Seymour Stein on Epic Major Label Fail

Seymour Stein, VP at Warner Music Group and founder of Sire Records, offered this tiny nugget of a quote for all of us to read and laugh at, as quoted in The Globe and Mail (via Coolfer):

We blew it. The first major music labels were all phonograph manufacturers, but by the time the Beatles came along, most companies were no longer involved in the hardware. Had we remained in control of the hardware, we wouldn't be hurting as much as we are now. And the iPod would be ours.

Yes, you sure "blew it," record companies. What's keeping you in the red isn't the horrible music product that you promote or your contradictory approach to the digital world or that you call digital-oriented consumers "pirates"or, as Coolfer suggests, your apparent lack of interest in entering the cash cow world of merchandise, ticketing, e-commerce, management, or touring. No, it's because you don’t control the production and sale of, uh, hardware, like the iPod...

Can you believe executives like these are calling the shots? They really need to stop worrying about what decisions they COULD have made and worry about what great decisions they SHOULD be making now. Like putting out my record.

Here's Belle and Sebastian's take:


Report Blames Antony and The Johnsons for Upcoming U.S. Tour, Detainee Abuses

Antony and The Johnsons -- not to be confused with Anthony Johnston, my freshman roommate -- have confirmed a 15-date tour of the U.S. Just so happens that my bud Anthony Johnston is also a big fan of Anthony and The Johnsons, so this'll be PERFECT. The group's new album, The Crying Light, hits stores January 20 via Secretly Canadian, which gives me and Anthony just enough time to memorize all the words before the tour.

Here's what Antony had to say about the new album:

My new album "The Crying Light" is dedicated to the great dancer Kazuo Ohno. In performance I watched him cast a circle of light upon the stage, and step into that circle, and reveal the dreams and reveries of his heart. He seemed to dance in the eye of something mysterious and creative; with every gesture he embodied the child and the feminine divine. He's kind of like my art parent.

And here's what Anthony Johnston had to say:

Why is it only drug dealers and software developers call their clients users? Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra? Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery? If God dropped acid, would he see people? If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too? If you ate pasta and antipasta, would you still be hungry?

Hahaha! Can't you see why I'm friends with him? Fucking hilarious.

Tourdates (European tourdates coming soon!):

Dan Deacon Finds Cure For Touring Loneliness, Unveils 15-Piece Live Band TONIGHT; Street Date For Bromst Confirmed

When last writing about Mr. Deacon (TMT Review), I submitted my pleas for more information about his forthcoming album, Bromst. Well, it looks like Dan has answered my prayers (or so I would like to believe this was just for me) by announcing that his follow-up to Spiderman of the Rings will be coming our way (relatively) soon -- March 24, 2009, to be exact, courtesy of Carpark Records.

Deacon will also be mixing up his famous live show with the addition of a huge-ass band. Featuring a hodgepodge of Baltimore all-stars, the ensemble will be making its debut tonight at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple to help promote Bromst and will later tour in 2009 charged with the same task. The show promises a few solo Deacon songs, sets from Dirty Projectors and So Percussion, and, of course, surprises!

Dan Deacon Live Ensemble Talent Detail:

- Percussion:

Eric Beach (So Percussion)

Denny Bowen (Double Dagger, Smarthgrowth)

Jeremy Hyman (Ponytail, Ultimate Reality)

Kevin O'Meara (Videohippos, Ultimate Reality)

Rich O'Meara (ko'mm)

Josh Quillen (So Percussion)

Adam Sliwinski (So Percussion)

Jason Treuting (So Percussion)

- Synthesizers, Keyboards and Electronics:

Benny Boeldt (Adventure)

William Cashion (Future Islands)

Dan Deacon

Chester Gwazda (Nuclear Power Pants)

Gerrit Welmers (Future Islands)

- Guitar:

Matt Papiach (Ecstatic Sunshine/White Williams)

Ken Seeno (Ponytail)

...And Dan Deacon Tourdates:

# Dirty Projectors, So Percussion

* Girl Talk

+ Baltimore Round Robin Show

Animal Collective to Release Merriweather Post Pavilion Vinyl Early, More Listening Parties

According to my buds at Pitchfork, Animal Collective are set to release their forthcoming album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, EARLY. And by early, I mean they've set a different release date for the vinyl release. While the CD and digital releases are still still scheduled for January 20 (January 12 in the UK), the vinyl + digital download come January 6, the first Tuesday of 2009.

According to people close to the band, "You don't want to miss this album. Even if you were planning to commit suicide." So, if you were planning to commit suicide on New Year's Eve, you should perhaps consider rescheduling it for January 7. Go ahead and blow your brains at that time.

Meanwhile, AC have recently scheduled more listening parties. Here they be:

Stars to Tour Without Coldplay, Talk About How They Miss Opening for Coldplay And How Awesome Coldplay Are

It was October 20. Ottawa, Ontario. It was a dark, windy night. And a little chilly. The kind of weather best suited for a nice cashmere sweater and a scarf, perhaps a late-afternoon hot chocolate. Not a star was in sight, unless of course you count music act Stars at the Scotiabank Place arena.

Having released the Sad Robots EP back in September, Stars were clearly excited to be performing live again. This show would mark their first of a 12-date tour of their home country Canada.

But, as excited as they were to perform, Stars were in fact more excited to be sharing the stage with the Best Band in the World, Coldplay. The show was a one-off before both bands would say their goodbyes and head on their respective Canadian tours, so Stars knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Eager to watch Coldplay perform, Stars quickly ran through their set, playing most of their songs at least 25% faster than normal. Coldplay's fans cheered loudly, but it was clear to everyone -- including Stars -- that the Real Deal was about to perform and that any warm-up act is but a slight breath of fleeting hot air.

After their set, Stars quickly found a comfortable spot from which to watch Coldplay's set.

At 8:30 PM, Coldplay finally hit the stage. Like Gods. One minute into their opening song "Yellow," the members of Stars fell to their knees and started weeping. "This is the best thing that's ever happened to me!" yelled vocalist Torquil Campbell, in between weeps. "Yeah I know. I will never forget this moment for as long as I live," replied keyboardist Chris Seligman, hands pointed toward the ceiling, as if reaching for the heavens. Judging by how things were going so far, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if he did find himself in heaven by the end of the night.

Two hours later, Coldplay finished their third encore and were preparing their goodbyes. The audience, exhausted from crying throughout the set due to the ineffable beauty of Coldplay's music, started cheering so loudly, in such a deafening manner, that Coldplay began to cry too. The members of Stars looked at each other in excited approval. They knew too that this was The Moment, the kind of experience that would forever shape their lives.

When everyone thought things couldn't get any better, Coldplay did what everyone knew had to happen: they launched into "Yellow" again. The crowd went nuts; Coldplay looked as energetic as ever; and each member of Stars closed their eyes and sang along: "Look at the stars/ Look how they shine for you!" The night felt like it could last forever.

It's a shame these dates are without Coldplay:

New New Pornographers LP in the Works, New (AC) Newman Too

According to Rolling Stone, A.C. Newman and Neko Case are assembling demos for the next ensemble record as The New Pornographers. Obviously, no release date is set, and there's not much else we know about the release, but it's still exciting news!

The story doesn't end here though. In addition to a new LP from Case (TMT News), Newman is also set to release a new solo album, Get Guilty, expected for release January 20 via Matador. Featuring appearances by Jon Wurster (The Mountain Goats) and Nicole Atkins, the album acts as the follow-up to Newman's debut solo effort, The Slow Wonder, which was released way back in 2004.

Get Guilty tracklisting:

Hot Hot Hot Heat! Fire On Fire Ignite Today with Debut Album

Rumor has it when hairy hard-dancers Pop Will Eat Itself declared This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! back in 1989, they were actually speaking of a future date. Today, actually. (Well, they sure as hell weren’t talking about the day “Seinfeld” premiered, were they?) Accordingly, it makes perfect sense to take a moment, open your windows, and shout PWEI’s declaration of enthusiasm, because today is indeed the day when Young God Records finally releases the debut album by TMT’s favourite bluegrass mowin’ stars, Fire On Fire.

Drum machines, ripped-off riffs, and blatant sloganeering will not play any part in the Fire on Fire revolution; the band takes a much more relaxed stance in their music: making old-time, backporch pickin’ and grinnin’ folk fashionable again hasn’t any need for technology or tricks. After the five-song tease of their autonomous EP, Fire On Fire’s first full-length, The Orchard, is available today exclusively through the YGR website. The first CD edition of The Orchard is limited and numbered to 1000, with cover art by chief firestarter Colleen Kinsella.

Acoustic riffs... yeah! Can you dig it?

The Orchard tracklisting:

1. Sirocco
2. Heavy D
3. Assanine Race
4. The Orchard
5. Flordinese
6. Hartford Blues
7. Toknight
8. Squeeze Box
9. Flight Song
10. Grin
11. Tsunami
12. Haystack

Radiohead Artist Stanley Donwood Launches Six Inch Records, Presumably Named After Thom Yorke’s Chubby

Okay, so Thom Yorke's chubby really has nothing to do with this story, unless of course you want to picture it while reading this story. Actually, I encourage you to do just that. I DEMAND IT.

I'll give you a second...

Picturing it? Good. VERY good.

Alright, now for the other "meat" of the story: Stanley Donwood, frequent artist for Radiohead (and whose real name is Dan Rickwood), has started his own label, Six Inch Records. The idea is to release only three albums on CDs housed in a unique handmade package. Only 333 copies of each release will be made, and then the label is, as they say in America and other English-speaking countries, DONE. (FYI: Donwood was drunk when he decided to start it.)

Here's Donwood's explanation of the packaging:

Six Inch Records are released in compact disc format. However, as we believe that compact discs are too small, we package our releases by hand into sleeves that are six inches square. This is done using a design process that we believe to be unique, a process that we made up as we went along. First, we cut beermat board into 6" x 6" squares. Then we cut a hole into the beermat board the size of a compact disc. The CD is then pressed into the hole. We then letterpress the details of the release onto 'printaboard', the stuff used by cereal-box manufacturers, using moveable lead type and woodblock type. The printaboard is then scored and cut into shape. We then fold, glue and stick the sleeves together. Following this, the CD/beermat board square is carefully inserted into the completed sleeve. The entire caboodle is then placed within a letterpress printed envelope, just in case.

All mechanised operations - printing, cutting and scoring are carried out using a 1965 Heidelberg platen press. Everything else is done by hand.

Obviously, Six Inch Records is an "art project" and not a label proper. It's also not-for-profit. Which means, you should help support it.

So Many Dynamos Deliver A Label/LP One-Two Punch

Vagrant Records is a mixed bag. It's home to quite a few bands born out of the early 2000s emo-boom like Thrice, Senses Fail, and Saves the Day. But it's also the label of indie successes like The Hold Steady and Murder by Death. So, the addition of St. Louis's So Many Dynamos to Vagrant's roster isn't that surprising: the band's spazzy rock sound is punky enough to fuel a noisy high school party, but thoughtful enough to follow you to college.

So Many Dynamos bring the big news of their new Vagrant home at a convenient time, as they are also able to spread word about their forthcoming LP. On April 7, the band will be releasing their third full-length album, The Loud Wars. The foursome worked on the album with Chris Walla of Death Cab fame and are currently making their rounds with Syracuse's Ra Ra Riot.

Remaining dates:

  

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