Zeitgeist, Lever and Beam, Barsuk Unite to Form Brilliant Corners Management (EXCLUSIVE)

Zeitgeist, Lever and Beam, Barsuk Unite
Courtesy of Brilliant Corners Artist Management

Three independent artist-management companies — Zeitgeist, Lever and Beam, and Barsuk — have joined forces to create Brilliant Corners Management.

The move sees the management of Best Coast, Bob Mould, Death Cab for Cutie, the New Pornographers, Ought, Phantogram, Pup, She & Him, Sleater-Kinney, St. Vincent and many other artists coming under one roof (although it’s a very big roof, as the companies have offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Seattle).

The announcement was made jointly by Zeitgeist’s Jordan Kurland and Joe Goldberg, Lever and Beam’s David “Boche Billions” Viecelli and Alex Kadvan, and Josh Rosenfeld of Barsuk. The companies will commence joint operations as Brilliant Corners immediately; its full roster appears below.

The merger has been a long time coming. Kurland says, “Boche and Josh and I have known each other for 20 years and I’ve known Alex for a decade. We started talking about this idea of an independently minded management coalition in 2010, and picked it up a couple of years ago. We’re all cut from the same cloth and I’m really looking forward to working with them and trading ideas and learning from each other.”

Viecelli adds, “Alex and I found our focused and artist-centric approach reflected in our new partners’ endeavors and, together with them, recognized the opportunity to build a unique and progressive management community. Our Brilliant Corners founding partners, along with our strong bicoastal team, are committed to honest and collaborative representation of artists via widely shared resources and experience.”

In addition to managerial experience, all three of the principals have separate but related businesses: Viecelli founded the long-running agency The Billions Corporation; Rosenfeld co-founded Barsuk Records; Kurland is the co-founder and co-promoter of both Treasure Island Music Festival and Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco. In addition to traditional management services, Brilliant Corners features both marketing and touring departments and plans to expand its capabilities further.

“Protecting the balance between art and commerce in all facets of an artist’s career is one of the most important functions of a great management team, and Barsuk, Zeitgeist and Lever and Beam have always prioritized that for our clients,” says Rosenfeld. “This new venture is the next step in providing extraordinary artists with holistic strategic and operational support for all their goals, and I couldn’t be more excited about what the five principals and our combined staff will be able to achieve together.”

Kurland sees many benefits in the companies’ combining operations in the current business climate. “As the industry evolves, more and more responsibility falls on managers’ shoulders,” he says. “When I moved to San Francisco in 1995 to work for David Lefkowitz Management, I was the second full-time employee — and he had a platinum act, Primus, along with several others. Back then, record labels had much bigger staffs and they did a lot more in terms of artist development.

“In the short term, there’s going to be very little change [in the company’s operations], although we are going to be making some hires right out of the gate as we need more infrastructure to take care of the roster,” he continues. “We’re going to spend the next year evaluating things, and the goal is to build an infrastructure that supports both our existing companies and some other managers who want to be a part of it.”

■ A.C. Newman
■ Benjamin Gibbard
■ Best Coast
■ Big Grams
■ Bob Mould
■ Charly Bliss
■ Dan Deacon
■ Death Cab for Cutie
■ Gabriel Roth
■ Gilligan Moss
■ Jimmy Tamborello
■ Josh Ritter
■ Ledinsky
■ Miles Francis
■ The New Pornographers
■ Ought
■ Phantogram
■ The Postal Service
■ Prism Tats
■ Pup
■ Sam Kassirer
■ Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
■ She & Him
■ Sleater-Kinney
■ Sloucher
■ St. Vincent
■ The Submarines
■ Thao & the Get Down Stay Down
■ Tim Darcy
■ Toro Y Mo