It seems as if no one is willing to settle for the usual press release>"/>
Is there a normal way to announce an album anymore?
It seems as if no one is willing to settle for the usual press release or tweet these days. In fact, 2012's been nothing if not a year marked by odd ways of announcing albums--but let's be real, waiting for Tuesday to roll around is so 2011, anyway. Maybe we should blame Radiohead for their "let's tell everyone about In Rainbows 10 days before it comes out" legacy or maybe this year simply marks the beginning of a certain-to-be-entertaining trend. Either way, its the unusual album announcements that get people talking. Ranging from Kurt Vile's Philadelphia mural to Eminem's baseball hat, here are my favorite five album announcements of this year.
5. Kurt Vile's Wakin' on a Pretty Daze: Writing your album announcement on the side of a city is definitely a way to get some attention. Philly-native Kurt Vile's album news broke last week with a giant album cover painted on the side of a building in his hometown. Despite the grandeur, backing band member Jesse Trbovich still had to make a Facebook post to assure that the rest of the non-Philadelphian world would know what was going on. Trbovich confirmed in the Facebook comments that the text in the mural, Wakin' on a Pretty Daze, was in fact the album title. The mural also features other text that looks to be track names.
Jesse Trbovich via Facebook
4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND! : Alternatively, Godspeed You! Black Emperor didn't bother telling anyone that they had an album out. Announcing their first album in a decade to websites like Pitchfork in early October (the album was due out Oct 16th), it turned out that Godspeed had been selling Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! at their Boston show prior to any announcement whatsoever.
"Did they out-Death Grips Death Grips??" a Goodspeed fan blog asked upon hearing the news (we disagree, but they came close).
3. Eminem's TBA : Daring to do what none have done before, Eminem confirmed his upcoming 2013 album with a baseball hat. The hat became available in the official Eminem merchandise store with the description, "For a limited time only in honor of the big games and the hometown team's return to The D we are pleased to offer the Eminem Baseball Tribute Hat in both home and away colors. Side panel is dedicated to the landmark Eminem solo albums." 2013 is listed amongst the other dates, implying a new release. And hey, in addition to wearing an album announcement, for only $30 you can express your love of the Tigers and Marshall Mathers.
Eminem Official Store
2. Animal Collective's Centipede Hz: Launched on July 29, Animal Collective Radio was a program designed for AnCo fanatics to follow interviews, listen to guest DJs and generally get psyched for the band's ninth album, Centipede Hz. The accumulation of the radio project, predictably, was a live streaming of the album after weeks of teasing tracks on the show.
1. Death Grip's No Love Deep Web: The most epic (rim shot?) release of the year certainly goes to the Death Grips vs. Epic showdown of early October. Following their hugely popular Money Store release in April, Death Grips leaked their own album, No Love Deep Web, on their website for free...to the fury of their label Epic, who didn't even know of its existence.
Death Grips tweeted an announcement of the album's availability with the note, "The label wouldn't confirm a release date for NO LOVE DEEP WEB 'till next year sometime" followed by a cheeky, "[They] will be hearing the album for the first time with you." When Epic responded with a private email to the band--"As you are aware from our several conversations today, Epic is extremely upset and disappointed that the artist decided to release an album without Epic's knowledge or involvement"--Death Grips posted it to their Facebook page and rejoined with: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NOW FUCK OFF."
Epic shut down the Death Grips website, the band alleged (although Epic denied this), and the Death Grips Twitter though which fans had been following the feud was deactivated. In addition to the NSFW album artwork featuring an erect penis with No Love Deep Web Sharpied on (Death Grips' explanation: "U.S law states you must be 18 years of age to view graphic sexual material. We consider this art"), it's just short of a guarantee that No Love Deep Web won't be getting a formal release from Epic anytime soon. The label, in fact, dropped the band entirely.
Death Grips can pat themselves on the back for successfully giving the finger to a major label...and to traditional album announcements.