So, I came home from work yesterday and what was laying on our living room floor underneath our mail slot (which, even though it lets in the occasional bug and always the cold air during the winter, is too vintage/historical/awesome to remove and replace with a regular mail box thingy)?? Why a brand-spanking new CD by Polynya called Crop Rotation!
You see, a week or so ago, I got an email from Luke from the band asking me to take a gander at their site and their songs up on the myspacers and though normally, with the bananas crazy number of promo emails I get, I tend to miss (or sometimes even ignore) most, this one caught my eye because a) he emailed me, Aaron, by my name, b) he knew the name of our site, and c) he knew we are based currently in Ohio.
I know what you are thinking…. So what? What’s so significant about all that? Let me explain.
In the current music business model, while everyone is figuring out just exactly how they are supposed to make moneys when 1) people have no moneys and 2) people get all their music for free anyways, one thing labels, bands, etc do is send out mass emails loaded with free mp3s, trying to make their shit smell just a little bit better than the turds dropping in the next stall. What that means is I get a lot of emails address to “Hey man” telling me how much they “dig my site” and how much I’m going to love (insert band name here)!
Sometimes it’s slightly personalized like, “Greetings! I really love your site (insert blog name here)” I wanted to tell you about this great new band!”, well at least they know what site they are writing to, eh? It certainly beats this one…
Yyyo sick blog bro !
totally just discovered it and really love the selection on there from the electro to the house stuff..
Hmm… That one kinda confused me. Am I an electro-to-house blog?
Not sure, but it tells you man, it’s tough out there. When you got everyone and their mother putting a few tracks online or constantly putting remixes of other peoples work online (Oom-chicka-Oom-chicka-Oom), it becomes a white noise, a cacophony of crap that is like walking through JFK Airport in New York after an eight hour flight in coach, just a hot, crowded, noisy mess… So people start hitting the blogs via emails to get a little air time, and after a few bands got some success through that, soon the emails become it’s own mess! What do I do? Do I trust the emails from established labels like Absolutely Kosher? Do I read the 1,000,000 Fanatic Promotions emails? Do I “select all” and hit delete?
Now it looks like a few bands are getting success through iPhone apps, so here come the music app wars! Soon, every band and their mother will be making an app for your album/label/genre/etc… Why? Because a few people have made a few bucks off it, of course. So soon, we’ll have a billion bands on myspace, a billion emails about those bands, and a billion apps to wade through for those bands! HOORAY!
Wanna hear the latest release from Merge Records???
There’s (probably) an app for that!
Wanna wipe your asshole after a particularly disturbing & questionable “Mexican” meal from the restaurant down the street??
There’s an app for that!
Why yes, soon there will be an app for everything…
I’ll tell you, I don’t think I could be a musician in the day and age. It’s hard enough being significant & meaningful as a photographer and blogger, I can’t imagine the difficulties of being significant & meaningful & noticed AND making a few bucks as a band, having to constantly tour, shithole to shithole, playing to a few fans and a whole bunch of dudes who probably wish you would just shut the hell up & finish already because they are about to “close the deal” on that chick with the fake tits that they’ve been feeding Red Bull and vodka all night long making mental notes how going to “ladies night” may pay off after all, who knows, it may even be Lindsay Lohan they are hitting on (the odds are in their favour).
Then, either following blogs, emailing them, hoping one of the big ones will pick you up, maybe Pitchfork will catch wind of you and write a review, any review, 0.0 to 10.0 would be great, maybe Universal’s Stereogum might tell you to quit your day job? And then who knows? Blog hype, going viral, suddenly people wondering & discussing whether you are THE shit or just SHIT (no such thing as bad press, right?). Until your next album comes out and they all forget you ever existed (see Vampire Weekend’s next album).
Yep… couldn’t do it.
I have nothing but respect for musicians who can do it, keep on keepin’ on, year after year. It requires equal parts artistic integrity, business savy, and willful tenacity.
The same is true for blogs (and photographers for that matter). Blogs are a dime, nickel, hell probably a penny-a-dozen at this point. And for the blogs trying to make the moneys, I can imagine the same frustrations hold true, the same road blocks, etc, as they have become just a much a cacophony, a white noise, as the infinite playlist on myspacers.
So you can imagine how refreshing it was to actually have someone write to me, an artist who honestly thinks TSURURADIO and their new album would be a good fit, who is actually reading our site, and knows who he is writing to! So OF COURSE I listen!
If it sucks, you simply move on, if not, if it’s actually quite good and quiet up your alley, then you write back and one little wall in this giant mess of swirling madness is broken down and, as Elastica once sang, “A connection is maaaade”….
bwap… buh-wap-wap.. bwap… BE-YOOOOOOOOO! (my impersonation of Bobby McFerrin covering Elastica)
Well, lucky, lucky me! Because after Luke wrote me, I listened, I liked, I wrote back, he sent, I received, I played, I liked even more and now I’m all excited and shit to talk about it with you! Yep, it’s (finally, finally, shut the hell up Aaron, finally) time to talk about the reason for the season of the pleasin’, (ya ready for the teasin’???), it’s time to talk about Crop Rotation by Polynya!
Take a skeleton of indie-pop, then cover it beautiful & dense textures, layers, and sounds, top it with a Tsuru-rific mix of boy-girl vocals & harmonies (Mmm.. total sucker for boy-girl vocals), a bit of fuzz and noise (not too much), and a bit of darkness, not like late at night darkness or faux-goth-whatever-Hot-Topic darkness, more like right before the last bit of sunlight disappears kinda darkness, when the sky’s more of an deep indigo rather than black, and you got it.
It’s a beautifully rich and unique album that is now officially stuck on repeat. Reminds me a little of the Phantom Band, but a lot less Scottish, a little more North Carolinish, and with the sweet addition of Andrea’s vocals balancing it all out.
Gotta run, don’t even have time to double check all my jibber-jabberin’. Hope it makes sense. Thank you again Luke and all the folks at Polynya, I really appreciate the CD (and the screen print)!
And now it’s your turn, my dear readers… Enjoy the first few tracks, then go get a copy for your damn self!Tsuru
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