For those of you that listened to last Sunday’s episode of Ammunition Radio, this is the Steve Albini article we were referring to (thank you to Andre for sending to me so that I didn’t have to go digging for it). We hope that by now all of you have come across this and read this, especially if you are in a band or a musical artist (whether signed or not). Some of the content is a little dated and some of the numbers need some tweaking as it was written a few years back, but the majority of it still applies and really this is one of the most accurate, informative pieces on the music industry you will ever read.
Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what’s printed on the contract. It’s too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody’s eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there’s only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says “Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke”. And he does of course.
Every major label involved in the hunt for new bands now has on staff a high-profile point man, an “A & R” rep who can present a comfortable face to any prospective band. The initials stand for “Artist and Repertoire.” because historically, the A & R staff would select artists to record music that they had also selected, out of an available pool of each. This is still the case, though not openly. These guys are universally young [about the same age as the bands being wooed], and nowadays they always have some obvious underground rock credibility flag they can wave. (more…)
Many of you may see this as belated, but I personally feel that well wishes for the new year can be communicated throughout the whole month of January (I feel quite the opposite however, when it comes to Christmas lights remaining present past the first or second week of a new year). I actually have a tradition of sending out Happy New Year’s cards as opposed to Holiday cards to those I don’t get to see on a regular basis and they rarely go out before the second week of January.
With that said, “Happy New Year, the game done changed!”
That was a statement that stuck with me ever since I coverd the Feel Mode 2 DVD release last summer.
A lot has changed, this is true. However, in the end it doesn’t necessarily mean the rules have completely changed.
As I have listened to some of my friends and colleagues sharing their goals for the new year, I hope that in this next year follow-through will be more constant (including with myself). I don’t generally make New Year’s resolutions, but if I did they would primarily include making more time to spend with friends and loved ones as those who know me personally know I get pulled in various directions constantly and making time is usually my hardest challenge. (more…)
The following were some of my favorite posts (in reality all of our contributors pieces are my favorites) from some of the regular contributors on this site in the past year, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:
(Not in any particular order, click on links to read the full column entry)
Contributor: Amanda Jones
Column: Young and Reckless: Stories From a Girl With No Hesitation, As Eyes See It: Tales From the City, Make a List Baby!
Hunter was what I refer to as the last of the great dinosaurs that roamed the earth. Beautiful and frightening. A ferocious beast, in the best way possible. He lived a life that couldn’t be replicated if you tried. That’s a good thing, could you imagine the United States chock full of little HS Thompson’s? It would be mayhem and chaos in the streets. I might enjoy it myself but I think the average everyday citizen would be a little frightened, locked tight behind their blockaded front doors.
So much of what is currently going on in the world mystifies me, we live in a nation of post 9/11 fear . It’s just the way it is, as times and politics change. Unless you choose to say, “Fuck the rules, fuck the status quo – I’ll make my own rules ” and Mr Thompson did indeed do that.
I wrote the title for this and it made me giggle silently to myself. The problem with the title is that I’m a 33 year old, with three kids and am completely responsible with a home under my belt to prove it. I throw dinner parties, birthday parties, cook for all of my friends and I can even make a killer Martini. The issue is that I’m 33 years old and still think like I’m 17 about a lot of silly things. I’ll give you a few examples to explain, the most recent happening a few weeks ago.
The Pixies were in town. This is one of, if not my absolute favorite bands. Ok, it’s neck and neck with The Pixies, The Clash, Minor Threat and Black Flag – but you get the idea. Now the last few times The Pixies have been in town one of two things occurred. I got so excited that I drank too much and ended up far more drunk than I should have been and had to be babysat all night by an unhappy boyfriend and or I would get so excited that would literally not be able to stop jumping around and or would get annoyed with the people around me because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why they were all standing there staring at the most amazing band and NOT jumping around?
So The Pixies announced their Doolittle Tour and then I found out it was at The Hollywood Palladium. The HOLLYWOOD FUCKING PALLADIUM – where I spent almost every month, in my youth, watching some of the most amazing shows of all time (for the 90’s that is). I was thrilled and very much beginning to revert to the 17 year old. I was listening to Doolittle over and over again. Counting down the days till the show! However, I was also promising myself that I wouldn’t drink too much so I could really enjoy the show. I wore a cute skirt, put on some pretty make-up, and showed up on time with a friend that I had convinced needed to see this band with me. Off we went. I had a cocktail before I left the house and thought – Perfect – this is going swimmingly! Then I show up at the show and someone I know hands me a water bottle and says, “Here drink this quick” (It didn’t have water in it – by the way). So I do. Now, I am entering The Palladium and ever more excited!!! Woo-Hoo – The Pixies!!!! Then I think I should grab a beer because I am not leaving the show for anything!!! (more…)
The First No. Before tickets went on sale, I learned via Facebook that many of my friends were excited about heading to the Palladium to see The Pixies. A friend asked me if I wanted to go to one of the shows. I declined. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to go, because I had an important work deadline scheduled for the first week of November.
The Second No. With a couple days before the Palladium dates, another friend asked if I was going to see The Pixies. I responded in the negative. I stated that I just didn’t want to spend the money purchasing a ticket to an event I wasn’t sure I’d get to attend.
Maybe. Of course, with the date closing in, I was starting to feel this urge to just go. Perhaps if I just got ahead of my work, it would work out, I thought. Around this time frame, I sent an e-mail to a friend asking how Monday night at the El Rey went. She responded back by saying that she didn’t know why I was asking that question. I was a little bewildered as she had told me how excited she was to head out to the El Rey to see the White Rabbits. It dawned on her that she’d totally forgotten about the concert and demanded to know why I hadn’t reminded her about it. I was like, Is it my responsibility to remind you about a concert you were planning on attending? After our brief e-mail argument about who was responsible for remembering that Monday date, she asked if I wanted an extra ticket to see The Pixies.
The Answer is Yes. (more…)