“…it all comes down to creating something people like. And what people like most is not slick, not glossy, over-produced songs written by guns-for-hire, but straight from the heart original numbers. You don’t have to create a new genre. But you do have to be good. Hell, just like Stephenie Meyer, pick up on a tried and true genre and give it your own twist. A brother and sister can be the new Carpenters. Scruffy kids can be the new Beatles. Don’t reinvent the wheel unless you have that ability. Clive Davis is right in one regard, you’ve got to have your hit. A hit is something that is irresistible, not a track that is driven to the top of the chart by big company money. Create your hit, and you’ll get a fan base. But, from there, know that you’re the leader of the gang. But the gang is more like a Boy Scout troop or a group of Brownies. But, Boy Scouts and Brownies desire to break through into adulthood. You’re going to help them, by giving them the tools to show the rest of the world that not only do they matter, they’re aligned with the best stuff out there, and they’ve been dedicated from the very beginning!”
The Lefsetz Letter – August 7, 2008
This month we are proud to present no fewer than 3 new videos from our scruffy kids for your viewing pleasure. We have an amazing slate of new acts to talk about and some of the blossoming flowers that are continuing to grow our gang.
Terry Lynn has just finished her video for “System”, a troubling commentary on the history and increased focus on violence and gun culture in her motherland of Jamaica. See the exclusive debut on Pitchfork.tv. Folks in Rexdale, the Bronx or South Compton think they have it bad (and they do some days) but there are parts of Jamaica that are damn frightening. While tourists tan on the beaches and hotel owners stock crates of cash in offshore banks, the youth of Jamaican ghettos are left without optimism and turn to guns and drugs and, eventually, the grave with potential unrealized and without hope regained. This video documentary – “Guns, Votes and Money” – provides some enlightening and disturbing perspective. Through her music and art, Terry is shining a light on the violence afflicting many parts of JA. Her debut album, titled Kingstonlogic 2.0, drops Sept 23 through Last Gang/Phree Music. For those that can’t wait, we have put together an exclusive digital version of the album that will release through iTunes Sept 16th (includes the album tracks, bonus remixes, Kingstonlogic video and digibook featuring lyrics and images from acclaimed Jamaican photographer Peter Dean Rickards of The Afflicted Yard).
Spin Magazine is featuring our beloved Crystal Castles this month over a spectacular 8 page spread. Ethan and Alice are continuing to define the times (even their wardrobe is making news). In addition, they just finished a new video for Crimewave that debuted on mtvU last week. If you haven’t seen it, dial into MTV Subterranean on Sept. 11th and see the Bruce Labruce directed vid in all it’s glory… minus the scenes we had to cut to clear standards (if only we could show you the original ending). The band continues to be a MySpace phenom – now nearing 10 million views. They are playing festivals around the world this fall, including Reeperbahn and Iceland Airwaves, all before heading back to North America for more live dates in late October. The Nine Inch Nails shows were a success – much respect to Trent for the supporting nod. We hear rumors of a remix album for the holiday season…as long as they don’t set themselves on fire, we should be fine.
Everybody knows “Maneater” by Hall & Oates….but what about some of those tastier oldies??? Chromeo, yeah Chromeo, recently hung out with Darryl Hall in a barn somewhere to kick out the motherfuckin’ jams! Check it out here. The positive reviews keep pouring in about their live sets around the world. Dave and Pee will be hitting Canada for a few select dates in October. Now let’s hope “Momma’s Boy” climbs the charts and the video makes its way to a TV near you – until then, you can see it here.
Electro this. Electro that. Turbo is helping us to burn the trail yet again with a monstrous digital compilation, aptly titled “Turbo and Last Gang Present: Superamerica”. This bomb drops Sept 9th in Canada and the US and features some classic recordings alongside some new tracks from artists including Proxy, Boys Noize, D.I.M., ZZT and Rainer Werner Bassfinder (or RWB as we like to call him – or is it “a him”???). Check the “Ghetto Town” track by Dilemn…..loud…..trust me (your neighbors won’t know what hit them). For anyone wanting to get initiated or others just looking to turn the party out and impress their friends – this is the collection for you. Sure you could spend 3 days searching online for all these tracks for free, but why bother? Turbo is wrapping up the much awaited Omnidance featuring all new tracks from…..well, basically everyone……I’ll have more for you next month.
I’m happy for Mother Mother. They are such a wonderful and hardworking group. Their new video for “Oh My Heart” is debuting very soon – check back to www.lastgangrecords.com for updates. The anticipation for their new album is palpable. O My Heart releases Sept. 23 in Canada and the US. They’ve just announced a slew of North American tour dates. Come out and see/hear incredible wordplay, amazing musicianship and spellbinding vocal harmonies.
This week alone I’ve had 3 people tell how much they love the tracks on the new O’Luge album, Movements. It warms my heart. I think this could be our sleeper album of 2008. The more people hear it the more it is going to circulate. Sometimes “a hit” isn’t found on MTV or Pitchfork or your big local radio station. Amazing production, dense rhythms, killer musicians…and guest spots from Citizen Cope and Ken Boothe! – makes for a great record that we are really proud of.
Last Gang. Keeping it good since 2003.