But let’s start with that label/pub co., Readymade. Not unlike fellow Rac ’n’ roller Jack White’s Third Man Records, Benson actually established Readymade in the ’90s as to exist in name and concept only — using the label to release his Wellfed Boy demos on vinyl. But unlike Third Man — or any other label, for that matter — Readymade takes a fairly novel, coffee-is-for-closers approach to pushing its releases, farming out promotional and song-plugging duties to other companies within the indie industry and rewarding their successes with sales commissions taken from song placements and moved units.
Those companies include Nashville’s own marketing/distribution/management entity Thirty Tigers, PR powerhouse Big Hassle Media, radio promotions company Hard Boiled Inc., digital media marketers Toolshed, licensing specialists Music Alternatives and Terrorbird Media — the marketing/management company behind Kyle Andrews’ Holiday Inn and Doritos placements.
Seeing as how most artist-owned indie start-ups often don’t have the capital or the manpower to really get the promotional gears turning fast enough to effectively capitalize on the exposure brought by boasting an established performer as a proprietor, on paper this Readymade idea seems like a fairly savvy and sustainable addition to the brave new world of new music industry models. I’m more than curious to see how Benson and Emily White — his manager and Readymade business partner — prevail in this endeavor. Until then I’m going to imagine that their staff meetings closely resemble something along the lines of this:
At press time, Readymade has three LPs slated for release. The first is from the label’s first signee, Young Hines. The local singer-songwriter’s Give Me My Change drops on April 10. Benson’s fifth LP, What Kind of World, will follow with an April 21 digital release via the singer's official site and an April 24 street date for the physical. The label will also put out an as-yet-untitled, Benson-produced LP by Irish duo The Lost Brothers. Release date TBA.
And lastly, Benson will begin his 2012 touring cycle with appearances at South by Southwest. Young Hines and The Howling Brothers will open the Mercy Lounge show. Tickets go on sale (here) tomorrow. See more dates below.
13 - 16 - Austin, TX - SXSW
28 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
03 - Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live
05 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
12 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour