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Dead Oceans and Other Indiana Music Businesses Respond to the Indiana RFRA

Dead Oceans co-signed this statement today:

We are a group of independent record labels and music businesses based in Indiana. We are deeply disappointed with the recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the message that it sends to those both in and out of our state. At the very least, this is a poorly written and unnecessary piece of legislation. At the worst, it provides a path to legal discrimination.

We join the chorus of Indiana residents and businesses calling on Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana General Assembly to repeal the IRFRA. Additionally, we appeal to our state government leaders to enact legislation clearly protecting the civil liberties of LGBT individuals to assure that none of our employees or neighbors may be discriminated against due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Some businesses and individuals have taken action to suspend or reduce participation in Indiana’s economy. While this sort of action is well-intended to place pressure on government leaders to repeal or fix this law, we feel an isolationist approach can sometimes be misguided. As music companies, we cherish the power which music and art can have in promoting social progress. We believe cultural events can be a great opportunity to put a glaring spotlight on injustice. We will continue to proudly call Indiana home, and we call on others in the arts community to address this issue constructively. To musicians with events scheduled in Indiana — please follow through and perform. While canceling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally. You can insist that the venue you play publicly states that they will not discriminate under any circumstances. If the venue won’t do that, rebook your show with another venue that will. Your performance can be a rally. We need your support locally.

We welcome other music businesses in Indiana to co-sign this letter with us:

NEWS // Gauntlet Hair Ends

We are sad to say that Gauntlet Hair has officially come to an end. Andy and Craig are two powerhouse musicians that we were more than lucky to have and very honored to be a part of our roster. As a band, they created some amazing music and put on some fantastic live performances that will be talked about for years. We are touched, but not surprised, by the fans’ emphatic responses on Facebook and Twitter and would like to echo their thoughts. Although we are sad to see them go, we know they will continue to innovate by creating music that will keep people talking and connect to new fans just like their first two albums with Dead Oceans.

So long and all the best of luck in your future, Craig and Andy, we’re excited to hear what’s next.

Dead Oceans

RELEASE // Loftus ‘Loftus’ Gets Reissued With Vinyl Pressing On Jealous Butcher Records

On July 9th a mostly unheard gem in the early experimental 1990’s indie-rock world will be reissued with a first time pressing on vinyl. Before Califone, band members Tim Rutili and Ben Massarela, were in a group called Red Red Meat which joined members of Rex and Bundy K. Brown to form Loftus. The group recorded the self-titled album at Ben’s truck stop, a still functioning truck weight stop. About the rather odd recording process, Tim said, “Bundy put all our names into a hat; he’d pick three names and we’d improvise.” Eventually Bundy would turn the lights back on and they would stop, later building those sessions into full songs.

This very special reissue of the original CD is a vinyl release (pictured above) which is limited to 521 number copies on either red or clear vinyl and can be pre-order HERE prior to the July 9th release date.

NOW READ THIS // Billboard Biz Profiles Phil Waldorf And Dead Oceans For “Independent Study” Series

Reggie Ugwu of Billoard Biz sat down with label co-founder, Phil Waldorf, for a profile on Dead Oceans as part of their “Independent Study” series. The article includes details about Phil’s music career prior to forming Dead Oceans including being music director at college radio station WUOG at University of Georgia, hosting house shows with the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, and working at the Other Music record store in New York City.

Read the full article here.

Jason Molina, You Will Be Missed

Over the weekend we learned that Jason Molina of Songs:Ohia / Magnolia Electric Co. passed away. I know I speak for everyone at Dead Oceans, when I say that this is a huge blow to our music community and we’re devastated beyond words. On a personal level, I was not the closest to Jason, but I knew him and loved his music, his songs and his voice. I first encountered Jason in the late 90s, when I interviewed him for Flagpole Magazine, in Athens, GA. I remember distinctly that Jason didn’t want to talk about the new record he was touring in support of, but that he wanted to talk about what he was going to do next. He told me about how he was making a soul record as the follow-up, and you could just tell that his creative juices were flowing. Of course, Songs:Ohia never quite made Superfly, but I loved that Jason was hearing a soul classic in his mind, when he was writing and recording a new LP. It was inspired.

What’s hardest about today, as this news became public, is not my relationship to Jason. It’s my relationship to so many of Jason’s friends who cared deeply about him. I’m thinking of their loss, the void in their hearts, and it is heart breaking. There are going to be many tributes to Jason in the coming days, but I suggest starting with this touching tribute from the only record label he ever called home, Secretly Canadian.



  • November 2015
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  • September 2015

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