Sasha Frere-Jones reads in recent concert ticket bonus offerings the completion of the transition of recorded music from standalone product to mere advertisement for concerts.
If you buy a top-price ticket to one of No Doubt’s upcoming shows (between $50 and $150, roughly), you will receive a free download of the band’s entire catalogue. This makes sense, as touring is the one verifiably healthy part of the music business. Prince will release a new three-CD bundle on March 29, available exclusively at Target for $11.98. That may seem like a rollback to bargain prices of yesteryear (even though one of the CDs is by Prince’s protégée Bria Valente), but it’s more likely that Prince is seeing into the future—again. In 2004, he gave away a copy of his “Musicology