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"NakedSelf" Available Online For Free
Stating that "being signed to the Universal conglomerate has been like being trapped on a cruise on the Mary Celeste," Matt Johnson of The The is offering his latest album, "NakedSelf," for free via download.

Releasing one track per week starting July 12 is Johnson's response to what he characterizes as Interscope/Universal's "destructive and negative reaction" to his album.

In a long explanation, titled "The The Versus the Corporate Monster," Johnson details his own music career and how the changes in the music business have affected artists of his scale. Though he admits that The The's sales aren't in the same league as superstar acts, Johnson says that there has traditionally been room at labels for acts that have committed fanbases. Echoing Courtney Love's recent statements, Johnson says, "Although the range and diversity of music being created and performed has never been wider, the traditional outlets for music have never been more restrictive."

Pointing the blame at giant mergers, Johnson notes that The The's label, nothing Records, was bought by Interscope, which was bought by Universal which was merged with Polygram when it was bought by Seagram, which just merged with Vivendi.

Despite his recent public objection to Napster, the solution, according to Johnson's missive, is to take control of his destiny by making the record available for free. "By doing so I hope more people (including the bulk of my audience), will finally get the chance to hear this album and hopefully support me by purchasing this CD and future releases. Or let me play these songs in their living rooms, one house at a time."

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