Note: After this blog entry was originally posted, Bradford Cox contacted me to say he was upset with it. What followed was a day of e-mailing, curse words and even a few moments of genuine soul-searching — all of which you can read about in my column, Bigger Than the Sound.
If you think you had a rough weekend, consider the plight of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox.
While you were busy downing one too many Jäger bombs, he was accidentally posting a link to his MediaFire account on his blog, thereby giving fans unfettered access to his entire collection of demos, unfinished tunes and two albums scheduled to be released over the next 12 months. He then attempted to purge the Internet of any and all traces of said material via a series of posts that oscillated wildly between poor-mouthed pandering and “OMG HOW DARE YOU I HOPE YOU DIE” missives.
All you had to do was clean up a little neon-tinged puke; big deal.
(more on Cox’s crisis after the jump!)
The whole thing started on Saturday, when Cox — who updates the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound blog with demos and “micromixes” of his favorite songs at an alarming rate — posted a link to a free Atlas Sound “Virtual 7 Inch” containing two songs. This seemed like an everyday occurrence until fans clicked on the link, and instead of downloading two free tracks they somehow ended up with Cox’s entire personal library on their hard drives. It was a veritable treasure trove of half-recorded gems, song sketches and sound collages — a genuine look inside the creative process of one of the most prolific artists today.
The main problem was that buried within that trove were two fully realized albums: Weird Era Cont., which was intended as a surprise accompaniment to Deerhunter’s Microcastles album (it’s due in stores on Halloween); and Logos, Cox’s second Atlas Sound album (he released Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See but Cannot Feel earlier this year), which he hoped to put out in 2009. Suffice to say, those two albums got file-sharing sites humming, and unbeknownst to Cox, news of the leak began to circulate as far as Radiohead’s message board — which is actually how he was informed of the situation.
Cox reacted like any of us would if our deepest secrets had been revealed for the world to see: with a blog post taking fans to task for ruining the Weird Era surprise. Then, at 11:22 p.m. — nearly nine hours after the accidental leak happened in the first place — he posted another screed, a nice bit of vitriol called “Logos R.I.P. (2007-2008),” which was accompanied by a photo of him shooting the bird.
“F— this sh–. I can just make another album. It’s not finished and now it never will be. It was also going to have a rad cover. I would describe it to you but that would be stupid,” he wrote. “P.S. there are no vocals on ’Quick Canal.’ I never got the chance to record them. This record was not free to record, so if you’d like to pay for hearing it send a PayPal donation to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am not a f—ing opportunist so don’t think I expect it.”
Finally, more than 12 hours after the incident, Cox seemed to come to terms with it all, posting an entry titled “Whatever,” in which he tried to explain that he didn’t want any attention from the situation and that he wished “none of this sh– would have happened. I was just trying to give away another virtual 7″. Now everyone who reads this thing is going to think I’m a f—ing lunatic.”
Gee, why would anyone think that?!? Of course, all of those posts — along with all mentions of Weird Era and Logos — have since been erased from Cox’s blog, and he’s also blocked comments on the site. In fact, it’s pretty much radio silence from his end, aside from a single post from Saturday night, “Only Guitars Now,” which contains links to tracks featuring — you guessed it — only guitars. It’s a Weird Era indeed.