Today I was amazed: I got a CD from Japan shipped on the 7th delivered on the 9th. Ok, so I shelled out mad crazy yen to get the disc but, seriously, what a great world were we can do such things. Of course now the fucking recording industry needs to get its head out of its ass and figure out a good scheme for handing out albums. Everyone knows the Japanese Album: the same as the domestic one but with all sorts of cool additional shit on it. It's probably an effect of the byzantine deals that the labels and artists set up in terms of distribution (usually one for NA, one for Europe proper... maybe one for the UK, one for Japan all on different labels)... but it is still insane.
See the album I got was the sophomore LP Conqueror from Jesu. Why did I order it from Japan? Well the Japanese release of the album comes with the two songs Jesu did on a limited edition split 12" with Aurora Borealis. Other than thieving the album from the internets there is no other way for me to get these songs because... shit, I don't own a turntable (too much of a temptation) and I definitely didn't see the use in fighting for one of a few hundred LPs.
This is completely perpendicular to the whole RIAA question because were not talking about any major label here. In the US Conqueror is distributed by Pelican's label (Hydrahead), which is at best a respected niche indie. Someone else did the split LP... while in Japan the distribution was handled by Daymare.
Of all the things that the indies have shucked off from the majors they keep this around? Its frustrating and dumb.
And I guess you can extend that to movies too: at some point here I'm going to get a regionless DVD player so I can order me all the Jun Ichikawa movies that were never released over here. I'm the customer media conglomerates should be fighting for: well endowed with cash and willing to pay a certain premium to get things I want. But they never seem to consider me. It always takes someone else smart (like Warp Records) to put something together (like Bleep.com).
Let's not even get into why it took almost a year for Peter Bjorn and John Writer's Block to get released here...
*sigh* This is why things fall apart.