The Big Announcement

It’s true that I haven’t been around and posting as much as I’d like to in recent months. I’m pretty sure I said in one of the few posts I have managed to put up that I have a good reason for this. And I do. It’s not so much that I haven’t wanted to post or haven’t had anything to post about. But my mind has, admittedly, been elsewhere.

You see, since June, I’ve been working on setting up a record label. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to start a record label, especially by yourself, but it sort of takes over your life. It’s one thing to threaten to start a label—something I’ve done periodically over the last few years—but actually doing it is quite the undertaking, especially if you’re the sort of person, like I am, whose mind tends to run off in about 15 different directions when it ought to be trying to figure out how to register a trademark.

Now, this may not come as a surprise to many of you since I have, several times, alluded to it in not-so-subtle terms on Twitter. But the next part is news.

The first 7” is on its way. The test pressings are due any day now. Once I’ve heard those, I’ll be able to be more specific about a release date, but for now, we’re aiming for some time in January. But now, I suppose you’ll also want to know what that 7” is going to be.

Do you remember Possimiste, the absurdly talented 19-year-old Estonian folk pop composer I wrote about back in April? We’ve spent the last several months working on a little EP for you. And not just any EP, a storybook EP! You read that right. Some of you who are children of the ’80s will remember these. Not only will it include the newest single by Possimiste, but a new fairy tale, written and recorded (with musical accompaniment, of course!) to complement the new song, all packaged inside a companion picture book!

It’s been a long, exciting (and sometimes terrifying) road getting to this point, but I’m so excited for you to hear the final product. I’ve listened to the song at least 200 times by this point, and I still love every second of it. I hope you will, too. And, at the risk of building your expectations too much, I’ll also mention one last thing. The single was (masterfully) mastered by producer/engineer/composer Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Nico Muhly) at Greenhouse Studios in Reykjavik. Yeah, that’s right, Valgeir Sigurðsson.

So, people, get ready, there’s a label comin’. (And some additional details, as they become available…)

For now, here’s an old Possimiste song.

New Amsterdam Records severely affected by Hurricane Sandy

I had something else scheduled to post today, but in light of recent events, I think there are more pressing issues at hand. By now, you are probably at least aware of hurricane Sandy and the damage it’s done in New York and all up and down the Eastern Seaboard, if not still soaking wet from it. Even I’ve been blown around a fair bit by the storm this week and I’m a good 500 miles away from the worst of it.

Among the New York neighborhoods hardest hit by Sandy is the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, which also happens to be the home of New Amsterdam Records. If you’ve read my stuff before, chances are you’ve at least heard me mention them. I think they are, by far, one of the most innovative labels around. According to an email I received this morning, the NewAm headquarters were devastated by four feet of sewage and seawater that flooded the converted warehouse space earlier this week. Among the casualties were many instruments, vintage synthesizers, and nearly 70% of their catalog of CDs (CDs which are officially owned by the artists, not by the label).

A swift cleanup will be vital, but expensive. In order to offset some of the cost of the recovery, NewAm have set up a Facebook page where you can learn more about exactly what happened, see photos of the damage, and donate to the recovery effort. Since NewAm is a non-profit, all donations should be tax deductible as far as I know (at least in the US).

Note: I’m sure New Amsterdam wasn’t the only small label severely affected by this megastorm. If you know other small labels or artists who suffered severe losses, let me know (email: the.indiehandbook@gmail.com). I’ll at least post a list or something.