They say it’s all in the packaging. But is that true when it comes to indie music? Is something more appealing when it’s dressed up all nice and accompanied by special un-ordered extras?

I’ve noticed a trend recently– labels and artists are trying to give a personal touch to the records they distribute, to both customers and writers/bloggers. Is this an attempt to forge a connection between producer and audience, or is it a blatant display of bribery?

One artist said he was sending me a “CD.” Instead, I received two extra cassettes complete with DIY art and a swatch of paper with candy dots on it, in addition to the CD. (Hey guys, thanks!) For the record, i’ve only listened to the CD so far. Another label sent In and Out Burger stickers.

Chocolate Bobka, blogger, writer and show promoter, is about to launch “The Report,” a personally bound for each order “magazine.” Depending on how much you pledge to the project, you may also receive cookies, and a host of other treats. Is that personal touch the connection we are all missing from living our lives on the Internet? Is it a suitable replacement? Also for the record, I don’t have much money so i couldn’t pledge much, but damn I want to get cookies!

So what is this about, really? I don’t think extras are included to try and elicit warm reviews. No, I think they are included to try and bring people together, IRL (in real life.) Because no matter how connected we may be to our music, on a personal level, being connected to the producers of that music/cultural product, is also something we all most likely want. And why not?

The music industry gets smaller, and consumers demand more personal attention. Why do we think all these famous people are on Twitter? To connect.

What do you think?