Stream Our Texas-Sized SXSW 2015 Sampler
It’s hard to believe, especially given the record-breaking supply of cold and snow heaped on us here on the East Coast this winter, but SXSW is once again right around the corner. To that I say YEE FREAKING HAW! Good riddance freezing weather and possibility of snow flurries. Hello to the relative certainty of warmer temps and inevitability of good BBQ, breakfast tacos, margaritas, cold beer, and more great music than you can shake a stick at.
To that end we’ve assembled the following 90-track Spotify playlist featuring music from some of the artists we’re excited to see. Some highlights include new music from Austin natives The Bright Light Social Hour, whose second album, Space Is Still the Place, is out now [RIYL: Tame Impala, The Black Angels]; Atlanta rockers Royal Thunder, whose new full-length, Crooked Doors, will be released April 7th [“imbued with the raw, weatherbeaten evangelism of prime Zeppelin, this elegantly powerful quartet write songs that aim straight for the heart,” The Guardian]; Austin’s psych trio Ume [“somewhere in between Warpaint, Metric and Mogwai,” Relix], who will be releasing a six-song EP titled Too Big World in early April; and much much more.
See you in Texas.
This Little Blind Pig Now Lives at The Orchard’s Brick House
Just in time for the great big music roundup that’s about to happen at SXSW, we thought now would be the perfect time to let you in on some news. We’ve just picked up the Blind Pig catalog, one rich in the best Blues and Roots sounds in the country. And there’s no questioning their lineup. The Blind Pig catalog stems from a deep-rooted understanding of the genres. Before the record label ever began, there was Blind Pig the Ann Arbor blues club that welcomed the likes of Jimmy Rogers, Bonnie Raitt and Hound Dog Taylor to its stage. Once word spread about the who’s who of artists performing at the venue, the owners decided to incorporate a record label into the mix, and so Blind Pig Records was born.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that co-founders Edward Chmelewski and Jerry Del Giudice, along with their San Francisco and Chicago-based teams, have joined our family. Not only will we be responsible for the distribution of their catalog worldwide (both digitally and physically), we’ve also got new material on deck from the label, including releases from Albert Cummings, Victor Wainwright, Cash Box Kings, Zac Harmon and Andy T & Nick Nixon.
Along with this great new catalog of goodies, we’re ramping up our focus on label acquisitions. Our very own Scott Ambrose Reilly (some of you may also know him lovingly as “Bullethead”) is heading up this catalog specialty division, one designed to acquire, rejuvenate, repackage and market owned content and brands.
Check out more news coverage on the deal from Billboard, and if you’re looking for a home for that music catalog of yours you know where to find us!
Crowdfunding: A Modern Day Staple for Musical Projects
We partnered with RocketHub back in 2011 when we first launched The Orchard Marketplace. Crowdfunding was already starting to boom back then, and it hasn’t slowed down since. With the heart to see your projects succeed and the goods to back it up, RocketHub provides a solid platform for any crowdfunding campaign. To show you how it’s done, we bring you Brian Meece, CEO of RocketHub, with 6 key tips to make your project succeed.
With the advent of social networking (and sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), and a habit of building a mailing list, musicians are more connected to an extended network of fans and supporters than ever before.
As the CEO of RocketHub, one of the world’s leading crowdfunding platforms, I have seen thousands of projects raise funds and awareness via this new form of micro-patronage. Crowdfunding platforms can offer the credibility and infrastructure necessary to successfully harness the financial power of the crowd, but because crowdfunding is a relatively new trend, many artists misunderstand how to effectively leverage the tools available to them.
The Orchard Chart Toppers: February 2015
February continued to display some chart topping prowess from our labels and artists, and as always, we love taking the time to give them a shoutout for their awesomeness. Highlights from February include the inimitable Torche (have you played their game, Torche vs Robots, yet?), the supergroup Revolution Saints and their self-titled debut, Dangerbird Records’ Butch Walker, who snagged a #1 New Artists spot on Billboard and a whole lot of other placements, and the Norwegian Folk artist, Tønes. On the film front, Minecraft: Into The Nether is still making itself known week on week, and the moving Documentary Point and Shoot snagged a #1 spot on iTunes’ Top Documentary Movies chart in the U.S.
Well done, folks!
WEEK ENDING MARCH 1, 2015
Billboard Top 200 Albums
#133 — Torche: Restarter (Deluxe Edition) [Relapse Records]
#198 — Revolution Saints: Revolution Saints [Frontiers Records]
Billboard Current Albums
#56 — Torche: Restarter (Deluxe Edition) [Relapse Records]
#84 — Revolution Saints: Revolution Saints: [Frontiers Records]
Billboard Top Album Sales
#61– Torche: Restarter (Deluxe Edition) [Relapse Records]
#99 — Revolution Saints: Revolution Saints [Frontiers Records]
Billboard Independent Albums
#13– Torche: Restarter (Deluxe Edition) [Relapse Records]
#17 — Revolution Saints: Revolution Saints [Frontiers Records]
#27 — Black Star Riders: Killer Instinct [Nuclear Blast]
#11 — Torche: Restarter (Deluxe Edition) [Relapse Records]
Mello Music Group Lacks No “Persona”
2015 is going to be a banner year for our friends at Mello Music Group. Out next week, Persona not only embodies the vision of Michael Tolle, founder of Mello Music Group, it’s also a great sneak peak of what’s in store for the label in 2015. The album consists of all exclusive content and spans the majority of the Mello Music Group roster. More than just a label sampler, Persona also succeeds at echoing the all-too-present societal undertones of racial discrimination, excess for the 1%, and the deepening economic disparity plaguing our youth and inner cities. And this isn’t all that Persona touches on: the intertwining stories throughout the record beautifully weave throughout each track creating tension and release like that of a Jazz virtuoso. To borrow from the album’s notes…
“Persona unveils the murderer’s row that is the Mello roster of 2015. Oddisee, Apollo Brown, yU, L’Orange, Red Pill, Open Mike Eagle, Rapper Big Pooh, Quelle Chris. The stars of the present teamed with timeless innovators like Phonte (Little Brother), Blockhead, Ras Kass, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Oh No, Masta Ace, and Bilal Salaam. The result is something that binds current greats with the pioneers who paved the asphalt. It’s both a historical moment and hard as hell.”
And while this is a long look into what’s to come in 2015 from MMG, it’s barely enough to whet the palate. There are some amazing albums in the works from new additions to the label (see Kenn Starr and Rapper Big Pooh) as well as some true bangers from the tent-pole artists, Oddisee and Apollo Brown. There’s also real excitement from the bullpen, the up-and-comers L’Orange and Red Pill. And while calling L’Orange an “up-and-comer” might do a disservice to his early body of work (see Orchid Days and The City Under The City), you are likely to recognize his name better before the year is out. There are some more surprises in the works too, but we can’t share those details just quite yet. You’ll just have to stay tuned for that!