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Sound Garden on the move

"If sales are lagging, you must reconsider your price point," Bialczak said."This is basic business that should be embraced by the music industry."

Bruce Moser, an independent record promoter based in Buffalo, agrees that the record labels could help themselves out by offering fans more than just a standard CD. He feels that the inclusion of live or previously unreleased songs with CDs would entice fans back to record stores. Moser said many albums today have too much filler material and that record labels and artists "have a mentality that focuses on singles and not full albums."

There is no clear cut way to track the statistics of illegal downloading, yet it is no coincidence that record sales have dipped since the inception of Napster spawned other file sharing programs such as Limewire or Kazaa.

While many people are downloading material illegally, some fans still prefer to go the traditional route. Kyle Anderson, an industrial design student at Syracuse University and patron of The Sound Garden, said it is unfortunate that some people don't pay for music at all anymore.

"If you like a band, you should be willing to invest some money in them," Anderson said.

As a fan he still enjoys the live music atmosphere and tends to buy CDs directly at the concerts in an effort to "cut out the middle man" of the record label.

From an artist's standpoint, the record labels may be part of the problem. Moser says that labels are "raping and pillaging" artists when it comes to their financial cut. If the band releases a song for download at the price of $1, the artist is "lucky to see 13 cents of that" Moser said. To combat this, the band Radiohead set music history in 2007 when they released their album "In Rainbows" entirely through their website without the help of a record label. Fans were permitted to pay whatever price they chose, even if it was nothing. UK based publication The Times reported that the average payment was $7.99 US, yet approximately one third of the fans paid nothing. Other artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Madonna have followed suit.

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