The Daily Rind | Archive | Industry Trends

Home » Industry Trends » Recent Articles:

Long Live Cassettes: Cassette Store Day 2014

CassetteStoreDayLOGOLow and behold analog enthusiasts… The second annual Cassette Store Day is quickly approaching! On Saturday, September 27th, fans will once again gather at participating shops to celebrate the cassette as a music format. This year, the event will be coordinated from both sides of the Atlantic with Fullerton, California-based Burger Records overseeing efforts in the US, while Kissability and Suplex Cassettes will once again be organizing things in the UK/EU.

In a blog post on NME.com, one of the original founders of Cassette Store Day, BBC Radio 1 DJ / Kissability’s Jen Long, had this to say towards the viability of the format, “Music today moves faster than ever before. We are swamped hourly with new acts, new tracks, and endless free downloads. It becomes addictive, with more and more bands wanting to release their music, and most importantly, more fans than ever wanting to become a part of this world and start a label. However, you can’t sell mp3s from the merch table (and it isn’t the most romantic way of introducing someone to a great band). Plus cassettes are cheap to make and you don’t have to commit to large quantities, unlike vinyl.”

Originally conceived as a way to celebrate the lost format, the first Cassette Store Day, held last September, was met with open arms with stores participating in over eighty cities worldwide and releases from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Haim, At the Drive-In, Deerhunter, and more!

This year’s event looks to expand on 2013’s success while staying focused, “When planning this year we really tried to keep cassette labels and fans at the heart of the event. Last year grew far bigger than we had expected, so we are thrilled to have Burger involved to help us cover the US side,” said Long.

However, according to Billboard, “While CSD 2013 warmed the hearts and ears of listeners both nostalgic for music journalist Rob Sheffield’s ‘Love Is A Mixtape’ era and hopeful for analog’s growing sweet spot in the music industry, it did not inspire strong sales: in the week ending Sept. 8, 2013, cassette albums sold just 1,000 — up 1% compared to the previous week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. To boot, those numbers represent a miniscule 0.02% of the total 289 million music units moved sold in 2013.”

Despite these harrowing numbers, Burger Records is very much looking forward to this year’s festivities and had this to say, “Burger Records loves tapes! We’ve built our foundation on the forgotten format and have been preaching the merits of warm analog cassette culture for years. We’re honored to be ambassadors of Cassette Store Day 2014 in the good ol’ USA! We plan to bring some of our favorite labels to the table and invite everyone to the party and partake in the fun phenomena of releasing top shelf music on cassette tapes in pop culture today!”

Matt Flag of Suplex Cassettes offered this final consideration in the same NME blog post mentioned above:“Today [tapes are] the most affordable showcase for a band that is not ready to spend £1000 to drop 500 7″s into the world, so I can run a label that takes chances and puts out as many releases as I want to due to the cheapness and convenience of the format. Plus they look rad!”

While many in the industry will snicker and others may write off the cassette resurgence to, “F#@&ing Hipsters,”[1]  there is something to be said for the DIY spirit and practicality of it all that makes it deserving of support.

Cassette Store Day 2014 takes place on Saturday September 27th. Labels wishing to release a cassette on the day can sign up for a small admin fee of $10/£10 from June 30th – August 15th at cassettestoreday.com.  Stores wishing to participate can sign up for free on the site. A full guide to assist labels and stores is also available for download.

Looking forward to pulling out my old Walkman!

[1] ^Long, Jen (12 July 2013). “Why We’ve Created Cassette Store Day (And Why It’s Not Just Hipster Nonsense)”. NME.

Witchcraft, Paganism, Black Magic and Illuminati Imagery

katyperry_darkhorseThe above are words taken from the complaint in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed recently in the Eastern District of Missouri. While accusations of witchcraft, paganism, black magic and Illuminati imagery may seem mundane given the state of the nation, this one is notable given the parties: the plaintiffs include Christian rappers Flame and Lecrae, and the defendants are Katy Perry, Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Capitol Records, among others.

Plaintiffs claim that Katy Perry’s recording of the song “Dark Horse” infringed upon defendants’ copyright in the composition “Joyful Noise” which appeared on the Flame LP titled OUR WORLD REDEEMED, released by Cross Movement Records and distributed digitally by your friends here at The Orchard.

Take a listen side-by-side and let us know what you think.

From CBGB to Warped Tour: “How Did I Get Here?”

ramones“And you may ask yourself, well… How did I get here?” is a line from the Talking Heads classic “Once In A Lifetime.” Of course Talking Heads, like the Ramones, are an original class of 1976 graduate of the CBGB Punk Rock explosion. Just recently, the RIAA announced that almost 40 years since its 1976 release, the Ramones’ genre defining, self-titled debut has finally gone Gold, selling 500,000+ copies.

Punk Rock has become a musical institution in America in the past four decades and nowhere is that more clearly visible than in the Vans Warped Tour, now celebrating its 20th anniversary with dates running from 6/11 to 8/3. One Orchard label, Pure Noise, has 8 bands alone performing on Warped Tour, including Cali’s breakout success The Story So Far, and veterans like Massachusetts-based Vanna and Four Year Strong.

“The Ramones have one Gold record to their name,” KISS’ Gene Simmons told Consequence of Sound once referring to their comp Ramones Mania. “But they meant nothing. They never succeeded, failed, in fact.” But history has proven otherwise. Although Ramones peaked at No. 111 on the Billboard 200 and “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” never became the hoped for radio hits, SPIN named Ramones #1 in 50 Essential Punk Records, and it was inducted into the Library of Congress, along with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and Janis Joplin’s Cheap Thrills.

The Ramones and the other hard touring bands of their era like Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith Group and Devo (whose Something Else For Everybody is also being distributed by The Orchard) singlehandedly created a Punk Rock touring circuit that previously had not existed in 1976. Today, getting the crucial support and live exposure is so much easier — young bands just plug in to Warped Tour‘s festival, playing short sets and meeting fans afterwards at merchandise booths to swap stories and autographs. Warped Tour is so successful in 2014 that many bands schedule their releases around it. The Story So Far‘s Songs Of, Vanna‘s Void, Handguns‘ Life Lessons, Heart To Heart‘s Dulce, My Iron Lung‘s Relief, Four Year Strong‘s Go Down In History, To The Wind‘s Block Out The Sun, BrigadesCrocodile Tears – all will benefit from the audience reach and impact of the Tour. Some of these developing acts will eventually grow like The Story So Far to be mainstage headliners someday.

TheStorySoFar

And that is the Ramones legacy all these years later: non-stop relentless touring, taking the live Punk experience to their fans and creating your own definition of success. Punk may have evolved into many sub-genres over the years — from Hardcore to Emo, Screamo, Metal Core and so on — but its impact today can be felt on the Warped Tour, in Vans footwear, at clothing based mall outlets like Hot Topic and in the latest generation to emerge from the streets of Noo Yawk City like Brooklyn’s Cerebral Ballzy who just this week released Jaded and Faded on Cult Records, a label run by The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, a man and a band clearly influenced by the CBGB era DIY Punk aesthetic. Punk Rock, like Rock & Roll, is here to stay!

Spotify From The Source: Highlights and FAQs

SpotifyQuestionsWe recently had the lovely Alix Rosenberg from Spotify Label Relations come into The Orchard office and run a Spotify School special for our clients. We liked it so much, we asked her to write a guest post for us, too. Check it out below along with some Frequently Asked Questions and links to further resources. Alix, take it away! 

Since my time at Spotify began almost two years ago. I’ve seen the platform develop into one of the most robust tools an artist can hold in their arsenal.

Spotify not only allows artists to clearly, and accurately display their full catalog, allowing users to peruse their entire discography, but it also allows fans to connect with them on a deeper level. Through the addition of features like verified artist profiles, social sharing and follow, users can now get a complete picture of who that artist really is. Whether it be an intimate playlist of tracks that got them through a hard time, a playlist of album inspirations, or a simple summer BBQ playlist, the artist is able to give their fans a glimpse of what they’re like behind the curtain, and how they personally like to consume music as part of their larger creative process.

Last year’s acquisition of Tunigo and its full integration into the platform as our new homepage, or Browse page, gives us a more clear ability to expose our users to great music. Through our plethora of owned playlists spanning many genres, some with over 1M followers to date, we’ve created an environment that fosters discovery and introduces users to new music in an ecosystem that they’re already comfortable with. We pride ourselves in the ability to highlight great artists, and give equal visibility across both the major label and independent spaces.

Aside from the promotional opportunities Spotify provides, we are also able to provide our partners with different perspectives on their artists’ successes through data and analytics. Our partnership with Next Big Sound allows any artist, manager or label to sign up and track plays across Spotify, while comparing those numbers against social properties and other digital service providers. We hope these tools are able to provide even further insight into what moves the needle for a particular artist, if there are new territories to consider while routing tours, and even hope it may enable artists to get better terrestrial radio play by displaying the popularity of a particular track. For more information on Next Big Sound, and the services Spotify provides for artists, visit SpotifyArtists.com.

For more information on our best practices, verification, and marketing opportunities, please visit our Spotify Hub.

See below for answers to some FAQs, and click here for a full list. Do not hesitate to reach out to your Orchard rep with any further questions!

… Continue Reading

My Hip Hop Before The Internet

COOKIE IN RECORD SHOPI’m taking it back to the days when there was NO WiFi to access music and music videos.

I can’t and won’t deny — these were some great times. Discovering new music was a journey in itself — most times that journey would mean booking a flight to NYC to check out the latest clubs, artists and releases through the mediums of TV and Radio.

Cassette tapes were my lifeline — 100′s lined shelves in my room and my car contained several cassette boxes, which now looking back, were equivalent to having suitcases in the car.

WiFi back then was word of mouth, a hand written flyer, listening to a local pirate radio stations, hanging out in the cool spots in Central London and being connected to a close knit Hip Hop scene that was rapidly growing in the city and across the country.

We never had the internet to give us the most current information on what was hot and not in the music industry. Stats were street cred; a website was how damn fly your crew was; a smartphone was a Red Phone box on the corner; SoundCloud was a real mixtape recorded on Memorex tape; Facebook was a diary; Twitter was “spitting 16 bars;” iTunes was going to HMV, Virgin Megastores or a local record store; streaming was an “All-Dayer” in Nottingham, Birmingham or Manchester; going online was actually “going out;” iPlayer was VHS; Catch Up TV was “wait for a repeat showing;” the Personal Computer a.k.a. the laptop/notebook/tablet was pen and paper.

The list is endless….. my point is, we survived before the internet and now that we have all this technology in the palm of our hands, what we’re capable of doing in the very near future is anyone’s guess.

The internet has revolutionized the creative industries, it has given us the power to share whatever we want, instantly, it has given us the power to communicate whatever we want, instantly, it has given us the power to be whatever we want to be — instantly.

The landscape and dynamics have drastically changed how we consume music and everyday in this digital age, there is something new to learn. Coming from a generation where all of this was unimaginable, now keeping on top of the daily changes is mind-blowing and rewarding, too.

I bid you all a good day,
@CookiePryce

About The Orchard

The Orchard is a pioneering music, video and film distribution company and top-ranked Multi Channel Network operating in more than 25 global markets. Founded in 1997, we empower businesses and creators in the entertainment industry.

Follow Us!

Archives