Nine Pound Shadow
@ Schoolnight in Hollywood CA
When I heard that Brian "Dangermouse" Burton was starting a label with Columbia Records my first reaction was, "Why ever would he want to do that?" Not to compare my five years running an indie label with the experience that Burton was going to have, but I do have a solid understanding of the economics of running a record label, independently or otherwise, and it is just fucking rough in 2016. Not impossible, and certainly easier if you have Columbia to write reasonably sized checks when asked, but still.
That label is 30th Century Records and it has been most interesting to watch it come together. Of course, I hear of developments over the dinner table, so to speak. I was never skeptical or cynical about the idea, having met the man enough to know that he is genuinely interested in signing unknown artists and developing them as professionals. Nine Pound Shadow was one of the first signings. I would stress that we are talking modest contracts, but backed by the full faith and credit of Columbia Records. They are two brothers from Berkeley, CA. Their act is built around their ability to harmonize, wistful songwriting and a decent amount of between song stage patter.
The immediate comparison, based on my recent experience, is the Americana Award Winning act, Milk Carton Kids, who are bigger than I would have possibly expected. Like Milk Carton Kids, the emphasize is on the harmonies and the personalities of the performers. It occurred to me while watching that Nine Pound Shadow would be well advised to pursue the Americana angle, because it is a hot angle and they fit into it. I mean you can be folk in 2016 and it counts as Americana, and Americana sounds better.
Watching them perform live, it was quite easy to see the potential, because I literally watched Milk Carton Kids perform to a theater of adoring fans in a Nashville theater, and Nine Pound Shadow have a similar vibe as well as the backing of Columbia via 30th Century.