Monday, 29 October 2012

How Lloyd Keeps Himself Off the Old King Cole...

Here's an interesting venture.
Everyone knows that there's not a lot of money around the music business these days; if you want the swimming pool it's gigs and t-shirts rather than CD sales.
Surprisingly The Arts Council have never courted me; I've had to pay for every album I've ever been involved in; recording and manufacture; a hole happily self inflicted, but a hole nonetheless that I'll surely never dig myself out of. And nonetheless (is it really just one word?) with new recordings in my sights I've started looking for small change down the back of the sofa again; so far revealing a 5 franc note, a blue button, some Bombay Mix and a piece of gum (Airwaves); so that's the rhythm section sorted...
When it comes to self-funding Lloyd Cole has come up with an enterprising idea; he's advertising for pre-orders of an album that's still in his head. 
Pay before November 20th and you'll get the album in the early summer of 2013.
It's a limited deluxe edition of 600, each copy going for $100.
Steep, but he'll throw in the p&p for free.
That'll give him a recording budget of $60,000.
We can expect strings and maybe a gong then...
I know that, historically artists have benefited from lofty patronage but... is it me or is it all a bit whiffy?
I'm not sure if it's sharp thinking or sharp practice.
Any thoughts?
My thoughts are that I'm thinking of doing something similar.
For just £100 each, 600 of you would receive a deluxe package including a cassette of my pre-demo 'ladeedaings' lifted straight from the 'QuickVoice' Ap on my iPhone.
The album would also naturally be named after you (guaranteeing you a 'longest album title' entry in the 'Guinness Book of Records').
It'll be something like 'A Cappella Jones Hums Hearty in his New Car (Vol 1) for his special mates:' followed by a load of blokes' names.
You would also get a stylish, ironically 'lo-fi' brown paper CD cover, lovingly designed (free of charge) by Bazza and hand folded by either myself, Di or Bazza. The hand titled audio CD itself would arrive once the cheques have cleared, the title is confirmed and I've had time to see what kind of motor I can get for £60K. There's not a lot about in that price range with decent acoustics...

Meanwhile, if you're interested in being one of Lloyd's 600 'Executive Producers' go to:
Here's what the young entrepreneur has to say for himself:

"My last album Broken Record was partially financed by fans who pre-ordered the deluxe limited edition, and the regular album.

I am trying it again.
This time it will be much simpler - only the deluxe limited edition version will be available for pre-order. And it should be clear to those of you who choose to pre-order it that you are basically executive producing the album, and I thank you in advance.
This pre-order will be available from today until November 22. I need to know what my budget is before we begin recording. 600 will be for sale. After November 22 we will not accept pre-orders.
The design of the deluxe edition has only just begun in very abstract terms, but the concept is simple. It will be small and beautiful. It will not be a box. It will contain 2 CDs. One will be the album, the other a bonus CD of outtakes which will not be available any other way. Each copy will be individually numbered and will come with a matching card addressed to you personally, with thanks from me, signed by me.
The CD sleeve will not be signed. It will be shrink wrapped and untouched. We will pack the cards and CDs here in Massachusetts and all orders will be shipped from here. Shipping to anywhere is included in the price. Please let us know who you would like the card addressed to.
The album - it will be all new material. It will be at least 80% written by me. Maybe 100%
Recording begins in Los Angeles the week after thanksgiving. Fred Maher, Matthew Sweet and I will record basic tracks. We will work Blonde on Blonde style. I will not be making demos. I will arrive with complete songs that I can play on guitar and we will go from there. I'm excited.
I will complete the album in Massachusetts and New York.
I expect the album to be for sale in late Spring / early Summer 2013. The Deluxe edition will ship two weeks before the album is officially released."


  1. Hi Trev

    I think this maybe is going on more than you realise. I've prepaid for about 4 lps before they have been made (usually getting mention in the thankyous on the sleeve notes along with 100s of others!. The $100 seems a bit steep but i guess if you are a hardened fan it is only the price of going to see a top premier league side. the peoplpe who are doing it tend to be those like Lloyd Cole who were big in the late 80s.
    I do think Mr cole has embraced the relationship with his core fans of which this would be part of an overall package - his ask lloyd bit on his website is always an entertaining read , he does the infamous I'll paly your front room type gigs and often sells off old bits of equip on his website.
    One of the reasons I've doen it in teh past is too many artists i love make an lp lose a fortune and then disappear. in helping fund one lp I guess i like to think there is a higher chance there will be another one to follow it

    1. I always get embarrassed about the money v art debate; probably because I've mismanaged myself in the past; maybe should have been more mindful of the business side of things.
      I'm all for private enterprise and love the fact that, with more controlled self-management, a greater percentage of money actually finds the artists these days, but $100 seems a hefty commitment... seems a bit like he's holding out a Harrod's cap to his mates before buying them a round of drinks...

  2. I agree teh $100 is a tad excessive - When I've paid before it has usually been about £15

    for that amount i think I'd expect more than just demos

  3. $100 is really taking the p***! I've done it a few times too, Most recently with The Trashcan Sinatras 'In the music', which I paid 26 pounds for , and I had to think long and hard before spending that amount.So at least with Lloyds offer I don't have to think about it at all.

    1. I also paid for the Trashcans - I'd easily have paid £100 for that as I absolutely love the band.

      Pledgemusic, Kickstarter, direct to artist - I'm all for it- one of the original artists doing this was/is Kristin Hersh - fans can contribute about $30 per quarter for various benefits:

      I'd pay £100 upfront for Trev's next album...

  4. OK, I'll take 2 copies of "Jones Hums Hearty". Right after I borrow a few hundred shekels from Phil...

    It's a shame that artists have to resort to such dodgy arrangements to finance a record. But I can certainly sympathize. I almost took the bait a few times, most recently with Ellis Paul's last release and LC's Broken Record. My chronic procrastination scuttled both of those, and frankly both records turned out to be big disappointments. It requires a lot of faith on the part of the fans, and a weighty onus on the artist.

    I've heard Lloyd mumble during concerts and on his weblog about the necessity of touring to pay the mortgage and put the kids through school. I've also witnessed him playing in some venues here in TO that can at best be called shit-holes. The Horseshoe Tavern is like playing in a dark concrete alley. Lee's Palace has to be seen to be believed. Everything is smelly and sticky... the floor, the chairs, ugh. The dressing room looks like a cardboard out-house.

    A few years ago, Lloyd crawled out of said out-house, and grunted, "I'm fucking sick." (Later he found out he was stricken with double-pneumonia.) It was painful to watch, with smoke burning the eyes, LC croaking and straining through the set, morons in the audience shouting "Next time bring the Commotions!" Lloyd struggled valiantly through the show, even managed to rise from his stool for a brave and touching finale of 'Heartbroken' and 'Unhappy Song'. Later, my pal Eric and I had a long discussion about how harrowing the gig was, and how being a rockstar ain't as glamorous as it's cracked up to be...

    Off topic am I? Yup, $100 is too much to ask for a "blind" purchase. It's a hard call, but until someone comes up with a better idea it may be an option I could tolerate... $40 bucks tops!

    Now get to it, and remember to push Play and Record at the same time when recording the cassettes!

  5. Push AND play? I wondered what all that white noise was about...
    Lee's Palace sounds grand, and, yup, I've played many similar shit holes; hate to use the phrase but it comes with the territory. I think that it's a young man's folly; you can take that crap and romanticize it when you're a young gun; gets a bit demeaning and demoralizing as an older statesman; one of the reasons I retreated. There are the inevitable moments of bliss put they still smell of piss...
    So I can sympathize with LC but $100 just seems a random 'can we get away with it?' kind of figure; not even a loan mind, essentially a gift requested. Maybe he should register himself as a charity.
    LC never a man I thought would court the sympathy vote.
    Speaking of sympathy; I hope that your 'chronic procrastination' settles down TT; sounds painful...

  6. Have done this a couple of times, although normally with unknown artists such as Danni Nicholls, see link below, although I have contributed to Mike Peters & Marillion albums in the past. Would rather give money direct to artits than record companies!!

    But if you're up for it TRev, i'm in!

    Nick B

  7. Blimey, now you've all got me having 2nd thoughts...
    Could we put your house keys against it Nick?

  8. You could be eligible to get a Apple iPhone 7.