O.K., the title is a bit misleading. I love the Dandy Warhols — even though I refuse to admit the existence of Odditorium — and have bought just about everything they’ve ever put out right down to the self-released Black Album/Come On Feel The Dandy Warhols package. I’ve easily spent hundred of dollars collecting import singles for unreleased tracks and remixes. But that was back in the days when that was the only way to get those tunes … now I wold just pay 99 cents for the song I didn’t have and save the other nine bucks.
So I was excited to hear the band was releasing it’s latest, …Earth to The Dandy Warhols…, under a remarkably forward-thinking subscription model. For a set price you would get the album as an immediate download, a physical CD once it was released, a screen printed poster, and any b-sides released in the next year. That is all pretty cool, right? The only problem is that they want $34.99 a year for the whole package. For me, that’s pretty steep, even when you include a healthy mark-up for materials and postage, though I’m sure plenty of folks would be more than happy to pay that. Good for them.
What I think would have been a better solution would be to offer the disc and music subscription for something closer to $15-$20, even allowing a lower tier for folks that wanted to go digital only. What do you think, am I being to stingy or am I right in thinking the band might have been better off offering a variety of packages to their fans?
Either way, I’m pleased to see them making a go of it without a Major label, and commend them for at least trying something new, even if it is out of my price range for disposable income these days.
In Chicago they’re trying to shove through a new ordinance that would force independent promoters to purchase a “promoter’s license” and insure their events even if they’re promoting an event in a venue that’s already insured. This would put me out of the promotion business. Local blogs and fanzines would no longer be able to book a bill at places like Double Door, The Empty Bottle, Schubas, Metro, or Hideout. Fundraisers would cease to exist.
And I’m just thinking of the live music community … if this thing passes the dance scene in Chicago will basically disappear overnight.
Chicagoist — the local Chicago website I write for — writers Marcus and Lizz have written about this situation much better than I have, and Jim DeRogatis’ daily updates have proven invaluable.
If you are reading this and live in Chicago LET YOUR ALDERMAN KNOW HOW MUCH YOU DISAPPROVE OF THIS … TODAY! RIGHT NOW! RIGHT THIS SECOND! And be sure to mention that if they DO vote for it, they’ve lost YOUR vote when they run for re-election.
If you don’t live here, well, wish us luck … or your band / DJ crew / hip-hop group might have a much harder time finding a gig next time you come through town.
UPDATE: The Chicago “anti-promoter” ordinance has been tabled for “further research” so there will be no vote on it tomorrow. Independent promotion is safe in Chicago for now, and I think it’s entirely due to the strong and immediate response from the music community. I’ve been told this is 100% sure to still come to a vote — possibly within the next month — so folks need to keep the pressure up on Chicago aldermen!
I met the guys in The Milwaukees years ago through my pals in Woolworthy. I can’t remember if the bands shared a label, or if they had toured together, or what, but I’ve kept in touch with The Milwaukees — who are actually located in New Jersey — over the years. There last album was titled American Anthems Vol. 1 and it was a raucous dose of rock and/or roll Minneapolis stylee — yes, I’m just going totally location name-happy here — that got a couple spins on the tankPOD.*
Anyway, I wrote elsewhere about the band last year when they went on a “living room” tour. The band booked acoustic shows in fans’ houses and just hopped from city to city. It underscored one of the reasons I really dig the boys, aside from the hooks of course, since they go out of their way to get the word out and get in touch with folks kind enough to give their songs a chance.
Today they just told me they’re now offering all of American Anthems Vol. 1 as a free download from their website. (Wonder if Reznor gave them a pep talk or something?) So I’m pleased to pass this info on to you. If you enjoy pop rock stuff, or that Replacements / Soul Asylum vibe, I recommend you expend a little bandwidth to snag to album.
DOWNLOAD: The Milwaukees – American Anthems Vol.1
*Getting more than two plays on the tankPOD is pretty impressive when one considers the sheer volume of music I have to listen to daily just to keep up with things.
I thought The Raconteurs’ announcement that their latest disc, available both digitally AND physically this Tuesday, one week ago was pretty fucking right on as far as dealing with the whole album leak thing. The notion of just getting it out there and then promoting after it was available seems pretty in step with where the industry is headed, and I still don’t know how they wrangled all the physical distribution channels so quickly and so quietly.
I guess they didn’t count on someone over at Apple posting the disc as being available on iTunes yesterday, leading to a bunch of folks buying the disc 5 days before it was supposed to be released. In a digital file-sharing culture this is the same as leaking the album 3 months ago, since the internet critics will be falling all over each other to give their definitive views of the album.
Personally I’m going to hold off until Tuesday. Waiting week for an album is nothing tome … heck I used to have to wait months before I could hear something, and that was even backing the days when we always got mailed physical promos due to long lead times (a practice that is quickly growing extinct). I understand folks are excited about new music, and especially excited about anything with Jack White and Brendan Benson’s name on it, but just this once, when the band went through great lengths to a) NOT keep everyone waiting and b) expose everyone to their new album at the same time, would it have killed folks to wait it out the extra few days?
Additionally, his isn’t the first time a greatly anticipated album has “accidentally” been offered for sale through iTunes prematurely, so shouldn’t someone be asking some serious questions about just what the heck is up over there?
This just in from White / Benson / et al:
“Album” meaning: full length vinyl, CD and digital formats; and “everywhere” meaning: local mom and pop Indie retailers, corporate superstores, supermarkets, iTunes, Amazon, the band’s own website and any other location that could get the record up and going this quickly (some places couldn’t move this fast, so they will join in as soon as they can).
It contains 14 new recordings and is being released globally on Third Man Records in conjunction with our marketing/distribution partners, XL Recordings and Warner Brothers Records.
The album was mastered and completed in the first week of March. It was then taken immediately to a vinyl pressing plant. Then to a CD pressing plant. Then preparations to sell it digitally began. March 25th became the soonest date to have it available in EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE. The band have done no interviews or advertisements for this record before this announcement.
The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception.
With this release, The Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important “first week sales”. We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it.
I’m listening to the new Mystery Jets album Twenty One right now and — so far — it’s delivering the goods I had hoped for! I’ve had the luxury of hearing them progress from close to the very beginning since a friend of the band’s was kind enough to send me an early version of their debut (which, by the way, changed substantially before its UK, and then belated American, release).
I’ve loved the band’s output, but always felt it was missing that one extra little magical ingredient to launch them from being great to truly terrific. When I saw them play live a few months ago that extra spark manifested itself in spades and I realized that not only were they gonna catch up to their hype, they were bound to surpass it.
They’ve lost a bit of the ’67 Pink Floyd freneticism that drew me to them in the first place, but they’ve replaced it with an alarmingly mature grasp of rhythm and dynamics. They’ve launched past my sonic expectations and delivered a (proper) sophomore album that sounds like it was crafted with a band with decades of experience instead of the handful of years the Mystery jets have actually been active.
A little birdie told us this morning that the Van Halen tour (was it ever actually “officially” canceled?) is back on.
But they’re still not playing SXSW. And neither is Led Zeppelin. Or Radiohead.
Everyone is going bonkers over a few select quotes from a forthcoming Entertainment Weekly weekly article. However Malkmus said in this month’s Spin, “We still all get on, but it’s hard to imagine that band being a living entity again. If we ever got back together again, I’d like it to be later, when we’re really paunchy and our fans are cashing in their IRAs.”
That doesn’t exactly sound like a dude chomping at the bit to do a reunion, especially since his newest album with The Jicks, Real Emotional Trash, is easily his best post-Pavement outing yet.
I think the Pitchfork Festival show last summer where Nastanovich came on stage to beat a few drums is the closest thing we’re going to get to a Pavement reunion for quite a while.
Although, Stephen, if you want to prove me wrong, I am TOTALLY O.K. with that!
Folks who purchased Ghosts I-IV but were unable to download (um, like us) were told to try again with the links they were sent via email. So I did. And this is what I got:
Hey, we did click on the original link, folks. And, adding insult to injury: please note they misspelled “original.” There seem to be bigger problems going on under the hood over there than a simply overtaxed engine, huh?
I like Trent Reznor’s approach and embrace of digital downloading. I like it so much that I decided to fork out $5 for the full version of his just -released Ghosts I-IV, the instrumental album he just popped onto the internets this morning. I like financially supporting music that tries to push the sales model like Reznor has been doing, and after downloading the Niggy Tardust album a while ago, I expected the process to go seamlessly.
Well, not so much.
The parts where I entered credit card information and his site billed me went flawlessly, but actually getting the disc to download has so far been impossible. Is anyone else encountering this problem? It’s disheartening because I SO want to see this sort of thing succeed,but in order to get folks — even me — to pay for music you’re going to have to ensure the process you have in place for downloading will actually work.