So I was looking through our post history and I realized that we haven’t had a post that was related to any music outside of the Top 40 in ages. I figured that today was as good a day as any to change that.
My newest obsession is a band called the Black Kids out of Jacksonville. The Black Kids are a rock band in the purest sense of the word. They aren’t trying to be cute or coy they are just rocking hard the whole time. The band is a mixed race group fronted by the charismatic Reggie Youngblood, with a backing that includes his younger sister. I know that music professionals throw the term around but the Black Kids truly have “it”. Within five minutes of seeing them you know that they’ll be big.
I actually got a chance to see them in Jacksonville at the beginning of September and have been following them really closely since. The Black Kids are a perfect example of how A&R is changing and how a strong internet presence is almost as important for a young act as developing a live show. Throughout the history of music in order for a band from a non-music city (such as Jacksonville) to get discovered they either had to tour and hope someone saw them, have someone hear their demo tape, or get really lucky (like having a father who is a record producer). The internet has changed all of this and now bands can become huge before ever playing a live show.
I was lucky enough to be able to say that I saw the Black kids before, or perhaps just as, they became Internet Celebrities. I suppose that it all started with this story. The NME article is where I, thousands of other music fans and insiders around the music industry discovered the Black Kids. I read the story the day it came out and I remember seeing that the bands, MySpace page had something like 6000 hits. Less than two months later the page has 185,00 and the band is signed with Quest Management (the same firm that represents Bjork and Arcade Fire). Once a management firm of such ilk was involved, reviews and show dates started rolling in. The band was the unofficial mascot of this year’s CMJ (College Music Journal) festival in New York, with three showcases (Spin, Fader and Brooklyn Vegan). It’s inevitable that the band will sign a deal with one of the dozens of record labels that must be courting them and when they do the cycle of a band in the new world of music will be complete. In this case I don’t believe that the Black Kids akin to the emperor sporting his new clothes but you’ve got to assume that since everyone is clawing to get “the next big thing” that more often than not these bands that become famous on the internet before releasing a single album will fail.
Just so you can see how good The Black Kids are here is a video taken from the show in Jacksonville on September 7th: