Singles scene

Local bands dig in with digital
By WILL SPITZ  |  September 12, 2007

DUMPSTER ROCK?: Stephen Brodsky’s Pet Genius celebrate their debut full-length upstairs at the Middle East October 13.

Fall preview 2007
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare. 
“Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash. 
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day. 
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski.
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman. 
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick.
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins.
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman. 
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.

It’s old news: this series of tubes they call the Internet has revolutionized the way music is distributed. Unless you’ve been living under the Charles River for the past five years, you know that you no longer have to go to a store and shell out dough to hear music you’re curious about. And artists, no longer constrained by conventional distribution methods, can share their work with the world immediately after its creation. Middlemen are being cut out. The single is making a comeback. And, so the story goes, everyone’s hearing more music.

In the past, this local-music preview has served as a guide to what local albums are scheduled for release in the coming months. There are plenty of full-length CDs to look forward to this fall, and we’ll get to those soon, but we’ve noticed the local scene trending toward singles, EPs, and digital releases.

Cameron Keiber of Midriff Records — which is releasing a digital-only EP from Beatings frontman ELDRIDGE RODRIGUEZ (. . . And the Thunder Chief; late September), as well as a physical full-length disc from Somerville indie-rock three-piece PENDING DISAPPOINTMENT (New York Penn, NY; October 23; release show at Great Scott October 25) — says that for small independent labels like his, it’s all about cutting costs so they can release more music. “It makes more financial sense to go digital. You have more freedom by cutting out the middle man, and you don’t have to worry about what the fiscal return is going to be. Small labels have a finite amount of money, and you have to figure out how that money is best spent.” He points to Paleo, the Brooklyn singer-songwriter who released 365 songs in 365 days on his Web site. “Why not put out as much music as possible if there’s no cost? It frees up the artist to try more things, to say, ‘I’m going to take a bigger risk here if it costs $300 instead of $2000.’ ”

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Related: Boston music news: February 24, 2006, Perfect pairing, Stop the world, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Alternative and Indie Rock, Steve Albini,  More more >
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