12/05/2004

exhibit b

I have no idea where these people are educated. 97% of record label one sheets and press releases invariably incorporate overwrought hyperbole, blunt overestimation of unparalleled individuality, exaggerated sense of importance, unfair (although quite favorable) comparisons to other music, and seemingly always an overbearing warning that you've been waiting your journalistic life for this. They treat you like an idiot.

Electroclash! [Remeber that?] Don't Miss the Revolution!

Enter Sam Hunt, who runs VelociRecords, a young record label in Chicago. I first met him (although I've never spoken to him face to face) while writing music reviews for DustedMagazine.com, where he is an editor. I would later go on to interact with him when dealing with Thrill Jockey Records, where he until recently worked as a publicist. Foremost a music lover with a broad musical knowledge and an ability to handle and understand (at least) indie music of all kinds, this guy writes like he not only knows what he's talking about but also that you would be insulted if he tried to tell you that the band he's pushing is going to change your life forever.

For example, Hunt's one-sheet on Dan Friel, who's record he put out in mid-2004 is everything an indie rock promotional note should be. The statement offers a sober and economical summary of Friel's history, creative collaborations, influences and (reasonable) stylistic contemporaries, only straying toward excess in his suggestion that Friel's album "def[ies] classification and convention" (although it's pretty fucking weird indeed) and that his work with Parts & Labor has "received tremendous attention from critics and radio stations across North America" (which, considering the obscure capital with which that group trades, is not unreasonable in context). Admirable.

I'm frustrated and saddened that this kind of honesty and integrity is so rare in even indie (you know, the kind with character) rock. I'm even more frustrated that publicists cram so much absurd shit down the throats of so many writers and editors who unfortunately eat it and publish it. (Yes, both of those links lead to the same piece of copy. Rad how that works, eh?)

People like Sam Hunt can totally make music seem like a civilized industry.

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