Guest post by Josh Urban (@DontJoshMe – www.JoshUrban.com)
Hello, my name is Josh, and I have a problem
I should probably join, or form, a support group, as my addiction to vinyl continues to worsen. I approach old people and ask them if they have any they’d like to give away. I’ve confiscated both my mother and my father’s collection. I even hit up thrift stores I randomly drive by.
I love the hunt for it, the physical medium of it, sorting it, cleaning it, playing it, enjoying the warm, vintage sound.
And yet, I’ve chosen to release my latest album in a strictly digital format in partnership with JTV Digital for two reasons – the convenience of it, but most importantly, the ability to move forward.
I call it – The Hyper-Vinyl
Perhaps this is a good description of me when I drink coffee before hitting the record stores (“OH WOW, IT’S FRANK SINATRA!”), but what I mean is this:
The possibilities for digitally-released music are literally endless. Yes, it’s cool to spin vinyl, and I plan on releasing music in that format soon, but there’s no need to stop there. Digital music can be packaged in any way imaginable. A band from Belgium made headlines by releasing their new single on a flash drive tied to balloons, playing a concert for the person who found the music farthest from launch. For me, I’m an interactive guy. Social media affords me the opportunity to take my fans on “tour” with me, by inviting them to join in my events using hashtags, and literally go on tour themselves with access to my audience.
I just completed my second interactive rail tour, where I traveled by train, searching for the people, sights, and sounds that make the world a better place, and I invited a worldwide audience to join me by posting their findings of Good back to the hashtag #JURT (Josh Urban Rail Tour.) My stage was their stage, and vice versa.
Going further with this theme, I created download cards to look like tour lanyards, and gave them to the audience members in the shows I played at – primarily hospitals, cancer centers, and veteran’s homes (places that didn’t normally have music).
Everyone went on tour, and they had the badge to prove it!
The digital medium let me create a unique way to obtain music, moving beyond traditional methods. This album, Onward, was inspired by the first interactive rail tour, supported by the second, and hits iTunes and all other major stores on 7/4.
I hope you enjoy it, and let me know if you come up with some new ways to operate in this hyper-vinyl age we’re living in. I’d love to hear your ideas!