Sufjan Stevens’ label, Ashmatic Kitty, laid out an interesting plea by email this week to their artist’s mailing list. The email is in regards to the upcoming release of The Age of Adz (pronounced odds), the first full length LP from Stevens in almost 5 years.
Here’s an excerpt:
“We have it on good authority that Amazon will be selling The Age of Adz for a very low price on release date, not unlike they did with Arcade Fire’s recent (and really terrific) The Suburbs. We’re not 100% sure Amazon will do this, but mostly sure.
We have mixed feelings about discounted pricing. Like we said, we love getting good music into the hands of good people, and when a price is low, more people buy. A low price will introduce a lot of people to Sufjan’s music and to this wonderful album. For that, we’re grateful.
But we also feel like the work that our artists produce is worth more than a cost of a latte. We value the skill, love, and time they’ve put into making their records. And we feel that our work too, in promotion and distribution, is also valuable and worthwhile.
That’s why we personally feel that physical products like EPs should sell for around $7 and full-length CDs for around $10-12 We think digital EPs should sell for around $5 and full-length digital albums for something like $8.”
All of this strikes me as very odd, considering that they obviously had to sign a deal with Amazon to distribute the album digitally. The rant even states that they can see how many new fans this can help bring to the table, and their comment about The Suburbs clearly shows that they are making an attempt to mirror the success of the Arcade Fire’s latest effort. That album went number one in its inception, largely due to the Amazon week one price tag of $3.99 and highly discounted first week rates from other digital outlets. Digital downloads accounted for 62% of that album’s first week.
The NY Times did some digging recently, and it turns out that Amazon usually takes a loss by buying the albums at the wholesale price of around $7 from the record companies in an attempt to gain more ground in the digital download arena. That’s only ONE dollar less than what they state in their article is how much they would like for people to spend on a download. If you wanna make that much for an album download, why don’t you just make $8 your wholesale price?
All of these facts make me a little bit irritated by this rant from Asthmatic Kitty. If you don’t want your album available for digital download at Amazon, I’m sure you could have not signed that dotted line! I understand how you are just a little indie label but groveling for my money after YOU make all kinds of business deals to move your company forward is just plain ridiculous.
The internet is going to continue making it difficult, and labels are going to have to think outside of the box to find solid ground for a long time to come. But if an artist creates good music, people will buy the album, come to shows, and buy merchandise. I still believe that most music lovers find their way to help their favorite artists to continue moving things forward.
The Age of Adz is available on October 12th and seems to deliberately expand his sound into a more electronic and synth driven realm. Also, if you haven’t gotten his All Delighted People EP it serves as a great precursor to the upcoming album.
- Posted by David McLendon on September 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm
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It looks like Broken Social Scene family member Do Make Say Think have created yet another fantastic post-rock record. Other Truths is comprised of four long, primarily instrumental tracks named “Do”, “Make”, “Say”, and “Think”. With the coming of this album, I think it is hard to deny that DMST are one of the best ever in this genre, right up there with acts like Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, and Godspeed You Black Emperor. This band is pretty much amazing and you would be a fool to overlook this newest release:
Fits, the new record from Austin’s White Denim, has been circulating the internets for months, but it finally became available to purchase last week. This dynamic trio has the chops to take on any jammer or shredder, the psychedelic aptitude of a sheet of acid, and the songwriting precision that rarely accompanies those previously described traits. Fits is the sort of record that will appeal both to hipsters as well as old timers that think good music stopped getting made in the ’70s, and that is quite a feat. Here’s a taste:
Ever since blowing up with Illinoise, Sufjan Stevens has been content to hang back and do guest spots and Christmas covers for this latter half of the decade. And while it appears that may not change anytime soon, he has at least finally released an epic enough piece of music to satisfy us fans for a moment. I’m not versed in knowledge of classical music, but I think this ode to The Brooklyn Queens Expressway, an instrumental album called The BQE, is pretty damn good. This track isn’t exactly representative of the album, but it’s one of my favourites from it:
- Posted by Davy Minor on October 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm
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Technically summer doesn’t start until next month, but my long tenure in college and regular association with students leads me to consider May as the beginning of the summer. To celebrate the coming of the season, I’m about to take a nice little week vacation at the beach, so I figured I would leave you readers with a summery mixtape to jam while I’m gone. Here at Ohmpark we have some exciting things coming soon. Bonnaroo is now less than a month away and we will have total coverage for you. Then Corndogorama is right around the corner. And after that I’ll be blogging on the road for all of July. So keep it here and we’ll keep bringing you the best music from the ATL and beyond. Thanks for reading and enjoy some hott tunage:
Harlem Shakes : Nothing But Change Part II
Buy Technicolor Health
Still Flyin’ : Good Thing It’s A Ghost Town Around Here
Buy Never Gonna Touch The Ground
Wavves : Beach Demon
Crystal Antlers : Andrew
Animal Collective : Summertime Clothes
Buy Merriweather Post Pavilion
St. Vincent : Laughing With a Mouth Of Blood
Camera Obscura : French Navy
Buy My Maudlin Career
Jeffrey Lewis & The Jackals : Bugs & Flowers
Buy ‘Em Are I
Akron/Family : Sun Will Shine (Warmth Of The Sunship Verison)
Buy Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free
Sufjan Stevens : You Are The Blood (Castanets cover)
Buy Dark Was The Night
- Posted by Davy Minor on May 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm
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For this mix, I worked hard to pick out the very best holiday songs I could find from the artists we heart and put them together in a dreamy, surreal, maybe creepy sort of overall piece. For instance, Evangelicals have a Christmas song b-side from somewhere, but there’s something more special about “Snowflakes” from The Evening Descends that just sets the mood I’m going for much more appropriately. I hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to all of you!
Au : I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Bodies Of Water w/ No Small Kindness : O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Snowden : White Christmas
Atlas Sound : Requiem For All The Lonely Teenagers With Passed Out Moms
My Morning Jacket : Silent Night
Death Cab For Cutie : Christmas (Baby Please Come Over)
Evangelicals : Snowflakes
Deerhoof : Little Drummer Boy
Sufjan Stevens : O Holy Night
Low : Blue Christmas
- Posted by Davy Minor on December 9, 2008 at 5:31 am
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