Grand Ole Party, now on the road, has available for download on iTunes their debut full-length CD Humanimals. But the disc won't be sent to record stores until January. By the time the CD reaches stores, the local band's biggest San Diego fans -- who've already downloaded it -- may be less likely to buy it.
"I hate to say it, but in ten years there may not be any CDs," says a music industry insider.
"We didn't see any point in competing with all the other fourth-quarter releases [of established artists] with a CD by a new artist," says Darin Harmon, who handles the day-to-day management of Grand Ole Party. (Harmon works for Dave Holmes's 3D Management, which handles Coldplay and Interplay. Humanimals is the first release on DH Records, a new label founded by Holmes.)
Harmon says CD copies of Humanimals are being sold at the venues the band plays.
"We will probably include an extra track or an extra seven-inch [with the discs that make it into retail stores]."
"It certainly doesn't help indie record stores," says Ken Kosta, owner of Spin Records in Carlsbad. "This doesn't help the ailing record-store industry.... But it is a little different with a new band. They need to get their music out there. The promotion they get outweighs other aspects.
"If this is the start of a big trend, that would be a concern. I have a bigger problem that the new Beck single ["Time Bomb"] is only available on iTunes. He is hurting the very stores that helped him out in the first place."
On Sunday, Radiohead announced it would release its new album (In Rainbows) on October 10 on its own, without a major label. The band said it was taking pre-orders for both digital downloads and a "disc box" set that would include vinyl and CD discs and photos.
Reeve Oliver recorded a full-length album for Capitol but was dropped from the label before the record was released. The band has secured the rights to the master recording, estimated to have cost $500,000 to record. Insiders say the local trio and their manager plan to release the music this month or next month on iTunes. They may issue a CD on their own label as well.
Grand Ole Party appears October 12 at Soma.