This is an entertaining article, but there was worse signings than these idiots. I can think of groups that got way more up front money and never even released a record. This was the go-go 90’s for god sake! It was a crazy time and the pinnacle of industry excess and over-spending.
However, anyone reading this that doesn’t immediately see that the band did this to themselves and was a disaster waiting to happen from the beginning should have their head examined. This wasn’t a case of a band coming undone because the label “seduced them with unrealistic claims” - these guys were a ticking time-bomb that probably lasted longer and went further then they ever should have. They were completely responsible for what happened and have no-one to blame but themselves. And their manager, too… but they hired him!
some quick thoughts on how music retailing should work
excuse this stream-of-consciousness style post and any grammar or spelling errors.
- we need to be able to buy music directly from our mobile phones. It would be great if it could be purchased and then have the bill routed to our mobile provider, so say I fire up my blackberry, and purchase an album, that album shows up on my t-mobile bill at the end of the billing cycle. Now how the label, retailer, and service provider work out the billing details I don’t really care, but I know it can be done. For all I care I could set-up a thing where my credit card or bank account is connected to my mobile service provider, and when I buy the album the money is transferred directly from my account, then I would’t see it on the bill at the end of the month. Either way is fine by me, but to tackle the problem of getting over the “credit card mandatory for purchase” issue they would need to figure out a way of net 30 (or similar) terms.
- albums need to be available for purchase in mp3 or another open format so they can be used across multiple devices and computers. A lot of people have more than one cell phone, more than one ipod, more than one computer, etc. etc. etc. Offer a format at a higher price-point for albums that can play across any number of devices, and then maybe offer a lower-price option with DRM that can only be used on your mobile phone or ipod. I think people will pay for the freedom of music across all their devices when given the choice.
- The reason we need to buy albums from our mobile devices is because the key to making people want to pay for music is to make it CONVENIENT and EASY for them to do so, or offering them a PREMIUM. Thats why iTunes works. It could work even BETTER however by enabling it on ALL mobile devices. Additionally, in line with the long tail principle, EVERYTHING needs to be available on this “platform”. iTunes is pretty good, rarely do I look want to buy something and they don’t have it, but I do know that there are albums or old ep’s and such that they don’t have. If there was a store that I could access through my phone that had EVERYTHING and delivered it to me INSTANTLY, I would probably always use that store and I wouldn’t bother downloading from other sources, even if those other sources were free. This is similar to the rational of “you have to get the people where they are” - people need to be able to buy music WHEREVER THEY ARE !
- continuing on this thread, but now focusing on PREMIUM offerings - say a high quality digital album download is $10. Now say that for an additional $6 I of course get the download instantly, but then I get either a physical CD or vinyl LP sent to me also - I would likely take that option every time. Not everyone likes or wants a physical music product, but for those of us that do, we get it for a small mark-up and we get the music instantly.
- a side-effect of all this is that if leaks happen, people will be tempted to download. I think a big reason people don’t buy music is that they can get it for free before it is even available for purchase. There are logistical reasons for having a gap between when an album is finished and when its actually released, and that has to do with marketing & promotion - I don’t have a perfect solution for this other than to say that the gap needs to get smaller or pre-release albums need to be better safe-guarded.
- I imagine a scenario where you pay a yearly fee for an online media “bank” that covers storage space and bandwidth. When you purchase an album via your mobile device as I stated earlier, you have the option to download the tracks to your device, OR send to your media bank. Once they’re stored in your media bank you don’t ever need to download them if you like, you can stream them from any and all of your devices and they are there for you as long as you pay your yearly “bank” service fee. Do the banks pay blanket licensing fees? Do they pay performance royalty fees? Hmmm….
Here’s a puzzling thing. Financial news site Bloomberg has published a story – since picked up by other sites – claiming that Spotify “aims to start U.S. operations in the third quarter”.
It’s based on an interview with the company’s Paul Brown, but nowhere in the piece is he actually quoted as nailing down a specific quarter for the US launch. So we asked Spotify’s communications boss Jim Butcher, and he confirmed that the company hasn’t set itself a Q3 window – the official comment remains ‘later this year’.
With the launch timetable dependent on Spotify’s negotiations with labels and publishers in the US, it’s no surprise that the company is keen not to tie itself down to even a target quarter.
"We’re buying server space in random parts of the states and there are licensing discussions too,” SVP Paul Brown told Bloomberg
The licensing is THE crucial thing preventing Spotify from launching here… the discussions have been going on for awhile already. Until I hear that the licensing agreement is sorted out, I don’t have a lot of faith in an imminent Spotify launch regardless of what they might say. If they can get it together by the end of Summer great, but as of now I don’t see it happening.
Echo And The Bunnymen - No Hands [John Peel Session]
“You think you’re as brittle as me, your only prayer is to kneel with me …”
Echo and the Bunnymen are one of my favorite bands of all-time. They’re always in my personal top 5, and at various times have even been in the top 3. Their music was born in the post-punk era and they are one of its quintessential groups, having a very dark and gloomy sound & appearance in their early days. They would later they would go on to evolve into a more straight-forward college rock sound. A lot of people were introduced to them through the opening titles of Donnie Darko where their song “The Killing Moon” was used to great effect. It was one of the highlights of the films soundtrack which has been highly regarded since the film caught on as a cult classic. Their first four albums are all, A+, 5-star certified classics - and they feature some of the most gorgeous cover photography I have ever seen.
Anyway, about this track - its definitely one of the darker songs from an already dark band. It was done during one of their John Peel sessions, and I don’t think it was ever released until the Crystal Days box-set was released. It’s a textbook post-punk song, using a stark & minimal percussion rhythm underneath a dominant dark, moody bassline. Ian McCullochs vocals compliment the sound perfectly and the lyrics are eerily evocative. I honestly love everything about it. There’s a bunch of other great tracks they did for Peel, and the Crystal Days set also includes some other rarities and unreleased stuff that is spectacular in my opinion.
They have been going out on the road and recording new music the last few years, so if they come through your town I would urge you to go see them live. The NME did a great article recently where they compiled some photos of Ian with some of his legendary quotes. On the topic of ‘Ocean Rain’, the album which ‘The Killing Moon’ first appeared on, Ian said: "It’s the greatest album ever made." You gotta love that. See the rest of them here.
I love new thinking when it comes to music marketing & promotion. Personally I am a big fan of the ‘free download in exchange for email address’ strategy that is quickly becoming a standard industry practice. If you think about it, it’s a phenomenal deal - you get a free track and all you have to do is give them an email address (no-one says it has to be the one that you use primarily). You can always unsubscribe if you don’t want them emailing you. In most cases that I have seen, the artists don’t send out that many emails anyway. Apparently there are some out there who feel inconvenienced by this and would rather not give up their email address in the first place. For those people, The National has figured out a great way to give you the choice - either a free 192Kbps mp3 no questions asked, OR a deluxe download that features hi-res artwork and a higher-quality 320Kbps mp3 in exchange for your email. A great solution indeed - I opted for the deluxe version of course and I recommend you do too.
Here’s another great new band with a lot of promise. They’re called Hurts - yeah, thats right. Hurts. They kinda remind me of the Pet Shop Boys - its two good-looking male brits doing synth pop, although Hurts is quite a bit darker. They’re on a black & white, french new wave visual kick, which is cool. They don’t have much out there, even their website is especially lacking. But no fear! I’ve got some good stuff here for you.
I really dig it, but wait! There’s more! They actually got famed dance producer Arthur Baker to come out of hiding to do a remix of this song. It’s fucking awesome ! I give it a 9/10. Here is a link to it, although this link will probably expire soon. You may have to hunt around for it - I recommend going on Hype Machine and just running a search for “Hurts Arthur Baker”. And while you’re there, you might as well grab the Fred Falke remix of “Unspoken” - it is pretty good too. Of course - and I know this goes without saying - you should BUY THESE SINGLES (and the album) when they’re available for purchase. The quality of these downloads is very low so you’ll want to get a better version when they’re released. The only reason I advocate downloading them like this is because they’re not currently available for download.
For more info, check their MySpace page. They currently have some dates booked in the UK & Europe if you’re fortunate enough to live there.
I have had mixed feelings about blogging over the years. For one thing, I wasn’t really crazy about the blogging “platform” - I felt it was cannibalizing actual websites (I still think this) and taking away from the experience of visiting a well-designed and maintained website. This gave way to the next problem - it made updating a website and posting content so easy that overnight millions of average nobodies sprang up and cluttered the internet with banal noise.
The fact that now “everyone has a voice” and everyone is able to broadcast that voice is creating some real problems. Sure its great that a musician can now write, record, and distribute their own music without having to get a record deal or pay for expensive studio time, but so can millions of other aspiring bands out there - and most of them aren’t worth spending a minutes time on. All those shitty musicians clutter up the landscape and make it really difficult to find the decent ones. Its the same thing with blogs, everyone has one but very few actually have something interesting to say. Adding to the problem is that a lot of people don’t even know how to write well, so you have a majority of people talking about things that aren’t interesting and doing it very poorly. Or you might find someone WITH something interesting to say, but they can’t write coherently. These problems didn’t exist when we had “gatekeepers” overseeing content creation and requiring that it meet their quality standard before going out into the world for public consumption.
This is a substantial topic of its own, and some very talented people have written about it, such as Jared Lanier with his book "You Are Not A Gadget" and Andrew Keen, the author of “The Cult of the Amateur: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube, and the rest of today’s user-generated media are destroying our economy, our culture, and our values”. Both of these books are on my to-read lists and I have heard great reviews on them. They also discuss other big problems brought-on by the advent of “Web 2.0” and user-created content.
I think I have mentioned previously the problem of signal-to-noise in finding music on the internet. Many people think that the biggest problem with music right now is that there aren’t enough good tools that help people discover music. There are some decent sites & services in existence now that take different approaches at the problem: Hype Machine is a blog aggregator that allows you to see what artists are getting the most attention (or “Hype” as the name implies) at any given moment. It’s important to note that the site makes no distinction or editorial decisions on the quality of a song or artist, however; it just shows you who is being blogged the most. Then you have services like Pandora, that actually dissect music down to its unique song structures & characteristics in an attempt to then find other songs that share similar characteristics. The idea being that if you like one song because of its beat & mood, you might like another song that has a similar beat and mood. It isn’t perfect though, there is no human element in the decision-making, it is all based on “musical DNA” and in my experience, the results aren’t great. Still, the service is new and I will give it some credit. I expect that with time they will improve their recommendations.
Bob Lefsetz, one of the most well-known music industry critics today, wrote recently “This is a huge crisis. And it’s not unsolvable. But it does require a lot of thinking. And a lot of listening. The solution is less about building infrastructure than analysis. We all want great music, who’s gonna serve it to us?” The rest of his article is here. I saw a response article from a site called Indie Music Tech where they posed the question “will a human element remain necessary to the process? If so, what does that look like? Who are the social gatekeepers? Does their influence on an artist’s popularity help or hinder music discovery? How are the social gatekeepers determined?” It’s an interesting question and something that I think about regularly. Who are the modern taste-makers?
I mention all of this because its a big reason why I blog. I had the urge to blog for a long time but I fought against it. I didn’t want to contribute my voice to all the “noise” of the internet when I didn’t really have something unique to say. I also didn’t feel like I was qualified enough at the time. Things have changed since then, and I have grown a lot both personally and professionally. Being in the position that I’m in now, I feel both a responsibility and obligation to comment on music and become a “filter” for the noise. I also want to provide insight into the music business and what it is like to manage an artist, especially at this turbulent time in the history of music. I guess I think about when I was younger and I had dreams of getting into the music business but it seemed so out of reach and unattainable. I had no idea of how the business worked, or how I could get myself into it.
I would urge anyone thinking of starting a blog to really question what their motives are, and to really challenge themselves about what they’re saying; is it really unique or special? Are you in a unique position to be contributing something? Are you an authority on a topic? What makes you an authority, what is your background in said topic?
We should all take responsibility for what we create, and strive to raise the bar of what is worthy content.
I would like to recommend some of my own trusted musical “filters” or tastemakers here, but honestly I’m at a loss. I have a very high standard for good music and in general my tastes aren’t as broad as most people. Nonetheless, I will say that Jason Bentley & KCRW in general usually have good taste, as does guardian. The top indie labels are usually on top of the newest music and the a lot of great bands get their starts on them. It’s good to be aware of their signings and new releases. Some of my favorites are 4AD, XL, Rough Trade, Domino, Modular, Astralwerks, and Moshi Moshi, among many others. RCRD.LBL is a cool site for discovering new music, and I really dig that they have some new models for compensating artists. Allmusic.com is one of the best music resources on the internet, but they also have a great blog that is very well written. Lastly are two internet radio stations that are absolutely fantastic and personal favorites of mine: WAAIR - Analog Airwaves and Pig Radio. I HIGHLY recommend both of these, both are responsible for exposing me to a lot of great new music. Oh, and I can’t stand pitchfork, I make it a point to stay away from that site at all costs.
If you have any sites, services, or “filters” that you really like, send them in to me and if I like them I’ll share them. Enjoy
"I remember being young and hearing music and thinking, ‘I didn’t know music could do that’
Guardian published a great article today about 4AD, one of the most influential and highly respected indie labels ever. I highly recommend reading it.
In terms of indies’, 4AD has it all - a great story, a knack for discovering talent, incredible releases, a funky numbering system, and a strikingly beautiful art direction (mostly thanks to graphic designer Vaughn Oliver) that perfectly tied-in to the experience of the music. It’s also still going strong all these years and despite massive declines in record sales.
This is the label that gave us among many amazing artists, Bauhaus, Modern English, The Pixies, and one of the greatest singles of all time, “Pump Up The Volume” by M|A|R|R|S. If you aren’t familiar with the aforementioned bands, SHAME ON YOU!
The Cocteau Twins were one of the seminal 4AD artists. Their music was beautiful, lush, and evocative, and their album artwork is often considered some of the finest in the labels history. The visual imagery seemed to perfectly compliment the music and helped to strongly define both the artist and the 4AD label.
If you want to see the gorgeous cover artwork of their releases for the first 20 years (1979-1999) check out this fantastic site:
I found this article in my RSS feed today. In summary, one of the guys that founded the popular bittorrent site “The Pirate Bay” did a live web-conference at SXSW today, where he discussed among other things, music and the effects of piracy. Here’s a pull-quote:
“Joining a SXSW panel via webconference from Sweden, Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde downplayed the damages of piracy and called for people to consider drastically different business models and smaller music companies. “The rock star dream is gone,” he told a crowd of about 100 people.”
You can read the article if you’re interested although it doesn’t really go into that much depth about anything. I love that quote, “The rock star dream is gone” - pretty blunt.
What I am wondering is where does he get off saying that, and what the hell does this guy know about music or the business anyway? Why would anyone give any credibility to his opinion on the topic? This is a guy from Sweden who started up one of (if not) the biggest bittorrent websites ever - which probably makes him tech-savvy, and likely up to speed on technology and internet trends. While technology is re-shaping the music business and probably dictating its future, I would not really care about Linus Torvalds or Mark Zuckerbergs thoughts on the industry. There are some technology people who I would consider to have relevant opinions on the topic. Steve Jobs - yes, absolutely. Guy from Pirate Bay - hell no. As if being a cog in the file-sharing factory somehow makes you an expert on the content that is being pirated?
His new business venture has to do with easily sharing money on the internet. I think the intended idea is people will be able to donate money to content creators that they support. It’s actually a novel idea, if they can curb the potential abuse that seems very likely. Still the question remains, what does this guy know about the music industry? He has no music background or experience to speak of, but I guess because people use his service to trade and share music people look to him as some kind of authority on the topic. Maybe they should have spent some of the conference asking him for his views on the film & video-game industries, too.
These days Lady Gaga seems to be everywhere. She’s had a slew of huge hit singles, a mega debut album followed by a pieced-together, rushed-to-market EP meant to cash-in on the momentum of the first, tons of tv appearances, magazine covers, and general media buzz and attention. From pop-radio to upscale nightclubs, from the LGBT crowd to the hipster blog syndicate, it seems like everybody everywhere loves & respects her.
Usually when an artist gets to this level of success you start to see a backlash - overexposure, annoyance, resentment; whatever the reason is, the bigger you get the harder it is to stay on everyones good side. It may be too soon to tell, when you think of it Gaga has only been in the public eye for little more than a year. And I have to admit she has handled her newfound fame very well, not egging on the press or behaving badly in public.
The thing I don’t really understand is what all the hype is about. She’s a decent singer, probably better than your average run-of-the-mill prefab pop-stars, but not exceptional either. It seems like she has some musical ability, I’d like to say she knows how to write a catchy tune but for every song of hers there’s like 3 people sharing the writing credits, so I really don’t know how much of that you can attribute to her. She definitely has a unique style, I’ll give her that, but then again it seems to me like its all gimmick and no substance. Her outfits are usually just silly and obnoxious. She claims that she’s not going for attention, and that all of her outfits have meaning and significance. I’m really not buying it, but maybe I just don’t “get” her fashion… And her looks… well, I actually respect the fact that she’s not a bombshell and that she’s out there making it as a sex-symbol. I honestly think thats really cool.
ok, this poster is pretty cool too, but I doubt she had anything to do with it. This is a gig poster, and its the concert promoters that commission these posters themselves and do not need final approval from the music artists
Let me make it clear, I don’t really have anything against her. When it comes to mainstream pop-stars you could definitely do a lot worse. I first heard of her almost a year ago when I caught the video for “Just Dance”. I had heard of her already but knew nothing about her or her music. When I caught the video I thought “hey, this isn’t too bad for a pop song”. Then that douchebag came on at the end and ruined the good vibe, but I thought it was pretty good aside from that. Following that single I think Pokerface hit radio and that was when I REALLY started to notice her gaining in popularity. However unlike the previous song, I thought “Pokerface” was terrible, just an obnoxious overproduced synthetic beat and lyrics that made me feel like a pre-teen. Of course you couldn’t escape her after that, and everything else I heard just was varying degrees of annoying obnoxious beats that left a bad taste in my mouth. I really felt like she probably could find a better producer to work with, maybe someone that complemented her better and actually brought out the best in her and didn’t overpower her voice with these awful over-the-top beats.
Recently I have heard all this buzz about a new song that she did with Beyonce called “Telephone” so I just literally checked it out before writing this. I have read things saying how “cool” and “interesting” the video is, but whoever wrote that crap had their heads up their asses. Nowhere in this video did I see anything remotely cool or interesting. I really didn’t understand it at all. Was there a point or message to be found somewhere? Was there an artistic statement buried under the convoluted mess of imagery? Was there ANY message? Beyonce didn’t add anything to the song, and she certainly didn’t add anything to the video. It would have been a huge improvement if she hadn’t been involved at all, but even without her this would have been a stupid video.
Speaking just about the song, while I admit that it is kinda catchy and better than most of her other songs, I still don’t think it’s anything special. I guess measured against the other pop music out there like Ke$ha and T-Pain, Gaga sounds like a musical GENIUS, but that is more a criticism of how AWFUL everyone else is. Her subject matter is still quite typical and shallow: I’m out at the club, quit calling me on the phone, I’m busy, I’m busy, I’m busy, wash rinse repeat. Wow, how deep and meaningful. Pop music has really come a long way! Give me a break.
So to reiterate my point, I just don’t understand why everyone thinks she’s so great. In fact, I don’t think anyone understands it - but for whatever reason people are aware of all the hype surrounding Gaga and they’re buying it hook, line, and sinker. Maybe it’s a herd mentality thing; so many people have expressed their love and admiration for her and everyone else feels the need to run with the herd. People see her outfits and they think she’s so unique and brilliant. When enough people buy on, she starts getting critical respect and acclaim in addition to the mainstream popularity. Now you have the critics and hipsters and people who normally reject anything pop or mainstream saying that “she makes it cool to like pop music, it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure anymore”… uh, ok? What the hell does that mean? There has always been respectable pop music, like Erasure or Roxette for instance. I first heard these bands in the late 80’s and I never felt guilty about liking them. There has always been great pop music out there. The difference to me is that their music wasn’t nearly as shallow as pop music is today. A lot of it is in the lyrics. There’s just something weird to me in singing about being in a club and losing your keys, texting a guy that you want to hook-up with… there’s just a limit to how much credibility an artist like that can have. Even if we take credibility out of the discussion, I still don’t see what makes Gaga’s music so different from Britney, Beyonce, Shakira, Christina, or any other female pop singer du jour. I wasn’t crazy about any of them, and I’m not crazy about the latest one either.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti are the latest band to sign to 4AD, which I previously mentioned is one of my favorite labels. I absolutely love this band and I absolutely love this song (still up for debate is my feeling about the artwork - see below). Preview it below, and if you want your own mp3 copy just enter your email address to sign up for their mailing list. Note this is the official Ariel Pink mailing list you’re signing up for, I’m just embedding the widget here for convenience. Enjoy!
NOTE - This is gonna be a really bad show review. When I go out to a show I am going to check-out the band and experience the music. It didn’t even occur to me that I could write about this for my blog until the day after the show, so forgive the style of the review. I wasn’t experiencing it with the intent of writing about it and now that I try to come up with the words it seems forced.
I finally got back out into the “scene” the other night and caught The Big Pink’s show at the El Rey. Turned out to be quite the scene as I kept running into people that I knew, almost all of them in the music industry in some way or another. You know your band is cool when your show is frequented by the LA-hipster-music industry-contingent!
Both The Big Pink and the support band, A Place to Bury Strangers were ”on my radar”. I had only heard a song or two of each and I mentally catalogued them in the “pretty good, need to check-out more of their stuff” file. I hadn’t got around to it before going to the show so it was really my first time experiencing them and I didn’t know much about them going in. I knew that Big Pink was signed to 4AD which is one of my most highly respected labels personally, so if anything I had a bias for them even without hearing much of their music.
The bill for the show was very solid, originally 3 bands but they added a local opener the night before. Both opening bands were actually quite good. Io Echo and Active Child, I recommend checking both of them out. A Place to Bury Strangers was the main support and they were LOUD - not as loud as My Bloody Valentines live show in 2008, but still very loud for the venue. I really don’t understand this practice and I can’t say I’m a fan. I mean, this is MUSIC, right? How the fuck am I supposed to hear and enjoy the music when the sound is literally blowing-out my eardrums? I enjoyed the beginning of their set when it wasn’t at full volume, but as the set went on it just kept building and at some point I just got uncomfortable. That discomfort turned into resentment. It didn’t turn me off of their music completely, but I don’t think I’ll ever attend one of their shows again, nor would I recommend that anyone else does.
The Big Pink finally took the stage around midnight and proceeded to put on a good show. Very good, actually - but not quite great. It was like a movie that you enjoy and entertains you, but doesn’t leave you with a strong lasting impression. I liked their style and vibe, and they had a solid repertoire of songs to perform, but nothing really stood-out that much. Their current hit song ‘Dominos’ was actually one of the low points of the set in my opinion. They made a bold choice not to do any encore, just a big finish. I liked that.
If I was just grading the headline bands I would say it was a 6 out of 10, but the opening bands were so good that they actually brought it up to a 7. Overall a good show, definitely worth the price of admission.
Love the branding / image / look. Marketable as all hell, but her voice isn’t that distinctive. The songs fail to impress, but I’m curious to see how this develops. It’s like La Roux meets Ke$ha (no I won’t even link to her).
some people may see through this as a gimmick to actually buy the hard CD, which it likely is - but the point is that its a GREAT gimmick and I have believed in this idea for awhile. I always loved actually getting a CD and going through the experience of opening it, getting into the artwork and liner notes, really the “whole” of the CD buying experience. I think others would enjoy it as well should they have the chance, the problem is that the current generation of 18-25 year olds missed the last era of that and are now conditioned to believe that a CD and its packaging are useless. I’m not saying its vital or anything, and MP3’s are a far more efficient medium, BUT why not have BOTH, since MP3’s cost nothing to produce. You buy a hard copy of an album like this because there is a premium, something unique that adds to it that you can’t duplicate digitally, AND you get instant access to the music via MP3 download. The best of both worlds.
Anyway, bottom-line is I think this is brilliant and I hope to see more things like it. I was only a casual fan of MGMT but I think its safe to say that I’ll actually buy this.
"The album will come packaged with a 32-page booklet, a coin used to scratch off the cover, and a general cheesiness."
I remember watching this air originally sometime around ‘04-‘05. I knew of the band but wasn’t really crazy about them - I think they were still called just Death From Above at the time (they would later have to add-in the 1979 to avoid confusion with the record label, and it was often abbreviated as DFA 1979). Then I saw this performance which really invigorated me. The part with Max coming in really made it awesome, in fact I have been mentioning it to people ever since but few seem to have actually seen it.
Looking at it now it wasn’t quite as thrilling as I remembered - but that isn’t to say its not great. I still really love this clip, and I think what is hard to see was just how ahead of the curve these guys were. It wasn’t that long ago, but the indie-band landscape was quite different from what we have today. There weren’t a whole lot of 2-piece “bands” or even “dj-bands” or anything like what you see today. There was the White Stripes and that was about it, and these guys were as far from the white stripes as you could get - they’re almost the polar opposite, but they share the “indie” aesthetic and therefore seem much more similar.
Anyhow, while dfa 1979 were off to a great start they burned out prematurely and never fully blossomed - I think they could have gone really far had they kept at it. I never really got into them but I feel like I should really check their stuff out again. Just because I wasn’t crazy about it then doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be exactly what I’m looking for now.
as for the two guys from the band, the bass player Jesse is now one half of the DJ-outfit MSTRKRFT. the other guy is also still a musician. there really isn’t a big back story to their break-up, they claim it was just artistic differences which makes sense if you look at the music each guy is making now. I’m sure there’ll be a reunion at some point.