Tuesday, December 13th, 2005

As I Rise

Man, you think that after yesterday’s epic post, I’d be due some time off, wouldn’t you? Nope.

So in one of the poorest kept secrets in indie rock, it has finally been confirmed that The Decemberists have jumped on the major label merry-go-round and signed to Capitol. At first I thought this seemed logical – The Decemberists are currently one of the higher profile indie bands and certainly one of the more unique, yet accessible-sounding. But the more I thought about it, the more I had to wonder – is there really a larger market waiting for them? I can’t imagine there’s THAT much bigger a potential audience for Colin Meloy bleating out songs about chimney sweeps and nautical vengeance over accordian solos. This isn’t the pure pop of Death Cab or The Shins we’re talking about here. I can’t imagine who Capitol thinks they can reach that Kill Rock Stars couldn’t – maybe this is just a bit of overzealousness on the part of a major who wants the good PR of signing some indie darlings. I sorta can’t wait to see their faces when the Decemberists hand in their next album and the suits are all, “um, what? Gay matadors on an Antarctic expedition?” But I suppose that’s not The Decemberists’ problem – they’ve got their big bags with dollar signs on them to keep them occupied. The Pitchfork piece also covers a slew of other Decemberists-related news items, including the reissue of the complete works of Tarkio, Meloy’s pre-Decemberists band, as Omnibus on January 24, as well as Meloy’s solo Winter tour dates and plans for an EP of Shirley Collins songs.

Magnet and The AV Club’s blog division offer up interviews with Alan Sparhawk of Low, while WOXY has a radio session from January available to download. Support acts for Low’s Winter ’06 tour have been announced – His Name Is Alive, who were also supposed to open their cancelled Summer ’05 tour are still going on the road with them, as are Rhode Island’s Death Vessel. Once again, that tour comes to Toronto on January 31 at Lee’s Palace.

And because of a conflict with the MYLO show at the Phoenix that night, the February 14 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club date has been pulled and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be made up. Alas, it will be a glum Valentine’s Day for the city’s anglophiles.

A Northern Chorus, SIANspheric and Alive & Living will be at the Lula Lounge for a show on January 12, admission $10 at the door. That would be worth going to if for no other reason than to see SIANspheric obliterate the supper club crowd with LOUD.

Of Montreal will be back, once again, in Toronto on March 8 for a show at the Mod Club. I would make a, “they should call themselves Of Toronto for the amount they play here” joke, but I think I already used that one…

Spin is hosting Quicktime videos of The National’s performance in their offices back in September.

Zoilus has posted the piece he wrote for The Globe & Mail last week previewing the Iron & Wine and Calexico show last Friday. Carl also wrote up a profile of Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett for none other than The New York Times. There’s some interesting commentary on the piece and Final Fantasy in general on Carl’s site – note that the comments read from bottom to top, if you’re trying to follow along. Either way, congrats to both Carl and Owen on the exposure.

Are You Familiar has conducted his own blogger poll of the best acts in Canada right now, featuring a panel of himself, Goldkicks and eye‘s Stuart Berman. With just three lists to tally up, their results are considerably more eclectic than I Heart Music’s considerably more populist poll from last month. Pop (All Love) has also posted the results of his second annual Pop (All Love) Canadian Music Bloggers Year-End Poll Thingy. We were asked to submit something about something, and then Aaron did something with and and voila – another list. Sorry, I’m starting to get list burnout. I am so ready for 2006.

And speaking of things Canuck… I came in a distant third in voting for Best Culture Blog at the Canadian Blog Awards, though some cursory digging indicates I have many times more visitors than either the first or second place winners. Conclusion? YOU’RE ALL A BUNCH OF MP3-DOWNLOADING FREELOADERS. I mean, really, I ask for one simple favour… I don’t think I even count as a bridesmaid anymore. More like the guy who’s always inexplicably stuck at the kid’s table. Sigh. Someday… I’d like to win something. Anything. I won a dirt bike in a colouring contest once, when I was six. It had a fake plastic gas tank and the fenders were installed backwards so they pretty much got trashed by my brother, who got to ride it since I wasn’t big enough to. Jerk.

np – The Wedding Present / Take Fountain

By : Frank Yang at 8:53 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this postNo Responses.
  1. david says:

    Always the bridesmaid, never the bride… Usually sites that continually pander for votes win those beauty pageants, you’re still pretty to us, Frank.

    I wondered the same thing about the Decemberists, how marketable are they to abroader audience? I guess we’ll find out.

  2. angryrobot says:

    Regarding The Decemberists and Capitol, I agree with you. Is there really a huge untapped market waiting for them out there? This reminds me of the 90s, when majors went on a spree signing "alternative" bands, only to later drop them when the expected mega-sales didn’t materialize. It’s deja-vu all over again.

  3. Frank says:

    aw, thanks David.

    mr roboto – that’s pretty much my take on it, too. Man, I wonder how much money is being thrown at the Shins right now? They’re the Frank Cushman in this Jerry Maguire scenario.

  4. Neil says:

    I voted for you mate.
    I agree as far as The Decemberists "reaching out" goes. Of all the bands I’ve tried to get my friends into, they’ve been the hardest sell – mainly because of Colin Meloy’s voice.

  5. John says:

    Do labels sign acts for prestige any more? It’s clear the Geffen (or whatever it’s called these days) keeps Sonic Youth around because of the hipness factor, not because of blockbuster sales. It makes them seem more palatable, so when an indie band with true breakout potential arrives, they can say, "Look at how well we treat SY/Decemberists/etc…" before squeezing the life out of them.

    Plus, stick "16 Military Wives" on the "Gilmore Girls," or get them on a movie soundtrack, and they’d sell double what they do on KRS, I’d imagine.

  6. stuberman says:

    I don’t think Geffen keeps Sonic Youth for the hipness factor; SY probably just doesn’t lose them any money. They’ve got their own studio and know how to record/tour on the cheap, so they probably turn a modest profit for the label despite the relatively low record sales. Same thing with the Flaming Lips and Warner.

  7. Frank says:

    re: the prestige factor, I think that’s part of it, but stuberman’s right in that it doesn’t matter how hip a band is – if they weren’t making the label money, they’d be out on their asses.

    And as a sidebar, is anyone else perplexed that Built To Spill is still on Warner Bros?

  8. matthew says:

    I was voting for you twice a day, plus I think I’m the one who nominated you…I’ve tried reading the other blogs you were up against, and yours is infinitely more interesting and better written…

  9. Ryan Waddell says:

    I voted for you as well, though admittedly only the one time. I’m sure those other blogs whored around for votes a lot more than you did.

  10. Greg says:

    Thanks for the link to the year-end list. :)

  11. suckingalemon says:

    i swear i voted :(


  12. Frank says:

    oh, I was just being dramatic. I LOVE YOU ALL. Hugs! :) :) :)

  13. Andy says:

    i appreciated the bike so i voted for you many times in round 1.

    i only voted for you once in round 2 because let’s face it – what have you done for me lately?

  14. Frank says:

    Jerk. you’re not getting your mail!

  15. Andy says:

    no! my marmalade-of-the-month!

  16. incarag says:

    Their next album (which they’re working on now) will be the last that Sonic Youth records for Geffen.

  17. Mike says:

    Frank, I voted for you once…fuck I didn’t know there was a round 2.

  18. Stephan says:

    I hope Capitol has more presence and provides more backing to The Decemberists than they have for Doves on the past two albums. Of course, they probably will…. until they’ve moved on to signing the up-and-comer of the next new genre rave.

  19. General Patton says:

    1. Fantomas < Suspended Animation
    2. Mogwai < Government Commissions
    3. Broken Social Scene < Self-Title
    4. Mars Volta < Frances The Mute
    5. Stars < Set Yourself On Fire
    6. Greg Dulli < Amber Headlights
    7. Frank Black < Honeycomb
    8. Ryan Adams < Cold Roses
    9.. Portastatic < Bright Ideas
    10. Feist < Let It Die

    Broken Social Scene < To Be You and Me