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Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2012

January 5, 2013

Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2012
Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2012

Franz Nicolay

What is your name and band/label/etc?

Franz Nicolay (Xtra Mile Recordings, Sabot Productions)

What are your top five albums that were released in 2012? (In order 1-5)
  1. Kepi Ghoulie - I Bleed Rock N Roll
  2. Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables
  3. Future Of The Left - The Plot Against Common Sense
  4. Hop Along - Get Disowned
  5. Morning Glory - Poets Were My Heroes
What band did you discover in 2012 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

Hop Along was a real revelation, feral and intense with lyrics that are opaque enough that you put some work in to try and get at what makes them seem, still, meaningful. Kepi Ghoulie made the great reptile-brain rock record of the year, with caveman beats, three chords, and sentiments straight from the Chuck Berry/Ramones/Johnny Thunders platonic core of the rock redwood; the kind of songs that sound easy to do until you try. And (this record is older) I'd never really cottoned to Smog, but Bill Callahan's "Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle" I found fascinating. Songwriting, for the most part, isn't really poetry - at its best, it sometimes approaches prose poems - but something about a couple of these songs I'd read as legitimately poetic language.

How will you remember 2012? (In terms of music)

I was on the road so much this year that I wasn't as dutiful about discovering music that wasn't right in front of my eyes, either by tourmates like Kepi Ghoulie, labelmates like Future Of The Left, friends like Morning Glory and The Cut Ups, or people I already knew I liked like Todd Snider and Bob Dylan. And aside from Scott Walker, there was nothing particularly off the wall: just smart, articulate, aggressive music with a passionate point to make.

What can we look forward to from you in 2013?

An EP of outtakes from Do The Struggle called Bad Advice, and my book based on my touring in China and the former Soviet bloc.

What records are you looking forward to most in 2013?

The best are the ones I don't expect. Ben Marwood.

Fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made a strong impact on the ability of artists to release music. Do you think this approach is a trend, or will it continue to shape how artists produce their material?

Every artist is a hustler, and at the end of the day is going to beg, borrow, or steal what they can't earn to make the thing they want to make; so I don't think we can afford to scorn any tool out of a misplaced sense of impropriety or dignity. I've written that there are basically two time-honored historical models, broadly speaking, for making a living as a musician: as a sing-for-your-supper troubadour, or as a client of a patron. Crowd-funding is essentially making a many-headed hydra patron in lieu of one rich benefactor. I've also written elsewhere that if we want Spotify and torrents and $2.98 Amazon album specials, we have to consider accepting the NPR model: the idea that indie rock may come to be subsidized in the same way that we accept that jazz and classical music are subsidized by various (private and state) entities as a valuable piece of American culture that can't be fully supported by the market.

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— the SPB team • January 5, 2013

Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2012
Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2012

Pages in this feature

  1. Opening page
  2. Aidan Baker - Nadja
  3. Alan (drums) - Nephelium
  4. Alex "Shmalex" Dontré (drums) - Psychostick
  5. Amos Pitsch (guitar/vocals) - Tenement
  6. André Foisy - Locrian, Kwaidan, Eolomea
  7. Andreas Weiss (vocals) - The Rabid Whole
  8. Andrew Gomez IV (owner) - Glory Kid Limited
  9. Andrew Nolan - Column of Heaven, Pick Your Side
  10. Andy Nelson (bass) - Paint It Black, Ceremony
  11. Anthony Anzaldo (guitar) - Ceremony
  12. Aslan Freeman (vocals/guitar) - Unifier / Future Ghosts)
  13. Ben Crew (vocals) - In Defence
  14. Ben Hendricks (vocals) - Annabel
  15. BJ Rochinich - Ancient Shores, A389
  16. Brent Eyestone - Magic Bullet Records, Highness, Bleach Everything
  17. Bubby Hussy (guitar/vocals) - The Hussy, Kind Turkey Records
  18. Casey Ory (drums) - Titans Eve
  19. Chris Mason (owner) - Dirt Cult Records, Low Culture
  20. Cory von Bohlen (owner) - Halo of Flies / Protestant
  21. Daryl Gussin - Razorcake, God Equals Genocide, Margin Mouth
  22. Dave Drobach (bass) - Grabass Charlestons
  23. Davey Quinn (guitar/vocals) - Tiltwheel, Too Many Daves, Dan Padilla, International Dipshit
  24. Denver Whipple (bass) - Edge of Attack, Spread the Metal Records
  25. Dimitri Gervais & Mathieu St-Amour - Chariots of the Gods
  26. Domenic Romeo (owner) - A389 Recordings
  27. Eddie Gobbo (vocals) - Jar'd Loose
  28. Frank Turner
  29. Franz Nicolay
  30. Gil Markle (producer)
  31. Graham Scala (guitar) - Highness, Bleach Everything
  32. J. Wang (Owner) - Fast Crowd Records, Dan Padilla
  33. Jacob Lentner
  34. Jake Lang - Sweet Weapons
  35. Jay Cross (drums) - Mortor, Accursed Spawn
  36. Jennifer Shagawat (drums) - Shellshag, Starcleaner Records
  37. Jihad M. Rabah (Owner) - Twelve Gauge Records
  38. Jim Blaha (guitar/vocals) - The Blind Shake
  39. Joe Mullen (drums) - Odium
  40. Joesph Steinhardt (owner) - Don Giovanni Records
  41. John Cate (singer/songwriter)
  42. Jonathan McMaster (bass) - Stickup Kid
  43. Jordan Baker - Pastepunk
  44. Joseph D. Rowland (bass) - Pallbearer
  45. Josh Lyford (vocals) - Foxfires
  46. Kathleen Stubelek (bass) - Circle Takes the Square
  47. Kevin Gan Yuen (guitar) - Sutekh Hexen
  48. Mars - Project Mars
  49. Matt Copeland (drums) - Adrenechrome
  50. Matt Fox - Shai Hulud
  51. Matthew Donlon (guitar) - Lunaire
  52. Matthew Wade (singer/songwriter) - My Silent Bravery
  53. Matty J ("bass moose") - Psychostick
  54. Michael Phillips (owner) - Escapist Records
  55. Miguel Chen (bass) - Teenage Bottlerocket
  56. Mike Browne (vocals) - Son of Man
  57. Mike Cheese - Gehenna
  58. Mike Park (owner) - Asian Man Records
  59. Mike Riley - Firestarter Records, Toxic Pop Records, Paper Dragons
  60. Nick 13 - Tiger Army
  61. Nick Harris (guitar) - Luther
  62. Pat Kennedy (guitar/vocals) - Light Years
  63. R. Loren (owner) - Handmade Birds/Pyramids
  64. Rennie Resmini (vocals) - Starkweather
  65. Roo Pescod (guitar/vocals) - Bangers
  66. Ryan Bram (guitar) - Territory
  67. Sam Russo
  68. Seth Gile (vocals/guitar) - Arms Aloft
  69. Steve (guitar) - Valerian Swing
  70. Steven Hess - Locrian
  71. Steven Williams (owner) - Init Records
  72. T (vocals) - StIth Panzer
  73. Terence - Locrian / Land of Decay
  74. Tobias Jeg (owner) - Red Scare Industries
  75. Wes (drums) - Comadre

Series: Year End 2012

A collection of coverage rounding up the year 2012, covering our favorite albums, shows, bands, and more, as well as asking record labels and bands about their past twelve months in music — More from this series

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