Thursday, 2 July 2009

The future of a radical price is, um... Torte Elvis?

Anyone tempted to make the obvious joke about Chris Anderson's new book, 'Free: The Future Of A Radical Price', will have to think again it seems - damn - since not only will it be available free as an e-book and abridged audiobook, for a limited period, and free as an unabridged audiobook, for an unlimited period, from 9th July, but for those of us in the UK it's already available to listen to on Spotify, as of today. [Free bonus link: the Wired article that preceded the book].

Spotify say this is a first foray into audiobooks and they'll be seeing how it goes, but what many Spotify users may not have realised is that Chris Anderson's latest is by no means its only non-musical content. Leaving aside jokes about Chris de Burgh, as well as the contradicting links in the comments section of the Spotify blog (which appear to lead to a German audiobook of Dracula and some Norwegian children's stories), see what happens when you type the following into Spotify's search box: "genre:comedy" (without the quotation marks).

Turns out there are a number of comedy albums freely available on Spotify, should you be interested in that kind of thing. The majority of it is heavily American accented, but in amongst the Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, etc., you'll still find the likes of Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, The Goons, Monty Python, Viv Stanshall, The Rutles, and much to my bleak delight the incomparable and unclassifiable poetic whimsies of Ivor Cutler.

Oh, and if you've ever wondered what Led Zeppelin crossed with Elvis, to a reggae beat, all fronted by an Elvis impersonator might sound like... well, you have curiously specific musical tastes, frankly. But anyway, here's Dread Zeppelin.

(To think I'd nearly forgotten about them 'til now... Even 'Free' has its drawbacks, I suppose).

UPDATE: And for the morbidly curious, here's what the above might look like:

"This is the video that made them famous", alleges the YouTube blurb. Come to think of it, though, I am half-remembering it being watched by Beavis and Butthead on MTV.

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