March 10, 2009

Free music from PopArt!

Filed under: The label — scoobydom @ 3:59 pm

… just in case you missed this on the main site…

 We’ve made the following singles available as a free download from today:.

 Download ‘em now!

Here is the video for Brontosaurus Chorus’ Love Is The Path…

December 28, 2008

The PopArt End-of-year message

Filed under: music, editorial, Tamla Tim, PopArt, The label — digest @ 3:13 pm

Hello our darling Smart Kids

What a year 2008 has been for PopArt enterprises. Join us as we sit around the fire with a pipe and a brandy and muse on what has come to pass, and what delights are to look forward to in 2009.

We started 2008 with many board meetings in various pubs, frantically planning and scheming for the year ahead. Once we had dried out the beer soaked minutes and remembered what we said we’d do, we kicked off in earnest with an all dayer - ‘BritPopArt 2: Bargelife’ on the Battersea Barge, the now annual celebration of the glory and the folly of the Britpop wars. This saw the return of the game show ‘Line Up In Line’ with our resident compere, Leicester’s Funnyman ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees. All the bands did a Britpop cover version and the PopArt AllStars supergroup did a full set of mad ferrit classics. There’s some footage from that event here:

Pete Green doing ‘Inbetweener’ | Goodbye Lennin doing ‘Ready To Go’ - | PopArt AllStars with ‘Babies’ and ‘Trash’

Shortly afterwards we set up home at The Fly on New Oxford Street for PopArt Monthly, the staff have come to both love and fear the second Saturday of the month in equal measure. They always compliment the bands we have on and sing along to our choice of tunes, but are often perplexed when we explain there will be a live game show on stage between the bands. We have had some fantastic nights down in the PopArt bunker, had some of our favourite bands play, had lots of silly fun with game shows like ‘Indie Bingo’ and danced the night away to indie pop, alt rock, soul, hip hop, stadium fillers, lost classics and the odd TV theme tune. London Fire Brigade paid us a visit one month due to a smouldering fuse box and the Smart Kids serenaded them with a disco chant of ‘Burn Baby Burn’ before dancing on to ‘Heatwave’ and ‘Panic!’. We ended the year in our own indie pop prankster style with the PopArt AllStars getting everyone in the yule mood with a set of Christmas covers. Some footage of that here:

‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ with Leiscester’s Funnyman ‘The Bullet’ Dave Rees | ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ with the living legend Mr Solo | ‘Do They Know It’s Christmastime?’ with erm … everyone

From January onwards there will be a whole extra hour and half of dancing at our PopArt Monthly nights. The party people often beg for ‘one last tune’ at the end of the night. We’ve listened and can now bring you lots more tunes until 3.30am! The first night of specially extended mayhem will be on 10th January, with the Bridport Dagger, Fulcher, Smith & Dance (featuring members of Art Brut) and Evilwitch playing live. Plus there’ll be a game show when we think of one.

October saw the third annual celebration of Belle & Sebastian at a bowling alley, namely ‘Bowl & Sebastian 3: Is It Wicked Not To Spare?’. This saw B&S cover versions from the fantastic bands, the return of every twee kid’s favourite American geography based quiz ‘The State That I Am In’ and another high octane set of covers from the PopArt AllStars with guest singers from Lucky Soul, Brontosaurus Chorus and Pocketbooks amongst others. Some footage of that here:

MJ Hibbett sings ‘La Patie De La Bourgeoisie’ | Mr Solo sings ‘Judy And The Dream Of Horses | Andrew from Lucky Soul sings ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’

November saw PopArt London the fledgling record label make something of a splash with the long awaited release of the Subliminal Girls single ‘Self Obession Is An Art Form’. This was the first time we’d done a release that would be on iTunes and HMV and all that and, being like we are, we didn’t make it easy for ourselves. We signed up with a distribution company who would get the single in all the online stores and we started talking with authority about things we didn’t understand. We found ourselves saying things like “Yeah, no problem, I’ll send through the UPC code this afternoon,” and sometimes even knew what this meant. Other times, Wikipedia was our friend. The single itself was by no means run of the mill either. Actual Pop Artist Stuart Semple designed and made just ten special packages which contained the single on vinyl along with all sorts of arty goodness, and these were sold in galleries as far a field as Milan and New York, while we handled the digital release back here in Blighty. It’s still too early to know exactly how it went but it was number 1 in the Play.com indie download chart, which was very exciting, and we were delighted to be involved with such a fantastic song and such an interesting project. If you haven’t got a copy yet you can still download it from:

Play.com | HMV | Or search iTunes.

As ever, keen to run before we can walk or even before we’re potty trained, we are currently working on not one but TWO albums which will both be out in March 2009. This is very much hot off the press, the first whisper of two very exciting releases.

And What Will Be Left Of Them? - The Hi-Fi Low Life Blasting out or Worcester with a song in their hearts and whiskey in their bellies, AWWBLOT? have built up a storming reputation through years of gigging up and down the country. bringing their own charming brand of clatter pop to the kids, not least at PopArt events. This will be their debut album.

Brontosaurus Chorus - You’ve Created A Monster Also the debut album from this London 8 peice (yes, 8 piece) quirky but classic pop orchestra, marrying ringing guitar with throbbing bass with swoonsome strings with soulful trumpet with bitter sweet lyrics. Compared to Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire.

The CDs have just arrived and they look and sound amazing. Both will also be available as downloads.

What a year it’s been and we can hardly believe 2009 is shaping up to be even better. Stay tuned for more events and records which we and you, the Smart Kids, can inject with our own ramshakle charm.

Keep a little PopArt in your heart x

November 24, 2008

Diary of a record label #2

Filed under: music, editorial, The label — scoobydom @ 7:02 pm

Dear Diary,

Today we are number one in the Play.com Indie downloads - see for yourself.

Our bar codes arrived over the weekend and I scanned them in. The Quill has added them to the Brontosaurus Chorus album sleeve and it looks like an actual Proper Album. Exciting times!

Today, I’ve been drafting contracts for our 2 upcoming releases. These are licensing contracts. The copyright in a sound recording is held by whoever pays for the recording, which the bands did, and they license the tracks to us for an agreed time. The contract sets out the terms and time period by which we, um, own their asses. The idea did occur to me to draft a clause that forbids band members from endorsing the Tory Party in interviews. However, this idea was quickly abandoned as being a wee bit too Stalinist. We do actually have a 5 year plan, but that was an idea we nicked from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Toodle-pip! x

November 20, 2008

Diary of a record label. #1.

Filed under: music, editorial, The label — scoobydom @ 7:02 pm

So, the idea came to me to write the diary of a record label. The reason is 3-fold.

  1. it’s meant to make good reading. Which is doubtful.I am no writer, as you’ll find out.
  2. it could provide a good resource for anyone out there who might want to start their own label. You can learn from our mistakes.
  3. and this is the major reason, I’m keeping a log of everything we do so I remember how to do it next time around. I wish I’d done this from the beginning of the Subliminal Girls single process, but it’s a bit late now. All that’s happening with that now is sitting on our butts waiting for people to buy it. Oh, and asking people to buy it. Hey, have you bought it? Nope? Buy it now then. Thanks. I’ll wait whilst you complete the transaction.

Welcome back. So yes, as you’ll already be aware, due to the fact it’s been rammed down your throat, we released a single by Subliminal Girls on Monday. As we’re pros now (yeah right), our attention turned a few weeks ago to our next releases. Lots of debate ensued - there is no shortage of great music in our lives due to the amazing quality of bands we’ve put on over the last few years. So eventually we decided on albums by the 2 bands that comprised our first ever release, the split 7″ with And What Will Be Left Of Them? and Brontosaurus Chorus. How brave of us.

These are both records that have been in the pipeline for ages - well over a year. In fact, looking back over my answers to the PopArt Review of 2007, both are listed as expected during 2008. As it happens, they wont see the light of day until March ‘09. But that’s the record business for you, folks. AWWBLOT? have recorded their album from scratch at least twice, and the 8-piece BC have taken since April to complete the mammoth task of recording and mixing such a huge band. AWWBLOT? finished the album a couple of months ago and sent it to a load of labels to see who was interested. I told them we’d release it if they didn’t get any better offers. Which they didn’t. The Chorus album is being mastered on December the 4th. Releasing it on PopArt was always a foregone conclusion, for some reason.

So anyway, we decided to release albums by these 2 bands. What then? I phoned our distributor, Cargo, to let them know. Fine, they said. Oh right, it’s that easy to put out a record. Well, no, as we shall find out. But them being such nice blokes doesn’t half help. Now, generally it takes 2-3 months for a decent PR campaign, and we didn’t want this to cross over Christmas. Which means the soonest the records could come out is March. So there we go. Cargo asked for a few copies of each album around 6 weeks in advance of the release date, along with a sales sheet detailing essential info and press quotes. Then they’ll gauge interest and come back to us a couple of weeks ahead of release with orders for a million copies. Easy.

So now we have some deadlines for our PR promo copies and finished albums. They’re going to the pressing plant on December 5th. Best get the artwork finished, and that includes barcodes, legal copyright info, CD labels, catalogue numbers… this is all being overseen by PopArt’s resident Graphics Guru The Quill. This means I had better tell Pete Adams that we need their finished sleeve art by this time next week… Pete!

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