I’m going to go on record and say this recent trend of the combination album release party / farewell show is bumming me out. And not just because bands I enjoy are parting ways.
To recap some incidences from the past month, just in Philly’s indie rock sphere – Arrah and the Ferns played their “indefinite hiatus” show on May 24th while simultaneously rolling out their latest LP Make Your Mind. Catnaps said goodbye on June 19th, just a few days after their Forget About It EP showed up on Bandcamp. And now The Quelle Source – who we know from last summer’s very fun music video for “The French Rapture” and eight or so years of gigs and recordings – announced their album release show for the new Send Out the Creatures (August 2nd at MilkBoy) with the caveat that it doubles as their final show.
On the one hand, I can absolutely understand why artists do this. Making a record is a long, labor-intensive (and, depending on what studio you’re using, potentially expensive) process. A lot can change from beginning to end, and sometimes along the way, a band realizes for a variety of reasons that it is no longer able to continue being a band. So what does it do with the music it just invested all this time, money and energy in making: let it disappear unheard into the ether, or make a final push to get it out in the world? So on that level, the trend makes sense. But it also feels alarmingly defeatist. Continue reading →