Lost in the warm fuzzy glow over the Arcade Fire topping the charts last week, one rather important item was neglected, which is that amidst all of their efforts to create the landmark 2010 Merge is having, the label owners Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance also found time to record a new album. Yes ladies and gentlemen, reason to rejoice, as there is a new Superchunk album on the way! It’s entitled Majesty Shredding and is due for release on September 14 – on Merge Records of course! A number one record and a new Superchunk album – now that really IS a banner year.
Speaking of landmark years, the same can be said for Best Coast who surprised more than a few people with their #36 debut (with one industry rag leaving them out of their charts altogether!) for the album Crazy for You. But kudos to the Mexican Summer label for a superb job of artist development, and it just goes to show that in amongst all the clutter of the ‘long tail’ music biz in 2010, the same formula of great songs, a good build up and a masterful job of marketing can achieve results! Alas, not so fortunate were WAVVES, whose latest album King of the Beach only trickled to a #168 chart position first week, despite some great reviews and a ubiquitous presence amongst the blogs.
Also benefitting from a nice job of development and marketing is Los Angeles act, Fitz and the Tantrums, who are riding a great word-of-mouth wave leading to the August 24 release of their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces on Dangerbird Records. After a glowing review in the LA Times, a “you had to be there” jam-packed performance at the Hammer Museum, an exclusive streaming preview of the album on KCRW, and an instore performance at Amoeba Records in LA scheduled for release day, the buzz is becoming rather deafening. Which makes it hard to believe it was barely a year ago that the retro-soul combo was playing to a small scattering of early adopters at the 3 of Clubs…
- Cool Hand Luke