THE DOTS PER INCH MAILER
Hi friends. Welcome to the new Dots Per Inch Mailer. You are among the fortunate few that bear witness to this inaugural blast. This newsletter will be sent out inconsistently on a need-be basis, as new products, special events, and other musings bubble to the surface. Given that you’ve all been selected, more or less, there’ll be no hard feelings if you want to keep your inboxes lean. That forsaken hypertext appears down below.
The giraffe in the room is that there’s finally a little more to share than the sporadic Spotify/Bandcamp/Apple deliveries, the occasional show, or the handful of website redesigns. There are records, there are new signings, and most of all, there is a plan.
In more than a few ways, record labels are at a crossroads today. Access to market has always been the greatest asset a label holds at the negotiating table, and it’s been an asset historically exploited to acquire substantial cuts of artists’ repertoires, likenesses, and incomes. It’s also an asset that is less and less concentrated among a fortunate few. As unfair as this was, this model once made sense in that it accurately reflected where value laid its head at night: market access.
But this was all challenged, last in the ‘90s, and again today. Back in that fateful enneadic decade, the commercial shift in power led to a proliferation of new independent voices, be them labels or artists. The end result? A making-obsolete of the modus operandi and the rearguard effort to make “classic” the rock music that was once the euphoric and libidinal antithesis to doctrine and form.
Being at a similar crossroads now, the fact that much of the indie community is as blind as the majors were then cannot be ignored. Justifiably, it is hard to maintain an independent spirit in our era with Google, Amazon, and the EFF running wild. As a direct result of this dimming spirit, there is a growing difference between the value of digitized music and artist/label compensation, and as of now there seems to be very little being done about that on the ground level.
There is something quietly pessimistic about the many release campaigns that chase physical sales first and online engagement last, despite the lion’s share of fans being online. It says, “we wish for the good old days!” and, “check it out! our vinyl comes in different colors now.” But independent music need not be niche. Dots Per Inch Music sees this discrepancy in value and income as an opportunity for growth, not a condition of existence in a fruitless labor of the heart.
As a small label, Dots Per Inch Music has a few more releases to go before its catalog can be reflective of the breadth of its ideas. The upcoming releases will be nothing short of what is necessary to get where we need to be. With new records on the books from three Dots Per Inch artists, there’s plenty to be excited over.
Come say hello August 9th at Alphaville for Jack’s vinyl release show and a live appearance of the latest signee, Grace Ives. Sharing the stage with these two is Jackie Mendoza, who’s “La Luz” was recently premiered by Office Mag.
Grace Ives Joins the Dots Per Inch roster. In advance of her Debut, 2nd, check out her EPs on her Bandcamp page.
There are three obvious reasons why one might pick up an instrument and learn to play: a prodigious talent, a phase of teenage rebellion, or a set of loving yet overbearing parents. The first scenario is ‘eh’, the second is ‘cool’, and the third, not so much. These, of course, are archetypes, more often than not mutually exclusive, and denote a predetermined trajectory. In reality, however, we don’t have to stick to the script. That’s where Grace Ives comes in.
Ives was not possessed with musical passion as a child or teenage delinquent, nor did she fall prey to the wiles of tyrannical parents. No, nothing like that. Rather, Ives is a refreshingly curious mixture of the positive elements of each scenario.
Her parents saw that she was able to play a little baby piano pretty damn well, and threw her into lessons. She was the kid whose parents made her sing in front of the dinner party, but not to no avail. It was this admiration she received from her impromptu crowd of adult fans that made her think, “hey, I actually might have a lil somethin to offer.”
“I was in a pretty crappy band in highschool and we were trying to be really sophisticated, writing lyrics that we thought appealed to our thirty year old parents,” the New York native remarked, her sentimental grin easily discernible through the slick Iphone screen. Then, one day, in the solitude of her pink room, she realized she actually didn’t need a bunch of guys playing bass to cultivate her sound. She realized that not only did she want to do everything herself, she genuinely enjoyed doing everything herself. Following in the footsteps of her teenage idol, M.I.A., Ives went out and purchased a Roland MC-505 and that’s when the sparks started to fly.
Her path to the stage was rather serendipitous, a series of exploratory decisions that somehow harmonized into sense, unmarred by any disaster or heavy existential crisis, and that’s just how she likes to keep her music. “Pop-y, shiny, sing-songy” were the words she used to describe her sound, and they couldn't be more accurate.