The Guardian’s music blog describes The curse of the side project. Johnny Dee cites projects such as Robert Plant working with Alison Krauss instead of Led Zep, Alex Turner being a Last Shadow Puppet when he could spend more time being an Arctic Monkey, and so on.
I disagree with the post for three reasons. First, I don’t think that most of Dee’s examples stand up: I’m not a fan of fortune-making reunions, and I don’t think that three quarters of Led Zep, almost three decades after the death of John Bonham, would do anything to change my mind; and I think that The Age Of The Understatement is pretty good.
Second are side projects not mentioned in the post, such as Tom Tom Club and The Postal Service. Third, I think that Plant, Turner, and others should make the music they want to make.
Then it struck me that side projects are important in software. Linux was a side project for a student, del.icio.us made a change from work in equity trading, and so on.
I found the Guardian blog entry via Largehearted Boy, itself a side project of a sort. I find myself firmly on the side of side projects.