full name is absolutely required:
Q: I’m going to put a weird fake name in there, like Hoobop Skibbyskabby Lorbowl–will you say it?

A: No. Essential to this piece is the actual, full name of the person who purchases it. If your name is indeed along the lines of “Hoobop Skibbyskabby Lorbowl,” you may be asked to provide documentation proving this is indeed your name.

Q: I hate my middle name! Will you omit it from my recording of “Dogs/Demons”?

A: Again, essential to this piece is the real, three-part name. If you have no middle name you may be asked to provide documentation; the same goes for multiple-middle-name possessors.

Q: I’d like the name of my friend, colleague, or partner said on my version of “Dogs/Demons,” as well as my own name, can you do that?

A: Alas, no: only one name can be in each recording.
As for buyers, he notes that they can "sell it to somebody else for more than you paid for it–you can auction it off, you can exhibit it. All that stuff." Though, he makes it clear that he still retains the copyright, he also notes "there will doubtless be some sold person-to-person, or bootlegged, and I accept this as the nature of the world."

He admits that he's more or less copying the idea of artist Ray Johnson as shown in the documentary How to Draw a Bunny.

While it's certainly not the best way to get that particular song heard widely, as part of a continuing strategy to draw attention for doing some unique things (and, who knows, maybe make some money in the process), it seems like an amusing experiment.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    "He's frequently said that the original Napster saved his career..."

    Since he's retaining copyright, then by Techdirt notions, he can't possibly succeed.






    Take a moment for Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick and click:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
    Actual unsolicited testimonial: "Until I read Techdirt.com, I didn't know what shameless self-promotion was!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

    I remember Soul Coughing! Their song "Circles" was used in a music video on Cartoon Network. I'll definitely check out this song.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    I wonder if Blue will catch on the the fact that he's making Techdirt and The Streisand effect even more popular.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    Did you find your mind yet? It seems to have been lost for quite some time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

    Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Jack Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorft Senior should totally buy one.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Remember when songs only cost a buck?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 10:39pm

    The list is growing longer of people that do novelty shit as a business model once, and then never do it again.

    I wonder why...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Karl, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    Scout Niblett

    Scout Niblett did something similar a few years ago when she recorded 100 versions of a track and sent it out to fans. It only cost $10 too:

    http://www.scoutniblett.info/news/216/single-recorded-100-times

     

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  9.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 12:24am

    Because Science!

    It's called experimentation, where someone will try something out to see if it works. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won't, only way to find out though is to test it.

    The 'novelty' bit also explains why they don't just keep doing the same thing over and over; while something may be interesting and draw fans in the first time it happens, the draw will be less and less the more often it's repeated, hence, they change up what they try.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re: Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    I think you are giving him too much credit, he has trouble remembering which shoe goes on which foot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 1:17am

    Re:

    At least they are trying new things which is more than I can say about the RIAA (BPI in the UK). In case you have forgotten, any business can only grow and be successful by trying new things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 5:24am

    I've got $543 spare dollars just lying around. I could either buy a bunch of albums, movies, software and games or just plop it all down on one overly expensive song.

    Gee, let me think about that one...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Re: Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    The sad state of copyright law provides that his recordings are automatically under copyright (and shudder to think, your comments would automatically be auto-copyrighted, too). Of course, there is a big difference between having a copyright and enforcing it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    Goddamn I wish Ozzy would do this I would pay for that in a heartbeat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    Selling a personalized song

    If people are that dumb, hey! I will write a song, mentioning the buyer's name, and exalting him/her as the "chosen" for, say, $1000.00.

    Such a deal!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 8:36am

    Re: Okay, more reason to hate Napster...

    Since he's retaining copyright, then by Techdirt notions, he can't possibly succeed.

    Where did anyone say that? Gotta link to back up such nonsense?

    And solely for your edification: Retaining one's copyright does not equal enforcing ones copyright. Different things, Einstein.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 11:12am

    I'm not that big on Mike Doughty, but i do like Soul Coughing a little bit..

    the whole "it must be your real name" kinda turns me off, as does the "if you have a weird name, prove it" along with the "prove you have 2 middle names" malarky. If people are paying $530 for one song, shouldn't they be able to name themselves whatever the fuck they want for that price? hes recording a song, not speaking under oath.


    I'd pass. even if i was a huge fan.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    If people are paying $530 for one song, shouldn't they be able to name themselves whatever the fuck they want for that price?

    Yeah. I have to agree with that.

    It also seems to exclude anyone wishing to purchase this as a gift for someone else. That will only reduce the demand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    ghost (profile), Dec 12th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    RE:

    I'm doing something similar, but it's a better deal.

    it's a commissioned painting on their album cover
    + a custom audio track

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    quawonk, Dec 13th, 2012 @ 4:31am

    I guess the 9 cents makes or breaks the deal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    dennis deems (profile), Dec 14th, 2012 @ 7:36am

    This smells like those awful photo T-Shirts from the 80's

    Why would someone want a song with their name in it? That's just creepy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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