1. Record Labels and PR companies could form a more unified communication structure. Bloggers love music and they love writing about it. We love labels and (mostly) love getting those emailed one-sheets/tracks from PR firms. Any blogger can tell you, however, is that this isn’t a streamlined process and communication gets skewed all the time. I think a big portion of this discussion needs to steer toward the effective communication between PR firms and labels regarding what songs are free to post. Some firms are absolutely top-notch when it comes to this, but it seems like there are about 600 renegade PR startups that are about as disorganized as my junk drawer. When a dude’s blog is getting shut down because of poor communication between the axe wielders, someone has to stick up for the little man. Nobody should be flagging down tracks unless, first of all, the labels themselves have an organized way to maintain the tracks they fling out into the ether months before street date releases. Basically, I think that if a label plans on embracing the music blog philosophy, then they should embrace it thoroughly. Any firm or label that accepts bloggers as a healthy avenue to spread the word, shouldn’t flag tracks until they have a systematic way to document who’s allowed and who’s not. I have been reading I Rock Cleveland for several years, and I’m certain it’s on the up and up. Bill’s not posting full albums or linking to torrent sites. He’s communicating with firms and doing what they allow him to.
2. As bloggers, would it be against the grain to form some sort of advocacy group for this type of thing in the future? It was great to see the outpouring after all of this shook down. The blog at elbows, twitter feeds, and even local newspapers here in Cleveland got into the mix. I’d imagine that elbows and hypem might be an excellent place to start in this endeavor, but in the future, I think it might be important to unite in some regards to advocate for one another. I’m not exactly saying that I need Christmas cards from Pitchfork or anything, but the way it stands now, most of us are just dudes expressing our opinion on songs we like. There is no way we could withstand the machine once it starts chopping. Eventually, our host sites are going to follow suit, and wordpress will be just as variable when it comes to MP3 posting. Someone should create a database, shoot out some legitimate emails and sign folks up into some sort of advocacy group. There has to be a reputable music blogger that also happens to be an attorney, right? When successful internet media outlets serve to take action away from the biggies, it’ll never be a good thing for folks like Bill and Patrick (from Pop Tarts Suck Toasted). The best they could do was swing into a crude wordpress design and, thankfully, upload the backed up files they had.
Of course, now I’m about to post a slew of MP3′s on my music blog. The irony is thick. As I steer away from the blog shutdown issue and into today’s list, don’t forget to follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER to keep you up to speed. I hope you’ll notice that I haven’t discussed Valentine’s Day. This is by design. I still hate this holiday.
This Week’s Track List
Or, The Whale – Toxic – This is the closest you’ll ever hear me get to even mentioning Britney Spears on my blog. There you have it. I went and mentioned her. Or, The Whale’s cover of “Toxic,” however, is great. The folked down version is off-kilter and heartwarming. The slow burn of the track and mellow gold sound of the harmonies are spectacular. It’s easy to forget where the original came from. Check out the band’s blog HERE, and if you’re in Austin for SXSW and have a female along for the ride, I can’t think of a better show to hit.
Or, The Whale – Toxic
We Are Wolves – Holding Hands – We received the newest release from Canadian outfit, We are Wolves, earlier this week and wish we would have gotten it sooner. Their third release, Invisible Violence, is a conglomerate of rock inspired danceable fuzz. The band describes their sound as “A post-punk landscape filled with analogue trees. It’s like rock after the post-modern explosion.” The band is set to play SXSW, as well. “Holding Hands” is an excellent taste of the album, but the variety in the record is worth noting. Spin the entire thing to assess its value, witch we recommend completely.
We Are Wolves – Holding Hands
Joanna Newsom – Kingfisher – The buzz surrounding the upcoming Drag City release, Have One On Me is swirling to stratospheric proportions and not without merit. Joanna Newsom has launched a few tracks from her epic 3-CD collection. The polarizing nature of Newsom is interesting, but this lengthy narrative track, in our opinion, is the best of the loot so far. The album is released on the 23rd.
Joanna Newsom – Kingfisher
The Golden Filter – Hide Me – The Golden Filter’s ominous and brooding electronica is complete nourishment for the ears. A single for “Hide Me” is set to be released on 4/19 to gear up for their April release of their Voluspa full length. The duo is busy and the release of this track marks the beginning of the hype.
The Golden Filter – Hide Me
Little Girls – 10 Mile Stereo (Beach House Cover) – This cover of Beach House’s original is spectacular and I can’t stop hitting repeat. This track has been making its rounds as of late, and as is our duty, we include it on today’s list.
Little Girls – 10 Mile Stereo (Beach House Cover)
Japandroids – Art Czars – Japandroids is coming to Cleveland soon, and we were sorely upset we missed their show at Now That’s Class a few months back. We have early bedtimes, so we’re banking on the Grog Shop show (hopefully) beginning a bit sooner. Polyvinyl’s re-release of Post-Nothing was a breath of gritty fresh air last year, and the band absolutely blew us away at the Pitchfork Festival, as well. The duo has been touring relentlessly, but two 7” singles are on the way shortly. “Art Czars” is the first released single, and if you’re a fan of Post-Nothing, this is candy to the ears.
Japandroids – Art Czars
Pattern is Movement – Light Of The World – We love when artists throw out tracks during the arduous recording process of an upcoming album. Pattern is Movement is offering up a tour-only EP at their show merchandise tables that includes music they’ve put together in the process of creating their newest album. “Light of the World” will be paired with other unreleased material. For those of us who may not be able to make it to the tour, they’ve offered this to help spread the word. In the wake of the critical acclaim of All Together, we’re excited to hear where this goes next.
Pattern is Movement – Light of the World
The Morning Benders – Promises – A late night on Twitter and a tweet from Chris at Gorilla vs. Bear gave me this great video nugget of The Morning Benders performing unreleased tracks along with an orchestra with folks like John Vanderslice. I’ve posted this track before, but as their forthcoming album Big Echo, approaches the release date, I’ve been spinning it more and more. This album is primed to be one of the best of the year, so if you’ve not hopped on board yet, check out the video material at Gorilla vs. Bear and crank “Promises” as loud as you can. We’ll have a full on review as the release date nears, but this should keep you sated in the meantime.
The Morning Benders – Promises
The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s On Fire – Clinging to a Scheme is set to drop on April 21st, and whether or not you were fans of 2006’s Pet Grief or any of The Radio Dept. back catalog, this newest release from the Swedish pop outfit is fabulous. We’ve been spinning the album a lot here lately, and it’s jumping outward, with nuances that are sonically different from previous material. They’re not jumping ship from the formula that works here, but for those that have been waiting patiently, “Heaven’s On Fire” will cure what ails you.
The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s on Fire
Preview of Reviews This Week:
In a new twist to Radio Dick, I’ve decided to, whenever possible, offer up a preview of album reviews we’ve got on tap for the week to come. Here are three that you can expect on the site this week.
Shearwater – Black Eyes – Shearwater’s The Golden Archipelago is set to hit the shelves on the 23rd via Matador. I took a trip to Pittsburgh this weekend and had zero problems spinning this amazing album the entire way. It’s epic in scope, thematic importance, and sound. It’s been getting a healthy amount of buzz due to 2008’s Rook, and also through the release of “Castaways” what seems like ages ago. The album doesn’t disappoint. “Black Eyes” was the second legal download they’ve shipped out. Enjoy this one and check the site this week for the full review.
Shearwater – Black Eyes
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp – Our writer Justin’s nimble fingers are feverishly wrapping up the review for Oddblood, and you can expect this review on the site early tomorrow morning. We’ve spent plenty of time with the album, and it’s incredible mixture of varietal sounds is noteworthy. As the blogosphere continues to laud this year’s Phoenix, we’re pleased to watch the success the band reaps. “O.N.E” is easily one of the best throwback tracks I’ve heard in a long while, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how much this thing soars. Check out Justin’s review tomorrow.
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp
Mumford and Sons – White Blank Page - Since posting “Little Lion Man” way back in October, the flame has ignited slowly (but surely) for English act, Mumford and Sons. Sigh No More hits US shelves this Tuesday, but the buzz in their own country has already been moving. They’ve just been signed on to perform at Bonnaroo and, at this point, the sky’s the limit. The grandiose mixture of chamber folk and cinematic pop is catchy and cathartic. I’ll man up and have the review by Thursday, so stay tuned. Plenty to love with this band, and “White Blank Page” is just another taste.
Mumford and Sons – White Blank Page