The music industry is in a free fall. The big labels are scrambling to keep up with technology and they’re doing everything from trying to provide their own online services to compete with Apple’s iTunes Store to suing the same people that would be their customers if prices were more resonable. I still believe in buying music, but when I look and see that CDs still cost the same or more than when I was in university more than ten years ago it pisses me off. My favorite artists albums cost a lot because ‘big name stars’ have ridiculous and expensive contracts. As a result I buy online and used CDs and very little new. Thankfully most of the bands I like are on independent labels ((not in the big RIAA piss-pot)) and generally have lower prices and more money can go to the artists ((I’m not saying it always does, but it can.)). One benefit of this is that I can often times buy the albums directly from the artist, thus ensuring that the maximum amount of money makes it into their pocket. Where is all this leading? Well, recently Radiohead did an online album sale by themselves. Following closely behind them is Saul Williams. I come to know of Saul Williams via his connection with Trent Reznor and his remixes of Nine Inch Nails tracks ((By the way, NIN now has an official remix site up and running with a lot of cool tracks on it.)). Saul has put out an album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust! that is online for free if you want. If you pony up five measly dollars you’ll get a higher bit-rate or uncompressed version, your choice. Needless to say it wasn’t hard for me to decide to drop $5 directly to the artist to get an album. Quite a few people I talked to about Niggy Tardust were reluctant to try it because they thought it might be too much rap or hip-hop. I ended up loving the album. It’s produced by Trent Reznor and Trent ends up singing on a few tracks. From start to end the album flows and is lyrical in the way I love. If you like NIN and you aren’t abject to trying the online music thing you should give it a spin and then if you like it I suggest you buy it.