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Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Pot Kettle Black

One of the most obnoxious trends in music right now is the habit of re-releasing a successful album six months down the road with some bonus attached, be it an EP or a DVD or whatever. I don’t care how you try to justify it, it’s a cash grab and a slap in the face to the fans who would want the bonuses since they’ve almost certainly already bought the original issue. I hardly think there’s anyone out there who were on the fence about getting the album, but now that there’s a bonus disc they’re convinced. It’s flat out insulting to the fans, and any artist who goes along with such a marketing plan is diminished in my eyes for doing so.

So you can imagine my disappointment when Pitchfork reported yesterday that Wilco was re-releasing A Ghost Is Born on March 7 with a bonus 5-song EP containing import bonus track “Kicking Television”, three live tracks and the heretofore unreleased “Panthers”, which has been floating around online in live versions for some time now. How could it be that the band that had been so generous to their fans two years ago in giving away the More Like The Moon EP online was now going along with one of the most egregious music marketing tactics of recent times?

Well as it turns out, there was no reason to doubt – Rolling Stone had more of the story than Pitchfork, revealing that the songs on the bonus EP were once again going to be made available for free from Wilcoworld for those who had previously bought copies of Ghost as of March 7. And to top it all off, they’re also releasing deluxe vinyl editions of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born on March 8. We will never again doubt that Wilco is a band that does right by its fanbase. Amen.

But since we’re on the topic, here’s an mp3 ripped from their recent Austin City Limits broadcast, courtesy of the folks at Via Chicago – it’s a beautiful version and Nels Cline contributes a ripping solo.

MP3: Wilco – “Ashes Of American Flags (ACL)”

Look at that – 27 days into the new year before my first Wilco post. Who won the pool?

Matador reports that that other Canadian pop supergroup, The New Pornographers, are in the studio working on their third album and hope to have it handed in to the label my mid-March with an eye towards a late Summer/early Fall release. Says mainman Carl Newman,

“Various unintentional influences have crept into our work, some of which are quickly removed: The Moody Blues, Tubeway Army, Wings, always Wings, never The Beatles, Eno of course, you can’t play ebow without sounding like Eno, Modern English, middle period post-Gabriel Genesis, The Stranglers, the vocal inflections on “Dreadlock Holiday” remain a steady influence, we’re still trying to find a way to insert some dub/white reggae in the mix, just as an intellectual exercise, to see if we can do it without being dropped from the label. I know it sounds awful but it will all work out.”

Half of Squeeze, the half named Glenn Tilbrook, brings his solo act to the Mod Club on April 17.

Interpol aren’t coming to Toronto on the next leg of their Antics tour, but they are going to be in Niagara Falls, NY on March 10, if you feel like a road trip. Do some factory outlet shopping, see some Interpol, you know – the usual. Q And Not U support.

Here are my photos from Tuesday’s Broken Social Scene show. The lighting was really dire and getting anything resembling a true colour was damn near impossible, so I’ve processed them all in black and white. It gives me a lot more latitude to crank levels and I think the end result still looks pretty sharp – I may go the B&W route more often from now on, particularly when light is at a premium. And they also contrast nicely with the shots from their show last August, which were some of the most colourful pics I’ve taken yet (hooray for well-lit outdoor stages). I actually nearly got turned away at the door for having my camera with me – that’s never happened at Lee’s before, I hope it’s not going to become a standing policy. However, I convinced the doorman to let me go and check the camera at the coat check instead of walking home in the snow and back. Much to my surprise, there wasn’t actually a coat check open, so I just walked in. Huh.

The BBC covers The Bloggies, the website for which is now back up with enough bandwidth to allow you to peruse and vote. Vote for me in “Best Canadian” and vote for Largehearted Boy, from whom I got the link, in “Best Entertainment”. And Vote for Pedro. Update: …Aaaaand they’re down again. My goodness.

np – Camera Obscura / Underachievers Please Try Harder

By : Frank Yang at 9:28 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. travis says:

    Nice photos.

  2. Torr says:

    The Wilco situation is a simple case of the good ole label trying desperately to sell more copies of the album.

  3. Frank says:

    oh, I know – it’s still obnoxious, though. I have no problem with making multiple versions of an album available from the get-go, like U2 did with their latest one, choice is always good. But to do it months and months later once everyone who was going to buy it in the first place already has? Insulting.

  4. solace says:

    from what i’ve heard, it’s not being re-released in the US either, only the UK, fwiw.

  5. DJMonsterMo says:

    Thanks for clarifying the Wilco re-release situation. I hope record companies realize that they can’t keep giving fans the shaft and expect to get paid for it. Yay for wilcoworld.

  6. photojunkie says:

    hmmmm the black and white route… where have i hear that one before.

    Cool shoots. I may have to start shooting from the "pit" again at lee’s my angle completely sucked on Tuesday night, especially with all the damn mic stands.

  7. Matt says:

    I completely agree about rereleases: it’s becoming all too common. Wilco’s move is admirable, but the record company know that many fans will still want to own ‘the real thing’. Hopefully this trend will stop soon, although I doubt it.

    For an industry that desperately wants people to start paying for music, they aren’t doing a very good job of gaining the trust of music fans.

  8. Tom E. says:

    Prime Outlets in the house!

  9. Adrianne says:

    Oh sweet god, Wings influences in the next New Pornographers? I may have to claw out my eyes.

  10. ET says:

    AC Newman is an avowed Wings fan.

    Like, hardcore.

  11. Jessi says:

    Amen. Love your website by the way.