This week we have a couple of releases from the two most successful bands on the Saddle Creek label releasing albums on other labels.
Saddle Creek was essentially created to put out the early basement tape recordings by teenager Conor Oberst. The first official release of the label was Conor’s “Water” cassette tape was coincidentally was his last solo release before switching to the Bright Eyes moniker(along with Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott, and a revolving cast of musicians) of which of course he is most well known.
About 9 months ago there were two shows booked at the 400 Bar(which gets a thanks in the liner notes of the album) in Minneapolis which were billed as “Conor Oberst” and rumors at the time were that Conor and M. Ward were putting a band together. The reality of the situation was that Conor was prepping a band to go to Mexico with him to record the self titled “Conor Oberst” LP which comes out this week on MERGE which is the record label that currently puts out releases from the likes of M. Ward, She & Him, and The Arcade Fire.
I was able to pick up a copy of this album at the Seattle concert last week. It’s really good, and I will definitely have more on this release and Conor Oberst in general over the rest of the week.
The 21st release by Saddle Creek was The Faint’s debut, “Media” which is a much different sound than The Faint that we know and love today. That album was followed by “Blank Wave Arcade” which was followed by recent indie masterpieces “Danse Macabre” and “Wet From Birth”. When “Wet From Birth” was done recording the band was wined and dined by the major labels and in the end weren’t interested in the lack of freedom in dealing with the majors and they eventually released the album on Saddle Creek.
Earlier this year The Faint announced that their new album “Fasciniation” was to be released this summer, and that they created their own label, Blank.wav, to put it out.
This is huge news as The Faint are from Omaha and members of the band have been involved in Saddle Creek since the very beginning. Saddle Creek does not sign it’s artists to contracts, they just put music out one album at a time.
The Faint are listed on the alumni section of the Saddle Creek website along with bands like Commander Venus, Lullaby For the Working Class, and Rilo Kiley.
This has to be a bittersweet day for Saddle Creek Records. If these two albums were released on Saddle Creek then they would have easily been expected to be their top sellers of 2008.
Other notable releases this week:
Clinic releases “Funf” on Domino
Mars Black’s “Stay Black” which is his second release for Team Love(Conor Oberst’s label)
And for those vinyl junkies who are still stuck in 1994: Interscope is releasing No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom on vinyl this week. One can hope that it’s on brightly colored vinyl to go with the sound of a ska princess Gwen Stefani.