Sorry to have been a bit incommunicado over the last few weeks, but I've been on the road a bit and haven't had... well, I haven't had anything noteworthy to relate.
But, to keep this thing fresh I may as well just mention a couple things that have some sort of distant relation to this label, and a couple things that are a little closer to home with the label.
First off, within the last week I've traveled a ways to see two different shows, featuring two bands that are a big reason why I have the musical taste that I do, the politics I find important, and contribute to how I operate my label in some ways.
On August 7th I went to Baltimore to see the motherfucking UNSANE (all caps necessary). It's the first time in probably 8 or 9 years that I've gotten to see them live and they are just as, if not more, crushing, mean, violent, and loud than ever. My goddamn ears were straight up numb after wards and I wouldn't have it any other way. I first got into them back in high school when "Total Destruction" came out because I heard they sounded kind of like Helmet. Well, that turned out to not exactly be the case, but based upon the name of their record and it's gory cover art it was good enough for me. Every album after that just got better and better. And when I witnessed the handful of people who showed to this gig that were in some way associated with bands I've released records for, or toured with bands on my label, all coming down as fans (a large nod turned towards Mr. and Mrs. Leo!) it felt like home. Furthermore, when Joe from Surroundings (who opened the show, and we're pretty righteous in their own way) informed me that much of the music I've released over the years was a big factor in how his band came to be that also made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Small world.
On the way back from Baltimore I made sure to stop by good 'ol Bethlehem, PA to see the dudes in OAK AND BONE on their weekend tour with Shoppers completely lay waste, again, to this little town. It's always worth it to travel just about anywhere to see these dudes play. Bethlehem just happens to be a good destination not only because of the great little scene they got going there and the nice people who make it up, but they also have the amazing desert fortress known as Vegan Treats. Get into it.
Finally, a few days later I made it up to Buffalo with a few kindred souls to see the one and only PUBLIC ENEMY. Yes, thee Public Enemy- Chuck D, Giff, Flav. Let's just take a moment to consider that I got into this band when I was 12. I'm 32 now. I have been waiting over 20 years to see them. I thought I might be disappointed since these dudes are hitting 50 and age might slow them down. Nope. I can only hope to have a fraction of the energy they have on the stage when I'm that old.
Now, to also put this in perspective, when I was 12 and hearing P.E. I was extremely impressionable. And the things they did with their music, their politics, their whole vibe, was unreal. I truly believe the commotion they caused in the mainstream was a straight up culture shift. See, when you read books about the 60's and the anti-war movement, and how it was tied in to the music of the era, well, I feel like PE will have had just as big an impact on American culture when people look back on late 80s/early 90s history. It's crazy the sort of fear they inspired in white America when they were at their peak. You really had to have been there. They were just relentless and seeing them the other night it was still there.
So now, I think I have now seen every one of my all-time favorite bands ever and can put that list to bed.
I just wanted to jot this stuff down, even though it's not really 'label news' or anything. But it's pretty important to me and partially, in some weird way, why I do this stuff.
OK, here's some label news: OAK AND BONE are looking to do another Northeast weekend around Sept. 22-25. Get in touch if you want to hook something up.
More importantly, they will be doing another East Coast tour from approx. Oct. 24th -Nov.10th I believe. Definitely get them in your town. You shant be disappointed.