I wanted to let everyone know about an Atlanta based indie label that is doing nothing but wonderful things for indie artists in the acoustic/americana/folk genres.
Here's a press release:
ATLANTA INDIE RECORD LABEL EXPLORES ALTERNATE REALITIES
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Call it "the little record label that could." For
the past five years, Atlanta-based Lost Cat Records has been pursuing
an unconventional approach to promoting itself and its artists. For
starters, it doesn't sell records.
"We decided at a certain point that digital distribution was the wave
of the future, especially for a small label like us, with little or no
traditional distribution," says Lost Cat Records founder and president
Jerry Jodice. "At first it was a little rough going, but I think the
advent of iTunes and the subsequent decline in traditional CD sales is
proving us right."
A record label without records? What's the world coming to?
"In my lifetime, we've gone from 78s to 45s to LPs to 8-tracks to
cassettes to CDs, so moving from CDs to purely digital music just seems
like a logical progression," says Jodice. "Besides, it's a lot less
expensive to bring a digital-only album to market than it is to release
an actual CD. For one thing, major record retail outlets would never
carry some of our releases; their shelf space is limited, so a release
has to move a certain number of units to even warrant being carried by
them. But in the digital world there is infinite shelf space, which
allows us to take chances on artists who would never get a second look
by the mainstream record industry."
To date, Lost Cat has released more than 30 albums by 18 different
bands and musicians, with more on the way. But if it doesn't sell CDs,
how does the label get the word out about its artists? Mostly through
equally unconventional means, from marketing them through the label's
to getting them played on music
podcasts around the world, an outlet Jodice calls "our radio."
"Without conventional distribution in record stores, there's little to
no chance of getting played on conventional radio stations," he says.
"But podcasters are always looking for good music to play, especially
music that doesn't get them in trouble. The major labels are still a
little leery of having their artists played on a podcast, which can be
downloaded for free, so they frown on it, which means podcasters have
to go looking elsewhere for music to play if they want to avoid a
run-in with the record industry. But for us it's a great way to get our
music heard all over the world."
By way of example, Jodice cites his own long-running podcast, The Great
American Music Hour (www.GreatAmericanMusicHour.com
), which recently
celebrated its one-year anniversary. During that time, it has gotten
over 15,000 plays in countries including England, France, Belgium, the
Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Japan, Australia, and
Canada, to name just a few.
"We get a lot of hits from Iceland," he says. "That just amazes me,
since none of our artists has ever been to Iceland, no less played
there. But it illustrates my point, which is that people all over the
world love American music, and that being successful is just a matter
of making it available to them."
With worldwide distribution through outlets such as Apple iTunes and
worldwide promotion through podcasts such as The Great American Music
Hour and others, the next step for Lost Cat Records was promoting its
artists through live performance. In this area, as in all others, it
decided to take an unconventional approach, starting in its own
Lost Cat Records recently hosted its first house concert, which
featured nationally-known touring singer songwriter Lee Tyler Post and
was held in the Snellville, Georgia, backyard of Lost Cat
vice-president Kyle Jodice. More than 75 people attended, demonstrating
once again that being unconventional doesn't necessarily mean being
"I think house concerts are a great way to showcase independent
musicians," says Jodice. "They're more intimate than clubs and more
family-friendly than bars, and the cost of promoting and hosting a
house concert is considerably less daunting for a small label like us
than promoting a show at a place where you've got to either rent the
space or give up a percentage of the door to the house. The artist
makes more money in the end, and the fans get to see some great music
up close in a non-threatening setting."
In fact, the event was such a success that they plan to do it again,
with a package show scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving,
featuring a number of Atlanta-based Lost Cat artists.
"It'll be a lot of fun," concludes Jodice. "It's all a lot of fun."
And that, in the end, may be the key to the success of Lost Cat
Records: fun sells.