Music News

Is EMI Holding Back The New Danger Mouse And Sparklehorse Album?

For everyone who complains about the lack of interesting music, or constantly says their is no good music anymore: What would you say if I told you that Danger Mouse, the producer behind Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, and The Black Keys, has been working on a collaboration with Mark Linkous of the acclaimed psych-rock Sparklehorse called Dark Night Of The Soul ?

Or that this project has help from Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Iggy Pop, Frank Black, James Mercer of The Shins, Gruff Rhys lead singer of Super Furry Animals, Jason Lytle of Granddaddy, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Scott Spillane of Neutral Milk Hotel & The Gerbils, and singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt?

Or that to top of the indie-elite wet dream, the album art features photos taken by none other than David Lynch? Yes David Lynch can add album art to his resume. And that the long rumored project is finally finished after three years of work?

You probably would be asking me when you could get such an interesting record. But, due to "legal" reasons that still remain unclear, EMI is blocking the release of this record. In fact when the limited edition packaging featuring a 100 page booklet of the photos by Lynch comes out it will come with a blank CD-R with no music and the note  'For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'

But fear not, not only is Danger Mouse encouraging you to pirate this music it is already making its way around P2P networks. For those of you who prefer legal streaming NPR has been streaming the album on their website all weekend. No word on when they will be taking it down so I would encourage you to listen now while you have the chance.

Stream Dark Night Of The Soul here (courtesy of NPR).

This is one of the big problems with music today, not the internet. Instead of the major labels fostering and creating interesting collaborations and providing the framework for those creations to be released they have become such institutional behemoths that it is impossible for even artists as acclaimed, successful, and experienced as Danger Mouse to navigate this maze of bureaucracy.

The strength of the major labels used to be their Artist and Repertoire departments, the backbone of the labels, where professional music fans sat around all day trying to come up with interesting pairings of musicians, producers and songwriters to create the best art. Now they are run by lawyers and investors who are driving all of their talented artists away by making it impossible to create anything interesting and even when it is standing in the way of its release.

As soon as the big four die and get out of the way I see a huge wave of interesting music coming. When artists stop having lawyers and bankers telling them who they can and can't create art with we will all be better.

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Stephen Chilton