Derek Webb's up to Something

So Derek has announced that he's in conflict with his label and his album Stockhokm Syndrome may not be released.

Then he sends this email to those on his email list....

this is turning into a bigger deal than we expected. as a result, we're having to temporarily _pull everything online down (can't explain now). and to be on the s_afe side, i'm going to pe_rsonally go offline while we sort this out. i re_ally shouldn't use my twitter account for now either so _don't expect any updates there.

make no m_istake, our trouble with the label over content i_s very real, and not as simple as one word; we're back_ed into a corner. but we have applied all of our creative resources to th_is, working furiou_sly to create something that we believe not only subverts any leg_al issues but should also be a _pretty wild ride.

so this will be the l_ast email for a while. we'll t_ry to lea_k information via a new tw_itter account, @ssyndrome. you're o_n your own so start payin_g attention. i'l_l see you _on the o_ther side-

The "_",s seem to be markers for a code. If you write the letters afterward you get "paradise is a parking lot"

I don't know what that means. I do wonder if these whole dispute with the label is a put on to generate buzz. We'll see.


  1. Haha. Apparently we're both following the developments today. I searched for "paradise is a parking lot" and one of the first links was this post.

  2. I also found my way here. I found this on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Webb) Look at the last to paragraphs:

    On 12 May 2009, Webb sent a message to his email mailing list stating that his next album Stockholm Syndrome was deemed too controversial for his record label to publish. "It seems I've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently I've crossed it," Webb writes. "[A]t this point we're not sure when the record will come out and in what form. The majority of the controversy is surrounding one song, which I consider to be among the most important songs on the record …. [B]ecause of various legal/publishing issues we're having to be rather careful with how we do what we're going to do next."[17].

    On 19 May 2009, a second email was sent, offering further information, part of which was hidden in the message. By choosing the letters following each _ in the message, the phrase "paradise is a parking lot" is visible.

    This phrase points to the following website: http://www.paradiseisaparkinglot.com/

    On this website, viewers are instructed to physically go to Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea in East Nashville and ask for a "Stockholm Latte." When the "Stockholm Latte" is received, an artifact is also given. On the artifact is a code, which should be emailed to: verify@ssyndrome.info

    When all 5 artifacts are found and verified, their audio contents will be available to all, thus releasing Stockholm Syndrome to the general public.

    I don't live in Nashville, but if you know anyone who does, tell them to head over to Ugly Mugs!

  3. We need to get something on this, dammit! Billy Ivey!

  4. click on the RSS feed once you get to the website, there's some downloadable stuff!!!

  5. One's a pic of an eye...

    There's a soundclip of a bunch of audio samples tied together (kind of as if a radio was going through a bunch of channels)...

    Then there's a video of a drumset with Derek and someone else talking about LOST in the background....

    And then there's a video of someone coming out of a teepee during the rain...

  6. I'm glad I'm not the only one using work time to solve this very important mystery...

  7. http://wearethestories.blogspot.com/2009/05/derek-webbs-stockholm-syndrom.html

    Lively discussion on my blogpost with constant updates...

  8. we're wondering how much is actual label conflict and how much is publicity stunt. either way, it looks like we'll be able to download the album free and legal pretty soon.

  9. I've thought that DW has been on his own label post- 'She Must & Shall Go Free'? Shows what I know...

  10. I'm a big Derek Webb fan, but if this is a publicity stunt..then it seems kind of wierd to me to self proclaim a song as being controversial...maybe a little too narcissistic.

    I guess it's my hope that it's the real deal.

  11. i found this site that seems to confirm that the song is too controversial for a christian label to have the courage to release. if this is to be believed, the song claims that christians should treat homosexuals as human and may even contain word that paul used in the new testament (but obviously isn't in our transtlations. http://www.patrolmag.com/scanner/1658/new-derek-webb-album-too-scandalous-for-release
    but the whole puzzle thing is still pretty obviously a publicity stunt. an awesome publicity stunt, but not in any way necessary to release the music.

  12. aaron,

    it look like he's release the song in 2-3 second chunks and leaving it to fans to connect them.

    My guess the record label can't stop him from releasing mini-clips the music. He didn't give the songs away but small (nearly) unusable fragments of the song.

  13. that might be true, but the whole puzzle thing isn't necessary. again, i think it's really cool, i just don't see how getting people to go to a coffee show in nashville is required to legally subvert the label.

  14. What does it mean to "assemble the stems?"

  15. the stems are pieces of the song. originally i thought it meant that each of the 20 downloads would have 5 sections to assemble that would each make one song from the album, but when the first set went online they're about 3 seconds long each... so it will end up being 100 3 second clips which will need to be assembled to get the banned song.

  16. The puzzle thing reminds me of NIN or LOST web games. They are designed to capture the imagination of the fans. The struggle to solve the puzzle builds anticipation.

    I'll say this. If the conflict with the label is real, then Derek busted his duppa to pull this off in record time.

  17. I LOVE IT!!

    I still think that Derek Webb and Tracy Chapman need to create an album together. I'd buy it in a New York minute. I'm just sayin'