Dave Sitek's Federal Prism Label Announces New Model For Releasing Music

Dave Sitek

Federal Prism, the new record label from TV On The Radio‘s Dave Sitek and his partner Jeff Bowers, is trying a new approach to releasing music.

It’s become clear in recent years that where mass marketing was once the name of the game in the music biz, direct fan engagement is now the holy grail for artists and those labels interested in building careers. But how best to make that connection?

Federal Prism’s answer is thorough online interaction with fans. New music from their roster will now be released on SoundCloud prior to any retail release. Going even further, the label will offer select track stems (essentially deconstructed pieces of songs) for fans and other artists to hear and remix.

“The goal here is to allow listeners to participate fully in the creative and marketing process, in many cases prior to the commercial release,” said Bowers. “SoundCloud gives us an opportunity to break albums and singles with a completely new engagement strategy. Young producers and fans will have access to new music before it’s proper release, but more importantly they will have a unique opportunity to reinvent the track and interact directly with the producer and artist while doing so.”

Head over to their SoundCloud page starting today for the first such releases, including music from TV On The Radio, Oh Land, Chuck Inglish, Asher Roth, and more. And look for new releases soon from Sitek, Kelis, Scarlett Johansson, Stardeath, and the White Dwarves.

Photo Recap Of The Scene At Afropunk Fest

Photo: SPIN/Matt Ellis

There must have been some pretty heavy rain fall early in the spring. How else do you explain the bumper crop of festivals that have sprung up this year in late August? In the past two weeks alone there have been three great hip-hop festivals; the venerable Rock The Bells Festival in New Jersey, the inaugural Made In America Festival in Philadelphia, and the eighth annual Afropunk Fest in Brooklyn.

Photo: wagz2it

The two former fests might have had some bigger names clogging up the lineups, sure. But this year’s Afropunk Fest really saw the event come into its own. With performances from big names Erykah Badu, TV On The RadioDas Racist, and Janelle Monáe, to local favorites like Ninjasonik, Body Language, Phony Ppl, and featuring an art wall, a skate park, and breakdancing (!), Afropunk Fest definitely wins for coolest and (dare I say it) hippest outing.

Check out some exclusive images documenting the Afropunk festival weekend experience after the jump.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Colin Stetson Premiers "Judges" On NPR

Know what the most indie instrument is these days? Saxophone. Some of you might say electric triangle, but I bet I could get sax man Colin Stetson to agree with me. And he has the pedigree to back it up no less. Stetson has been kicking around for a few years, having earned a place in the album liner notes for folks like Tom Waits, TV on the Radio, Bon Iver, Kevin Devine and Yeasayer. On top of all that, he’s part of the touring band for Arcade Fire and the aforementioned Bon Iver. He’s also been tapped to open a few shows in Europe this year with none other than post-rock godheads Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Suffice it to say he’s a busy man.

Colin Stetson - New History Warfare, Vol. 2To cap off a month that would stand as a banner year for most, Stetson is releasing his new album, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges on Feb 22nd through Constellation Records.  Judges has already gotten the premiere treatment this month on NPR’s All Songs Considered. The new record features Stetson and his avant-garde sound, recorded live with no overdubs. His work is characterized by a layering of melodic lines, a stacking of melodies on top of each other. If that sounds too inpentrible for your uncultured ass, the record does feature guest vocals from Laurie Anderson and Shara Wooden of My Brightest Diamond. Judges was recorded by none other than Efrim Menuck of GSY!BE and, if that’s the kind of tidbit that gets you excited, then you have no reason not to check the record out. You can listen to excerpts from the album here or purchase it here.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Ellen starts music label, signs Greyson Chance

Greyson Chance on Ellen

OK, remember last week when we made up that big lie about wunderkind Greyson Chance being signed to Interscope? Kidding! Yeah, looks like that was just one of those Internet rumors. Sahhrrry. Chance was actually signed by Ellen DeGeneres ” he’ll be the first artist on her brand new label, Eleven Eleven Records. We’re not sure if Eleven Eleven is actually an imprint of Interscope or an indie, and until we’re sure, we’re not saying a word.

Ludacris builds playground for Atlanta school kids


That Luda, bless his heart. When he’s not going door-to-door reminding people to fill out their Census forms, he’s providing for the children. This past weekend the rapper joined volunteers to help construct a playground for Venetian Hills Elementary School in Atlanta. The charity event was a collaboration between KaBoom ” a national nonprofit that provides play areas to underserved areas ”The Ludacris Foundation, United Healthcare’s Do Good. Live Well campaign and EIF’s iParticipate program. Look, we knew how low he could go, we just never knew he was such do-gooder to boot . Hats off to you, Mr. Bridges.

The Bad

Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato break up

Sniff. Sad. Moving on ¦

Lady Gaga tested for Lupus

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga revealed to the London Times this week that she underwent testing for Lupus after collapsing from exhaustion and cancelling shows in March. But when it comes to the results of those tests, she’s keeping her lips sealed. I don’t want anyone to be worried, she explains. The singer lost an aunt to the disease, which is genetic and causes the body’s immune system to attack itself. Lucky for all of us little monsters, Lady Gaga is superhuman and immortal. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

The Ugly

Liza Minnelli sings Single Ladies for SATC2

Liza Minnelli

Looks like Liza Minnelli will be croaking out Beyoncé’s hit in the new Sex and the City movie. According to SATC2 promos, the 64-year-old performer tackles the number during a wedding scene. And, since Minnelli has a brand new replacement knee, maybe she’ll even attempt to do the choreography, too. That would be infinitely better than watching the chicken dance.

Key of Awesome spoof Owl City in Electronic Wuss

Ugly for Owl City, but hilarious for the rest of us.  Musical parody group, Key of Awesome,  delivered a sonic smackdown to the maudlin vomit that is “Fireflies” with their spoof, Electronic Wuss. Enjoy.


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

2010 GRAMMY Nominees Announced


They're (still) on a boat

Last week the 2010 GRAMMY nominees were announced. Beyoncé led the pack with 10 nods, followed by country cutie Taylor Swift, who received 8 nods. Kanye West, the Black Eyed Peas and Maxwell each received 6 nods, while Lady Gaga only received a mere 5. So sad.

The most unusual nomination went to the Andy Samberg-led comedy music group The Lonely Island for their collaboration with T-Pain on I’m On A Boat. They’re up against Kanye West and Beyoncé for their song,Ego. Oh, this is too good. It’s a perfect storm for a Kanye meltdown. We hope The Lonely Island sails off into the sunset with the GRAMMY, if only to see how Kanye would handle his Ego losing to a novelty rap song. Stay tuned for potential fireworks on January 31st.

Jay-Z turns 40

Mr. HOVA himself, Jay-Z, turned 40 on Friday. He celebrated the event by renting a mansion in the Dominican Republic and flying in the likes of M.I.A., Kanye West, Oprah, Alicia Keys and A-Rod on private jets. Weird, same way I celebrated my birthday last year.

The Bad

Rivers Cuomo Injured in Weezer Tour Bus Accident

Weezer singer Rivers Cuomo landed in the hospital on Sunday after his band’s tour bus skidded on ice and ran off the road in upstate New York. The band was travelling from Toronto to Boston for a show at Boston University. Rivers and his assistant were hospitalized with minor injuries ”both are expected to make full recoveries.

VH1 releases Kanye West Storytellers

And then things got really weird ...

And then things got really weird

OK, lots of Kanye this week but he just makes it too easy. Remember the rapper’s long-winded, awkward and grandiose performance on VH1 Storytellers last February? Now you can relive the discomfort via a CD/DVD release of Mr. West’s performance in its entirety. The album hits stores on January 5th. Next time you do something embarrassing, just pop this thing in your DVD player”you’ll feel better about yourself in no time.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga Meets Queen Elizabeth

royal variety show england queen elizabeth lady gaga go fug yourself

Queen Elizabeth is the one on the left, if you're wondering

This historic event happened Monday in Blackpool, England, at the Royal Variety Performance. I don’t know why I included it in the ugly section. The Queen of England is certainly not unattractive, nor is our Lady of Gaga. They’re both extremely handsome women. That scarlet Elizabethan condom that LG is wearing is another story. I suppose you can’t wear a sequined thong or a Kermit the Frog cloak to meet the Queen. But really. The ladies from Go Fug Yourself agree. I rest my case.

¢    She & Him (better known as M Ward and Ben Gibbard’s wife) set to release sophomore album
¢    Aziz Ansari and TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek join forces for hip hop mixtape
¢    Noise Pop Festival lineup announced
¢    Spin releases Top 40 albums of 2009