The Localist: The Independent Album Release Calendar
Consequence of Sound has a useful Album Release calendar that they put together, which gives people a heads up as to what releases are coming up and when. Their release calendar can be found HERE. If you’re a music journalist, it’s useful, because it allows you to plan ahead in terms of knowing what releases to write about. It also plays a filtering role in that not every single release that is put out into the universe is placed on the list. I was thinking that it might be a useful tool to have an independent album release calendar that serves the same function.
Release dates are important, because they allow writers and musicians to coordinate the timing of press and the release. It also allows writers to coordinate all of the releases that they might be interested in writing about, because writers have a lot of stuff to write about, and if the schedule of releases are confusing, it will mean that either press will not come out for a release at the best time, or press for an album release just won’t come out at all. One of the classic mistakes that independent musicians make when releasing a record is to bungle the release date – either by moving it about willy-nilly, or otherwise not really committing to it, in an attempt to try and gain a small opportunity. The thing is, you need to set and commit to a release date early on, and stick with it, otherwise you will confuse writers and give the impression that you are not quite ready for prime time.
I was trying to figure out a way to set something like this up, with minimal input, and realized that internet forms provide a pretty useful way for musicians to input the necessary data. This can all then be aggregated on a regular basis, without too much difficulty. The main issue is how limitations can be placed on the submission process so that every single release under the sun doesn’t get submitted. In this case, I’m suggesting that submissions be limited to LP and EP releases (i.e., no single releases), and that artists/bands cannot be affiliated with a major label or a major indie label, and total press expenditures – including the cost of a publicist and/or publicity materials such as music videos – are capped at $5000 for the release. Meaning that if you have hired a publicist such as Perfect Pitch or Grandstand Media, or have a very expensive music video made for the release, you will likely be ineligible to apply.
Without further ado, I present a basic form for the creation of The Independent Album Release Calendar. FORM.
The form is intended to capture basic information, including of course release date, artist name and release name. But it’s also designed to capture basic location information, so if you are interested in releases from your home state, it’s relatively easy to do a ctrl+f to find them. The list will be available from the BCF homepage for your convenience.
The Localist is a column focusing on issues relating to aspiring local musicians in New York City. In his free time, the author performs as St. Lenox. St. Lenox’s most recent record, “Ten Fables of Young Ambition and Passionate Love” was placed on Best Albums lists at Pop Matters and AllMusic. AllMusic credits St. Lenox with “some of the most unique and unconventionally thrilling pop music in the late 2010s.”