Awesome pop music is still getting produced!
I totally love Bleu and Mike Viola. And they are collaborating in a band called The Major Labels and have a new record out! Yeah, I know, "record" is not what most people call it, but if you say it like "rekid" it sounds cool. So these cats' new rekid is the bomb diggity. I just love the shiny pop sound, and the great vocals, and the cheeky lyrical style.
I can't remember the order, but I discovered Bleu when he played at the Met Theatre in Motown supporting The Argument, one of my favorite motown bands of the last 20 years. And I discovered Mike Viola as the band the Candybutchers when Adam Curry played him on the Daily Source Code a few years ago. I actually emailed Arg frontman Scott when I noticed that both he and Mike had been playing solo sets at the Living Room in NYC, and suggested if he hadn't already checked him out he might enjoy giving him a try. Scott e'd back, they already knew each other. This is all cat's favorite flavor.
This is cleanly-produced pop that immediately comes off both fresh and familiar. These guys grew up on Beatles and ELO and zillions of other fine pop, and those influences are in virtually every note. They're also smart, way beyond the usual song about a girl crap that I find so tedious. I think both these guys understand some of the fundamental qualities and properties of one of my favorite instruments, too, the guitar. Not virtuosic, but great players in unique ways. The guitar is center stage next to the vocals and harmonic structures of these groovy tunes.
I just downloaded their album, sweet. And it's a "pay what you want" model, ala Magnatune (do they still do it that way?). Instead of trying to squelch downloads and sharing and trying to squeeze every penny out of pressed CD's this approach is basically spreading the music as much as possible. Hoping your current fans want to pay and support you, and hoping the untethered digital downloading gains you new fans, and hoping all these fans buy tshirts and other merch and pay for tix to live shows. And perhaps get you a movie soundtrack deal or something. There might be some ad revenue in here somewhere, too. I think that's the theory. And it seems pretty sound to me. Cuts out lotsa middlemen, trades on the currency of the new media revolution, and gives way more folks instant opportunity to like or dislike your wares.
So dig the Major Labels. If you want.
posted by cat 7:33 AM