Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Los Campesinos! Reveal Bloody New Album Cover

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

A few weeks ago I had a post about the upcoming Los Campesinos! album, and now we have more information. The British indie favorite recently revealed the album cover for their new album Romance is Boring (January 26th release). I must say that the artwork is a bit…bloodier than i had been expecting, and is designed by Carie Ann Wayman. The image is of a somewhat grotesque, bleeding leg, and can be seen below:

designed by Carie Ann Wayman

Los Campesinos! will begin their UK tour on December 2nd. More information on the upcoming release as well as UK tour dates can be found on the band’s website.


Digging In The Instrument Graveyard

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2009 at 9:11 pm

An interesting trend is beginning to arise in the Bay Area, where more and more people are once again beginning to use such eccentric instruments as the Accordion, Klezmer, and the Ukulele. All having quite different backgrounds, these three instruments are being revived in an effort to create a unique sound by incorporating them into more modern music.

The Ukulele

Popular artists such as The Arcade Fire and The Decemberists have set an example through their use of the squeezebox in their mainstream recordings, but the trend goes much further. A local Bay-Area Ukulele maker, Michael DaSilva, says that he has observed a huge spike in the number his customers who are under thirty years of age since the trend emerged. Regarding the Ukulele, DiSalva says “There’s so much new, independent music being produced on it,” he says. “People under 30 are becoming attracted to it.”

Thanks for the article goes to Laura Casey of the Contra Costa Times. In her full article, found here, she highlights a number of local artists who have begun using the eclectic instruments.

Contest Offers Participants Shot At Glastonbury Glory

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Officials from the famous Glastonbury Music Festival in Pilton, England have announced that they will once again hold the “Emerging Talent” competition again this year. The competition gives unsigned bands and artists the chance to perform at the world’s largest greenfield music festival in June 2010.

This is a great opportunity for independent musicians everywhere to gain important music contacts and massive exposure. The contest will yield roughly thirteen winners who will perform on some of the various stages set up around the show. The winners will be judged by celebrity Huw Stevens (BBC Radio One) and Paul Rees (Q Magazine editor), as well as concert organizers Michael and Emily Eavis. For more information visit the Glastonbury website.

The Golden Silvers, 2008 contest winners, used the competition to springboard their now-flourishing career

New Solo Offering From Weakerthan’s Frontman

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 7:48 pm

November 3rd marked the release of Jon K. Samson’s new solo project ‘City Route 85’ through Anti. Samson, better known for his work with critically-acclaimed Canadian rock group ‘Weakerthans’, describes the EP as a series of recording inspired by the roadways around his Hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. City Route 85 is the official name of the prominent Winnipeg street, Portage Avenue. The songs center around life in the town of Samson’s youth, and include topics ranging from revelry to death. The offering will be released in vinyl 7-inch or digital download formats. Visit the Anti website here for more information.



Track Listing For City Route 85:

01. Heart Of The Continent
02. Grace General
03. Cruise Night

Online Pirates: Plunderers or Purchasers?

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm

In recent years, the debate over the topic of internet piracy has been one of much controversy for the world of music. Major music labels report staggering losses in sales due to the the act of internet file sharing each year. These losses have drawn major labels to band together with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to prosecute offenders of these acts to the largest extent possible in hopes of curbing the practice. This measure, along with the simultaneous legal actions taken against facilitators of the file-sharing movement (see The Pirate Bay) has sparked much discussion, both online and elsewhere, about the legitimacy and effectiveness of this practice. Opponents of the RIAA’s efforts claim that “pirates” still purchase music, and that they use “piracy” to find new types of music that they then will buy. Until recently, these claims were seen to be nothing more than cover up for illegal activity.


Pirates: legitimate customers or online bandits?

A recent study indicates that about 1 in 10 people admit to pirating music online. This number is quite high, though not surprising when noting the music industry’s recent preventative measures and claims of revenue loss. What is surprising, however, is that those who admitted to pirating music reported and average of $126 of yearly music purchases compared to just $72 for those who do not pirate music. This data prompts questions about the RIAA’s recent string of prosecutions, namely the question of whether or not criminally charging one’s most valuable customers is a smart business decision.

In current times of revenue loss at major music labels, and with illegal file sharing running rampant online, the independent music community has found an opportunity to shine. Purchases of independent music are actually up recently relative to their major-label counterparts, but why? One possibility is that increased access to information is allowing musicians without major label backing an opportunity to reach out to listeners in a whole new way. Blogging, interacting with fans, and releasing free songs online are not uncommon practices by today’s indie musicians, and these tactics seem to be translating into eventual purchases by consumers who like what they hear.


Perhaps the RIAA and the entities it represents are taking the right approach, and the results have simply not yet come to fruition, or perhaps they need to rethink their methods. Prosecuting the portion of the market that makes up one of the largest groups of legitimate music purchasers does not seem conducive to the achievement of sales objectives, but then again neither does allowing the world at large a free pass to take your products without paying for them. Regardless of what they choose to do, major music labels and the RIAA must think very carefully about their next course of action if they wish to reverse the current trend. Until then, independent artists and labels will continue to thrive as they employ tactics more in tune with today’s internet savvy population, and major music labels will continue to scratch their heads while wondering where “the glory days” have gone.