Parts & Labor Announce “Extended Hiatus,” We Mourn the Death of the Indie Rock Career Artist

10/14/2011 12:12 PM |


Over the next few months, beloved NYC noise-rock band Parts & Labor will play a series of shows in celebration of their 10th anniversary, culminating with a 2/24 performance at 285 Kent Avenue. According to a note sent out by the band yesterday, that show will also be their last. After five full-lengths, a handful of EPs and a whole lot of touring, they’re embarking on what they’re calling an “extended hiatus,” which, yes, sounds an awful lot like breaking up. The full message, below.

Dear friends,

This January, Parts & Labor turns 10 years old. We’re planning a string of celebratory shows, in which we play selected material from all of our full length albums, leading up to a big 10th anniversary blow out on February 24th, 2012.

Following these performances, we’re going to take an extended hiatus. We feel incredibly fortunate having had a decade of amazing experiences — making records and new friends, performing with so many killer musicians and artists. But it’s time for each of us to focus
on personal projects for a while. We’re all going to continue to make music through other endeavors.

We’d like to thank everyone who’s supported us, bought our albums, seen us live, offered us a floor to sleep on. We love y’all. As a token of our esteem, we’re giving away a final song called “No Nostalgia (featuring Todd Bailey and Where’s The Party At)”, which was recorded during the Receivers sessions, but suddenly seems all too prescient.

Dan/BJ/Joe (Parts & Labor)

Upon hearing the news, it’s hard not to think back to March of this year, when their most recent effort, the very good and extremely underrated Constant Future hit shelves. The album seemed to come and go with very little fanfare—there were reviews, many of them positive, but then basically just silence. And this is something that’s happened more and more in indie rock circles over the past couple years: in a trend that’s sadly in keeping with recent shifts in the mainstream world, people are less willing to spend time on, or go to bat for, career artists—bands like Parts & Labor or, to use a couple other examples from this year alone, the Mountain Goats and Bonnie “Prince” BIlly, are routinely glossed over in favor of the ostensibly more exciting younger artists everyone’s always racing to discover before everyone else. It’s an understandable impulse, or business model or whatever, given the potential for page views those freshly discovered artists bring to the table, but it does a real disservice to the lifers. We should be better than this.

One Comment

  • Do you think that they would have still gone on hiatus if the record had totally blown up? Or was it just time for them to do other stuff? And what about these ‘career artists’, who started within a year of Parts and Labor and are still going strong: TV on the Radio, Arcade Fire, New Pornographers, Stars… The folkies you list are actually particularly notable for their tendency to produce tons of music though no one seems to make a big deal of it… That’s just what they do. It’s ok.