Ripped presents a definitive account of the digital music revolution, which changed the way music fans have sought and acquired music. With firsthand access to artists such as Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, Ripped chronicles the music industry’s decline and the rise of a worldwide grassroots community.
From Publishers Weekly:
In what has become a growing field, Kot’s account of the music industry’s massive struggles and glimmers of success in the digital age stands out for its sturdily constructed prose and command of up-to-date facts. The narrative moves chronologically from the late 1990s to the late 200s, pivoting deftly from such subjects as the havoc deregulation wreaked on mainstream radio, the recording industry’s attempted shock and awe-style crackdown on downloading and the recent pay-what-you-want online selling model pioneered by Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails. One of Kot’s great strengths is that he is an able and passionate chronicler of the independent labels, musicians and critics whose rise in influence has been the definite upside of the old power structure’s collapse. Kot gives us the first essential, critical account of the ever-expanding reach of the indie music Web site Pitchfork Media, a well informed analysis of the history and recent hyperdevelopment of sample-based music and self-contained portraits of new model artists such as Arcade Fire and Bright Eyes. The book thankfully avoids the technology and industry gossip possibilities inherent in the subject and instead focuses on the sometimes unexpectedly wonderful mutations in the way that musicians and listeners think about popular music.