News for Low

NEWS : WED, SEP 23, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Low’s ‘Ones and Sixes’ : On The Charts and On The Road

Landing firmly (yet gently) at #35 in the U.K. Top 40 official albums and #68 here in the U.S. on SoundScan’s Top Current Albums charts, Low’s new Ones and Sixes has earned the group its highest-ever debut in the U.K., and its second-best showing in the U.S.

Over the airwaves this week, Ones and Sixes is currently # 13 on the CMJ Top 200 chart, and is seeing strong support from NonComm reporters, with confirmed sessions at KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” (November 16th), WXPN’s “World Cafe” (airdate TBD), KCMP’s The Current (view here), KEXP, and more.

Ones and Sixes is also one of the best-reviewed albums of Low’s career (horn toot!) with international acclaim from the likes of NPR Music, Paste, Rolling Stone, SPIN, Boston Globe, Pitchfork, Under the Radar, The Guardian, The Observer, DIY, Q, MOJO, Uncut, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Chicago Tribune, CLASH, The Sunday Times, Dusted, NOW,  and more. And the band are the current cover stars of MAGNET’s September issue, interviewed by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (view cover / read an excerpt of the story here).

Low’s headlining North American and European tour in support of Ones and Sixes is currently underway, with a show tonight, Wednesday, September 23rd in Boston at Brighton Music Hall, and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA at the Crocodile. When the band returns to the EU on tour in October, they’ll also play their largest headlining date at London’s iconic Roundhouse on October 10th. (see details below)

- - - - -

May we suggest that you trade your dollars for this intoxicating new record*?  Ones and Sixes is available now from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp

*Thrilled (and sorry) to report, that the limited “Loser Edition” of the double-LP (yellow vinyl + variant slipcase cover) is sold out on megamart.subpop.com.  So we encourage you to (respectfully) stalk your local independent record store for this special edition.  It’s also available from the the band themselves at their upcoming tour dates.

Ones and Sixes, featuring the standouts “No Comprende,” “What Part of Me,” “Lies,” “Gentle,” and “No End,” was co-produced by the band and engineer BJ Burton at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


You might like to know (as we did) what “They” are saying about Low’s Ones and Sixes:

“It’s one thing for Low to have made a rewarding career of spare, dramatic, glacially paced music…It’s another to make those ingredients sound so incredibly dynamic; to spend 20-plus years making a dozen albums that each feel distinct, and that each introduce new ideas, twists and ways to wring drama out of the space between notes…Throughout Ones and Sixes, the Minnesota trio somehow gives weight to airiness as comfort and discord orbit each other like a binary star. But every time the portent threatens to become overbearing — just as the mix of prettiness and heaviness tips a little too far out of alignment — Low punctures it with a burst of cleansing aggression or some pristine, exquisite surprise. Anything to keep us off balance.” [“First Listen”] - NPR Music

“The band’s strengths are here in abundance, but they are reimagined, twisted into new shapes and given a visceral intensity that is utterly irresistible.” [9/10] - CLASH

“…Striking a balance between their majestic, slow-moving melancholy and harsher experimental noise.” [4/5] - The Guardian

“One of the most impressive albums of their career” [4/5] - MOJO

“‘What Part of Me,’ with its upbeat percussion, fuzzy guitar textures and sweet harmonized lyrics about relationship boundaries (‘What part of me don’t you own?’), feels like a sideways response to the post-1989 maximalism of today’s Top 40; “Into You” is a gospel-inflected, subtly sexy slow jam; and “The Innocents” sets accusatory vocals over a crunching electro-industrial beat, all to excellent effect. Elsewhere, on the gentle, pained duet “Lies,” Low remind us they’re still masters of doing a lot with a little.” - Rolling Stone

“Ones and Sixes is all at once beautiful, ugly, tense, warm, inviting and repellent. It’s an emotional and sonic juggling act where even the slightest bum-note would draw attention to itself. As always with Low, the beauty is all about the details” - Pitchfork

‘Ones and Sixes is an ear-pricking listen.’ [Album of the Week] -  The Observer

“Beautiful desolation….coolly exhilarating”  [4/5] -  Q

“Ones and Sixes finds them producing some of their best work in years” - The Quietus

“It’s another subtly heart-rending effort from a band that remains one of the very finest in the world. If you needed a reminder of why Low are an institution then this is it.” [8/10] - Drowned in Sound

“Somehow, with each new release (and they come regularly, every two or three years), Low manage to find new ways of protracting their deceptively beautiful melodies.” [4.5/5] - Music OMH

“Ones and Sixes hinges on tension that courses throughout these 12 songs. The drums land with a thud, as if transferred from modern R&B and hip-hop. They anchor songs that crackle with bits of distortion and chiming guitars that somehow feel disembodied from everything surrounding them. Then, in keeping with a signature Low move, there is the spectral spark created by Parker and Sparhawk singing together; their alchemy is otherworldly and downright intoxicating.” - Boston Globe

“With Ones and Sixes they’ve pulled together many of their disparate sides in a masterful survey of what makes them one of the great rock bands of their era.” - Dusted

“Ones and Sixes sees Low churning out some of their most accessible work, with “What Part of Me” having the potential to be an unlikely hit. As ever, strong stuff in every way.” [4/5] - Record Collector

“Low’s always been good at making records where it sounds like every note and beat contains some degree of pain and hope you’ve felt. So hopefully it’s compelling when this one stands out even more as one of their best.” [8.1 /10] - PASTE

“Low remain as vital as ever” - DIY

“After two decades, a band that could easily feel part of the wallpaper remain hungry to show that you never know what lies beneath” [8/10] - Uncut

“Comfortably ahead of the pop pack” - The Sunday Times

“Masters of transforming emptiness into swelling, sweeping orchestrations of musical and mental noise, Low are truly intense and joyful on their newest exhibition of off-kilter, subterranean pop.” [4/5] - NOW


Tour Dates

Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*
Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space*
Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^
Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =
Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^
Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =
Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =
Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =
Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =
Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =
Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =
Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =
Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =
Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival
Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =
Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =
Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^
Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =
Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +
Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =
Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*
Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*
Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*
Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*
Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile*
Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
 
* w/ Andy Shauf
^ w/ Two Gallants
+ w/ Chelsea Wolfe
= w/ Mike Noga

For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, SEP 11, 2015 at 7:30 AM

It’s Release Day For Low’s ‘Ones and Sixes’!

Low onessixes type 600

We couldn’t be prouder to release Low’s 11th album Ones and Sixes into the great wide world today! 

[ Listen to the full album stream right here. ]

Ones and Sixes has earned Low international acclaim from the likes of NPR Music, Under the Radar, The Guardian, DIY, Q, MOJO, Uncut, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Chicago Tribune, CLASH, The Sunday Times, and more. And the band are the current cover stars of MAGNET’s September issue, interviewed by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (view cover / read an excerpt of the story here).

Low’s previously announced North American and European tour in support of Ones and Sixes, begins September 18th in Madison, WI and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA. (see below for dates + ticket links)

Ones and Sixes is available for purchase from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp.  [ Loser edition LPs are sold out in the Mega Mart (sorry and thank you!), so head to your local purveyor of fine vinyl records today if you want to snag a Loser Edition LP on that stunning yellow vinyl. ]  Whatever format you get - you’re ears will thank you.


[ photo by Zoran Orlic ]


Tour Dates

Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon*
Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*
Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club*
Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB*
Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*
Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space*
Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^
Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =
Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^
Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =
Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =
Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =
Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =
Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =
Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =
Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =
Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =
Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival
Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =
Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =
Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^
Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =
Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +
Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =
Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*
Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*
Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*
Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*
Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile*
Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
 
* w/ Andy Shauf
^ w/ Two Gallants
+ w/ Chelsea Wolfe
= w/ Mike Noga

For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.

Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : FRI, SEP 4, 2015 at 6:30 AM

Listen: Sharon Van Etten interviews Low’s Mimi Parker for “All Songs Considered” + ‘Ones and Sixes’ First Listen

Low 2015 promo 01 zoranorlic 3030x1500 300

Low’s Mimi Parker was interviewed by singer/musician Sharon Van Etten, and you can hear their conversation on NPR’s “All Songs Considered” today [listen here].

In other exciting news, you can now listen to Low’s Ones and Sixes via NPR Music’s “First Listen” (North America), The Guardian (Europe), Les Inrocks (France) and 3voor12/VPRO (Netherlands) in advance of the album release this coming September 11th.

[ Photo credit: Zoran Orlic ]


Also in the spirit of (not so) subtle horn-tooting, we should mention that the Ones and Sixes track “What Part of Me” was featured on NPR’s “Heavy Rotation.” WXPN’s Bruce Warren selected the track and says: “’What Part of Me’ is a haunting, simple, pleading new song from the Minnesota band’s forthcoming album Ones and Sixes. Since the early ’90s, the trio has been making quietly gorgeous songs with slow tempos and minimal arrangements. Low’s aesthetic has come to be known as ‘slowcore,’ and while it’s never strayed far from that sound, its members have kept the narrow musical genre in which they work fresh and inspiring. Low continues to evolve on ‘What Part Of Me’: The band picks up the tempo just a bit as Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker harmonize over an evocative melody, asking a simple question that digs into the heart of what commitment means between two people.” (see “Heavy Rotation” August 26th)


Low’s Ones and Sixes releases on CD / LP / DL worldwide Friday, September 11th and, as you might suspect (or demand), it’s also available for pre-order from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” of the LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and via megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last).


Tour Dates:

Sep. 04 - Wiltshire, UK - End of the Road Festival

Sep. 05- Stradbally, IE - Electric Picnic

Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon*

Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*

Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club*

Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB*

Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*

Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*

Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space*

Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*

Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^

Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =

Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^

Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =

Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =

Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =

Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =

Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =

Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =

Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =

Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =

Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =

Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival

Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =

Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =

Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^

Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =

Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +

Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =

Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*

Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*

Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*

Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*

Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*

Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*

Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*

Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile*

Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s

 

* w/ Andy Shauf

^ w/ Two Gallants

+ w/ Chelsea Wolfe

= w/ Mike Noga

 [ For ticket info, please visit the band at http://chairkickers.com/shows. ]


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, AUG 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Low’s Alan Sparhawk & Mimi Parker host Reddit AMA - Share New Track “Lies”

Reddit ama promo 8 18 15

Low’s Alan Sparhawk & Mimi Parker hosted a Reddit AMA, fielding questions from fans about the band’s career including their forthcoming record Ones and Sixes. The AMA happened on Tuesday, August 18th [read it here].

Low also shared new track “Lies,” the third offering from Ones and Sixes, which premiered earlier today via Spotify [listen here].

- - - - -

Low’s previously announced North American and European tour in support of Ones and Sixes, begins September 18th in Madison, WI and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA. They’ll also play their largest headlining date in London’s iconic Roundhouse on October 10th. [For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.]

Sub Pop releases Low’s Ones and Sixes on CD / LP / DL worldwide on Friday, September 11th, and is currently available for pre-order from the Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, Amazon, and Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” of the LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and of course megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last).

Tour Dates

Sep. 03 - Bergen, NO - Perfect Sounds Forever Fest @ Landmark

Sep. 04 - Wiltshire, UK - End of the Road Festival

Sep. 05- Stradbally, IE - Electric Picnic

Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon*

Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*

Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club*

Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB*

Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*

Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*

Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space*

Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*

Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^

Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =

Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^

Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =

Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =

Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =

Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =

Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =

Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =

Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =

Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =

Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =

Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival

Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =

Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =

Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^

Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =

Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +

Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =

Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*

Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*

Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*

Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*

Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*

Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*

Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*

Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile*

Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s

 

* w/ Andy Shauf

^ w/ Two Gallants

+ w/ Chelsea Wolfe

= w/ Mike Noga


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, AUG 3, 2015 at 6:10 AM

Hear Low’s ”What Part of Me” from upcoming album ‘Ones and Sixes’

Whilst awaiting their upcoming album, you can now hear Low’s “What Part of Me” the group’s affecting new single and second track release from Ones and Sixes.  The Quietus, had this to say of the track: “It’s just over three minutes of the band’s fuzzy, melodic charm, laying Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s harmonized vocals over a slightly spectral setting (see song premiere August 3rd).”

Ones and Sixes is currently available for pre-order here, and also on Bandcamp. The limited “Loser Edition” LP on yellow vinyl will be available from select independent record stores and megamart.subpop.com (while supplies last). For those who like to wear their music, two new T-shirt designs will also be available, either as individual items or as part of CD/LP bundles.  



[ Photo credit: Zoran Orlic ]

Low’s Ones and Sixes releases on CD / LP / DL worldwide Friday, September 11th.

Their previously announced North American + European tour in support of Ones and Sixes, begins September 18th in Madison, WI and ends November 21st in Seattle, WA. They’ll play their largest headlining date in London’s iconic Roundhouse on October 10th. And now, there are a few additional shows preceding and following the band’s fall trek:  Perfect Sound Forever Fest in Bergen, Norway (September 3rd); UK appearances at both the End of the Road and Electric Picnic Festivals  (September 4th-6th / select dates); and their newly rescheduled Philadelphia date at Johnny Brenda’s (February 1st). For up to date information on tickets please visit http://chairkickers.com/shows.
 
Tour Dates
Sep. 03 - Bergen, NO - Perfect Sounds Forever Fest @ Landmark
Sep. 04 - Wiltshire, UK - End of the Road Festival
Sep. 05- Stradbally, IE - Electric Picnic
Sep. 18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon*
Sep. 19 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall*
Sep. 21 - Toronto, ON - The Mod Club*
Sep. 22 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz PDB*
Sep. 23 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall*
Sep. 24 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
Sep. 25 - Hamden, Connecticut – The Ballroom at The Outer Space*
Sep. 26 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Oct. 07 - Manchester, UK - Cathedral ^
Oct. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Art School =
Oct. 10 - London, UK - Roundhouse ^
Oct. 12 - Koln, DE - Gebaude 9 =
Oct. 13 - Hamburg, DE – Knust =
Oct. 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Vega =
Oct. 15 - Stockholm, SE – Kagelbanan =
Oct. 17 - Berlin, DE – Lido =
Oct. 19 - Munich, DE – Ampere =
Oct. 20 - Bologna, IT - Teatro Antoniano =
Oct. 22 - Zaragoza, ES - Las Armas =
Oct. 23 - Barcelona, ES – Bikini =
Oct. 24 - Valencia, ES - Deleste Festival
Oct. 26 - Madrid, ES - Teatro Lara =
Oct. 27 - Santander, ES – Escenario =
Oct. 29 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso ^
Oct. 30 – Tourcoing, FR – Le Grand Mix =
Oct. 31 - Brussels, BE – AB +
Nov. 02 – Paris, FR – Le Divan du Monde =
Nov. 11 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*
Nov. 12 – Omaha, NE – Reverb Lounge*
Nov. 13 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge*
Nov. 14 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex*
Nov. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour*
Nov. 18 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall*
Nov. 20 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir*
Nov. 21 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile*
Feb. 01 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
 
* w/ Andy Shauf
^ w/ Two Gallants
+ w/ Chelsea Wolfe
= w/ Mike Noga


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : MON, AUG 3, 2015 at 5:30 AM

Selective Listening: Notes from the desk of the General Manager… (August 2015)

Selectivelistening spblog 2

Selective Listening: Notes from the desk of the General Manager, August 2015.

Now that’s what we call a BM*!

Because I have a very TOP LEVEL and (let’s just say…) incisive understanding of the contents of my email inbox, I was recently made aware of an interesting and modest experiment in music distribution put together by a musical trio from Minneapolis called The Hand, whose members have all done or still do time in other bands and whose mean age is 46 (approximately 750 in band years, and near-certain assurance of their lifelong anonymity). You can read all about it yourself here. And, this thing is interesting for a bunch of reasons, not least of which is the following description, which, to me, seems like a pretty good raison d’être for any band or any record label still standing, and one which we’d unabashedly steal or co-opt were we not, at some root, dna-type level, constitutionally unable to full-stop commit to anything so definite and old guard as a mission statement.

It goes like this:

“we promise to never put up anything we don’t think is worth $4, and to try not to be boring and/or behave like “professional musicians” with a “career” (because we’re not and we don’t). you promise to not….i dunno, be an asshole about the whole thing.”

Right?

Not at all coincidentally (because it was only his email to me on the subject which managed to disrupt my usual laser-ish focus on important business-related matters here in the professional music business), I am familiar with one of the folks responsible for this thing: it’s our old friend Zak Sally! Zak is probably best known to you for playing bass in Low for 10 or 12 years. He is further known to me as one of those people who provide plain evidence of my own laziness in way that is frustratingly difficult to ignore (and I have tried…). In addition to his time spent in Low, and doing stuff with The Hand, he’s also a cartoonist, a comics art professor, runs his own small publishing company, and put together an upcoming 2-day festival of independent culture called Autoptic. All this in addition to being a parent, spouse, and exceptionally solid dude. I’m sure there’s more, but I already feel badly enough about myself.

Relatedly! Low, the other very excellent MN-based band mentioned above (whose records it is our good fortune to release unto the world bearing the Sub Pop imprimatur of occasional quality), have a top-notch, BJ Burton-produced new album called Ones and Sixes, coming out in September. We have released a song or songs (who knows?) from this record as clear proof of that aforementioned top-notch-ed-ness. Please listen, love, buy, stream, or otherwise consume, won’t you?

But I digress mid-digression…

What I’m going to go ahead and charitably refer to as my point here is that a good business model, like the one that The Hand put together, is increasingly difficult to find. Why, even seasoned music professionals, like those who I’m told work here at Sub Pop Records, occasionally falter. And here’s where a couple of illustrative examples might fit nicely:

- As it happens and in spite of what we recall as countless magazine articles on the great, cresting popularity of the cupcake trend of the recent past, people are largely unwilling to pay $15.98 for a cupcake with a download code for a full album of mp3s, and this is especially true, to a degree that borders on discriminatory, if your company does not just outright excel at baking or food safety standards compliance.

- Same with sliders!

- Though nearly every single software developer who has ever cold-called and then set up a meeting with us [or… my boss, which I then had to attend when she bailed for more interesting or relevant uses of her time,] has practically, though not exactly, in so many words, GUARANTEED us that just having an app, regardless of what that app might do, is a disruptive, game-changing, fucking RAINMAKER, we have come to learn that there are shockingly few people interested in GrungeSquish-ing a selfie at $1.29 a pop.

- Suffice it to say that we were profoundly surprised to learn, only after pouring great, pornographic sums of money into the much-ballyhooed new SAP streaming service for MIDI-fied music, that today’s savvy music consumers expect or even demand more than one album from the catalog of such a streaming service. Further suffice it to say that SAP still seems marginally more interesting than Pono.

As a company which has overtly (for a carefree, golden time before the Business Affairs Dept. noticed…) declared ourselves “Going Out of Business Since 1988,” it’s probable we’re not anyone’s first source of insight on how to navigate the complicated mess of the music business ca. right about now. That’s probably for the best and anyway, who cares?

As long as there are outfits like The Hand coming up with great, innovative BMs (and we occasionally wake up long enough to steal their ideas), it’s alright. We can have our cupcake and listen to it, too.

*With “BM,” of course, I mean to evoke “Business Model.”



Posted by Chris Jacobs