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Business News (more headlines) 07-01-2009

Lumberjack Mordam Music Group Shuts Doors

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Website: http://www.jailhouserecords.com



For those who aren't aware, (which is probably quite a few, since they are keeping it hush hush) our distributor, Lumberjack Mordam Music Group,, the once admirable and most independent minded punk rock distributor around, as well as the largest independent punk rock distributor, has recently shut their doors.

What does this mean?

Well, for one we have been ripped off for a lot of money.

Comparatively we made out quite well, as they started doing a piss poor job in the distribution dept anyway.(example; we sold approximately 700% more records before we signed with them, than after) But some labels have been taken for phenomenal amounts of money, enough to put any smaller label out of business.

We have been affected quite a bit by this, they have not only opted to NOT pay ANY of the money which was worked very hard for, but they also still maintain control of a lot of ours and other labels digital distro, which gives them the opportunity to continue to steal in perpetuity. We have sent numerous E mails, and hope to at least have them drop any digital distro that they have of ours.

But... on a slightly brighter note, we did get all of our physical product back, which was around 8000 bucks worth of stuff!, Unfortunately I know a few other labels that have not received any of their inventory back:(.
Obviously this has been a setback for us, as well as most other small independent punk labels.

We are (and will be) fine(which we are grateful for) we have 2 releases getting ready to come out, and a third release out in Oct. But nevertheless we can't hide the fact that this has, very much negatively affected our business.

When I first started this label about 5 years ago, I was a bit more naive, I was under the impression that D.I.Y punk rock was still alive and that the punk rock ethos were still firmly in place for those of us who believed, and tried to stay true to the culture of unity, non major or commercial interference, and the general respect, morals, and ethics that drew me to punk rock almost 20 years ago.

I can truly say now, after being involved in the business aspects (for this short 5 years), that the scene as I, and many others once knew it, is all but completely dead. Some of the things I have witnessed, or been asked to be a part of since starting this label, I can not describe in any other way than just plain "despicable". Pay to play magazines are "business as usual", most labels are out to bite the heads off of their comrades in the name of money, and places like Choke, Redeye, and LMMG, are/were nothing more than a way to monetize(at any cost) a scene that people like us, and labels like Asian Man, Alternative Tentacles, and many more great places and people have struggled to keep honest, accountable, DIY, and grounded as a counter culture movement of ethics, integrity, transparency and honesty.

As a whole (not as individual companies or people) I now find that punk rock has become not much more than a major label practice hiding in independent clothing.
Now please don't get me wrong. I still believe that there is a good percentage of great labels and business out there, that still struggle to maintain this spirit, zines like Razorcake, labels like "It's Alive", "Asian Man", "A.T" and way too many more too begin to mention. But from the inside looking out, the scene as a whole is a sad state of affairs.

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