April 19, 2012

Files for Sale

If you don't want to read this whole post, the short version is: much of the MTX/Dr. Frank stuff should now be back up on iTunes and other digital distribution services. (And the major stuff that isn't up yet will be soon.)

So, as you probably know, Lookout Records stopped operations earlier this year. Among other things, this meant that the MTX/Dr. Frank catalog had to be pulled from digital services and has been (mostly) missing from on-line stores like iTunes and streaming services like Pandora for the last couple of months.

Whatever else happens in the way of re-issues and physical releases and so forth in the future, it seemed like a good idea to try to get the songs back up on-line sooner rather than later, so that's what we've been trying to do.

Much of it is now back "up," as far as I can tell, e.g. on iTunes, and presumably on all the other places, too, though it's possible there may be glitches here and there for a stretch.

In configuring this, I decided to disaggregate the albums, eps, and singles from the CD re-issue compilations, where we pretty much just piled on everything we had that wasn't on the album, without regard to sequencing (or anything, really.) So the idea is to take advantage of the flexibility of this digital world we've got by using it to re-configure everything as it was released, the singles as singles, the albums as albums, etc. We always thought of the vinyl as the "real" release, whereas the CD was more like archival storage or something. This approach had some perverse results once people started to think of the CD as the album, most notably on Our Bodies Our Selves, where the vinyl sequence makes sense, while the CD version just has the Gun Crazy b-sides and "God Bless America" tacked on senselessly at the end. All this "extra" material will be available, just not in the configuration that mimics the crazy CD comps.

As it stands now, some of the singles are still missing, but I hope to have them up soon, as well as other stuff like Road to Ruin, some kind of "Odds and Sods" type compilation of the "bonus" stuff that wasn't on albums, eps, or singles, the "best of" we discussed here, etc.

So that's it for now. More to come.

Posted by Dr. Frank at April 19, 2012 04:12 PM

Thanks! And thanks for the original sequencing.

Posted by: William Smith at April 19, 2012 04:47 PM

Wow, I can see how this will confuse some people. Especially those of us who may be in the midwest or on the east coast and were not exposed to MTX until the internet came along. I myself, had long disposed of records and cassettes, thus got only the CDs from Lookout and a pre-iTunes pay MP3 site that I cannot recall the name of currently.

Perhaps my autographed "And the Women Who Love Them Special Addition" will become a sought after collectors item?

Posted by: Zaphod at April 19, 2012 06:37 PM

I need to repurchase some things that were stolen from my wife's car, so you will be getting some of money, but, just to be clear, unreleased stuff or no?

BTW, I played a bit of MTX for my students who pronounced you even better than the Counting Crows. I'll give you a plug.

Posted by: josh at April 19, 2012 10:03 PM

Oh yeah, and I love the sequencing on the CD version of Our Bodies Ourselves. The tacked-onedness always made me think, wow, this CD just keeps throwing out good songs long after it clearly should have ended. It kind of feels like a bargain.

Posted by: josh at April 19, 2012 10:06 PM

It's a shame that anything by the MTX would ever go out of print. They're one of the best bands ever, way better than anything in the mainstream, corporate scene. I'm proud to say I own all the CD's except, "Road To Ruin" since it wasn't released on CD. I did have to download that one and it was hard to find. I was sad to hear about Lookout as they played a major role in my school life and were my source of discovering some good bands. But I absolutely love every MTX album and every time I come across someone that hasn't heard them, I tell them to get their hands on the music. And for those that I come across that say negative things about MTX, I usually just walk away rather than get into an argument or insult them heavily. They can keep jamming to "American Idiot" and they're usually the ones that thought "Dookie" was the first Green Day LP. Dr. Frank is the man, hands down, and I've been influenced by the music to the extreme.

Posted by: Johnny Biscuits at April 19, 2012 10:38 PM

I'm still a CD (and vinyl) guy, but thanks for keeping your music available for all.

Posted by: Bill at April 20, 2012 03:44 AM

Yes, inquiring collector/MTX nerds want to know. Any thing out there that hadn't been previously released? I'm still waiting to hear that Big Sky cover!

Posted by: chach at April 30, 2012 06:01 PM

So... Alcatraz. Not up there yet. Soon, I hope? I got it from Emusic.com years ago at shitty 128kb sampling rate. I'd like a better copy!
(I talked to Joe Queer once, and he said he'd never heard of them, had no idea Lookout was selling their music there and hadn't seen a dime from it. So sorry about that. Thought you guys were getting paid!)

Posted by: stig at May 2, 2012 06:36 PM

It is all a bit mysterious when a label licenses its whole catalog to a service like emusic. I sure never knew exactly what was going on with that stuff.

I just checked and Alcatraz is up on iTunes.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at May 3, 2012 09:01 PM