Grapefruit

A theme this blog returns to from time to time is how the blazes anyone’s going to make a living in the music industry these days. Artists can always go out on tour, but what about the labels that release their records? Records that no-one’s buying1? And how can anyone do something different to separate them from the ravening herd?

One relentlessly pursued idea has been to release records that are more special than before – from the usual “Special Edition” 2 or 3 CD sets, to Brooce Springsteen’s “Here’s a fuck-off load of offcuts and a documentary too” effort, The Promise2. Well, two gentlemen named Simon Joyner and Ben Goldberg have had the idea to set up a record label – Grapefruit Records – as a club, where you pay a subscription and get four vinyl albums a year, by known and unknown artists. That’s right, vinyl only. No CD, no download, nothing, just a 12” bit of polyvinyl chloride and some cardboard.

As an old bugger, I admire this no nonsense approach. Whilst I don’t do vinyl myself any more, what with it being a bit difficult to listen to a vinyl record on the Jubilee Line at 7:45 am, I do still love the sound, feel and the whole rigmarole of a beautifully produced record. And this certainly is an interesting idea; the first record features Kurt Wagner’s early recordings of Lambchop, the wonderfully quiet Nashville band who feature heavily in my entirely fictional top-1000 songs list. Hearing this early material would be a marvellous treat for any serious Lambchop fan.

Their mission statement reads:

Grapefruit’s mission is to expose fans to exclusive, challenging new music on vinyl while ensuring that the musicians actually get paid for creating their art.

If you’re curious, head over to their site now and have a look around at the roster of artists. I have absolutely no idea if this will work, but I wholeheartedly hope it does; it’s wonderful to see people with a good idea and a passion and desire for music try and do something a little different. Good luck, fellas.

MP3: Soaky In The Pooper by Lambchop

1 Well, they are, but not in the same numbers as before, and certainly not in the manner required to keep an industry in fruit and flowers.

2 Not bought this yet. Really ought to.

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