Monday, May 04, 2009

Nick Lattanzi

I'm just having a listen to the songs on Nick Lattanzi's web site/blog page. One thing I will say is that this kid's styles are all over the map and I like that. He's being compared to some pretty huge company bellow, and in my opinion he's got some work to do before I would give him such credit.

Those who know me know that I enjoy a great song. It doesn't matter what style or instruments used or the reputation behind the artist. I've now listened to 3 songs and part of one other. I am currently listening to the first "gem" out of the bunch. This one is called "Someone's in Your Corner". I'm not even going to try to describe it just go give it a listen.

Obviously this kid has talent, and if he's playing most of the instruments then full props. Get into a real studio and lay down some tracks, I like the low-fi sound but you need a bit of polishing in the studio. And when I say that I don't mean "Rick Rubin" should be there, I just mean clean up the production a bit.

Great work, I'll be checking out your stuff again!

"Nick Lattanzi is a 19-year old artist from Boston, known for his unique and
independent blend alternative folk, reggae, psychedelic sampling, and hip
hop. Described as "next in the line of the brilliant multi-instrumentalist /
stream of consciousness-ish sound." If you like Beck, Radiohead, Bob Dylan,
you will be blown away."

-Last FM

"Staying true to the American folk tradition, he has played subway stations
and street corners for the past two years, often writing songs in the
process. His simultaneous work with electronic instrumentation and samples
has been notedly influenced by the likes of Radiohead and Fourtet, while his
stream of conciousness style of lyricism takes root in the work of artists
like Beck and Bob Dylan. With two phenomenal albums released onto iTunes and
a third on the way, Nick Lattanzi has established himself as one of the best
kept secrets in the American indie genre"

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

They are so SMRT

Where were you guys 15 years ago, or hell even 6 months ago? If you're an indie artist and want your music on CD in your hands in a professional looking package but don't want to have boxes upon boxes upon boxes of those same cd's sitting in the corner of your garage/jam room, then this may be the answer. Now I am not endorsing this company as I have never personally used them or even read any feedback on them, but they are offering a service like I have never seen in my 15 years in the music business. CD one off's complete with digipack for $2.95! Yes I said ONE OFF's! That's the crazy part. Ok, $2.95 isn't exactly the cheapest I've ever come across, digipack or otherwise, but it's certainly the cheapest in quantities less than 1000!

But wait there's more! For $399 they will release your music to digital retailers such as itunes, as well as Soundscan, AND they take orders for your cd online. All you have to do is make the great music and promote the living hell out of it like you would anyway. It's like they've just taken half the work load off the indie artist.

At a glance it looks a tad expensive to me, but again I'm comparing to the 1000 units ordered price vs this system. I think it's worth paying more per unit and knowing that you won't be stuck with a closet full of cd's.

With the submission to itunes, and other digital retailers I'm a little suspect. I'm not sure if this service is really worth $399, but from past experience I know that it takes a lot of time to do all of this, so perhaps it's better worth it for your time to be spent on your music instead.

I would love to hear from anyone who has used this company, how the service was, and the quality of the product.

Here is an excerp from the company FAQ about how the process works. Check it out:
Take me through how it works exactly.

1. You decide you’re in. You have songs and you want them released.
2. You call us to set it up at 1-888-88-INDIE. At some point, we may allow this to happen online self serve, but for now, to be cautious, we prefer to handle the delicate set up ourselves. We are dealing with people’s babies here, there are a lot of variables and there are usually questions.
3. You pay the $399. We get the ball rolling.
4. We need to collect 3 parts from you in order to create your Test Copy: audio master, artwork and the signed agreement.
5. Once we have these parts from you, we send you a Test Copy of your release. This is SMRT’s greatest feature because you actually get to have a real proof of what it will look like. You check it out, you listen to the CD, you make sure it’s exactly the way you want it. If it isn’t, you resubmit artwork or master ($45 resubmission charge applies) and we send you a new Test Copy. Repeat as required.
6. The way you approve the Test Copy is by ordering your first order of CDs, any quantity of course. When we receive that first order, we know the release is real and ready to go, so we start sending it to digital retailers, and cataloguing it and doing all the data uploads. There’s no turning back at this point.
7. You order any number of CDs you need, anytime. They are ready for pick up or shipment by the end of the day, two business days after the order is received.
8. Over the next 4 to 8 weeks, the tracks will begin to appear in digital retailers and everywhere else we send it (All Music Guide, Gracenote, Soundscan, etc…).
9. When we receive retail or online orders, we create copies and fill the orders. We are stockless and make CDs when they are ordered.
10. You will receive monthly statements of your sales from digital, online and retail. We pay you monthly by direct deposit and will secure that information from you at the appropriate time.
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Friday, May 01, 2009

I'm Ready for New Music

For a number of reasons, mostly called "life", I've been really struggling to get fully back into this whole running an indie "record label/music blog". I try my best to post regularly but still it's not uncommon for me to go a few weeks between posts. When I moved to Mexico just over a year ago I did somewhat disconnect from my musical DNA. I can't go see live shows like I used to, or listen to radio (as crappy as it was usually it still kept me on my toes and in the loop as far as pop music goes). I don't have a close circle of friends who are really into new music here. However I do have the internet and cover bands playing Hotel California over and over with bad renditions of I Shot the Sheriff as relief from the "raisin rock" standards. But enough whining about waking up to the warm Caribbean air EVERY morning.

As the old school readers of this blog may remember when we were called "The Steamroller E-Zine", we used to do regular reviews of indie bands. Often we would go out and try to attract bands to promote, and in turn they would help promote the blog. Win-win for everyone. Anyway, since I have been slacking off over the past year and change, and my posts have been less regular, and I've stopped looking for bands to write about, it seems they have started finding me. I get probably between 10-20 bands sending me their music, or press releases, tour dates, etc each week. I do my best to give them all a listen, and if they send me something that's blog ready I'll usually plug them on The Steamroller.

What I am trying to do now is get back to reviewing bands and encouraging more bands to submit their music or just bio's and press releases. I can't write about them all obviously, but I am always looking for new music to listen to myself. In fact so far this year, I've found myself really craving something new and exciting or dare I say it even inspiring! I have got a few reviews in the works already. 2 bands that contacted me and caught my ear. I won't let the cat out of the bag yet as to who, but one of them has been in heavy rotation in my itunes since I downloaded it yesterday.

What's my point here? I want new music, and I want GOOD new music. I don't care what the genre is, but make me love it or make me hate. If I feel nothing towards it, it's not worth the 10010010100100101001001's it's stored on, and likely won't see the light of day passed my inbox.

So what do you say? Blow me away if you think you can: