Published May 14, 2009As basically everyone and their dog now knows, Wilco began Wednesday (May 13) with quite the surprise: an entirely free stream of the band's upcoming full-length Wilco (The Album). Well, the group have now commented on the sudden and seemingly brash decision, confirming it was made because the hugely anticipated album had leaked, even though it's not officially due out until June 30. But being the smart and web-savvy band that they are, Wilco say they have a plan to turn this potentially damaging situation into a positive one.
In a new emailed statement to Wilco's mailing list, the band writes: "We also have our usual guilt abatement plan for downloaders. If you have downloaded the record, we suggest you make a donation to one of the band's favorite charities, the Inspiration Corporation - an organization we've supported in the past and who are doing great work in the city of Chicago."
And as Billboard reports, Wilco's attempts to roll with the punches are already having a positive effect. "We've seen a spike in online donations, and are hoping for a sustained bump in giving from Wilco fans," John Pfeiffer, executive director & CEO of Inspiration Corporation, told the publication.
Also, Wilco's handlers don't seemed too concerned by the whole situation, with Wilco's publicist Deb Bernardini saying, "It's just part of the general game plan. We send it out, it leaks, we stream it, we proceed." And as Billboard points out, "Wilco could potentially benefit from the massive spike in web chatter that album received." Though, at this point, it's hard to know whether that chatter will turn into some cold, hard dollars and cents.
If you haven't yet heard Wilco (The Album), you can check it out here, in both 128k and now 256k.