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 Indie label Touch and Go stops putting out new releases, cuts distribution, lays off staff

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JeanKevin

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Localisation : Montreal, QC
Registration date : 2007-02-11

PostSubject: Indie label Touch and Go stops putting out new releases, cuts distribution, lays off staff   Thu 19 Feb 2009 - 9:27

Pretty bad news for the independent music industry...

Source : www.chicagotribune.com

Quote :
Originally posted: February 18, 2009

Chicago indie powerhouse Touch and Go cuts distribution service, staff
Touch and Go Records, a pillar of the Chicago music scene and independent music worldwide, announced Wednesday that it is drastically shrinking its business, cutting ties with 20 independent labels and laying off an unspecified number of employees.

"The current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford" to provide manufacturing and distribution services for the labels, including stalwarts such as Chicago-based Drag City, All Natural, Overcoat. Flameshovel and Atavistic Records; Delaware's Jade Tree; and Kill Rock Stars in the Pacific Northwest, said Touch and Go founder Corey Rusk.

The move could drastically hamper the ability of these labels to get their new releases into retail outlets in a timely manner, and could affect their ability to stay solvent during the current economic downturn.

Touch and Go will continue to operate as a label; it has released more than 400 records in the last 28 years including more than 100 on its Quarterstick subsidiary. But the decision to cut distribution will force Rusk to shrink his staff of about 25 people. He would not give specifics in a phone interview Wednesday, but said the decision was "painful for everybody involved." Several employees reported being "blindsided" by the announcement.

Mac McCaughan, cofounder of North Carolina independent label Merge Records, called the announcement "a sad day for music, independent music and punk rock in particular, and the music business as we know it in the real world."

"Corey Rusk is the most meticulous, cautious, thoughtful business person I know, which is what makes this whole thing so unbelievable and such a bad portent for the rest of the independent music business," McCaughan said. "If a company that did everything the right way can't survive in this environment ... then who can?"

Here is the complete text of Rusk's statement:

"It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.

"Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go’s operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.

"Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We’ll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go’s history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings."

Touch and Go celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006. It had grown from a bedroom operation designed expressly to put out a 7-inch single by the teenage Rusk’s hardcore band the Necros to a multimillion-dollar-a-year operation housed in a three-story 18,000-square-foot Ravenswood warehouse with 25 employees.Among the revered bands who have recorded for the label are Big Black, the Jesus Lizard, the Butthole Surfers, the Mekons, Slint, Calexico and TV on the Radio – virtually a Who’s Who of underground, punk and postpunk of the last three decades.
"It’s not coming to an end," Rusk said, "but it won’t be the same company it has been for the last 20 years."

A complete list of labels with distribution ties to Touch and Go is here:

2131
5, Rue Christine
All Natural
Atavistic
Drag City
Emperor Jones
Estrus
Flameshovel
Jade Tree
In The Fishtank
Kill Rock Stars
Le Tigre Recordings
Overcoat Recordings
Pretty Activity
Post Present Medium
Record Label
Robcore
Suicide Squeeze
Trance Syndicate
Trixie
Voodoo-EROS
Warm Electronic Recordings

Here is the list of the artists currently on Touch & Go :

!!!
All the Saints
Angry Red Planet
Arcwelder
Arsenal
Bad Livers
Bedhead
Big Black
Big Boys
The Black Heart Procession
Blight
Blonde Redhead
Brainiac
Brick Layer Cake
Calexico
Cargo Cult
Cash Audio
Chrome
CocoRosie
Crystal Antlers
Daddy Longhead
Dead Child
The Delta 72
Didjits
Die Kreuzen
Dirty Three
DK3
Don Caballero
Effigies
Enon
The Ex
The Fix
Flesh Columns
Flour
The For Carnation
Girls Against Boys
The Jesus Lizard
June of 44
Kepone
Killdozer
L-Seven
Laughing Hyenas
The Lee Harvey Oswald Band
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
PW Long
Man Or Astro-Man?
The Meatmen
Mekons
Mi Ami
The Monorchid
Peter Morén
Mule
Naked Raygun
Nina Nastasia
Necros
Negative Approach
New Wet Kojak
The New Year
No Trend
Tara Jane ONeil
Pegboy
Phono-Comb
Pinback
Polvo
Quasi
Rachel's
Rapeman
Red Stars Theory
Rodan
Henry Rollins
Scratch Acid
Seam
Shellac
Shipping News
Sholi
Silkworm
Silverfish
Skull Kontrol
Slint
The Sonora Pine
The Standard
Storm & Stress
Supersystem
Tar
Therapy?
Three Mile Pilot
Sally Timms
TV on the Radio
The Uglysuit
Urge Overkill
Uzeda
Virgin Prunes
Volcano Suns
Shannon Wright
Wuhling
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
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PostSubject: Re: Indie label Touch and Go stops putting out new releases, cuts distribution, lays off staff   Thu 19 Feb 2009 - 10:28

shock
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Qolton³

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PostSubject: Re: Indie label Touch and Go stops putting out new releases, cuts distribution, lays off staff   Thu 19 Feb 2009 - 13:27

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vx

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PostSubject: Re: Indie label Touch and Go stops putting out new releases, cuts distribution, lays off staff   Sun 22 Feb 2009 - 12:36

Wow, this is bad. Seems like the music industry is really undergoing a BIG CHANGE !
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