RIP Rainbow Quartz?

February 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm (Uncategorized)


Every few weeks or so, I’ll go spinning through some old music-related bookmarks, just to see if favorite  bands/labels/performers of mine have something new coming out I might’ve otherwise missed.  As such, I can’t tell you how sad I was to visit one of my favorite label sites last week–Rainbow Quartz–and discover a domain name placeholder there instead of the actual site itself.

RQ has been a sort of zombie label for a while now, actually.  From its heyday at the turn of the millennium when releases came fast and furious and with some amount of promotion, over the past few years things have clearly scaled down.  Bands who remain going concerns had left the label in search of release partners who could better serve them with a stronger social media and promotional presence.  Still…they kept soldiering on, kind of.  In 2010 and into 2011 they seemed to make a strong promotional push involving a handful of new releases.  There was a label showcase at CMJ in 2011, and new releases that year.  A little detective work turns up that a favorite band of mine from back in the day, the Three 4 Tens may have been recording a record for release in 2012 with RQ.  I think I last visited the site in December of 2012 (around the holidays maybe) and it was still there, and still selling music.

I suppose this was inevitable.  Record labels are expensive entities to run, and require something of a time and financial commitment to the artists you work with, and both of those things were clearly slipping away from Rainbow Quartz over the last few years.  Times have changed too; entities like Soundcloud and Bandcamp are frankly able to give new artists looking for an audience as much exposure (and access to potential revenue) as was RQ.  Rainbow Quartz seemed a bit slow to come to grips with the way listeners today listen to and buy music digitally.

All that said, I come here to praise Rainbow Quartz, and not to bury them.  If this is indeed the end of things, it’s been a hell of a run.  Some of my favorite discs over the last 15 years have been on RQ.  I salute them for bringing me Cotton Mather, The High Dials, The Grip Weeds,  The Telepathic Butterflies, Deleted Waveform Gatherings, Broadfield Marchers, The Asteroid #4, and Outrageous Cherry.  So many good records over the years, so many songs worth hearing.

I don’t know that this is the end, I’m just assuming it to be so; if you have a record label and it falls to domain name squatters, you’re probably all done.  If it’s the case, I hope those folks who still had working agreements with RQ (like Deleted Waveform Gatherings, whose September, 2011 album was the last thing I think I bought from the label) find safe landing spots.  In the meantime, I’m going to pour out a 40 on the sidewalk and listen to some Jessica Fletchers, or maybe something by The Lackloves, or perhaps some old Asteroid #4 and remember fondly a terrific record label that put out some great tunes.


  1. Red said,


  2. Red said,


  3. Anonymous said,

    Anybody know where I might purchase music by a group called “The Parties?”

  4. Anonymous said,

  5. Nicole Atkins: The TVD Interview - The Vinyl District said,

    […] factual vs. erroneous information may be on their. Your page lists the late, great power pop label Rainbow Quartz as one of your […]

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