Wilco beats leaks by streaming its own album

Hardcore fans will pre-order it anyway, and Wilco's confident that fence-sitters will like it enough to buy it too. Plus: how many other bands name themselves in one of their songs?

Wilco on Wednesday began streaming its new album, "Wilco (The Album)," in its entirety from its Web site. The band began circulating the record about a month ago, and anticipated that the album would be leaked on file-sharing networks. As soon as it appeared via P2P, the band offered it up as a free stream, reasoning that hardcore fans would pre-order the new album regardless, and showing confidence that fence-sitters would find it engaging enough to buy it as well, or at least be aware that the band will probably be bringing its (amazing) live show to town later this year. Wilco also asked folks who'd downloaded the record illegally to donate to Chicago-area charity the Inspiration Corporation as penance.

The new Wilco album, "Wilco (The Album)" Wilco

Listening to the first song on the album, "Wilco (The Song)," which repeatedly mentions the band's name, I wondered how many other rock bands have name-checked themselves. (Hip-hop artists are another story--most of them do it at least once.) Here's my quick list:

Bad Company (bonus: the song is called "Bad Company," as is the album on which it appears)
Iron Maiden (same here)
Steely Dan
The Monkees
They Might Be Giants (bonus: the song's called "They Might Be Giants," but it doesn't appear on the album of that name)
Built to Spill
Big Country
Queen (sort of)

I'm sure you can think of others....

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About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.


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