Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, and Dead Oceans co-launch new artist management company. Now they can argue with themselves without looking totally crazy!

Secretly Canadian, Jagjaguwar, and Dead Oceans co-launch new artist management company. Now they can argue with themselves without looking totally crazy!

Sometimes nurses fall in love with their patients. According to my Ph.D sources (viz. Christopher Lloyd playing a scientist in the movies 25 years ago), this is called the Florence Nightingale Effect. I think it’s because the patients are all cute and helpless, and the nurses get this really sentimental rush out of being so needed. The nurses help the patients a little, the otherwise-helpless patients are all about it, and the nurses get addicted to this feeling and want to do more and more and more, and presumably, the patients eventually get weirded out by all this mothering. It’s really a goofy thing, but it happens, and it’s not difficult to imagine why. But now imagine that happening on an Arts and Entertainment scale. You know, with record labels getting so fucking into helping their bands out that they start to take over other aspects of their careers. Creepy, right?

Well, in that case, Ben Swanson, Chris Swanson, and Darius Van Arman, the co-founders of the Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, and Secretly Canadian labels, respectively, are creeps. According to Billboard, these cool-ass labels (which currently house acts like Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth, Richard Youngs, Yeasayer, and Okkervil River) decided that releasing these artists’ records just wasn’t enough of a SEXY RUSH. So, logically, they’ve announced that they’re branching out to other seamy corners of their artists’ careers. Namely: management. Upon learning that close friend Ami Spishock from Zeitgeist Artist Management was into the idea of a kinky, artist-on-label-on-manager orgy, they all drank some Jack, played some Twister, and eventually got loose enough to consensually create Fort William Artist Management. But the kookiest part? The artists were actually into it, too!

The company’s current roster consists of adventurous pre-existing clients like Grizzly Bear, Bowerbirds, Sondre Lerche, Dreamers of the Ghetto, Department of Eagles, CANT, JBM, Menomena, and Jens Lekman. “We were already handling it informally and we thought it would be better to build something that had its own distinct identity, away from the record labels,” Darius Van Arman slurred. “It feels familial, and that’s something that we’re committed to maintaining amongst the artists and the partners.” And while the small stable leaves room for future sexcapades, Van Arman wants to keep the feel of his new operation all cozy and incestuous. In order to not blow their cover, each of the Fort William co-founders will continue to operate their day jobs, but Billboard sez that Ben Swanson and Spishock “will focus more on the management side while Van Arman and Ben Swanson will guide the labels.” Well, I guess it’s like another venerable fake scientist said: life finds a way.

• Fort William:
• Secretly Canadian:
• Jagjaguwar:
• Dead Oceans:
• Zeitgeist:

Most Read