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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Raconteurs Coming to Seattle in April; Trying to Kill Music Journalism Now

posted by on March 18 at 11:36 AM

Sort of. Or not. Maybe. It’s your call, really.

First, the good news: The Raconteurs, Neumo’s, April 21. It’s not yet posted on Neumo’s website, but it is on the band’s MySpace page (thanks for the tip, Patrick).

raconteurs.jpg

Now, the rest of the news: The Raconteurs are releasing a new album in one week. There will be no months of publicity, no chance for music journalists to hear the album before everyone else and review it for their magazines/blogs/newspapers/etc—everyone gets the record at the same exact time.

From the band’s press release:

The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception.

With this release, The Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important “first week sales”. We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it.

Read the whole press release after the jump.

Over at Idolator, they’re currently discussing who this experiment is aimed at.

Of course this isn’t going to kill music journalism. But it forces some interesting exploration on what it means to be a critic in the day and age that everyone is a critic. Is having a record before everyone else what validates a music journalist’s opinion? Or can intelligent record reviews be just as worth while weeks after the album’s already been heard by thousands of fans and they’re all then able to form their own goddamn opinion? Will you still see what Rolling Stone has to say about it? Or will you just grab it off Limewire, Soulseek or whatever and decide for yourself?

I’m also curious to see how the album’s sales do. Will they still have their biggest week the first week out of the gate with this storm of publicity that’s concentrated into one week instead of months? Or will it slowly climb as word gets out via fans, critics, and inevitable internet leaks?

This makes me ask a lot of questions. What do you think?

The Raconteurs are happy to announce that in one week’s time their second album, entitled Consolers Of The Lonely, will be available EVERYWHERE Tuesday, March 25th.

“Album” meaning: full length vinyl, CD and digital formats; and “everywhere” meaning: local mom and pop Indie retailers, corporate superstores, supermarkets, iTunes, Amazon, the band’s own website and any other location that could get the record up and going this quickly (some places couldn’t move this fast, so they will join in as soon as they can).

It contains 14 new recordings and is being released globally on Third Man Records in conjunction with our marketing/distribution partners, XL Recordings and Warner Brothers Records.

The album was mastered and completed in the first week of March. It was then taken immediately to a vinyl pressing plant. Then to a CD pressing plant. Then preparations to sell it digitally began. March 25th became the soonest date to have it available in EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE. The band have done no interviews or advertisements for this record before this announcement.

The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception.

With this release, The Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important “first week sales”. We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it.

Another purpose was to also allow people to have their own choice as to exactly which format they would like to hear the album in IMMEDIATELY, rather than having to wait for their favorite format to become available. The band are also not releasing any version of this record that contains bonus tracks. Musically this album will be the same as the band created it no matter what format it is purchased in (The sound quality of each format however, is a different story. The Raconteurs recommend hearing it on vinyl, but the choice is of course up to the listener).

The band also prefer that fans buy the album as a whole instead of breaking up the tracks, but until iTunes and other digital services allows bands to release their albums with the option of NOT breaking it up, it will be sold in that fashion on those particular sites. On the band’s website however, the album will be sold in its entirety as an mp3 at 320kb bit rate. Also in Japan, fans will be able to download the record via their mobile phones, as that is how a majority of recorded music is consumed there.

The reason we are announcing this release one week ahead of time is because of retail pre-ordering and stocking, information about this album’s imminent release was bound to come to light and could be confusing to fans. Also in the event that the record leaks, we didn’t want this method of release to be seen as a REACTION to such a leak. It’s not. The actual worst thing about a leak is the usual poor sound quality, akin to watching a movie on a wristwatch instead of in a theater. Which for the album’s creators is a bit of a letdown, but again, it is completely up to the listener.

There will be a video up on the internet for the first single, “Salute Your Solution”, on the 25th as well, provided it gets edited in time. We just filmed it the other day!

We hope not to confuse anyone with too many options, or deny them the formats that they like best. The Raconteurs feel very strongly that music has worth and should be treated as such. Thank you to all those who respect music in this fashion, and thank you to our label partners for working with us to get this album to fans in as many formats as possible all at once.

RSS icon Comments

1

we are all radiohead now.

Posted by josh | March 18, 2008 12:20 PM
2

Jack White was the best thing to ever happen to Brendan Benson.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 18, 2008 1:25 PM
3

so journalists aren't going to be able to write an article that no one will want to read. that's some real tree falling in a forest shit right there.

Posted by cosby | March 18, 2008 2:52 PM
4

Is Neumo's a good venue? Might be in Seattle then...

Posted by hillpagan | March 18, 2008 3:41 PM
5

Fuck that, Mr. Poe. Brendan Benson was just fine without Mr. White. All three of his solo albums are miles better than any of White's output, including the first Raconteurs record, and Benson can write circles around White.

Seriously, have you heard "Lapalco"? That shit may be the best album of the 2000s.

I wish Brendan would move on to another solo album. However, if this Raconteurs stuff helps fund another one, I can live with that, too.

Posted by beardo | March 18, 2008 3:42 PM

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