you may or may not spot celebrities in this image. (hint: one’s a millionaire and one’s an art curator/marketing/moog wizard)
Wait, hold on. Let me finish freaking my shit over the new Phoenix album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (WAP WAP WAP WAP).
Alright. I won’t be putting any leaks up on this site because unlike certain other french acts that had a huge and ongoing ‘debut leak’ (which didn’t affect their status of short-lived blog-hip icons), Phoenix is actually a credible and established fixture that you will be able to count on for solid listening material for years to come. You’ve already heard their official and semi-non-official leaks via here and here, so save your pennies to purchase their album when it comes out later this spring.
But let me assure you, google is your friend if you’re wanting more preview material. Unfortunately, the leaks are of pretty low quality so it won’t be worth much in terms of listening pleasure.
Speaking of leaks, I think Phoenix is running the show spot-on when it comes to creating hype. Here’s a brief timeline of their highly effective hype-strategy. disclaimer: This is completely from my failing memory, so it’s most likely very wrong
- First of all, everyone already knows they’re amazing.
- half a year post their previous album release “It’s Never Been Like That”, updated website with ominous next album release forecast
- radio silence (almost a year+)
- they released a really rough teaser of a demo riff like half a year ago ‘21 minus zero’ –you can hear the riff they used in that demo on track 4 “love like a sunset” of their upcoming release.
- silence for a good 4+ months. speculation ensues
- out of nowhere, they send full quality 320kbs files of 1901 to blogs
- few days later, official release via wearephoenix.com
- music blogosphere freak-out ensues, hypem explodes, elbo.ws says ‘what’s going on, eh‘
- 1901 stems are released for open-remix via wearephoenix.com
- low bitrate ‘kind of official leak’ of Lisztomania is released
- low bitrate ‘completely unofficial’ album leak that was probably leaked intentionally and hits various limited file sharing channels.
While some may see it as disastrous, I think point 11 is ESSENTIAL to creating a successful pre-release hype fest. When an album is leaked, what hurts most is if it’s released v0 or 320kbs full cd quality. Even though real, uncompressed CDs sound leaps better than 320, it’s ‘good enough’ to prevent people from purchasing the official release. In any case, what set this apart from many other leaks was that this was a low quality rip which was still somewhat listenable on something like budget or laptop speakers, but quite unacceptable for anything else. Torrent snob trackers will shun this release because it’s not up to their mp3 encoding standards and this somewhat controls the dissemination of the leak quite effectively in itself. It’s a great preview and indicator on if an album would be good or not, but definitely not a keeper.
This is my breakdown of the demographics this type of marketing might reach:
-The fans who cared enough to put in the time and effort to seek this leak out, are probably the same fans who care enough to go out and buy the album.
-The savvy fans who love Phoenix but don’t care enough to hear the complete leak will still rabidly gobble up various blogs leaking individual tracks (and will still probably purchase the album).
-Those who are actively reading Pitchfork -trying to be ‘indie’ but don’t know anything about Phoenix will hear about their official album release through a ‘more indie’ friend who raves about it; or via Pitchfork who will probably give it a 6.2. I’ll go ahead and say 60% of this less-savvy demographic will pirate the full quality CD rip from a public access torrent site. These same people will probably still go see a show with their ‘more indie’ friends and this is where they’ll realize that pitchfork is run by a bunch of lanky-folk loving-onitsuka tiger-track jacket wearing fags.
Some might say this model is unsuccessful, but you tell me after you go to one of their sold out shows and observe the empty merch tables afterward.
[Was this a pitchfork hate post? oops]
And here’s that 21 minus zero demo I mentioned somewhere in the mess up there:
Phoenix – 21 Minus Zero
Finally onto a small but very necessary tidbit on some old favorites of mine, Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family. Just listen to this Para One remix of their recent e-released 1973 EP single.
PAY ATTENTION AFTER THE WHISTLE INTERMISSION @ 2:15. magic.
Tahiti Boy and the Palmtree Family – 1973 (Para One Remix)
cop this EP on itunes. it’s (+) quality, has an excellent selection and it’s only $3.99. WIN4U.
Don’t think my tiny bash on Justice up there was malicious in any way. They are a talented pair, and have been doing a lot of behind the scenes production for bands like Tahiti Boy and Poney Poney. (with stellar results)
Poney Poney – Cross the Fader (prod. by justice)
addendum: if you haven’t been following TUMBLRMANIA, you should start. you can see how disgusting my browsing habits are.
image: tuftsmania flickr
But I can’t. The new Phoenix album is finally becoming slowly unwrapped and we’re all here salivating with open ears. Here’s your first taste off their upcoming “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”.
PS: who’s down for a repeat when they hit the Mezzanine SF?