There was that one time I took the summer off and the record industry exploded...

Quick housekeeping:

1. Yes, posting's light because I actually accepted a cushy corporate gig that's only marginally related to the recording industry. I'm having a blast, and that's helping me love music again. Truth be told, I was dangerously close to burnout.

2. Posting's going to still be fairly infrequent, since I'm working on another book project. Expect less feature articles and more featured links.

And now, to business...

A few years ago, it was notable that major artists with huge back catalogs were the only performers coming out in support of stringent bewcasting royalties. That made sense, since they didn't really need or want promotion, and they had the most to lose financially.

Today, it's compelling that -- in the wake of the Radiohead "pay what you want" release -- a whole raft of major artists are defecting from big labels. Madonna can make more by signing a promotion deal with Live Nation than she can by re-upping with Warner. When a record label can't turn a profit with Madonna, you know the system is finally, irretrievably broken.