Readers of The New York Times received a double shot of Portland indie pop last Sunday when the illustrious paper featured two Stumptown artists in its glorious pages. Dolorean's new album, Not Exotic (YepRoc), and the Decemberists' Her Majesty the Decemberists (Kill Rock Stars) were both featured on the front page of the paper's Arts & Leisure section in a roundup of recent CDs called the Playlist. The Times' Kelefa Sanneh writes of Dolorean, "despite the stillness, this is a wild, passionate album," and then goes on to describe the Decemberists' Colin Meloy as "possessed of a thin, strong voice and a sensibility that lies somewhere between Morrissey and Edward Gorey." Interesting. But more interesting is the fact that the Times staff spelled Elliott Smith's name wrong in the headline: "Elliot Smith's Legacy and Pink's Big Idea." Adolph S. Ochs is probably rolling in his grave. Or is it Oaks? Eh. Journalistic standards. Whatev.


We here at Hiss & Vinegar are usually suspicious of promises of prosperity that arrive in our electronic inbox. But when the offer arrives with dollar signs in place of the S's...well, who wouldn't bite? Such is the case with's "12-Step Program to Music $$," which arrived just last week. In the press release from Crockett, Texas, President Kenny Love states, "There are tons of books out there already, presenting a ton of theoretical information on succeeding in today's Music industry.... The problem is that this glut, combined with the extraordinary amount of how-to information on the Internet, has produced an informational overload."

Love plans on solving this perplexing problem by providing yet another source of information for the enterprising wannabe musician. How that holds back the information tide is beyond us, but, hey, they've got dollar signs as S's. Not sold by the typography? Check out the following online excerpt from the book regarding how you will sell CDs, and judge for yourself:

"1. Club patrons hear your music. 2. Excited by it, they rush up to the deejay to find out who that 'hot' artist is. 3. The deejay informs them of your name, the name of your single and your CD's title. 4. As quickly as possible (usually, the very next day), they rush out to their favorite music store to buy your record."

Wow. Operators are standing by.


On Friday, local online record-store phenom CD Baby announced a partnership with 43-year-old California record-store chain Tower Records. The deal was sealed in June, but the announcement was put off until the two companies could align their online catalogs. As a result of the partnership, CD Baby will offer its entire catalog of 50,000 independent titles on, giving those artists a larger potential market and making the largest independent CD retailer on the Internet.

While CD Baby has hooked up with a major company, sources say the Portland-based company owned by Derek Sivers will stay true to its independent vision.

"We still go about our operation the way we always did, except everything in our catalog is now available on the Tower website," says Alex Steininger, director of business relations and marketing at CD Baby. "When someone orders a CD Baby CD, we still fill the order and ship it out; it will just be in Tower packaging."

Steininger adds that the company's core operations will remain in Portland.

Hiss into a cup, throw it in our face: