Good stories and good music are two things everyone wants more of, especially in their podcast feeds. With their extensive experience in music and podcasting, Nevermind Media, led by Peabody Award-winner Sean Cannon (Striped: The Story Of The White Stripes, The Guestlist) and music journalist Melissa Locker, set out to give the people what they want. Nevermind Media combines the emotional power of music with irresistible storytelling and immersive audio experiences that take a deep dive into music history and fandom. On June 16, Nevermind Media will launch its latest podcast, Songs in the Key of Death,a historiography that combines music, true crime, history, and edge-of-your-seat storytelling.
Hosted by music critic and author Courtney Smith (Refinery29, MTV, Record Collecting For Girls), Songs in the Key of Death looks at the historic true crimes that inspired a selection of murder ballads, with season- one exploring some of the most notorious and well-known crimes of the early 20th century. Each episode focuses on a single murder ballad that has been passed down by scores of singers, with each generation telling their own version of events and putting a new spin on stories of very real, often gruesome slaughters. After being told and retold, these songs and the murders that inspired them have become legends. The show looks at the violent criminals we can’t stop singing about, the grisly history they reflect, and the underrepresented voices of victims who didn’t get to tell their own stories.
Brilliant artists SAD13 and Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy) take turns creating new versions of the songs featured in each episode. Episode 1 of Songs in the Key of Death focuses on “Delia,” written about the Christmas night killing of a 13-year-old Black girl in Georgia — although you wouldn’t guess that from the version popularized by Johnny Cash. Today, fans can hear SAD13’s updated take titled “Delia ”, debuted with Rolling Stone, in which Delia gets her revenge on the boy who killed her, ahead of the episode’s launch on June 16.
Subscribe now to get season 1 of Songs in the Key of Death everywhere you listen to podcasts.
Dave Sitek’s FEDERAL PRISM is pleased to announce the launch yesterday of a unique pop-up record store designed to serve music collectors and serious music fans. The store features exclusive and limited edition vinyl, downloads, apparel and creative works from a wide variety of artists and genres, including TV on the Radio, Oh Land ft. Sia, Thelonius Monk, The Germs, Johnny Cash, Chuck Inglish, Sly & The Family Stone, Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag), Mike Watt, The Julie Ruin, Chance the Rapper, and much more.
Sitek explains, “Somewhere along the line music became ‘content.’ It’s my full intention to bring it back to music again! With such potency, music should be treated with care. The sound, the feel, the presentation… everything! It is a medicine. It is a teacher!”
Feeding a growing appetite for vinyl and “specialty products” among passionate music fans, Federal Prism has partnered with Girlie Action, Acme Creative Group and Pledge Music to create a unique pop up Record Shop with an exciting mix of exclusive and limited addition titles. The store will operate for 60 days starting today.
Federal Prism’s managing partner, Jeff Bowers, discusses how the idea was conceived. “We are at a moment in music when some of the most well received artists and releases in recent memory have little to nothing in the retail space. It is my hope that we can take the lessons of Record Store Day and the resurgent popularity of vinyl, and pull these consumer models together and make a compelling experience for the fan. I am asking talented kids, the next generation, who have never sold anything in a record store to make something unique that interests them and their fan base, and we are placing that next to traditional music configurations by established artists. That doesn’t happen anywhere with any consistency. It doesn’t happen at iTunes and it certainly doesn’t happen at Best Buy.“
Promising a steady flow of new titles popping up over the next two months, Sitek launches with dozens of titles including:
A limited edition pressing of Thelonius Monk’s penultimate studio album, Underground, on 180 gram color vinyl
The Germs’ 3-song 7″ EP, Lexicon Devil, originally released via mail-order by Slash Records in 1978, and limited to just 1,500 units on 7″ red vinyl
Chuck Inglish’s full-length, The Convertibles, on a 4-disc 7″ vinyl set originally released earlier this year, and which landed the album at #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and caused it to jumped from #53 to #24 on the Billboard Hip Hop Albums chart the week it was released.
Check out this previously unreleased track of The Julie Ruin’s “Blueberry Hill” (limited pressing available on 7″ at the store. The B-side is a YACHT remix of the Julie Ruin track “Right Home”.
Bowers, who started DIY label Soul Force Records in his native Tempe, AZ at the age of 15, worked for a decade as a creative marketing consultant for Warner Bros. Records and Atlantic, where he worked on classic vinyl reissues by Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Neil Young, as well as Nirvana and Sonic Youth and more contemporary Record Store Day releases by Skrillex, Fun., Portugal. The Man and Grouplove. While at Warner between 2007-2014, Bowers helped the label secure the number one marketshare in the vinyl format, moving from mid-six figures when he started to eight figures by the time he left as well as founding three record labels signed to the group.
He is also credited by the people responsible for “Record Store Day” for taking the annual event to a whole new level. “Without Jeff Bower’s enthusiasm and passion for music in general, and vinyl in specific, we would not have been able to launch Record Store Day,” RSD co-founder Michael Kurtz has said. “In doing so, Jeff helped the indie record store community take vinyl sales from a few thousand dollars the first year to millions by the seventh year.”