An addendum to The Mynabirds feature I posted this morning (read it here, or actually if you’re reading this in the blog, just scroll down): Pitchfork came out with the review of their new album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, and gave it an unheard of 8.0 rating — unheard of, that is, for a Saddle Creek Records release. Among the review’s bon mots (which is here):
“The charm of the record isn’t a matter of reinventing familiar sounds so much as working within them with comfort and grace. Nothing sounds overworked. If anything, Burhenn and Swift present the songs in an understated manner, confident in the quality of the material and the strength of her voice.”
Adding to Pitchfork‘s applause, I will say that WWLITFWGITF (how’s that for shorthand?) is the best album Saddle Creek has released since Mama, I’m Swollen, and that The Mynabirds is the first signing since Rilo Kiley with the critical and commercial appeal of the label’s original Big Three (BE/Faint/Cursive). Now it’s just a question of how they market the album — which is a huge riddle in this era of industry decline. Because the fact is, there may not be anything Creek could do to make this record sell well. As an example, I give you Georgie James, a band that (as Burhenn says in the interview) did everything expected of a successful indie rock band, including an appearance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and in the end, that record still only sold just north of 4,000 copies. It’s not just about quality and touring anymore. It’s about getting one of your songs licensed for a television commercial or prominently used in a critically acclaimed motion picture or television show. It’s about having a video that somehow “goes viral,” or getting mentioned on an A-list celebrity’s twitter feed. It’s about luck. And despite what anyone says, you can only make so much luck on your own.
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Tonight at Slowdown Jr. it’s Lawrence indie rockers Cowboy Indian Bear with Honey & Darling and Ghosty. CIB brings the rock, and is definitely worth checking out, especially for a mere $5. Show starts at 9.
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