Putting the “I” back into “D.I.Y.”
By Fred Mills
The new Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy album, titled bonnie ‘prince’ billy (Palace) and bearing virtually no other information other than that name/eponymous title and a tracklisting, has been slipping into independent record stores over the last few weeks. Could be any other indie release, right? Except it’s friggin’ Will Oldham, an icon and hero to more than a few aficionados of indie music—and because for his latest album he opted to bypass the label system, the distribution system, the download system, hell, pretty much every damn system on the planet other than The Oldham System.
The limited edition LP, which also comes as a CD or cassette, both presumably limited as well, is being sold strictly and directly by Oldham himself to indie record stores. You won’t find it at Amazon, you won’t find it at Best Buy, you won’t even find it at a small chain. Nope, nada. But if you are fortunate enough to live near an indie shop, you just may be in luck, if said shop learned about the album in time to order it direct from Oldham via his esteemed Royal Stable Music label (www.bonnieprincebilly.com),
Such as Raleigh, NC, indie shop Schoolkids Records, which happens to be the sister business of BLURT, and whose yours truly happened to answer the phone the other day when Oldham called, very casually introduced himself to me, and inquired if we might be interested in stocking his record. Needless to say I was dropping a check in the mail the very next morning. (Will, if you are reading this, the posters and BPB ballcap included in the package of LPs, CDs and CTs was a nice touch. Displaying proudly at the store as I write this.)
This is called grassroots, and it is greatly admired by us at the record store and the magazine.
Meanwhile, pop over to the Alan Bumstead blog and read a track-by-track review of this gorgeous, understated, all-acoustic release. And to fans looking to obtain copies, know that gougers have already taken to eBay with the record, such as this sonofabitch trying to get 60 bucks for it already despite the fact that it shouldn’t be selling for more than $16 or $17 absolute tops in stores. Just fair warning. Support indie record shops.
I Heard Of A Source
Lessons From Stony
I Will Not Be Born Again
Make It Not An Evil Mark
The Spotted Pig
This Is My Cocktail
Ending It All (As I Do)
Royal Quiet Deluxe