— The Cold War Kids are debuting a new kind of music video on MTVMusic.com that allows fans to remix various components into their own custom creations. There are four different versions of the songs posted to the site, each dedicated to a different band member who was filmed separately on a darkly lit stage. Fans can simply play the stock video, or isolate each individual instrument in real time, to recreate a studio environment type of feel. The video debuts May 20, and is a web-only release.
“The idea was that fans would be able to create an interesting new variation of the track every time, a new listening experience,” says director Sam Jones, of Tool. “Plus, it’s just fun to play with – there are so many ways to mix the instruments and vocals, and so many chances to get creative.”
— The Beggars Group, which encompasses indie labels XL Recordings, 4AD, Matador Records and Rough Trade, announced they will open a Los Angeles office in July. The North American headquarters will remain in New York City. The Beggars Group is based in London and has offices in Europe and Canada in addition to the US locations.
Current senior product manager Miwa Okumura who has been promoted to senior VP West Coast operations and licensing. She will be overseeing the office as well as heading up licensing duties in film and TV. Seb Webber will be relocating to LA from XL Recordings London Headquarters to become VP of A&R for the label. Matador co-president Chris Lombardi will be dividing his time between the Los Angeles office and Matador’s New York headquarters.
— Allegro Media Group has acquired parts of the assets of Music Design Inc., a boutique independent distributor specializing in relaxation music, self help CDs, children’s music, new age and celtic music. The acquisition continues Allegro’s strategy of incorporating wholesalers and other music merchandisers like Softland that sell music and DVDs to non-traditional accounts. Terms of the deal, which also included the assumption of certian Music Design liabilities, were not disclosed.
Billboard estimates Music Design’s annual revenue at $8 million. In a consolidation move, Allegro will rebrand its existing NewSound department as NewSound Kids, with current Music Design manager Dan Godden staying on to manage both NewSound Kids and Music Design.