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Seven Naked Thoughts

Since the implosion of major record label business model, a lot of us DIY artists have tried to suss out a new way to release music, without the legal and commercial restrictions of record labels. When Sistersound started out, there was no Internet, believe it or not. So much has changed. Companies with their schemes and ideas have come and gone. Many small companies have attempted to create a new market for distributing music. Some have sought to skim profit off the backs of artists, in much the same way as traditional big business record labels, ironically offering less service than traditional labels and distributors do. Others have actually made efforts to bring the profit distribution a little closer to starving artists, by cutting out many of the middle men.

We think differently about music today. DIY is no longer underfunded rebellion, it’s a streamlined way of producing art. Music has always been a conversation between an artist and a listener. 20 years ago, music was a game of telephone, the message getting obfuscated as it passed from artist to label to distributor to store to listener. Fans voices too were filtered before reaching an artist. With the Internet, message boards, Twitter, et al, those days are over. Finally, the conversation between musician and listener is again an intimate one.

Over these last 15 years, we’ve seen a lot of solutions for bridging this gap and making DIY distribution a reality. The label is arguably irrelevant, unless it’s run by you or your friend and service your local scene, the way Sub Pop once did. The new juggernauts are your iTunes, Amazon, and Googles of the world. They are the new majors. Not major labels but major distributors. There are a host of scrappy startups that are trying to circumvent these majors. At present time, Bandcamp seems to be the best way to release an album digitally. It’s better for the listener, with uncompressed audio downloads. It’s also better for the band, offering a fair cut of the profit. In the spirit of being modern, here’s some music available through Bandcamp. This is by no means a finished album, nor is it for sale, but it’s a taste of something that’s been in the works for years.

MEM cassette

Self-released a second, limited edition cassette demo, when a crop of new songs came into existence. The Xeroxed jacket reveals Eve’s preoccupation with metaphysics and parapsychology – a creative theme that persists today. Painfully sincere, Eve’s old phone number is exposed on the back of the jacket, trapped forever under strips of packing tape. So innocent, it hurts.

Silly World would later be re-recorded in Silver Springs, MD by Mark Smoot, with Pete Grothey and Chris Gallo, not yet in the band. This cassette features Eve on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, with Dave Garrett drumming on Silly World.

s/t cassette demo

Recorded on 4-track between 1992 and 1993, in Eve’s bedroom, with the help of Mike Lujan, Jeff McElroy, and Dave Garrett, who at the time was an art student, painter, and drummer in numerous bands. Bleeding with indie cred, the cover featured one of Dave’s drawings. Slick production was Xeroxing the cover on clear overlays – each one bent into shape by hand. Cassettes were dubbed on Eve’s 2-deck cassette player. Paid for and promoted by Christian Hendrickson’s “Slow Death” fanzine. Only 50 made. Those were the days.

slow-death-fanzine-logo-500

The logo for Slow Death Fan’zine who paid for and promoted Sistersound’s first limited edition cassette demo.

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