All posts tagged dangerbird records
With much of the industry attention recently on the new ownership of Warner Music Group and the upcoming auction of EMI by Citigroup, the other two major label groups are back in focus in coming weeks with what will be a series of changes coming to fruition under the new leadership at Universal Music Group and Sony Music. The move for L.A. Reid to Sony that was highly rumored after his departure from Island Def Jam, is becoming all but official with multiple reports that he will run a restructured Epic label group that will now include Jive. The move will also see Reid once again working under Doug Morris, who comes in as new Sony boss on July 1st. Observers are wondering who else will take up new roles under Morris, including who will oversee RCA, after former label boss Barry Weiss took Reid’s place atop the IDJ and Motown/Republic labels earlier this year. Did someone say musical chairs? Expect more new executive announcements at both Sony and UMG over the coming weeks including returning A&R veterans, along with additional new labels being launched under each umbrella… Already signed to the new Epic Records is YouTube “sensation” Karmin, who have racked up millions of views for their cover song videos… Elsewhere, another girl-guy duo garnering industry attention is San Diego act Little Hurricane, whose live shows and recent support from 91X have both labels and managers in pursuit… Others names on lips and in the mix include Childish Gambino, Band of Skulls, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Electric Guest and Capitol Cities… Meanwhile, Ben Lee and Butch Walker join the Dangerbird Records roster and Barsuk Records has signed New York City’s Yellow Ostrich.
Los Angeles-based creative design and marketing company The Uprising Creative has announced Blacktops and Truck Stops, a cross-country tour that has the firm – whose client roster includes Activision, Beck, Beastie Boys, Coachella, Dangerbird Records, Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Ryan Adams and many more – hitting the road with an RV outfitted as a mobile design studio for two weeks in October… Their mission is to get inspired by Americana and share their passion for art and design with everyone they meet along the way; from music events, art galleries, designers and clients, to gas stations, RV parks and roadside coffee shops. In addition to meeting with other designers along the way and visiting many of America’s majestic and eccentric places, The Uprising will also be making stops at art schools, at-risk youth centers and local charities. They will be covering ground in the South and Southwest, making stops in Austin, Birmingham, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Phoenix, Reno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Tucson and many other small towns and cities along the way… One of the first major stops on the trip will be in Austin for the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the official aftershow with Sonic Youth at La Zona Rosa on October 9th, presented by Nixon Watches. The whole trip takes place from October 5th – 19th, and will also be filmed for a documentary in the works for 2011. You can get more info HERE.
The debut full-length album from L.A.’s own Fitz and the Tantrums Pickin’ Up The Pieces is out today via Dangerbird Records, and to celebrate the band will be doing an in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Hollywood tonight at 7:00pm. They also have a new video for their song “MoneyGrabber” – check it out…
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
Last week Dangerbird Records announced another new signing, adding Milwaukee’s Maritime (featuring ex-members of The Promise Ring) to their growing roster. This follows the L.A. label’s recent inking of locals Fitz and the Tantrums in late April, and a slew of other high profile acts (Minus the Bear, Delphic, Hot Hot Heat) earlier this year. Sub Pop has also been on a signing spree of late, inking deals with Jaill, Coco Rosie, Papercuts and others so far in 2010. Looking at the Seattle label’s upcoming line-up of releases, it numbers at least two or three (often high profile) album releases per month; June alone has forthcoming records from Blitzen Trapper, Foals and Wolf Parade. This begs the question for some, if an independent label has an overflowing release slate, can they still guarantee the attention to detail that is expected?
Traditionally one of the main upsides to signing with an independent label is that they are able to dedicate the time and manpower to individual projects, concentrating on marketing an artist in the long term; a strategy opposite of the storied one and done scenario that is all too familiar on major labels. So is there such a thing as too many artists for an indie label?
Over at the Beggars Group – which is now comprised of 4AD, XL, Matador, True Panther, Rough Trade and more – the volume of releases is even more pronounced, releasing at times five albums per month. Their forthcoming schedule shows new records from The National, New Pornographers, Holy Fuck, Ariel Pink, Ratatat, Karen Elson and more… Is it despite, or because of this non-stop stream of releases that business at the Beggars Group is solid? According to Beggars head Martin Mills in a piece this week in The Register, the indie label group invests in 20 new acts a year, sees digital revenues around 50% of total and they’re moving albums, not just tracks. It seems their recipe includes serving many niches, not just a few or one, as past indie labels have… For now many are surely watching to see if recent independent records like Minus the Bear‘s Omni and the Titus Andronicus Civil War opus The Monitor will meet their hefty sales potential. Only time will tell…
- Cool Hand Luke
Following up on last week’s A&R report, congrats to Fitz and the Tantrums who have inked a deal with L.A.-based Dangerbird Records. The band heads out on tour with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings in May and has an eastside residency at Spaceland in June… Sweethead, the new project from Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, will be playing Monday nights in May at Spaceland. Their new self-titled album comes out May 11th via The End Records… Expect to see plenty of label and publishing folks out tonight for Burn Down the Mission at Hotel Cafe. We hear the band has been busy fielding more calls to showcase for labels on both coasts… Stay tuned.
As quickly as it came, the annual rock n’ roll oasis in the desert known as Coachella is over. So while you tend to that lingering sunburn and exercise the last of those acid-demons, let’s play catch-up on some new signings and stories we’ve been following… Los Angeles indie-label Dangerbird Records, who has been on a recent signing-spree stocking their coffers with a wide spectrum of artists, has put paper to Fitz & the Tantrums and we hear negotiations are in motion. FATT opened for The Specials last week at Club Nokia and will be joining Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings on tour in May… We hear Epic Records is finalizing a deal with Denver’s Joel Jorgenson. The singer is managed by Michael Goldberg and Isaac Hayes for 108 Management (we’ve also confirmed that 108 does not stand for their combined IQs)… Momentum continues to build for Las Vegas-act Imagine Dragons, who played to a sold-out room last Wednesday for the BMI/KROQ-presented show at The Viper Room. Having only played a handful of L.A. dates, it was impressive to see industry take a literal back seat to a sweaty crowd of fans singing along to the band’s late-night set. With a growing regional fan base and an impressive live show, labels seem to be closing in – we hear an East Coast major is looking to shut it down early, while publishers and booking agents have joined the scrimmage too… Radio continues to build for L.A. locals Dead Country with adds at Santa Barbara’s KJEE and KROX in Austin, as well as spikes at Live 105, KNRK in Portland and Denver’s modern rock KTCL; spins are also continuing in their hometown on KROQ. Could there be outside forces at work here? The band just finished a tour with The Bronx and will be supporting Far on a series of upcoming dates. Their self-titled EP is out now… And if you slept on the radio action on South Carolina’s Villanova, it looks like the band is now off the market. We hear an East Coast major is finalizing paperwork to close the act who are getting serious spins on influential modern rock station WARQ… Look for Steve Greenberg’s S-Curve Records to release new albums from Seinking Ships and The Belles on June 8th. Eric Matthews, formerly on Sub Pop, collaborated with Ohio musician Christopher Seink to record the new full-length Museum Quality Capture, while Lawrence, KS combo The Belles will release their sophomore album Times Flies When You’re Losing Your Mind… It certainly does… Finally, catch Minneapolis’ Sick of Sarah tomorrow night in L.A. for the early show at The Roxy. The band, who has been compared to Sleater-Kinney and The Breeders, is building a big following in the mid-west and is one of two artists featured during the month of April in Journeys stores nation-wide…
IN THE MIX: Jay Lewis, Purevolume, Ben Roethlisberger
The balmy Los Angeles weather had a whole stack of music fans and industry folk checking out bands on the rise, eating bacon-wrapped hot dogs and generally hanging out in historic Echo Park for the recent inaugural Waved Out Festival at the Echo/Echoplex. Kudos to the folks at Spaceland, who with help from Aquarium Drunkard put on the eastside event that was full of good vibes and from what we’re told is the first of what will be a series of similar affairs coming in 2010. Think of a mini-version of NY’s Siren Festival. The ‘one admission’ ticket across the two venues encouraged people to check out acts that they otherwise might have not investigated. This included local up-and-comers Gamblehouse and Atlanta’s The Coathangers, who came out with classic Pacific Northwest 90′s Riot grrrl rock swagger. The surprise of the day was San Francisco’s psychedelic Moon Duo – the two-piece is buzzing after some Pitchfork love for their recent SXSW shows. The all-day event was topped off with sets from Best Coast, the nom de plume of L.A. local Bethany Cosentino who has over 20k digital downloads and more than a couple premier indie labels in pursuit, followed by one of this year’s most-talked about acts at SXSW, Surfer Blood. The latter played to a packed room, including a heavy contingent of top brass from Warner Bros. Records. Their release Astrocoast has sold over 20k on Kanine Records, and many are wondering if they will be the next act from the indie to be launched onto a major label following Chairlift‘s promotion to Columbia Records…
More from the indie label front as Dangerbird Records continues their signing spree. After recently announcing the addition of both Minus the Bear and Hot Hot Heat to their expanding roster, this week they added more international flavor by signing Manchester’s Delphic. The combo’s new album Acolyte debuted in the UK top 10 earlier this year and will see a June release in the states.
- Cool Hand Luke