Monthly Archives: October 2006

Napster Japan launches (not that it does me any good)

Napster Japan launched earlier this week, and I would have written about it when I saw the announcement. But I wanted to investigate the service before I wrote about it, and now that I have, there’s nothing to report.

I couldn’t access it.

Unlike iTunes, which is actually cruel enough to let you browse and search a catalog which US customers are barred from purchasing, Napster doesn’t even include a mechanism to switch locales within its interface.

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Nonesuch kills rock stars

Here’s something interesting — a founder of the indie label Kill Rock Stars is leaving the label to become an A&R executive at Nonesuch.

Slim Moon started Kill Rock Stars in 1991, and the label’s roster includes the likes of Sleater-Kinney, The Gossip, The Decemberists and Deerhoof. Kill Rock Stars itself is moving its operations from Olympia, Washington, to New York City, where Nonesuch is also based. Moon’s wife, Portia Sabin, takes over the label’s operations.

Wilco and the Black Keys aside, Nonesuch doesn’t have much in the way of a rock roster. Nonesuch started out as a classical imprint but expanded to an eclectic mix of world, classical and pop. It looks like Nonesuch wants to expand its scope, and it’s positioning Kill Rock Stars to be its indie rock farm.

I like the idea of Wilco, Emmylou Harris, Steve Reich and Audra McDonald being labelmates, but I’m not sure throwing, say, Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof into the mix would maintain that balance. And if such an arrangement be forged, I’d hate to see KRS bands disappear from eMusic.

Whatever happens, it should be interesting.