Archive for September, 2011

Updating the independent record shop model

I regularly read that independent record shops should “update their model” to allow for the “changing times” but at the very core of independent record shops have always been the fans. When Avalanche first started I can still remember we had three Christian Death fans and seven Cardiacs fans. Good independent shops were run by people who cared about music selling to people who cared about music. 

If independent shops are reduced to selling to casual fans and passers by and subsidising their income by selling online on Amazon and eBay then their heart has already been taken out. Selling tickets and second hand can certainly help but selling “new” music was as much what made an independent shop as it being independently owned. An independent shop without the fans is maybe better off closing.

Answers on a postcard or moving forward possibly by email.       

Avalanche coffee shop

There has been quite a lot of interest from people wanting to take over the running of the coffee shop for me. Some with considerable experience. Still not sure / convinced what to do but if you want to throw your hat in or have your two-penneth as to what we do say so in the next week. As I’ve said before there are several exciting possibilities but I am definitely too busy to take advantage of them myself.    

New Half Man Half Biscuit album ’90 Bisodol (Crimond)’ out on 26th September CD + limited vinyl/CD

Half Man Half Biscuit '90 Bisodol (Crimond)'

1. Something’s Rotten in the back of Iceland

2. Rsvp

3.Tommy Walsh’s Eco house

4.Joy in Leeuwarden (we are ready)

5. Excavating Rita

6. Fun Day In The Park

7. Descent Of The Stiperstones

8. Left Lyrics In the Practice Room

9. L’Enfer C’est Les Autres

10. Fix It So She Dreams Of me

11. The Coroner’s Footnote

12. Rock And Roll Is Full Of Bad Wools

Record Store Day co-founder may have to close record store

ImageRecord Store Day co-founder Eric Levin has been put in the unfortunate position of possibly having to close his own store, the Atlanta-based Criminal Records. Ironically, the stores growth led to the problems as a recent move to a 6000 square foot space after previously occupying 2500 square feet increased costs and that, coupled with the recession and music downloads – both legal and illegal – led to heavy debt for the store.Levin said:

I gave myself until the 20th anniversary and if I was still drowning by August 2011, I’d pull the plug. And going further into debt [wasn’t going to work] as the debt load is the problem that got me to this point. We’ve been underwater ever since the economy became distressed. We’ve been on a rescue mission for three years. I’m done paying for it by myself.

More on the story can be found via the AJC.

Criminal’s growth was also its downfall, Levin said. A move to a 6,000-square-foot space from a 2,500 one tripled expenses. Hosting live music two or three times a week for free became costly. The recession, legal and illegal music downloading and what Levin called a “miserable” holiday season in retail sales only dug the hole deeper. The four-day freeze after January’s ice storm cost the store $14,000, he said.

Aberfeldy Festival 4-5 November 2011

Aberfeldy Festival
Friday 4th & Saturday 5th November 2011

We are proud to announce that this years Festival Patron is Ian Rankin.

Ian Rankin will be starting the Aberfeldy Festival by giving a talk and book signing for his latest work ‘The Impossible Dead’ (published 13 October). Tickets £5 (including a glass of wine) are available fromThe Watermill 01887 822896 – book early to avoid dissapointment.

We are looking forward to a weekend of live bands, town traders market and loads of activities the whole family can enjoy.

During early September 2011 we will update what, where and when things are happening,

Confirmed Bands

James Yorkston


John Hunt

Admiral Fallow

A Band Called Quin

Star Wheel Press

2nd Hand Marching Band

Oxjam Edinburgh Takeover – Cabaret Voltaire, Sneaky Petes, Electric Circus, The Wee Red Bar & Medina – 21 October at 17:00 – 22 October at 03:00

Can’t keep it a secret any longer. Oxjam Edinburgh are very excited to finally announce the first details of our Takeover lineup!

So far we are lucky enough to have the amazing:

Dead Boy Robotics
French Wives
Sebastian Dangerfield
The Spook School
Trapped in Kansas
Verse Metrics

More TBC so watch this space.

Wristbands are £10 and are currently available from Avalanche Records with no booking fee

Avalanche 2011 Awards – Just to clarify

Just to clarify what the Avalanche 2011 awards piece was about. My point was that anybody can just make up some awards and give them a bit of authority one way or another. The actual choices are obviously genuine but MINE and mine alone. Of course come say the next There Will Be Fireworks album if they used the The Avalanche “This band deserve to be huge” award to There Will Be Fireworks quote it would imply it was a poll of all my customers and not “just what Kev thinks”. Knowing the guys I’m sure they wouldn’t but plenty would.

Again I did them in an old skool NME kinda way which seems to have proved popular already so I may add a few categories. Band that the media rave about but really just sound like Vampire Weekend maybe or best single made out of chocolate.    

The 2011 Scottish New Music Awards and Scottish Music Industry Awards

It looks like these awards were more of a fix than normal but to be honest all the awards I have come across have been largely suspect. This shouldn’t be a surprise as they are no more than an extension of who gets on the radio, in the press or to play at festivals. Slightly more worryingly the bloggers who felt themselves to be outside all of this have largely been assimilated in. As many others have said any attempt to have an awards system will have to be flawed on many levels and therefore there simply shouldn’t be any. Avalanche was nominated in these awards under best  MUSIC RETAILER of the YEAR but when they phoned I simply explained I didn’t believe in awards like this and would not be attending. Despite being short listed three times previously I even refused to take part in this year’s Music Week awards which are the industry leader.

It will be interesting to see when the next set of dodgy winners are announced if they are attacked quite so vehemently. At the moment I still haven’t been able to find out who won my category. Coincidentally I have the Avalanche 2011 awards to announce

Best newcomers    Star Wheel Press

Best band            The Savings and Loan 

Best live band       Kid Canaveral

Best label             Fence

Best festival          Home Game

Best album           Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Everything’s Getting Older

Best in-store         Frightened Rabbit

Best acoustic set   Twilight Sad

God like genius award  Dan Willson (Withered Hand)

Lifetime achievement award – joint winners King Creosote and Ballboy

etc etc as I simply make up awards to give to my friends and people I like

So band that have best survived the tag “the Scottish Arcade Fire” – Broken Records

Most missed – Saint Jude’s Infirmary

Best comeback (album)   TV21

Best comeback (gig)       Scars

The Avalanche “This band deserve to be huge” award to There Will Be Fireworks

Then I start to worry I’ve missed out a few friends so I make up a few more categories and it’s done. Just a bit of fun unless I then claim it is the result of a huge poll of my customers and get a double page spread in The Skinny and a feature on the radio (that’s proper radio something like Vic or Ally).

One category I’ll leave to your imagination – Band that best jumped on the Mumford and Sons bandwagon.

There Will Be Fireworks – Midfield Maestro

Goodbye Jack Vettriano – Saint Jude’s Infirmary

One great song – two great videos