By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
But Rainmaker doesn't work that way, Nugent says, since the bands, not the label, own the masters to the albums--and because Nugent manages both The Nixons and Deep Blue Something, which means he has a protracted financial stake in those bands' futures. (Nugent--along with the likes of Jackopierce manager Brady Wood and Crystal Clear Sound owner Sam Paulos--is also a partner in a local booking agency called Alliance Entertainment, which handles the likes of Quickserv Johnny, Funland, Billygoat, and Soul Food Cafe.)
Nugent--who experienced his own bitter taste of fleeting fame with Four Reasons Unknown in the '80s, when his band won MTV's "Basement Tapes" and had a doomed fling with Epic Records--maintains that getting Deep Blue Something and The Nixons signed to majors has changed little for his label, especially because he didn't take quick cash for his bands. He must still promote the forthcoming disc from Adam's Farm outside the city, where they're just another anonymous good band among so many others, and get their record in stores.
There's no such thing as instant credibility in the music business when you're a record label, especially when your bands receive critical drubbings in the national press; Entertainment Weekly referred to Deep Blue Something as "wimpy-sounding" and described "Breakfast at Tiffany's" as "the year's most innocuous single [and] namby-pamby."
Nugent is quick to say he'd like to get Adam's Farm on a major, but he insists the process is a difficult one--despite the fact the three local rock stations (KTXQ, KDGE, KEGL) are beginning to play bands that aren't signed to majors, whether it's Funland or Ugly Mus-tard or Rainmaker's own Quickserv Johnny.
"It's really the band playing a lot of gigs and trying to build a base so you can recoup your expenses so you can make another record," Nugent says. "You play a lot of dates and try to get people into it and get them into the clubs. It's always hard, no matter what it is. You have to start all over, no matter what.
"It doesn't matter what your reputation is in terms of consistency or what history you have. Major labels are looking at sales--are you selling records, and are you viable? That's all they're looking at."
Surprise, surprise--The Dark Room has the potential to be one of the city's best small venues, picking up where the sadly departed Chumley's left off when its owner skipped town to become a "philosopher" in New York (or last we heard). Already the tiny club, adjacent to the Green Room, has been booking the likes of Broose Dickinson and Meredith Miller, Rhett Miller, The Enablers, and Ten Hands' Paul Slavens on a regular or semi-regular basis, and the eclectic and low-key schedule boasts such acts as Slobberbone on December 15, Lockjaw the following Friday, The Calways on December 30, and Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks on New Year's Eve.
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