Radiohead Close to Signing with Side One Recordings/ATO – So Would They Be Considered an “Indie” Band?

As we already reported, Radiohead expect to sign to a record label in order to help distribute their forthcoming album, In Rainbows, despite self-releasing it digitally next Wednesday and as a special box set in December. The label chatter has increased tremendously, especially after managers Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge recently told BBC Radio that a decision was coming within days. It's unsurprising, then, that places like Billboard and Hits are already starting to predict the likely home for the "proper" retail version of In Rainbows.

Both Billboard and Hits point to the same area, but there is an important distinction to be made. Billboard says ATO (and possibly Side One Recordings) is the "front-runner," while Hits seems fairly confident about Side One Recordings. What both labels have in common is Coran Capshaw, a rich, filthy rich dude who manages Dave Matthews Band and owns Musictoday, the Bonnaroo franchise, and plenty more. Most importantly (at least for this story), Capshaw also co-owns ATO, which is a division of the Sony BMG-owned RCA.

So, how does Side One come in? Well, Capshaw owns another company called Red Light Management, which is significant because Red Light and ATO jointly created Side One. You've probably never heard of it, because it's new, and its first release is Underworld's highly anticipated album, Oblivion with Bells, expected on October 16. This is already a good reason why Radiohead might sign to Side One, but also because Phil Costello, a former senior VP of marketing for Capitol and an early industry chum of Radiohead, would be in charge of marketing and promotion.

Long story short: Capshaw owns both ATO and Side One, but Side One seems most favorable for Radiohead's unique position.

What becomes interesting though is whether or not ATO and/or Side One are technically independent of the major labels. Currently, ATO is owned by Sony BMG, but reports say ATO is trying to break its ties with Sony BMG (further underscored with Billboard reporting that David Gray's Greatest Hits will be the label's first "fully independent" release). Meanwhile, Side One doesn't seem to have a direct connection to any major label, aside from the tenuous Capshaw connection. Of course, things are never as clear-cut as they seem, so who really knows, especially during this somewhat transitional phase for ATO/Side One.

So, what kind of deal might this be? According to Hits: "The arrangement is said to be a 50/50 joint venture and will not involve a sizable advance — in keeping with what are expected to be only modest physical sales. What remains unclear is the term of the deal and the number of albums involved."

Distribution, of course, is a different story. The popular predictions seem to be EMI outside the U.S., and RED in the States, an "indie" distro that's owned by Sony BMG. Hard to fully escape the beast, obviously. (Case in point: Lightning Bolt is distributed by a major-owned distro.)

Of course, no deal has been sealed, and rumor has it that EMI and Warner are still in the running. But with the potential of Capshaw's intuitiveness and Costello's direct experience, Side One could quite possibly be a perfect fit. And if Side One is indeed an independent, well, shit: match made in heaven. And then, finally, Radiohead, after all these years, would be this much closer to hiking up their skirts a little more for Dave Matthews.

Radiohead Close to Signing with Side One Recordings/ATO – So Would They Be Considered an “Indie” Band?

As we already reported, Radiohead expect to sign to a record label in order to help distribute their forthcoming album, In Rainbows, despite self-releasing it digitally next Wednesday and as a special box set in December. The label chatter has increased tremendously, especially after managers Chris Hufford and Bryce Edge recently told BBC Radio that a decision was coming within days. It's unsurprising, then, that places like Billboard and Hits are already starting to predict the likely home for the "proper" retail version of In Rainbows.

Both Billboard and Hits point to the same area, but there is an important distinction to be made. Billboard says ATO (and possibly Side One Recordings) is the "front-runner," while Hits seems fairly confident about Side One Recordings. What both labels have in common is Coran Capshaw, a rich, filthy rich dude who manages Dave Matthews Band and owns Musictoday, the Bonnaroo franchise, and plenty more. Most importantly (at least for this story), Capshaw also co-owns ATO, which is a division of the Sony BMG-owned RCA.

So, how does Side One come in? Well, Capshaw owns another company called Red Light Management, which is significant because Red Light and ATO jointly created Side One. You've probably never heard of it, because it's new, and its first release is Underworld's highly anticipated album, Oblivion with Bells, expected on October 16. This is already a good reason why Radiohead might sign to Side One, but also because Phil Costello, a former senior VP of marketing for Capitol and an early industry chum of Radiohead, would be in charge of marketing and promotion.

Long story short: Capshaw owns both ATO and Side One, but Side One seems most favorable for Radiohead's unique position.

What becomes interesting though is whether or not ATO and/or Side One are technically independent of the major labels. Currently, ATO is owned by Sony BMG, but reports say ATO is trying to break its ties with Sony BMG (further underscored with Billboard reporting that David Gray's Greatest Hits will be the label's first "fully independent" release). Meanwhile, Side One doesn't seem to have a direct connection to any major label, aside from the tenuous Capshaw connection. Of course, things are never as clear-cut as they seem, so who really knows, especially during this somewhat transitional phase for ATO/Side One.

So, what kind of deal might this be? According to Hits: "The arrangement is said to be a 50/50 joint venture and will not involve a sizable advance — in keeping with what are expected to be only modest physical sales. What remains unclear is the term of the deal and the number of albums involved."

Distribution, of course, is a different story. The popular predictions seem to be EMI outside the U.S., and RED in the States, an "indie" distro that's owned by Sony BMG. Hard to fully escape the beast, obviously. (Case in point: Lightning Bolt is distributed by a major-owned distro.)

Of course, no deal has been sealed, and rumor has it that EMI and Warner are still in the running. But with the potential of Capshaw's intuitiveness and Costello's direct experience, Side One could quite possibly be a perfect fit. And if Side One is indeed an independent, well, shit: match made in heaven. And then, finally, Radiohead, after all these years, would be this much closer to hiking up their skirts a little more for Dave Matthews.

This Just In: Incredibly Beautiful Women (And Singers too, I guess) The Pipettes Being Kept Out of The Country, I Hate America

Dear Fat Cats in Washington,

I want you to drop whatever it is you're doing right now, be it tending to the War in Iraq, fixing a hole in the budget, or spinning your wheels on that whole "digital rights management" front. Just forget all of that stuff for a sec, because something much more urgent requires your full, immediate attention. Try to remain calm: According to a post on their Myspace page, UK-based, girl-pop darlings The Pipettes have been forced to postpone the start of their North American tour due to Visa paperwork being delayed! Now, I realize that you're just doing your job with this whole "foreigners need work visas to earn money in exchange for goods and services in this country" thing, and I know that you don't exactly have your "finger on the pulse" these days, so I feel obligated to clue you in here. Not only are The Pipettes talented singers and performers who are trying to make their way peddling big, doo-wop-inspired, smile-enducing pop-rock music in a big, scary, male-dominated music industry, but they're also SEXY AS HELL!

Honestly, now. I want you to take a good, long look at the beautiful young starlets that you and your silly "laws" are delaying from coming to our beautiful country and treating us all with come-hither stares, alluring mod-style dresses, and pearly white, girl-next-door smiles (uh... and I guess that their music is pretty good too).

Preventing such, uh, "talent" from gracing our shores and enriching our lives is, frankly, criminal. Besides, the English trio's debut album We Are The Pipettes (TMT Review) has already been released here in the U.S. via the Cherrytree/Interscope label and includes two new tracks: "Dance and Boogie" and "Baby, Just Be Yourself." Trust me, guys, these ladies have got... well, let's just say they've got the goods. I mean, the album was originally released in the UK in July '06 and hit #41 on the charts over there! So come on, already! Jump on the bandwagon! Don't you want your kids to think you're cool??? To make these ladies postpone their tour until October 25th at the Echoplex in Los Angeles would just be hypocritical. And who knows? Maybe if you scratch their backs , all THREE of them will scratch yours... at the SAME TIME.

Skimpy, alluring tourdates, pretty much all rescheduled:

$ rescheduled dates

Robert Pollard To Play Only Two Shows This Year, Lazy Bastard

WHO?

Bobby Pollard - frontman

Jason Narducy - bass, backing vox

David Suycott - drums

Dag Juhlin - guitar, backing vox

Mitch Marlow - guitar

WHAT?

Bobby and his friends are playing live music! Plus, these will be the only live appearances for Bobby this year.

WHEN?
11.30.07 - Chicago, IL - Metro
12.01.07 - Newport, KY - Southgate House

WHERE?

I already told you! Or at least Asiler told us to tell you! Asiler rules!

WHY?

Because Bobby has two new releases, Coast to Coast Carpet of Love and Standard Gargoyle Decisions, being released by Merge Records. Both come out next Tuesday, October 9.

HOW?

Tickets for the Metro show go on sale this Saturday at Ticketmaster.com (yuck, find your own link). Check back with Bobby's official website for ticket info on the Newport gig. Then subscribe to his singles series! I'll tell you to do more stuff at a later date.

Sunburned Hand Of the Man Tourdates; Hypothetical Introduction From My Roommate Sophomore Year of College

(Takes resin hit)

(Shotguns Miller High Life)

(Exhales triumphantly)

"Sunburned Hand of the Man." Kind of a cool name. I got a wicked sunburn during G-Love's ACL '04 ACL set, but it was fuckin' worth it... dude was just jammin', you know? That would be so tight... just gettin' stoned and jammin' 24-7. Which I guess is what these Sunburned dudes do. They've put out like... four badass albums this year or some shit already, which is crazy... I mean, not even Skynard in their prime had that much goin' on. Of course, times were different back then, hydroponics have come a long way...

(Loud belch and stomach pat of gratification)

Man, touring Europe would be so badass. If I ever get a record deal, I'm totally goin' over there. Take Jack Johnson, that's all he does, you know? Just travels all around the world with his friends jammin' out. That's the way to live, man. Except these dudes aren't playing in Amsterdam... which is just, like, fucked up. To get all the way over there and not play a show in fucking Amsterdam. It's like... it ain't right, you know? I'd plan my trip so I was there the exact same time the Cannabis Cup was goin' on. I wanna do that before I die. Be a judge in the motherfuckin' Cannabis Cup. I'd be like, "yeah, little of this, little of that..." Ha! That'd be so sick. But, whatever. They don't want to go through Amsterdam, that's their decision. Hey, more weed for me, once I get there.

(Takes another hit)

(Sighs)

All right dude, I gotta go to work.

Ah, Sam Coomes! He sure has gotten a whole lot CRAZIER in recent years, wouldn't you say, dear reader?

I mean, I always did kind of feel this serial killer vibe coming from that man for some reason... (Although, to be fair, that whole serial killer thing could just be coming from the press photos. Ummm... yeah... see what I mean??) Heck, I always just chalked it up to the fact that Coomes seems to have spent the past eight years or so playing the same kind of über-obsessive and one-sidedly freaky cat-and-mouse games with U.S. Prez George W. Bush that... say, the Joker usually plays with Batman.

But now, with the oncoming of a new presidential election year sure to usher in a fairly substantial change of the guard one way or the other, Quasi frontman is rapidly running out of excuses for always looking so damn insane and homeless. How can he possibly manage to KEEP that good ol' Manson Family edge, despite the fact that the Bush era is slowly, albeit pretty universally distastefully, fading into our collective memories and (surprise, surprise!) the weary world is still turn-turn-turning???

Simple: start recruiting women.

And that's just what keyed-up keyboardist and disenfranchised blooze guitarist is doing for the band's upcoming fall tour, as it was confirmed last week that bassist Joanna Bolme, of "Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks" fame, has joined up at the creepy Coomes Family Compound (alongside longtime chick-drummer-extraordinarie and fellow Jicks faculty member, Janet Weiss), thus expanding this duo of indie rock royalty into a trio and furthering the possibility that Coomes is farming some sort of bizarre cult of bad-ass female rhythm players in order to gear up for some sort of anti-Malkmus revolution!

Either way, the group/cult will be road-testing this new lineup on a short tour this fall with Touch and Go's own Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. No word yet as to just how permanent of a fixture the lovely Bolme will be in the Quasi Compound. Look out, though, Steve Malkmus. You must have pissed-off Coomes straight-up Beach Boys style!

Helter Skelter:

* Ted Leo & the Pharmacists