House On The Lake

E-mail Of The Week:

hey Bob,

major vs indy:
It’s the difference between trying to make a killing
and trying to make a living.

Steven Heller
Toubab Krewe
Upstream Records

So one has to ask why Rosanne Cash’s "Black Cadillac" is being released on a major.  Because, despite the success of "Walk The Line", I don’t EVER see this becoming a hit.  But it’s being sold like one.  Which is a turn-off.

Come on, have you not read an article in a mainstream publication about this record?  I’ve seen multiple stories.  And they’re always the same.  Her father, mother and stepmother all died.  And she wrote a record about it.  Does Capitol Records believe this is a HOOK?  That we’re all slurping at the trough of personal revelation and are INTERESTED in how the fuck Rosanne Cash feels?  Isn’t music supposed to be UNIVERSAL?  I mean aren’t they selling this record just like they sell Jessica Simpson and the rest of the tripe, by turning it into a car wreck on the freeway?  Hoping we’ll pay attention?

But, as stated earlier, it’s not even going to work.  And, I would have never listened to this record except that Mike Marrone said it was his favorite of the year so far.  And Mike, unlike the newspapers, I trust.

So I played "Black Cadillac".  And, it’s good.  Oh, Leventhal puts a few too many tricks on some of the tracks, he never got the memo that less is more, but overall it’s a pleasant listening experience.

And there’s one fine track.  "House On The Lake".

We’re looking for something that causes the hairs on our neck to bolt upright.  We’re looking for something to actually REACH US in this overhyped, b.s. world.  Nothing does this better than music.  But what we get is Mariah Carey SHRIEKING at us.  Believe me, Mariah’s convinced me we don’t belong together.  Can you imagine being married to THAT?  I’m not talking Aretha and her full-bodied sauciness, but something more akin to fingernails scratching a blackboard.

I’m one of those classic music fans.  I’m not looking for the mainstream.  I’m not a mainstream kind of guy.  I’m looking for something left of center.  That soothes me, that makes me feel I’m not alone in this world.

"House On The Lake" is that kind of track.  The kind of track that sounded rich and warm on vinyl.  That had us playing these records all winter long.

It’s tough if you don’t purvey hits.  But, it doesn’t make sense to throw in with the major label.  Because, if you don’t have a hit, THEY’RE NOT INTERESTED!

Maybe somebody at Capitol/EMI believed they could turn Rosanne Cash into the new Norah Jones.  Only one problem, Rosanne isn’t new.  You’ve got to sell her like an old worn shoe returned.  Which most young ‘uns don’t want.  I mean you have to sell Rosanne SOFT, since most people AREN’T INTERESTED!  You’ve got to infect the public, and let THEM spread the word.

Now, more people are going to be aware of "Black Cadillac" on Capitol than one of today’s indies.  Unless Tony Brummel released it.  We need someone to start releasing singer/songwriters like that guy who puts out the soundtracks (  We need a label, a site where everybody who loves this music can CONGREGATE! is good for alternative rock.  And Starbucks is good if you actually leave the house and partake of coffee.  But that doesn’t cover the universe.  The way you reach a lot of people today isn’t in the press, or in the store, not even with an endcap, it’s via the Web.  And, you get started on the Web by letting people hear a track.  Better yet, GIVING PEOPLE A TRACK!

I’d love to put "House On The Lake" on my site.  For everybody to download and hear.  And, owning it, you’ll spin it more on your computer, and on your iPod, you’ll come to love it, and then you’ll E-MAIL it to people, breaking the record/act.  Yup, THAT’S how you do it.  That’s ANATHEMA to the major label.

Which is why they’ll only let you stream it.

But you should do this.

Go to:

Click on "Album Sampler".  Then click on "House On The Lake" and listen.

Try to strip the Cash legend from the lyrics.  Just listen to the music and remember the old days.  When life was simpler.  When you lived with mom and dad.  And had time to let your mind drift.

Soon major labels won’t release stuff like this anymore.  It will be akin to network TV.  Unless you can garner a huge share, the major won’t be interested.  But if you start looking at the share first, always viewing things through the prism of what the mainstream wants, you end up with junk like that Heather Graham show that only lasted one episode.  Whereas when you think about the project first, allowing the talent to fulfill its dreams, not worried about what MOST people would like/want, you end up with those great shows on HBO, like "The Sopranos" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm".  Which play and sell on DVD FOREVER!  Unlike the lame sitcoms that don’t break a season.  It’s like Led Zeppelin versus Whitney Houston.  Does ANYBODY want a Whitney Houston record TODAY?

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