Touch and Go Downsizes Staff
Thu, 19 Feb 2009 10:05:52
Touch and Go, one of Chicago's longtime—and legendary—indie rock labels, issued a statement today saying they will stop distributing more than 20 labels, including Merge, Kill Rock Stars and Suicide Squeeze. Beyond that, founder Corey Rusk let most of his staff go. As he explained in the press release, "Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We'll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure."
It's unclear whether Touch and Go will continue to sign new acts or focus on the few that were pegged for the first quarter of 2009, including Mi Ami, Sholi and Crystal Antlers. (While the first two released records yesterday, Crystal Antlers' debut album, Tentacles, is supposed to come out on April 7.)
In a separate E-mail statement, Merge founder Mac McCaughan (also of Superchunk) called Rusk "the most meticulous, cautious, thoughtful business person I know. Which is what makes this whole thing so unbelievable and such a bad portent for the rest of the independent music business—if a company that did everything the right way can't survive in this environment (and the environment existed before the current worldwide financial disaster—the Bush economic legacy only piled on), then who can?"
—The ARTISTdirect Staff