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Amanda Palmer + Radiohead = Ukulelehead

ukuleleheadThe cool thing about being an independent musician is that you can do pretty much whatever you want. Take, for example, Amanda Palmer, maybe best known for her work as half of the Dresden Dolls, maybe best known for making people mad by singing about Oasis and rape and abortion – oh my! – in the same song.

Palmer left her label, RoadRunner Records, earlier this year, after realizing that she could do a lot better with a mailing list and an active blog than she’d ever done under the heavy hand of a recording contract. And now she’s putting her independence to the test by releasing an album of cover songs, lovingly entitled, Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele.

The album is being released digitally and on vinyl (not on CD because, y’know, CDs are over). You can buy the download for an absolute rock-bottom minimum of 84 cents, which covers the transaction fees and royalties for Radiohead. Palmer is also offering bundles to fans including ukulelehead t-shirts, private Skype uke concerts, and hand-painted, Creep/Fake Plastic Trees/High and Dry-inspired ukuleles.

Thom Yorke: Music Industry Is Months Away From Collapse

radioheadRadiohead’s Thom Yorke – ever a voice in the wilderness, yeah? – granted a rare interview in February for a new high school textbook entitled The Rax Active Citizen Toolkit. The textbook is directed at encouraging young people to be more politically active, and the interview focuses on any tips Yorke might have for young musicians.

His advice: don’t sign on with a major label! Don’t struggle to find a record contract! “Don’t tie yourself to the sinking ship,” he says, “because, believe me, it’s sinking.”

Referring to a recent conversation with Radiohead bandmate Ed O’Brien, Yorke predicts that “it’s simply a matter of time – months rather than years – before the music business establishment completely folds.”

Months rather than years. And this is coming from people who know something of that which they speak. Radiohead got off the sinking ship quite a while back, breaking acrimoniously with EMI and releasing their seventh studio album, In Rainbows, online using a pay-what-you-like model.

The Featured Artists Coalition

Since Radiohead went rogue, guitarist Ed O’Brien has become the founding director of the Featured Artists Coalition, an organization dedicated to creating change in the music industry and protecting the rights of young artists.