Watch Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Damian Kulash, and Ben Folds unveil #8by8 at #Rethink Music
They made it: Almost.
What was supposed to be an eight-hour ninja album session at Mad Oak Studios -- christened #8in8 on Twitter, a hashtag that went on to become the name of the internet's newest supergroup -- went well past the allotted curfiew of midnight. Instead of 8 in 8, we got 6 in 12, with the final song -- the recorded lead-vocal debut of NEIL GAIMAN -- coming somewhere around four in the morning.
Somehow, a mere five hours later, the four -- GAIMAN, AMANDA PALMER, BEN FOLDS, and DAMIAN KULASH of OKGO -- rolled into the green room of the Hynes Convention Center, the finished record on a CD in Neil's pocket. He said the name of the group out loud -- "Eight In Eight" -- and Amanda heard "Nighty Night," and suddenly the record had a name. Minutes after the album finished uploading to Bandcamp, some fan found his or her way in and bought the first copy, then promptly Tweeted about it. Gaiman smiled broadly and held up his phone. (You can download Nighty Night right now for free at Amanda's Bandcamp page, or pay what you want and the proceeds go to charity.)
We don't yet have a re-run of the recording session, but we do have the video of the panel we did to unveil the album at the Rethink Music conference this morning. (Fast forward about a minute or so to get past the black screen of death and the introductory ramblings of your humble moderator.) Topics covered: play-by-play of every song on the album. The benefits of transparency, speed, collaboration, and community on the creative process. How one rock critic one-upped #8in8's condensation of the album cycle by reviewing the album before it was recorded. And how the next business model for music may be: paying artists to make records at overpriced conferences about how artists can make money without record labels.
For those of you with tix, we'll see you tonight when #8in8 perform live at Rethink -- we hear they're doing at least four of the Nighty Night songs, including the Neil-himself-sung "The Problem With Saints" (aka the Joan of Arc song). We suspect there'll be a riot if they don't play the one about the suicidal squirrel. And we'll be pulling for the song that is, in inspiration if not in execution, our favorite of the bunch: "I'll Be My Mirror," which borrows a ghost of a chord progression from the Velvets' "I'll Be Your Mirror" and its character study from the infamous Mirror Lady of Westland and Hemenway, who was nominated for (but alas was not the people's choice for) this year's Best Street Personality.
For those of you without tix, you can still stream the rest of Rethink's panels and tonight's performance live right over here.