It’s drop day for two of Saddle Creek’s biggest releases of the year. Cursive’s Happy Hollow and Eric Bachmann’s To The Races both officially go on sale today. Will there be big parades or fanfare of any kind? “Not really anything that comes down to one day or a blitz,” said Saddle Creek Records executive Jason Kulbel in an e-mail. “The blitz is really spread out in the three months prior to a record coming out. By the time the record-release day comes, most of the work is done. After that, we start focusing on tours, etc.”
Well, there may be no parades down 13th & Webster, but there appears to be the beginning of a a parade of reviews for Happy Hollow, including this one posted today at punknews.org which calls the record “Cursive’s most complete work to date and arguably its best,” giving it 4 1/2 stars. The Washington Times chimes in with this comment, stating, “Like the middle-American tensions and anxieties portrayed in the lyrics, it’s a swirling, sometimes violent collision of sounds and styles.” I’m not sure if that’s a rave or a pan. Even MTV.com mentions the release here as part of a “new releases” wrap-up, asking “…could even bigger and better things be in store for Tim Kasher and company?” You’ve seen my take on both records (the Cursive profile is here; the Bachmann review, here). I talked to a certain Omaha retail music executive who told me that he thought Happy Hollow could be Creek’s biggest seller ever — and that includes Bright Eyes. We’ll see.
Incidentally, I tried to pry some info from Kulbel about Creek’s upcoming 100th release (Ladyfinger (NE)’s debut, locked in for Sept. 26, is LBJ-98 (Creek fans know that “LBJ” stands for Lumberjack, the label’s old name)). Asked if something special is in store for 100, Kulbel only said, “Yeah, something. Just not sure what that will be yet.” Sure you don’t, Jason…
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