Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea: The Biggest Local Band You've Never Heard of?

As you might guess, the We Shot J.R. Myspace page receives it's fair share of friend requests from relatively unknown local bands. Every once in a while, we get one that makes us feel like we struck gold-- something unique, interesting and exciting being produced right in our own backyard (Ghosthustler and Mom, for example). Most of the time, however, the bands we encounter in this manner are young, inexperienced and predictable at best, providing very little for us to get excited about. When I first heard Matthew and the Arrogant Sea via a Myspace friend request roughly six months ago, I quickly placed them in the latter category. What I found on their page was relatively traditional indie folkpop (the kind that kids in the suburbs seem to be producing in wholesale quantities these days), and in the short amount of time I spent with the music, I failed to find anything that struck me as particularly noteworthy. But ever since that first encounter, after months of seeing the band's name pop up again and again on local bills without much hype or media attention, things have dramatically changed with Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, and it's not just their music. In fact, they might be on a very fast track to becoming one of North Texas' biggest bands, even if many in the area have yet to hear their name.

Matthew and the Arrogant Sea consists of Bryce Isbell, Sarah Wilson and three members of the same family: brothers Matt Gray and Caleb Gray, and nephew Jacob Gray. Matt and Bryce first met at a show a little more than two years ago when they were both performing as separate solo acts, one of which was an early incarnation of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea featuring Matt playing solo. After the two began hanging out and casually collaborating on tracks for Matt's project (Matt on lead vocals and guitar and Bryce on drums, synths and effects), Gray's brother Caleb, a solo performer himself, started accompanying the duo on electric slide guitar, saw and bass, while Jacob joined shortly after on violin and Sarah came in to play lap harp and tambourine. Not surprisingly, this influx of new blood helped birth a drastic change in the sound and philosophy of what was now a full fledged band trying to find it's way.

"Things have changed in our hearts," says Bryce Isbell as he explains the band's evolution, "our views on life have really changed and we realized that we needed to quit trying to be what our mothers want to hear and make what we can listen to and dig."

While the band's older material certainly wasn't awful in any way, it seemed to be a bit too cute and obvious (if memory serves) to stand out in a sea of ambitious young local bands with developing record collections and Myspace accounts. But as Matthew and the Arrogant Sea continued to grow as a band, the members' collective interest in a darker, noisier and more abstract version of experimental psychedelic folk began to take hold, showcasing a flair for the literary and theatrical while maintaining the intimate appeal of more traditional solo acoustic guitar folk/pop.

The band's sound seems to fall somewhere between Nick Drake and older Animal Collective, drawing from strange, dramatic 70's folk acts such as Fairport Convention and Pearls Before Swine (whether intentionally or not) and dressing those influences up with the sounds of a variety of contemporary indie touchstones ranging from Espers to Fruit Bats to Devendra Banhart to the experimental tribal avant folk of Sunburned Hand of the Man. The result is a solid base of acoustic pop lying beneath layers of swirling noise, reverb and other textures that give much of their music a sense of loneliness, distance and detachment. Songs like "The Irony of Anigav..." buzz with tin can percussion, bits of white noise and a hypnotic use of repetition, while "Pancakes on Mars" treads on more traditional folk turf but remains interesting due to it's recording, which creates an artificial acoustic space reminiscent of hearing an old country song in a car on a long dark highway. And while the band hasn't exactly invented the particular styles they are working within, their take is unique and quickly rewarding, displaying a locally uncommon willingness to create experimental pop that is both experimental and, well, poppy.

Although the band's recent musical evolution has been quite noteworthy in it's own right, the sheer number of outside projects it's members are working on at this very moment makes the story even more interesting. Mixing and matching musicians and seemingly forming new bands at the drop of a hat, the core of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea literally has 13 current side projects that all seem to spawn from a singular musical vision and branch out organically. And of course, each one of them has it's own Myspace page. Gashcat, one of the more immediately memorable of the bunch, heads in the darkest direction of all with hauntingly dramatic vocals and a dizzying mix of synth strings, noise and distorted vocals, while Koala Bees embraces a slightly brighter, more electronic approach on songs like "Word Word Word," which sounds influenced by Panda Bear's recent material. Elsewhere, Papa Viking tackles bluesier, rough around the edges Americana with a hint of acid hangover, while the excellent Verulf probably owes the biggest debt to groups like Espers, Wooden Wand and Animal Collective, focusing on spacey, naturalistic atmospheres and tones that qualify as the most non-traditionally Western of the bunch (aside from Verulf's minimal noise influenced project Concrete Animals). Some of the projects are more intriguing than others, of course, but the energy, emotion and attention to detail in each is admirable, and sometimes downright captivating. Flipping through their Myspace pages, which all link to one another, is sort of like running a gauntlet. Only with mostly pleasant surprises around the corners.

These various side projects are also tied to together by more than a common set of ambitious band members. Bryce Isbell and the others have formed their own record company, Magilum, to release some of their recorded material and serve as an organizational mechanism for their prolific output. Aside from releasing Verulf's debut The Rattlesnake Tree, the label's first major step into the public realm will be the upcoming New Sabbath Festival, taking place on August 18th at J&Js in Denton. The festival boats a large, diverse bill that will feature Peter and the Wolf, Jana Hunter, and Brothers and Sisters, as well as local favorites like Theater Fire and Chris Garver, and a few other non-local surprises that haven't been confirmed quite yet (at least one of them is a HUGE name).

So what did all this hard work and Elephant 6 style collaboration get these guys? The answer most local music cynics (including me) would expect is nothing, but again, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea have managed to surprise. According to Bryce Isbell, the band has recently entered into a $6 million recording contract with EMI, the result of both luck and hard work. After beginning a relationship with a smaller locally based label that didn't exactly pan out, the band went on the road and played a series of what Matt Gray considers "some of the best shows [we've] ever played in the presence of the right people," providing them with an opportunity to shine musically and make the kind of connections they needed to garner the attention of potential suitors. And although a large sum of money offered by a very large record label might give some musicians pause, the members of Matthew and the Arrogant Sea seem quite comfortable with what they're doing.

"We've had nothing but a positive experience with this label," Isbell says, "they've been wonderful to us. They have given us 100% complete creative control." And furthermore, according to Isbell, the $6 million figure is not some major label recoupable advance that will keep the band in a hole forever, but more of a sign on bonus and an investment in the group's development. Again, pretty damn weird for an industry that has become comically clueless in recent years.

The whole thing seems like a large and surprising leap to the big time for a band that was hardly on anyone's radar even six months ago (especially considering the competing offers they received from Capitol Records and American Recordings), but unusual happenings and big changes just seem to be business as usual for Matthew and the Arrogant Sea these days. As the band prepares for it's major label career and a likely move to Sacramento within the next couple of months, the strangeness of the entire endeavor is striking. Matthew and the Arrogant Sea is experimental but digestible, easy to enjoy but hard to figure out. And as so many careerist bands in Dallas struggle to "play the game" and "make it" on anyone else term's but their own, the refreshing thing about Matthew and the Arrogant Sea is the way they've gone about their business on their own, creating a small but complicated world of music, art (thanks mostly to Sarah Wilson), and storytelling that seems to be largely insulated from the outside world.

"To those who wonder if our days of tribal folk and psychedelic pop are gone," Isbell says, "think again. We have only just begun." For some reason, I kind of believe him.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait.. really?

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm... bullshit.

You guys should really check your resources before letting some crappy promoter use you to muster up drama for their band and their festival.

Matthew and His Arrogant Hippies will have to pay their dues just like everyone else.

Most of the bands on their "festival" haven't even confirmed yet.

Again, I call "bullshit."

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but its genius!

4:00 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

I don't have an opinion on the music of this band but as for this write-up:
I wouldn't expect this crap from Stonedranger. It is just stupid and an insulting waste of everyone's time. Sorry to sound dramatic.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:32 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

tell us more, Aaron. What is stupid and insulting about it?

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, wait a minute... 6 million dollars!?!?!?

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoah, why's everyone so mad at Matthew? I'd like to hear that backstory.
Unlike SR, I hadn't heard MATAS at all till I got a MySpace request from them, and I was really impressed with the songs on their page. Haven't heard the album or seen them live, though, so I don't have a fully formed opinion.
But yeah, this isn't Stoned Ranger's best writing by a long shot. Almost suspect someone else wrote it, since SR is good with the grammar but this was full of incorrect "it's" instead of "its".

9:11 AM  
Blogger aaron said...

I'm not sure why I had such an immediate emotional response, but let me just run you through my motions (clean.)
I come here this morning to read, see there's a new post up. Cool. Scroll to the bottom to see that SR was the author, "OK I'm in for a thoughtful, straight ahead review of something without unnecessary personal opinion or filler."
I start to read and I feel like the outfield is kind of stepping forward, not expecting a pop fly, if you catch my drift.
I am not the best at arguing or debating so I will just say that as a loyal reader of your blog, I'm detecting slow-pitch.
But, I have missed a joke or two in my time and there's probably something I'm missing. I trust that it is intelligent enough, whatever it is.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

$6 million - non-recoupable? I call bullshit, too.

First, think of the business decision for EMI. They're willing to give $6MM away? That must mean they expect this band to make back for them - in net profit - something like $7MM to $7.5MM. In a year. Otherwise, they'd be better off just investing in an index fund. So, EMI expects this band to sell upwards of TEN MILLION copies of their album - in the first year?

Secondly, EMI is bankrupt and sold to a slash-and-burn takeover firm: http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/070524-NL-EMI.html

Not the best time to be "investing" a non-recoupable $6MM in a new act.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah- what the fuck? This story sucks.

10:45 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

man, I've heard of lying in an interview as a joke, but this is a bit extreme.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it does sound crazy but i think josh pearson got a deal simalar to that.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fifty five bands have been absolutely confirmed, the EMI deal is confirmed- with a sign on bonus of six million dollars. MATAS has been paying thier dues for a long time, and really don't deserve an attack by a series of anonymous bloggers annoyed at the quality of writing and aiming to attack whatever they can. Sorry guys, go to a show. The only bullshit is what you've written here.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd hear myself say this but... where is Sam Machovich when you need him?
At least he does some research before drunken writing.

It's a cheap publicity stunt from some kids who are SO attention needy, they just can't waste any time paying their "dues." LAME!!!!

Ghosthustler at least has some good songs and have played outside of Denton before.

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"MATAS has been paying thier dues for a long time, and really don't deserve an attack by a series of anonymous bloggers annoyed at the quality of writing and aiming to attack whatever they can."

Did you read Lindsay's post? Not anonymous and very reasoned.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

55 bands at j&J's?
in one week? wait... in one day!
holy shit, not only are they the "biggest local band we've never heard of," matthew's a fucking magician!
how does he make the fire marshall disappear like that?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So have we. Thanks for the write up stonedranger, I found it neither stupid, nor an insulting waste of time. Honest, too.

The review wasn't gushing with vapid adulation, there was a decent amount of what I deem deserved criticism.

The resources were checked and correct. Believe me, the band is paying thier dues. There was no lying in the interview, but you can take that for what you will. Sorry, but we're lacking in the ability to fabricate utter bullshit and spin our grandiose delusions to a blog. I don't think anyone really cares for that kind of publicity.


Sarah Wilson.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And conveniently, when there's six stages and 14 hours, fifty five bands CAN play in one day!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually agreed to play this New Sabbath Fest with Smog, Low, and the Castanets.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to make it. But!!! They've been replaced by Arrogant Matthew, Ben Fleming, Desiree Anastasia, Ryan Gilbert, Billy Ratliff, et al.

Apparently these are kids Matthew goes to high school with? I just hope they don't smell like fucking patchouli.

Actually, I think I'm dropping out.

11:22 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

if the guy wasn't lying then he and his friends must have been duped into some bullshit deal memo by some slick A$R kid.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not buying the 6 million dollars thing. i know its a major label and all that, but 6 MILLION DOLLARS?!?! for what? how many people are in this band? that is so much extra money. has anybody read steve albini's article about the problem with music?
if the $6,000,000 figure is true, i'm sure they're getting fucked over hard in some way.

oh yeah, hasn't every body read this already:

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"competing offers they received from Capitol Records and American Recordings"

Capitol Records and EMI are the same company you idiots. And American Recordings hasn't been putting out albums, and probably won't in the near future because they've been absorbed by Warner Bros. They are currently "on hold" until they are dissolved completely.

Waste of time. Check your resources.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

Aaron said:
"I am not the best at arguing or debating"

Agreed. Aaron, why don't you spare us. I've been waiting to tell you this for awhile, but can you please spend the next couple of years learning more about music before you give your improbably uninformed and unreasonably dismissive opinions about everything except what boring sixties gear you're using or whatever Flying Burrito Brothers bootleg you scored. At the rate you're going you'll end up in a Garland guitar shop well into your old age, completely bitter about the changing musical world around you and smelling like barbecue.

"OK I'm in for a thoughtful, straight ahead review of something without unnecessary personal opinion or filler."

Yeah, so you thought you were in for the opposite of everything I've ever read that you've written. I believe this is a shot at me as well and I welcome it. Don't worry I'll have some work up here soon. I might even accidentally call a "pedal steel" a "lap steel", at which point they'll rush you to the hospital to treat your aneurysm. I mean, "without unnecessary personal opinion?" This is a BLOG. Are you familiar with the concept? Besides, didn't you tell Stonedranger that he wrote trash and to get off of Denton Rock City...until he wrote a nice review of your band?

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck the money


fuck your writing

- that was the longest stupidest post i've ever read on weshotjr.

seriously, cut that shit out.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Frederick said...

the festival is going to be spread out over 6 stages, 5 of which are confirmed. All of the acts on the webpage magilumrecords.com are totally confirmed. The contract is still in negotiation, it hasn't been signed yet. The numbers and specifics in the article are what MATS is being told by EMI and what MATS read from the contract. the contract is expected to be signed in the next couple days.

that oughtta clear it up.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

then quit reading and bitching

11:55 AM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

While I love a good publicity stunt as much as the next person, bear in mind that a major label's (ones that are not in Chapter 11 takeover territory as Capitol/EMI are as someone has already pointed out) budgets are much more modest these days.

Big selling Reggaeton get this amount of investment from a major so let's consider the $6 million figure a funny ha ha

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry i have been out of contact.. my space is not my space.. i will give you a call today..

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They get 6 million bucks and are gonna move to... Sacramento?

12:14 PM  
Blogger doorbells said...


12:24 PM  
Blogger doorbells said...

Good for MATAS. They're talented. And bitching about their good fortune won't improve yours.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of May 21st of 2007, EMI no longer exists.

Their remaining assets of the bankrupt company were bought by Terra Firma Capital Partners, who intend to auction off rights to their Beatles, Mariah Carey, and Red Hot Chili Peppers back catalog.

Matthew, you're a fucking joke.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Bryce said...

the contract is the final stages of negotiation. it exists according to Matthew and EMI. sorry to disappoint everyone and strike such controversial nerves in so many bitter starving musicians that we we shot jr. but according to matthew and EMI everything is 100% true.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Bryce said...

I reiterate, according to Matthew and EMI.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bitter Starving Musicians" Bryce?

Well ain't you a sweetie. I guess after paying all those dues you're in a place where you don't have to worry about making friends and contacts anymore.

Pretty defensive for a dude with that much scratch coming his way.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EMI does not exist.

They went into bankruptcy over a year ago, and finally collapsed entirely in May. Go to there website. They're still promoting the goddamned "Joss Stone" debut album for crissakes!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous, look at the wikipedia article about em, they're fine. they are one of the top four.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's true!
My band, Black Tie Die Nasty,
just signed a $7 million contract with EMI!

That'll pay for almost all of our hairspray and gel needs!

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, EMI's Wikipedia page has a section entitled "Terra Firma Takeover Proposal."

Guess you didn't read that part, huh?

Well, the proposal went through as of about three weeks ago.

EMI has been disolved.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck it. I'm gonna sign with EMI too. EIGHT MILLION.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous tystamp said...

$6million? i say bullshit as well. i've never heard their myspace but i've seen it live...................................................cricket.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Bryce said...

yes, bitter starving muscian. which I currently am as well. I REITERATE the contract is in NEGOTIATIONS meaning that anything could happen though everything is moving ahead -- EMI does exist, it has not been dissolved, they've branched out into a handful of smaller label in which they use as somewhat of a front I guess you could say go to their fucking website, they still exist and are very much in working order.

As for the statement which has yet to be retracted, the "entered into a 6 million dollar contract with EMI" that is incorrect MATAS has ENTERED INTO NEGOTIATIONS FOR A POTENTIAL 6 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT WITH EMI...

I'm not lying, I am relaying what I'm being told by Matthew who is relaying what he is allegedly being told by EMI.

Theres no reason for such hostility. This isn't a publicity stunt. We figured a duel story release about EVERYTHING thats going on may help the festival -- which is 100% confirmed magilumrecords.com.

sorry if any of you feel like this is bullshit, because it's not as far as I know. I'm sitting i the middle of it.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous shqhob said...

SHQ is now a subsidiary of House of Blues, but we get to keep our own Chicken Popper recipe.
So we got that going for us.
It's a really good recipe.

Aug 3 8:30P
$35 + Service Charge
$10 Parking

Aug 4 8:30P
Teenage Cool Kids
Koji Kondo
Angry Businessmen
Dance of Days (San Antonio)
$45 + Service Charge + Service Charge for the Service Charge

210 East Hickory
Den-uhn, Texass

12:54 PM  
Anonymous tystamp said...

despite my mean comment. i hope everything works out. just sounds very odd. doesn't matter what i think right. it does to an extent irritate when i hear of record contracts for large amounts whether real or not. who the fuck needs the much money to make a good record!? seriously it's a horrible ethic for musicians and music. i'd always look at sums of money like that as like the foreshadowing for something bad that is about to happen. i really don't believe it though. but hopefully for MATAS i'm wrong. good luck with that. and watch your shit cause that sounds pretty fishy.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous daniel said...

well, regardless of money and contracts and all that shit, these guys are actually doing something as opposed to most old hipster fucks - sitting on their ass and drooling over pitchfork.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah true daniel. putting together a big folk festival thing is real nice of them. hope that works out too.

1:01 PM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

The SHQHOB Blooming Onion makes a great starter to share.

Make sure to pick up your SHQHOB golf visors at the Visitor's Center on the way out.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps. that was kind of asshole thing to go on attack like that DL. i don't think aaron was taking a very nasty tone about the whole thing. he even said himself that there may be something he's missing. and trusts you guyz judgement.
i shouldn't have an opinion anymore today though it just seems to be bad news for today. vibe killerz.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous SHQHOB said...

"Make sure to pick up your SHQHOB golf visors at the Visitor's Center on the way out."

Light blue or yellow!
A GREAT addition to your
80s Night Irono-Wear!

And make plans NOW to be at SHQHoB on November 3.
We got Warrant and Winger and Whitesnake! THE WWIII TOUR!

1:10 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

Alright Bryce, I guess since you're going to try and pass the buck, I'm going to explain to everyone why the hell I wrote what I did in the first place.

1. First of all, if everyone notices, I included a question mark in the beginning of the story because I also was unsure about what exactly was going on... which is why I made sure that any reference to the money or the contract came after an "according to Isbell," and was followed by a reference to how strange it was in the first place. I thought the figure seemed high, but I wanted to share what Bryce Isbell was telling me along with the rest of the story. The story was not written because they had this "contract," but I felt I should include it in the story as long as I made it clear that I was not claiming it as a fact, or that I had verified from an outside source. Is this fucking watergate or something?

2. I have been talking with Bryce about this for several weeks on and off in order to get as much information as I can. Bryce originally told me that I should refer to the deal as "negotiations" because it was not finalized. Then, on July 17th, he sent me a myspace message saying it would be fine to report that MATAS was ALREADY signed to the label, since the deal was basically done. Since that date, he has referred to the contract as if it was finalized and given me specifics on the money. At least until today, when he emailed me AFTER the story was published and told me to change it back to "negotiatons." He also at no time even hinted that he had only heard about this second hand through Matt Gray until a few minutes ago on the comment section of this blog.

I repeatedly asked him for details about the contract, and inquired about recoupable advances a number of times. Each time, I was told that this figure wasn't a recoupable advance, although Bryce did seem to say that a lot of this money was going towards development, which is why I called it an "investment." I didn't feel like I had enough facts to report on the specifics, which is why I didn't.

3. There is also an entirely untold part of this story that makes a pretty big difference. Unfortunately, at this point, I have promised to keep that portion of the story confidential... but let's just say, for the record, that it involves a smaller record label and a buyout, and if true, it makes the idea of MATAS getting signed out of nowhere less difficult to believe.

I guess I could have been more clear on this in the article, but I was honestly trying to focus on the band's music and development rather than the business side of some deal. However, as I said, I did make sure to include phrases to indicate that I had only learned this from Bryce Isbell, and I stand by this story as published. Even if the contract deal isn't true, it won't affect my position because I never claimed to have independent confirmation of it.

And as far as I know, the festival is legit. The biggest confirmed acts (Sound Team dude, Peter and the Wolf, Jana Hunter) all list the festival on their myspace pages.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Bryce said...

The contract is coming into a close very soon, EMI is dissovled as far as a direct record label but EMI Publishing still exist which own tons and tons of record labels which is how MATAS will be released according to the attorney in a conversation a few moments ago.

The reason it was said that we could say "signed" was through a misunderstanding with Matthew, but for legal reasons we've realised despite the close proximity of signing the contract, within a day or two, it would probably still be best if it has been noted as "in negotiations"

1:29 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

The Albini piece is amazing. I think Matt should be our emissary. We'll get back to him and see how it pans out.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Negotiations are supposed to be hush hush. So hush. Gonna feel silly if it all falls apart. There's no need to defend yourselves if it's all true. Which, of course, it's not, but whatever. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm... publishing companies don't pay you upfront.

They collect royalties on albums sold and songs aired. period.

And they definitely don't own record labels. They own copyrights to songs. Why would you want to sell your songs anyway? That should be the one thing you DO keep.

You guys are hilarious.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, they aren't paying the bands at the festival.
They asked bands to open for "larger acts," that weren't really confirmed and probably weren't even contacted.
So now there's 55 bands playing to each other.
Thanks guys

2:08 PM  
Blogger Magilum Collective said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a soon to be rich small town obscure songwriter collective that overbooks festivals, so I am really getting a kick out of these replies.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Magilum Collective said...

if you dont want to play the festival no one is forcing you. Peter and the Wolf, Jana Hunter, The Theater Fire, Johnny Lloyd Rollins -- those are fairly large bands and they're all confirmed. so please dont play if you're going to bitch what we're trying to do for Denton

2:13 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

Again, every act on the webpage is confirmed. One act, the big secret one, recently dropped out. I don't understand all this "probably never contacted them" stuff, do you have some info that we, the organizers don't? would you go into some specifics? The list is now final, the venues are now final, New Sabbath has no secrets so fire away with any questions or rumors and we'll answer right here.

2:22 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

fairly large bands?
my band recently played with jana hunter at rgrs, and while I will stand by the fact that she is awesome and totally deserving of fame, there were only about 15-20 people in attendance at that show.

how does this constitute "fairly big" exactly?

I'm not trying to be an asshole and I'm also not trying to be a buzzkill, but you kids are getting ahead of yourselves.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of the collective posts from your crew are getting pretty self-righteous.

so many bitter starving musicians
old hipster fucks
if you're going to bitch what we're trying to do for Denton

Johnny Lloyd Rollins? Buttsecks?

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't get defensive, i'm sure your festival will be great.


don't go around pretending that asking someone to play something "for denton" and asking someone to play something with daniel johnston castanets and low is the same thing.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

and also, go to EMIgroup.com for all you folks more literate in the industry than we are and maybe you can explain it better. MATS is not a bunch industry afficionados, they're just guys and this is all pretty new to them. it sure looks to me like EMI group is still a very powerful entity and they still have a list (updated july 29th) of all their record company holdings and the lawyer MATS has been talking to has said the same thing. i mean, if you're calling these boys outright liars thats one thing (that you'de be dead wrong about) but if you're actually interested in how this is working then help everyone here figure this stuff out. corporate identity is fuzzy topic for most.

2:27 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

I'd also like to add that Ray castanets played w/ jana at that show and it's not like his presence magically brought in herds of adoring fans.

shit like this shouldn't matter, I mean, who cares what names are playing your festival anyway?

if what you are doing matters and you know it does, put some grease into it and show people why the local acts in this area actually matter instead of fluffing up your shit with some unconfirmed "huge" names.

that's just silly.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Magilum Collective said...

i personally never heard a thing about Low, the castanets were NEVER EVEN considered for the August 18th Festival they were confirmed for August 4th pre-festival -- but they had to drop out last minuet and it was Ray from the castanets not the full band -- Jana Hunter is a fairly big artist -- just because she didnt bring in a huge draw doesnt mean shes not a notable name -- and if your band doesnt want to play without pay then dont fucking play -- we're doing this for fun, because we love music, why is it that we're subject to such degrading bullshit from a huge group of pertentious know it all music buffs who have shit pinned tight -- if you dont support what we're trying to do then for gods sake FUCK OFF -- but if you dig it thats great and we hope you can appreciate whats going on right now

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread alone is proof enough that if all of this shit is true, and if it's half as intense as what is being talked about, the "industry" will chew these kids into tiny pieces.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since when was a 25 year old considered a kid? grow the fuck up.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

re: daniel, castanets and low.

Low? i don't remember them even being considered and i've been with this fest since day one.

daniel: we got a message from jason from the nightmares a couple weeks ago saying danny was gonna be in CA and couldnt attend after all. danny agreed to play it first but then decided to do other things, the website and info about the fest was kept up-to-date.

castanets was going to play our pre-festival on the 21st of july but had to help some friends out (in NC i think) so couldnt attend. he was never booked for the main festival.

re: jana. jana is awesome and important to the genre and we are honored to have her at our festival. she's big to us and if she's not to you nobody is making you watch her. allot of folks are excited about her coming though even if you aren't.

re: denton, this is for denton and for magilum which will be for denton. we decided early on against accepting non-local sponsors and are giving denton small businesses that support whatever help we can give them. i don't expect us to make much if any money off of this after paying the traveling acts and misc. equipment and promotion costs, but thats not the point, the point is to start something for a town which is incredibly important to modern music and from which so many influencial artists have hailed. this is a celebration of denton and if you don't like that then don't come, i don't get all this shit talking.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, in this WHOLE thread, that's what you should get mad about.

2:35 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

you know, it's interesting, the one time that people chime in on wsjr with comments grounded in reality: no name calling or general trolling, the people being questioned react in a way almost as vitriolic as most of the anon comments I've seen on here in the past.

that is truly strange, it's opposite day on wsjr.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its annoying

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny Lloyd Rollins?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Magilum Collective said...

he said he would be playing opening for theater fire.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay... Questions:

1. You're charging $10. How much of this goes to the bands?

2. How can Capitol compete with EMI for MATAS when they're the same company?

3. What experience do any of you motherfuckers have dealing with city codes, fire marshalls, permits, running sound for 55 bands in one day?

4. Why would EMI publishing want to buy copyrights from MATAS? Does Matthew want to start a career writing for Beyonce, Daughtry, or Chamillionaire?

5. How the hell you gonna fit 6 stages in J&J's?

6. If you sold J&J's to capacity, a $10 cover charge still would not pay for sound engineers and PA rental for 6 stages. What's the deal?

I could go on, and probably will.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is absurd. the guys in matthew and the arrogant sea are some of the most genuine, kind, and down to earth people I've ever encountered. Are you seriously spending all this time attacking them for ill-founded reasons? You keep referring to them as kids, hippies reeking of patchouli, etc. They're not the ones sitting at thier computer calling bullshit for no reason other than lack of better things to do. Verbal abuse is fun, I'll agree, but pointless banter is petty, pretentious, and childish. Get up from your computer, turn off your Devendra Banhart, and do something more productive than jerking yourself off in the internet world to feel like what you have to say is of general worth.

From two perspectives, as someone that only recently began playing with MATAS, who is detached from the EMI contract and the majority of festival workings, and from someone who largely doesn't care for the people or the music portrayed in the scene- the guys in MATAS aren't the kids full of shit.

Grow up.


Sarah Wilson.

2:43 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

valid questions from an anon! novel concept.
a discussion that actually has something to do with the content of the post: also a novel concept.
a group of guys that can't address said questions so instead resort to name calling and reactionary bullshit: not so novel.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

and let me just add, re: local acts that matter that the main stages are going to be well populated by our favorite local acts. i'm personally really excited about giving New Science Projects a top billing and the credit he deserves. There is going to be music everywhere all day long and i'm pretty sure that 85% or more is denton, the rest is DFW and Austin. i don't see the problem with that. local acts are going to get lots of visibility and present themselves as part of something whole and good. I don't know what band your in brother but i was at the jana show too and jana and ray blew me away. brooke from that show is playing the fest too and if your in her band its a little messed up that you're talking shit about this thing. i'm excited about her set.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous tystamp said...

i would never want to do ANYTHING involved with daniel johnston. i think he's an arrogant christian ass. ya know his song's lyrics and pop sensibilities mixed with being absolutely crazy may be cute & enduring for some of you but i think it's full of bad bad juju.

i say that cause i saw someone mentioned him up there earlier. ya'll asked him to play or something?

2:43 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

I haven't talked an ounce of shit about this festival.
and no, I'm not in brooke's band.

and yes, I enjoyed jana hunter's set.

now go back and read my post.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

25 years old can indeed be kids. Depends on the 25 year old.

I love this thread, BTW. I'm still highly suspicious of the $6MM contract - good luck with that, really - but all the defensiveness and adolescent language is priceless. It's like I can see the wheels turning in your heads. Fascinating bit of nostalgia.

Anyway, I went to emigroup.com, just like you said. Actually, I did it before I posted the first time. And I went to the 'Financial/Investor Info' section. And yep, EMI is being sold to an investment firm called Terra Firma.

I'd urge you to read The Lefsetz Letter's take on the buyout, of which I'll quote just a bit:

"Terra Firma’s purchase is not about the new act business, it’s not about waiting for the marketplace to stabilize, it’s purely about money. About making the books look good, so that financially the company looks robust, so investors will want to own its stock."


I;d suggest handing a $6MM allowance to a bunch of Denton kids (25 or not) is not in line with making a company "look robust." My only hope is that some executive, seeing the end for EMI and likely his career, is making some last-minute, middle-finger gesture to put a pet band on the roster - and Terra Firma on the hook.

Hey: when the contract's signed, could you post a PDF?

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm in love with Lindsay.

Call me?

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jason,

Please shut the fuck up. You sound like a complete tool. Are you really trying to correct these guys in how "big" someone is? Quit being such a condescending little fuck..

2:51 PM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

Lindsay wins best post of the everything ever.

I just heard Mark Cuban sold the Mavericks to me for $10. Take that, Don Nelson!

2:52 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

"Okay... Questions:

1. You're charging $10. How much of this goes to the bands?

2. How can Capitol compete with EMI for MATAS when they're the same company?

3. What experience do any of you motherfuckers have dealing with city codes, fire marshalls, permits, running sound for 55 bands in one day?

4. Why would EMI publishing want to buy copyrights from MATAS? Does Matthew want to start a career writing for Beyonce, Daughtry, or Chamillionaire?

5. How the hell you gonna fit 6 stages in J&J's?

6. If you sold J&J's to capacity, a $10 cover charge still would not pay for sound engineers and PA rental for 6 stages. What's the deal?

I could go on, and probably will."

I felt the need to copy and paste these even though I'm sure you dudes aren't going to address them.

2:52 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

condescending little fuck... thanks, maybe I'll consider changing my user name to that.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:54 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

Okay... Questions:

1. You're charging $10. How much of this goes to the bands?

A: the main traveling acts are getting paid, the rest are volunteers. as our capacity on the paid stages is limited, we are encouraging people to prepurchase tickets. this also means that our income from this is limited and whatever we make after expenses (which by basic laws of matter taking space means it wont be much) will likely go into a congratulatory dinner and maybe a house party if we have enough left over for a keg or two.

2. How can Capitol compete with EMI for MATAS when they're the same company?

A: That what i said! :) i think it was industrial double talk myself. but its not uncommon for large corporations to have interbrand competition. it makes more sense if you dont think about the music industry as musically based but as commodity based. its a sick and sad world.

3. What experience do any of you motherfuckers have dealing with city codes, fire marshalls, permits, running sound for 55 bands in one day?

A: I talked to the city and cleared what we had to clear. we're expecting the bands (most of which will be folkish, a singer songwritery type thing, no real band) to keep an eye on their sound. this is a community effort and most people know how to turn up and down a volume nob. there will be 'officials' monitoring the whole thing though on each of the 5 or 6 stages.

4. Why would EMI publishing want to buy copyrights from MATAS? Does Matthew want to start a career writing for Beyonce, Daughtry, or Chamillionaire?

A: One hypothesis i've heard is that EMI is looking to sneak into a market (that so called 'freak folk' sort of thang) and doesnt really know how to do that so they're buying MATS' loyalty as they expand their consumer base. thats one hypothesis, i'm sure there are a dozen others.

5. How the hell you gonna fit 6 stages in J&J's?

A: only two stages will be at J&Js, keep looking at the website for specifics in about a week and a half.

6. If you sold J&J's to capacity, a $10 cover charge still would not pay for sound engineers and PA rental for 6 stages. What's the deal?

A: Allot of our sponsors are material and not financial, for instance SHQ and Art 6 are giving us their PAs for the day and since the sound setups of each artist are pretty simple except for the main bands, engineering really isnt an issue.

2:54 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

oh, and also, I see that you are calling me out by name... that's great, seeing as how I have no idea who you are.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MATAS... What a buncha charmers!

2:55 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

oh yeah, COMPLETE TOOL sounds better, like a box-set or something.

... considered.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

lyndsy, thats not a bad idea. if we can i think it'd be an educational experience for us all.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

something i've noticed:
not all but a lot of folk artists tend to have very righteous attitudes. it's annoying. it makes sense though given feeling and style of folk music. elements of it and what not. i'm going to strum this guitar and semi-sing some words in a manner that you should be able to hear the lyrics and understand them because the lyrics are important for this style of music, most of the time anyway. not always. and the music is also usually at a level that requires an audience to be quiet and attentive or leave the room unless they don't mind being seen as rude and given evil eyes from all the people that are giving the performer all their drool and love. which feeds into the whole attitude thing again. and most folk artists are seen as a singular entity. Their name, Their songs etc. very property oriented with the art they've made. so i guess it makes sense. at least when i'm thinking like this it does.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God damn, I can't stay out of this thread! This is all very interesting. I wish the oft-quoted Matthew would just come on here and set the record straight so I can quit.

2:56 PM  
Blogger jwm said...

frederick, thanks for taking the time to answer those there questions, that was mighty thoughtful of you.

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

re: songwriter property. i'm totally behind you, if i got your meaning right. i think the entire way that we do music in the modern world is bizarre and rat-fucked to a fate of brand name commodification and legal douchebaggery. if you got a solution i am %100 down. i hope the whole industry dies a slow and burning death in my lifetime.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What day is this festival?

3:02 PM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

Also, this HAS to be the quickest "hitting 100 comments" thread so far in the history of We Shot JR. Right? I'm getting goosebumps.

While I appreciate your theory about EMI trying to sneak into the "freak folk" market, I'm pretty sure that particular niche is not something a company like EMI would be worrying about if they are currently being bought out by an investment firm to stabilize their plummeting stock value. Again, just my theory.

3:02 PM  
Blogger complete tool said...


maybe I'll shut up when you shut up...
K? how does that sound?

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether the six million is coming about or not, it is verbatim what EMI told matthew and the arrogant sea. Repeatedly, like, for the past three months. True or false? Who knows, but the band doesn't deserve an attack for repeating something they were told in complete honesty- be that a guise or not. You can study the EMI website and wikipedia entries all you fucking want, but the vilification and slander of Matthew, Caleb, Bryce, and Jacob is completely unnecessary. Admittedly, good points have been made- perhaps mentioning anything about EMI was severely premature-but that really shouldn't determine your views of the individuals you don't know in the band. And I have a feeling that if the majority of you knew these individuals you'd think twice before opening your mouth or a new comment box. Come on, I thought the majority of you nappy headed guitar wielding folkies were above the base slander that is generally found in high school cafeterias and groups of fifteen year olds in the punk scene.

Sarah Wilson.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

solution: don't sell music. music doesn't want to be sold. try making music and while making it think about selling it. then. listen to it. now try making music that you don't want to sell. then listen to it. and most the time i bet you'll be more excited about making music that you weren't thinking about trying to sell. i'm not saying which one will be 'good' or 'bad' but just pure enjoyment.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"generally found in high school cafeterias and groups of fifteen year olds in the punk scene."

You're 18!

Quit saying scene!

3:11 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

festival aug. 18th magilumrecords.com

like i said it's a hypothesis. the music industry is in a down and i think they're a bit desperate and while usually that would mean cheaper deals for young acts i think that folkish psychedelia is picking up a surprising momentum and if theres one thing i've learned about marketing people being a market researcher is that they are like retarded children and they do all sorts of dumbass shit so i really can't account for their logic. we'll see though. if it flops i'll write an essay about it, if it succeeds we'll see if we can't publish the contract itself.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They have given us 100% complete creative control"

Yet, nothing is signed. And it's a publishing deal.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

genres blow

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in fact take the music you make and leave it open to anyone to take that music and put it out as any other moniker that they desire. even if they charge money for it under their moniker and get RICH off of it. fuck it. that's their bad move. (which would never happen) besides, being rich will probably suck. class anomie and such.
solutions to better living...

3:19 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...


<<"They have given us 100% complete creative control"

Yet, nothing is signed. And it's a publishing deal.>>

As was said above, i think the boys jumped the gun a little bit. while this is the information EMI gave us, to tell We Shot JR this so authoritatively understandably appears... we'll say presumptuous. what you've read is fact but please read it with the understanding that, like any sort of contract in any sort of deal, things can change. we'll keep y'all updated b/c i think that regardless of how this plays out, everyone should be privy to the knowledge we will gain from it.

again, we are all new to this side of music and we didn't really start doing research until after EMI approached MATS. please bear with us, what you've read is true but as stoned ranger pointed out, a little incomplete. we thank We Shot JR for their attention and apologize for the controversy but know that we are not being dishonest, this is not a gimmick, and MATS really are the sweetest folks you'll meet in this industry of jackles and pearl snaps.

3:20 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...


I think you're writing to me. If so, I really hope you didn't misconstrue my suspicion of your extraordinarily generous contract offer for 'slander.' I've mentioned nothing about the persons in the band, the band's music, or anything else that should get your cockles up to the point where you're using obscenities and calling me/us 'nappy headed guitar wielding folkies.' Talk about vilification and slander, Missy.

Anyway, like I said: good luck with the contract. It's a dream come true, if it comes true.

I'm just thinking, though: $6MM is an awful lot of money. Shouldn't you know a whole lot more about this deal you're striking? I'd understand if you guys can't reveal much, but this vast scarcity of detail strikes me as either: 1.) a fascade, 2.) painfully naive business practices.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"industry of jackles and pearl snaps"

Yeah, totally the same thing.

You guys are trying to sign up with a nebulous and shaky corporation that eats artists for dinner while speaking of "jackles" (sic).

Again, a post from the MATAS Crew that seems to point to an attitude of "we know better", "we are better", and acting like a dude with an acoustic guitar is some high holy honorable modern art form that is above it all.

And then you say that you think EMI is trying to get a foothold in a market that they are missing out on, admitting first hand that you know that they don't give a shit about YOU, they just need their soda to compete with Coke and Pepsi.

You guys should slowly back away. There be monsters.

3:27 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

Amanda and Lindsay,

It's great to see that both of you know so much about business and investing, but I really have to ask: what exactly do you know about this EMI deal? A few sentences that you read on Wikipedia, the EMI website and some blog? Do you know the details of this sale? Do you know how many functioning subsidiaries EMI has? Are they being sold as well? Does the potential buyer wish to allow the company to continue to function at some level? Do you know what the long term plans are for the company? Do you know what their business goals are? Do you know what their business model is? Did you even read the Wikipedia post? Did you notice it said that the deal has NOT been finalized yet? Would you make an investment based on a blog or wikipedia post? Do you have any other information that you aren't sharing? And Lindsay, where did you get those numbers from your morning comment? Did you just make them up?

I don't know any of this either, but I'm not acting like I do. And I don't think you know.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:28 PM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

"MATS really are the sweetest folks you'll meet in this industry of jackles and pearl snaps. "

What about being like jackyls or even JACKYL, the chainsaw playing hair metal band?

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I have been commenting like a fiend, and some of it is silly and semi-snarky, but I really do wish you good luck if this is all as intense as is being portayed. It could be good for the area and good for you... Or it could easily the biggest mistakes of your lives. Sure, you have to gamble in life, but the fact seems to be that a lot of these kind of deals with young bands end very poorly.
Sincerely, good luck.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

++ And then you say that you think EMI is trying to get a foothold in a market that they are missing out on, admitting first hand that you know that they don't give a shit about YOU, they just need their soda to compete with Coke and Pepsi. ++

we're well aware brother. everything you wrote is on the front of our minds.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

++What about being like jackyls or even JACKYL, the chainsaw playing hair metal band?++

look for them on the 18th!

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"we're well aware brother. everything you wrote is on the front of our minds."

Good to hear.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lindsay, the post wasn't directed at you. And as I've mentioned before, I'm completely detached from the contract. Merely an outsiders opinion from observation of the racket this blog caused.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that little folk festival aint gonna be shit without the THE GREATEST folk act ever!!!! The GREAT ST. VINCENT. OMG OMG OMG


3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems a little unprofessional to reveal information about this alleged contract in such early stages. It seems like some credibility might be destroyed if things don't go "as planned".

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lindsay, the post wasn't directed at you. And as I've mentioned before, I'm completely detached from the contract. Merely an outsiders opinion from observation of the racket this blog caused."

Better get your own lawyer.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

++It seems a little unprofessional to reveal information about this alleged contract in such early stages. It seems like some credibility might be destroyed if things don't go "as planned".++

if theres one thing we're not, its professionals. ;)

you are right though, don't expect much else till after the fact when i hope you will grill us to within an inch of our lives.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It seems a little unprofessional to reveal information about this alleged contract in such early stages. It seems like some credibility might be destroyed if things don't go "as planned"."

People get fired over this kind of stuff. Corporations do not care. You are a number. They want their numbers to do specific things. Then, you get spanked for releasing info on a blog, so they scare you into thinking that it was a really bad move, and then they leverage some bullshit on top of some bullshit. I mean, I don't have half a clue what I'm rtalking about, but... I'm just nervous for you guys now. Stranger things have happened to young artists than what this contract implies, and I realize that now after some SERIOUS disbelief, so good on you.

Fredrick, you say you're the manager? In what capacity do you work with the band during this time of intense and dangerous contract negotiation?

And please keep in mind that maybe I am a friend of yours from the extended negotiations that googled our latest business prospect and stumbled upon this thread and wanted to warn you to play things closer to the vest, lest you and yours blow the whole deal apart in what could be the 11th hour?

But, I'm not.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the myspace stuff sounds great.
why do they get to put up more than four songs? what's up with that?

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does everyone on this blog have a master's degree in everything? everyone is so smart!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I know a fair bit about the EMI deal, as I've been following it since the announcement that the EMI board recommended a sale in May. As far as the details of the sale, no it's not final and much of the high-finance stuff escapes me (there's something about reaching a 90% buy of outstanding bonds announced today). I also do not know all of the answers to your questions, and must rely upon some third-party analysis (but they're good sources, I promise: NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and even that blog I linked). But it's immaterial: that $6MM figure just hits my neurons wrong. That EMI is in trouble only makes it seem less likely.

As far as the numbers in my first post: sigh. Yes, they are 'made up', but you can easily come to the same conclusion:

- $6MM investment.
- Stock market returns 11% on average.
- $660,000 in profit above capital needed to match stock market performance (otherwise, why bother?).
- I'm guessing, but I bet the label pockets about $4 in net profit from a retail CD.
- Total # of CDs needed to sell in year 1 to match stock market earnings: 165,000.

Now, here's the trick, and why I said upwards of ten million CDs: when investing in the stock market, you can always sell your holding and get back (the hopefully appreciated) beginning capital. You cannot do this with a band - especially if it is 'non-recoupable'. We can argue about what the payback period should be for a band, but I assumed 1 to 2 years. Using my same numbers from above, that's 915,000 copies a year.

So there, that's where I got my numbers. Napkin finance at its finest.

Mr. Ranger, you know who I am, and I suspect that has something to do with your tone. Feel free to continue to think I know nothing; I very well might not.

Then again....

Frederick is awesome BTW. Great attitude in front of a pretty hostile - or at least agitated - crowd. Again, good luck to you, Fred.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. SR getting hostile too. weird. not a good day.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

soooo. about those myspace songs.....how do i strike a deal on that? like i could do roughly 10, 12 songs. but i'd be happy with 8....

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

List of artists signed to EMI

The musicians may have been signed under one of EMI's subsidiary labels. The subsidiary is noted next to the artist if this is the case.

Nat King Cole (Capitol)
Bobby Darin (Capitol)
Tennessee Ernie Ford (Capitol)
Judy Garland (Capitol)
Wanda Jackson (Capitol)
The Kingston Trio (Capitol)
Dean Martin (Capitol)
Liza Minnelli (Capitol/Angel)
Dinah Shore (Capitol)
Frank Sinatra (Capitol, left in 1961)
Gene Vincent (Capitol)

The Animals (Columbia)
The Band (Capitol)
The Beach Boys (Capitol)
The Beatles (Parlophone/Capitol)
Pink Floyd (Tower/Harvest/Capitol/Columbia)
The Tornados (Columbia)
Roger Whittaker (Columbia)
The Yardbirds (Columbia)

22-20s (Heavenly)
Air Traffic (Tiny Consumer)
Alfie (Regal)
Lily Allen (Regal/Parlophone)
Amei (EMI Music Taiwan)
Leif Ove Andsnes
Keren Ann
The Arrows (RAK)
Richard Ashcroft
A Taste of Honey (Capitol)
Athlete (Regal)
Auf der Maur
Australian Crawl
Melanie B (Virgin) (dropped in 2001)
The Barracudas
Beastie Boys (Parlophone / Capitol)
Victoria Beckham (Virgin) (dropped in 2002)
The Be Be See (EMI Records)
Belinda (Capitol)
The Beta Band (Regal)
King Biscuit Time (Regal)
Black Dice (DFA Records)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Virgin)
Black Sabbath
Blue (boy band) (Innocent/Virgin)
Blue Mink (Regal Zonophone)
Blur (Food/Parlophone)
David Bowie (Virgin)
Lisa Brokop (Capitol, left in 1996)
Garth Brooks (Capitol / Liberty / Parlophone)
Meredith Brooks (Capitol) (left in 1999)
James Brown
Emma Bunton (Virgin) (dropped in 2002)
Burning Spear
Kate Bush
Melanie C (Virgin) (left in 2003)
John Cale
Captain (EMI Records)
Mariah Carey (Virgin) (2001-2002)
Kim Carnes
Ruben Chacon (Capitol)
The Chemical Brothers (Virgin)
Chingy (Parlophone / Capitol)
Joe Cocker (Parlophone)
Coldplay (Parlophone)
Vodka Collins
The Colour (Rethink)
The Concretes (Astralwerks)
Elvis Costello
Graham Coxon (Parlophone)
Crowded House (Capitol)
Myriam Montemayor Cruz
The Dandy Warhols (Parlophone / Capitol)
David Tao (EMI Music Taiwan)
The Decemberists (Capitol)
The Departure (Parlophone)
Depeche Mode (Mute Records)
Dirty Vegas (Parlophone)
The Divine Comedy (Parlophone)
Doves (Heavenly)
Hilary Duff (Hollywood)
The Duke Spirit (Heavenly)
Duran Duran
Sheena Easton
Electric Light Orchestra (Harvest)
Empire (Parlaphone)
Enigma (Virgin Germany)
Erasure (Mute Records)
Eternal (dropped in 2000)
Faith Evans
Faker (Capitol)
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Real World)
Kevin Federline
Fey (EMI-Televisa / Capitol)
Neil Finn (Parlophone)
Foo Fighters (Capitol, left in 1999)
Michael Franti and Spearhead (Parlophone)
J. Geils Band
David Gilmour
Gary Glitter
Goldfrapp (Mute)
Diego Gonzalez
Gorillaz (Parlophone)
Edyta Gorniak (since 1996, dropped in 2002, since then: Virgin, dropped in 2004)
Grand Funk Railroad (Capitol)
Amy Grant (EMI Christian Group, signed in 2007 after leaving Warner/Word)
Adrian Gurvitz (RAK)
Geri Halliwell (Capitol, then later Virgin/Innocent, Halliwell completed her 3 album contract in 2005)
Ed Harcourt (Heavenly)
George Harrison (Parlophone)
Richard Hawley (Mute Records)
Heart (Capitol)
Hot Chip
Hot Chocolate (RAK)
Houston (singer) (Capitol)
Idlewild (Parlophone)
Iron Maiden
Janet Jackson (Virgin, left in 2006)
Duncan James (Innocent/Virgin)
Jane's Addiction (Parlophone / Capitol)
Matthew Jay
Dr. John (Parlophone)
Norah Jones (Parlophone)
Jolin Tsai (Capitol Music Taiwan)
Junior Senior
Justin Lo (Gold Label)
Laura Michelle Kelly (Angel)
Kary Ng (Gold Label)
The Knack
Beverley Knight (Parlophone)
Jordan Knight
Korn (Virgin)
Kudai (Capitol)
Cristy Lane
Marit Larsen
LCD Soundsystem
Leo Ku (Gold Label)
LeToya (Noontime/Capitol)
Alex Lloyd (left in 2004)
Louise (left in December 2001)
Mae (Capitol)
The Magic Numbers (Heavenly)
Die Mannequin
Willy Mason (Astralwerks)
Keiko Matsui (Narada)
Jesse McCartney (Hollywood)
Paul McCartney (Parlophone / Capitol)
George Michael
Kylie Minogue (Parlophone)
Mandy Moore (The Firm Music)
Morrissey (His Master's Voice / Parlophone)
Mud (RAK)
The Music (Hut)
Nicholas Teo (Virgin Music Chinese, Taiwan Branch)
Nine Times Bodyweight
Operator Please (Virgin)
Beth Orton (1996-2005 Heavenly, 2005-)
Otep (Capitol)
Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone)
Maxi Priest (Relentless)
Los Prisioneros
Suzi Quatro (RAK)
Queen (Parlophone/Hollywood Records)
Radiohead (Parlophone) (Contract Finished as of 2003)
Corinne Bailey Rae
Raining Pleasure (Capitol/Blue Note)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Relient K (Capitol/Gotee)
Kenny Rogers (Liberty)
Roll Deep (Relentless)
Robbie Williams (EMI/Chrysalis)
The Rolling Stones (Virgin)
Stanley Huang (Virgin Music Chinese / Capitol Music Taiwan)
Stephy Tang (Gold Label)
Sigur Rós
Lee Ryan (Virgin)
Jay Sean (Relentless)
Bob Seger (Capitol)
Selena (Capitol)
The Sex Pistols (September 1976 - December 1976)
S.H.E. (EMI Music China)
Show Luo (Capitol Music Taiwan)
The Sleepy Jackson (Capitol)
The Smashing Pumpkins (Caroline / Virgin, finished contract obligations in 2001 with their Rotten Apples release, signed with Reprise Records in 2007)
The Sonic Hearts
Sparklehorse (Parlophone)
Spice Girls (Virgin)
Stefanie Sun (Capitol Music Taiwan)
Joss Stone (Relentless)
Supergrass (Parlophone)
Talk Talk (Parlophone)
The Tea Party
Thalía (Virgin)
This World Fair (Rethink)
Troy Ave. (EMI/Capital)
Richard Thompson (Capitol)
KT Tunstall (Relentless)
Grzegorz Turnau (Zaiks/BIEM) (Poland)
Legião Urbana
Hikaru Utada
Van Hunt
The Verve (Virgin)
The Vines
Simon Webbe (Innocent/Virgin)
The White Stripes
Matt White
Robbie Williams
Wizzard (Harvest)
Faye Wong
Roy Wood (Harvest)
Bertine Zetlitz
Grand Avenue
Toxic Kompulsion
Heavy-Metal bands on EMI during the 1980s included:

Exodus (band) (Capitol)
Great White
Iron Maiden
Poison (band) (Capitol)
W.A.S.P. (Capitol)

Classical musicians exclusively or chiefly associated with EMI (on EMI Classics, Angel, HMV and/or Columbia labels)

Roberto Alagna
Leif Ove Andsnes
Agustin Anievas
Olaf Bär
Sir John Barbirolli
Sir Thomas Beecham
Ian Bostridge
Sir Adrian Boult
Dennis Brain
Maria Callas
Enrico Caruso
Jacqueline du Pré
Sir Edward Elgar
Mariss Jansons
Herbert von Karajan (notably in the 1950s)
Rudolf Kempe
Nigel Kennedy
Otto Klemperer
Dinu Lipatti
Yehudi Menuhin
Sabine Meyer
Riccardo Muti
Antonio Pappano
Itzhak Perlman
Sir Simon Rattle
Wolfgang Sawallisch
Artur Schnabel
Maxim Vengerov
Sir William Walton
Franz Welser-Most

4:04 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Why is the above list (which could have been better handled with a link to the Wikipedia page) interesting or relevant at all?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

Thanks for your concern anonymous. i went ahead and deleted me earlier response to lindsay.

by the way, we are having another prefestival at art 6 coffee house (scripture and bryan) from about 2ish to 10ish on august 4th (this sat). its like 4 or 5 bucks unless you have prepurchased a festival ticket which you can do at strawberry fields or at this prefest in which case its free. if anybody on this forum is going to come out, i am the frontman for an agit-pop band called the International and feel free to approach me about any of this after my set (should be earlier, like 4 or 5pm). check the website for the lineup (its missing handclaps and harmonies plus a few people playing inside art 6 before the main show begins outside but otherwise its up to date.)

4:09 PM  
Blogger amandacobra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah 6 million dollars cool. yeah so what's up with those myspace songs? more than four? por favor?

4:12 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

Of course knowing who you are has something to do with my tone. You've made it a point to come on here every so often, pick a fight and then leave the discussion all together. What am I supposed to do, kiss you? Of course, I encourage you to come on here say whatever you want, but that doesn't mean I have to like your attitude, tone, or opinions.

And as far as your numbers, I guess you can speculate all you want, but since you don't know the long term plans of the company, their goals with this particular band (if they indeed have any), or how long they expect to wait before they get return on their investment, then I would say that you really don't know enough to make assumptions about MATAS's alleged contract. Remember Sonic Youth on DGC? They probably lost money on them for more than a decade, but they signed them to improve brand image, and therefore, make them money in other ways. The New York Yankees are willing to roughly $50 million a year because they make all that money back and then some off their MSN cable network. Starbucks is willing to lose money on hundreds of individual stores for years so that they can drive competitors out of business in a particular area.

And finally, since when do record labels only make money off of CD sales? DO they even try to develop business models where CD sales are the primary source funds anymore? Again, I don't know.

I know you have a business degree, and I can tell by what you write that you know more about investment and the stock market than I do, but I think it's clear that you don't know enough about the EMI deal or any plans they may or may not have with MATAS to so smugly dismiss their claims the way you have today. You make some decent points, but you certainly haven't convinced me of anything.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

$5? Really?

That changes things:

732,000 copies a year.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

++Fredrick, you say you're the manager? In what capacity do you work with the band during this time of intense and dangerous contract negotiation?++
unfortunately this festival has absorbed the bulk of my time, most of the contract dealings have been directly with matthew. i am about to get much closer but as you wisely advised, i probably shouldn't say too much in print. come out to the prefest, though and i'll talk your ear off.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Not convinced you yet? Well, I guess my plans for today have been foiled.

Oh, well: Kiss, kiss.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

lindsay, the hypothesis i favor is 'brand image' more than CD sales as well. my belief is that it's more of a marketing investment than any sort of real capital investment. think of it as research. but again, tough to really say just now and i will never underestimate the rampant retardation of multinational corporations.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everybody's a dick. fine. screw this. i'm happy with four myspace songs. ok. go ahead and treat your myspace like it's some fortress. i don't care anymore.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i get an it list?

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and in typical weshotjr fashion.

friday, august 10th
rubber gloves

hi-red center
bob white and the f-electrics

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bodog entertainment myspace my friend + add them and you get more songs but then you cant make you songs downloadable. hahaha. oh myspace. also, what the fuck? matas is a really great group quit shitting on them.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IT LIST! time to move on, no one actually cares about this, right?

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Should have just posted the link. sorry. I just thought it was very intersting. So many bands, and so many labels.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allright, allright!
It costs $6 million to add one more song to your MySpace band profile.
Matthew and the Oregano Tea.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Dude: some guy posted the answer above.

Go here:


4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no need to be a dick to the band in question, i just answered your question

4:39 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

It's pretty upsetting that so many people would take time out of their day to lash out at a band, who like every other band out there, is just trying to make it. Where I'm from, musicians support other musicians, regardless of success, failure or style of music. Musicians should be supportive of other musicians, because having that sense of community is what should separate us from every other soul sucking enterprise out there. It's about sharing the struggles and the victories, not berating and cutting others down.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well jessica, you've obviously never experienced the dfw/denton "music scene" thats just not how it's done around here.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

jessica, the new sabbath festival is all about exactly what you said. i hope you can come.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard EMI is releasing the complete tool boxset

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are you talking about?

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am kinda hoping this band gets on a bus to go on tour, crashes in the ocean ,and is never heard or spoke of again.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but the ghosts of passion will strike forevermore! haha.

seriously man why the violent hostilities?

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha. this is great! seriously though, props to the band for single handedly stirring up what appears to be record setting controversy on we shot jr

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope that this is a case of the band hyping talks with a major for publicity reasons. cause if that isn't the case, then this is the worst PR management by an already unknown band i have ever seen.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

guest list?

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry jessica but i'm seriously AGAINST the concept of bands all 'trying to make it' i would prefer to stay way the fuck away from that. thanks.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

++i hope that this is a case of the band hyping talks with a major for publicity reasons. cause if that isn't the case, then this is the worst PR management by an already unknown band i have ever seen.++
i would kill for PR management right now.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Frederick said...

+++I actually agreed to play this New Sabbath Fest with Smog, Low, and the Castanets.

Unfortunately, they weren't able to make it. But!!! They've been replaced by Arrogant Matthew, Ben Fleming, Desiree Anastasia, Ryan Gilbert, Billy Ratliff, et al.

Apparently these are kids Matthew goes to high school with? I just hope they don't smell like fucking patchouli.

Actually, I think I'm dropping out.+++

whichever act this is, please shoot me a line on myspace to let me know so i can take your name off the list (myspace.com/arrogantseamanagement). as was said before, the point of the fest wasn't to 'fluff our shit' with big names but to make the local milieu a centerpiece. if you were only in it to mooch cred off of bill callahan then its probably best that you're not involved. i apologize if a consistently updated lineup on a stable website wasn't enough warning for you, but i'm not sure what else we could have done. the names you listed are all contemporaries of ours and yours and nobody has replaced anybody. we are all supremely satisfied with the lineup and i feel a great sense of encouragement from the immense support we've received from these bigger acts who are playing.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh you only get one more song. thanks but no thanks. sorry for being a nag.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cant believe i just wasted my time reading all of that. good luck everyone. y'all are silly.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy fucking shitballs, this beast wont die.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh hai! What's going on in here?

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

love is all we share love i tell you. bahahaha!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Yikers!!! This thread is pretty rediculous. Everyone's got an opinion on something they probably don't really give a shit about, but feel entitled because of proximity, bitterness, or malicious jealousy.

I love how Sarah has written probably the most eloquently, and is charged at for being 18 years old.

And how Matthew and his bandmates, some of the sweetest boys ever, are made to look like complete assholes.

And... crickets??? Okay. Whatever, bro.

But really, who cares whether they sign the deal or not? Like SR has mentioned at least once, this blog was about a neat group of musicians, not $6 millz.

8:54 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

yeah, so, uh, did anyone like the music? I don't think anyone has really mentioned that yet.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i actually did. i didn't even know who they were yesterday.

fucking patchouli.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the music is actually pretty stunning. its great. and i didn't know who they were yesterday either.

can't attest to how they smell though.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

They may get a record deal, but that doesn't mean anyone will like their shitty music.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love how Sarah has written probably the most eloquently, and is charged at for being 18 years old.

thank you.

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I really like their music. And many of their related projects are great as well. They have an interesting thing going and it's nice to see them getting so much attention.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The many times I've seen Matthew & The Arrogant Sea I was bored out of my mind.

Does that girl even do anything? You know..besides stand in the front and look down?

I was told that she had a good voice, but you wouldn't know that from their boring live performances.

It doesn't matter to me if they're getting a record deal because when or if they ever do, they'll still be too boring to acknowledge.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and PS.

I'm not jealous because getting a $6 million record deal isn't something I'm very concerned with at this moment.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow--how can you not be concerned about 6 mill? i am!

this thread is so tender and sweet! so young!

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah. crickets...am i required to state that i like this group to post here? was i so wrong to state that i did not get into their live set? wtf.
i also said i like some of the myspace stuff. and i like some of the side project things. god damn it people. MUSIC! wow. it's so important. give me a break. you put fucking price tags on it. pimp it out for your arrogance and see what you get in return? a bunch of bitter bullshit. way to go.

12:06 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

No, you're not required to like the group. I just wanted to talk about their music because I was bored of all this other crap... positive and negative opinions are welcome.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Michelle 8:54pm .shut the fuck up .....lol

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasn't directing that toward you SR. it was the
"crickets? whatever bro." thing
"bro"??? i think that's what kills me the most and compelled me to respond.

12:57 AM  
Blogger doorbells said...

I want lindsay to teach me about extreme self-righteousness and how to explore Wikipedia.

And there to be more jokes about Black Tie Dynasty.

And even more mispellings of the word "jackal."


1:22 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

If you are only into Norwegian death metal or sub Saharan trip hop, then no you might not enjoy MATAS.

But if you enjoy any type of "folk" music, it's hard to deny the charm this band has. Especially the live performance.

I have had the great fortune of working closely with these guys on a couple of occasions and can attest that they are not in it to gain the approval of bloggers or win multi million dollar contracts. They love making and performing music.

By the way you can catch Matthew and the Arrogant Sea and 41 other Denton bands on the denton Deluxe being released tomorrow at Strawberry Fields.! While you are there you can buy MATAS's album, and pre-order your New Sabbath tickets.

But I do think they should change their name to Matthew and His Arrogant Hippies cause its sounds pretty funny.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've played with MATAS a couple of times on billz and a time or two as a part of some jam stuff, and it was pretty fun. They are always willing to take extra pizza off of your hands.


2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep bullshit.

if james brown came back from the dead he wouldn't get a $6 mil deal. this shit is funny!!!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a fan of this kind of music in general. i decided to give it as objective a listen as possible after reading this. the songs are alright, but i listened to each one last night twice to see if i would remember them when i woke up this morning, and i don't.

the production value could use some work, but its nothing that six million dollars can't fix.

i say best of luck. i'd love to see what happens. that festival seems pretty crazy.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A: I talked to the city and cleared what we had to clear. we're expecting the bands (most of which will be folkish, a singer songwritery type thing, no real band) to keep an eye on their sound. this is a community effort and most people know how to turn up and down a volume nob. there will be 'officials' monitoring the whole thing though on each of the 5 or 6 stages."

I almost did a spit-take when I read that. I'm surprised Linsday hasn't chimed in on this one. Frederik, if you think running live sound is just a matter of adjusting "a volume knob", then you are in for a big surprise when the festival is underway. Running live audio takes expertise, to say the least. The next time you're at a show, take a look inside the mixing booth. More knobs than you will ever understand, and they're all there for a reason.

And just so you know, in general, bands do not like to be in charge of running sound.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

"I'm surprised Lindsay hasn't chimed in on this one."

I try to limit my self-righteousness and Wikipedia searching to just one topic at a time.

11:14 AM  
Blogger desiree anastasia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:15 AM  
Blogger J said...

I can't wait to see the band "et al" who replaced Smog, Low and the Castanets...

Oh all you guys are douchebags...
get used to it.

Still can't get over this equation...
Smog, Low, and the Castanets=Arrogant Matthew, Ben Fleming, Desiree Anastasia, Ryan Gilbert, Billy Ratliff, et al.

I'm calling bullshit on this whole post and all the comments. Seriously. We should get back to talking about music instead of money... who cares?

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shut up.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord! I can't believe some of the comments on here. I say ignore all the crap Matthew and the rest of you guys. I don't know what's going on with the deal.
But I believe in you guys. You have many friends and fans who do.

Remember take this from someone who traveled 10 hrs to see you guys perform live!! You are amazing and I don't care what others say. You are going to be big, and I look forward to your coming down to my area to play.

I've seen most of your myspace side projects and they are all amazing! I have to say my favs of course or MATAS, Gashcat, and TPPS!! Then of course love Verulf, Bryce Isebell.. and you know I'm a big fan J.Gray...

I look forward to seeing you again!
Love you guys!
Brina Brina Brin Brin :)

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from "Freddie (Magilum / Matthew and the Arrogant Sea)" (here)

Matthew is not a liar. As of today I am totally convinced of this. Everything that Matthew told me, Bryce, his family, We Shot JR, etc. etc. he truly believed. His fantasy was incredibly complex and he created for all of us a convoluted world with many vibrant characters and minute details. Obviously, we were all enormously skeptical of the massive dollar amounts Matthew attributed to the deal, but he walked us through it so slowly and so... purely, that we rationalized it one way or the other. Folks of all levels of involvement (including those with copious experience in the music business) would say things like, "Maybe this is just EMI's pitch and by the time the thing is signed it will be more reasonable", "Maybe their desperate for new markets", etc. When combined with anecdotal evidence about this or that obscure act being given X million dollars for being in the right place at the right time, Matthew's story was made plausible. The only other possibility was that he was lying, and if you've ever met Matthew and if you ever talked to him about any of this you would KNOW this wasn't the case. We never considered the third option, that the entire thing was completely real for Matthew and Matthew alone.

Yesterday, we did to Matthew what no friend should ever have to do to another. We went through every tiny step, every detail of his story searching for support or an answer to how NOBODY caught on to this sooner. We checked phone records, emails, made calls to his contacts and each path came to a dead end. We did all the stuff that we would have done much sooner (I'd like to think) if our attentions were not being devoured by the demands of the New Sabbath Festival.

We love Matthew and consider him our dear friend. We don't feel manipulated b/c no one was more manipulated than Matthew himself. However, each of us radically altered our lives around this honest delusion and we have too much at stake to let this episode interrupt them any longer.

Magilum Records and The New Sabbath Festival are severing ties with Matthew and the Arrogant Sea. I am, obviously, no longer MATAS' manager. This is THE ONLY change. The festival is still on and is going to be powerful as fuck. The Magilum collective is still an real entity and Bryce and I will do our best to represent Denton with the love and respect Denton music deserves.

We Shot JR is still the most credible blog for news and information on the Denton/DFW scene and this episode cannot reflect on their credibility. Matthew's own family and closest friends were just as convinced as Matthew was that a deal of some sort was being negotiated with EMI. WSJR is in the same boat each of us are.

While I am sorry to all of those who stuck their neck out for MATAS, I say you did the right thing and I thank you for choosing to support your local creative figures over the cynical instincts that we have all, understandably, developed about the world of music. I hesitate to ask forgiveness because none of us did anything wrong. Our mistake was trusting the sanity of a dear friend and family member and that is the sort of mistake I feel no shame in having made. I do ask for your understanding. This is a deeply troubling and confusing time for all of us, Matthew most all. Do not allow this to color your feelings about the many other projects affiliated with MATAS and do not let this rob you of your faith in local music. Denton's potential is extraordinary, as the New Sabbath Festival will make clear, and we of Magilum look forward to strong relationship with all of you in the future. I'm already pretty sick of the past.

with love and gratitude,

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn...so close to 200.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There. 200.

4:52 PM  

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