Showing posts with label Little Black Cloud Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Little Black Cloud Records. Show all posts

December 21, 2013

2013 in Review

There are three things that I am most proud of in 2013.

I returned to playing music in a serious band again (Positive No), my record label turned 5 (Little Black Cloud Records) and then with a small team of Richmond locals, we created a soon to be annual music / food / art festival called the Fall Line Fest.

All of these things have really connected me to this city, the people who live here, and our local culture in ways that I find endlessly inspiring. I LOVE making music but I have always been equally passionate about sharing music I love with others too so I am very happy to be heavily invested in both sides of these passions.

I can only hope 2014 brings more of the same. New songs to write, record, and share (Positive No single / full length !!!). Find new music to fall in love with. Help continue to make the city I call home one that continues to be a beacon for great art. I am proud to call Richmond home. I can't wait to see what this city offers next year and more importantly, what I can do to help.

My memory isn't what it used to be so I am sure I am forgetting some of the musical highlights of this past year however below is what I can recall loving on a stage and or recorded.

Listen to my Spotify playlist of these artists here.

Best of 2013

Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities
Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
Two Inch Astronaut - Bad Brother
No Joy - Wait to Pleasure
These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
Bottomless Pit - Shade Perennial
Pinkunoizu - The Drop
Joanna Gruesome - Weird Sister
Pity Sex - Feast of Love
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete - Corruptible Faces
The New Lines - Fall in Line
Oblivians - Desperation
Bass Drum of Death - S/T
Shannon and the Clams - Dreams in the Rat House
The Liminanas - Costa Blanca
Connections - Private Airplane
The Mantles - Long Enough to Leave
King Khan & The Shrines - Idle No More
TV Colours - Purple SKies
Wau y Los Arrrghs!!!: Todo Roto

I Love Them So Much That I Put Out Their Album

Universe People - Go to the Sun
Stephen Brodsky - Hit or Mystery

Runners Up 

Broadcast - Berberian Sound Studio
Braids - Flourish // Perish
Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
Dreamdecay - NVNVNV
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Grouper - The Man Who Died
La Femme - Psycho Tropical Berlin
Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty
Jenny Hval - Innocence is Kinky
Wire - Change Becomes Us
Savages - Silence Yourself
Holograms - Forever
Mogwai - Les Revenants (Soundtrack)

Reissues

39 Clocks - Pain it Dark
The Dentists - Some People 
Clothilde - French Swinging Mademoiselle
The Clean - Vehical
Toy Love - Toy Love
The Verlaines - Juvenila
Marcos Valle - Garra
VA / C'est Chic! French Girl Singers of the '60s
Snapper - S/T 

Local Loves

Canary Oh Canary
Snowy Owls
White Laces
Clair Morgan
Hoax Hunters
Dead Fame
Arkaics
Dumb Waiter
Nelly Kate
Warren Hixson

Favorite Positive No Moments

Playing on stage inside a giant blanket fort we built for our Via Florum record release party.
The Well (RIP) creating a menu inspired by our band
Recording with J Robbins
Playing the Fall Line Festival along so many bands we love.
Released our debut EP 
Recording and releasing a Christmas song with friends in under 12 hours.
Meeting Bob Nastanovich (again - since we crossed paths in Hoboken in the early '90s)
Local venues for giving us a chance to play there.
Making new friends, one of whom will be our bass player in 2014.
Unbutton / Davenport Cabinet show that have three of my oldest friends in the band.



Live

My favorite live shows of 2013 were Fall Line Fest related. Our band kicked off the bill and was followed by: CruiserSuburban Living, Helado NegroSpeedy Ortiz, and Pity Sex. As it turns out, not only was all of the music that night incredible but all of the band members were great to work with too. When this show was over we ran over to see Stephen Brodsky (I released his solo album this year) and Hop Along. I saw a lot of tremendous music that weekend but the best part was that I didn't have to leave my backyard to do it.

It was also incredible to see The Breeders and El Vez. It felt like a private performance for 350 friends which for the festival promoter who put on this local event, I am certain is NOT what they were going for.

Last but not least, I still can't believe I got to see The Swirlies play this year. They sounded better than ever and also balanced out the worst performance I saw of 2013 / that night, Kurt Vile.

PS:

Happy to still have a full time job with insurance (says the woman presently on crutches)
Honored to have Nancy Sinatra follow me on Twitter
Returned back to Seattle for the first time since the '90s and saw so many wonderful old friends
Recorded with J Robbins
Spending every day with the love of my life, Kenny.
WRIR for being the sound of our city.
The roof over my head and all its glorious colors and toys.
One of my last remaining family members beating breast cancer
The joys of a screened in porch
A hurricane free summer / fall
Bob's Burgers
Les Revenants  - the idea of lost loved ones reappearing is emotionally and psychologically stirring
It has been a great year for beer. I am on untapped as TKW.

Thank you friends for all the remarkable things you do that keep me inspired and feeling loved.

May 10, 2013

Positive No : Powers of Ten : New Song Alert!



You can read more about the song here.

"Powers of Ten" will be a part of a 5 song EP we are in the middle of recording with J Robbins at his studio Magpie Cage. This 12" record / digital long player will be available through my record label Little Black Cloud later this summer.


February 6, 2013

This is me bragging.

I have a record label called Little Black Cloud Records and it just happened to work out that I have not one but TWO amazing records coming out between now and the end of April.

The first record to come out in 2013 is by a Seattle trio called the Universe People and it is called Go to the Sun. The digital will be out 2/19 and the LP will be done by 3/19. They already have one terrific video but here is their brand new one for the song "Druids". I have written about the band here before so I won't dwell but hot damn I love this song. And band.



The next record to come out will be by one of my oldest pals (not in age but in years we have been friends); Stephen Brodsky. You may recognize him as the singer and guitar player for a band called Cave In but he is also a ridiculously talented solo artist. The first single off his Hit Or Mystery EP is called "Real Surreal Beauty" and you can download the single for free via Rolling Stone. This EP will be available in the digital and 12" format 4/16.



Lastly, I want to celebrate a single I put out on Black Friday by the Richmond, VA artist Malhombre. His 7" features two very talented ladies (April March and Melissa Auf der Maur) and it is available for sale at my web store.



You can check out my label's Soundcloud page here. Sorry to brag but I really love these records so much.




August 21, 2012

Universe People Signs to Little Black Cloud Records



In case you missed reading this on my record label site - I signed a new band!

Once upon a time there was band from Seattle, WA called Welcome on Fatcat Records that I liked a lot. I mean A LOT. 


In fact I worshiped their album Sirs  so much that I named it my favorite record in 2007. I loved them for their strangely wonderful combination of raw '60s mod garage Rock with the cool Kim Deal side of the Pixies blended in. They delivered an unbelievably interesting combination of something old and new but they sadly  faded away. leaving fans like me hoping that someday an offshoot band would sprout up. 


Enter Universe People in 2012 and one very happy me.


Welcome's female bass/volcalist player Jo Claxton has a new band and I enjoyed their songs so much I pretty much begged to put them out. I worship their angular female fronted energy that has the power of UK Riot Grrrl bands like Huggy Bear with a post punk dose of The Fall added in. 
(Also for fans of Delta 5Country Teasers, Wire, Dolly Mixture, The Stranglers, and The Breeders off the top of my head)

So there it is. We have a new member of the Little Black Cloud Record's family : Universe People!


Their debut album will be released February 12th
, 2013 but in the meantime enjoy their band page and follow them on Facebook. A video is in the works right now for their first single so stay tuned for that in weeks to come! 

Read on for their official bio:


Once upon a time, Jo Claxton accidentally wandered from her hometown of Sydney, Australia and ended up in Seattle, WA. In 2010, several years and several bands later, she approached Kellie Payne to play bass and sing with her. The idea was to make simple, angular songs based around sweet but stark girl-vocal harmonies. Jo had recorded six demos in her basement in the winter of 2010 to get things rolling. Next, Jo needed some drums, so she contacted the ever-popular drummer about town named Dave Ramm. This was in a vanishingly small window of time when he was not actually in a band, in March 2011. Universe People were born and began playing out in Seattle. Early in 2012, they recorded 10 songs for a full length LP at the all analog Pool Recording Studio, in Portland OR.

Dave also plays drums in Wimps, and Kellie plays drums in Eyes and Teeth.

Don’t mistake Universe People for a Czech-Slovak UFO space cult. But they could melt your brain and take you to outer space if you let them. Let them!






June 18, 2012

Watch the New Gauchiste Video : viols

I don't write about my little record label here very often but I wanted to share something I have been working on over the past several months as it is a Little Black Cloud Records first. I am always looking to try push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things so this is a first for myself too.


I am thrilled to finally offer a music video for one of our artists. The video was shot by myself and my better half Kenneth who does all the graphic design for the label. It was animated and edited by Jason Quarles and I deeply thank Kenneth and Jason for all their help and hard work as well as Gauchiste for giving me their blessing to experiment with visuals put to one of their songs.

Our goal was to create something that wasn’t filled with stereotypical images typically associated with heavy music. The idea was to study our surroundings and discover the weight, beauty, and unearth darkness in surprising places like delicate orchidaceae that upon closer investigation look monstrous and erotic or a simple swinging rope curled accidentally like a noose.

Visit Gauchiste here.
Facebook LBC here.



May 2, 2012

Powers of Ten

My new band has posted a new song tonight! The band is called Positive No and the song is called "Powers of Ten". You can listen to it here. Positive No is my better half Kenny on guitar, me singing, and on these first three demos a fella from L.A. named Jody on drums. Kenny and I do all the songwriting together.

We used these first three demos to find local Richmonders to play with and we almost have our line up secured. Our new local drummer is Willis Thompson who plays in / has played in a ton of bands but I guess the best known of these is Tao with the Get Down Stay Down (Kill Rock Stars). More news on our bass player soon!

Lyrically "Powers of Ten" is an ode to some thinkers, philosophers, and artists I admire : Carl Sagan, Alan Watts, Charles and Ray Eames.





April 16, 2012

Thank You

Here is a recap I did about the Dunebuggy record release party (album streets tomorrow!) on my record label site.  To the left is a picture Keith, myself, and Jon  from Dunebuggy. As I said in my other blog post, I think this is the first time we have all been together since the mid '90s. The location of the party was also significant, a bar in NYC called Hi-Fi that was once called Brownies. Brownies was considered THE venue for small bands to play in New York at the time so it seemed only appropriate to celebrate the long over due release of this music at a place that supported us all back in the day.

Below is a picture of Rizzo, me, and Roman from Garden Variety with Keith Werwa of Number 2 fanzine fame hiding in the back.  If you know our band history you will know that basically Garden Variety and Dahlia Seed were BFFs back in the '90s and both of our bands also happened to break up around the same time. This was the first time we have all been in the same room together since maybe the late '90s and my heart practically exploded with joy to have us all together again.

April 13, 2012

Dunebuggy Record Release Party : Free




169 Avenue ANew York, NY 10009 / 8pm to 11pm
 

Come celebrate the long awaited release (like 17 years!) from Dunebuggy, a posthumous collection in LP form that marks the first time many of these songs have ever been heard. Those that have been previously released feature alternate recordings or mixes and all tracks have been freshly re-mastered. Not only will we be playing the record for all to hear for the first time, but we will also have it available for purchase. The record is limited to just 100 copies and come on white vinyl so needless to say they are VERY LIMITED. Attending this party will give you the best chances of actually getting your hands on a copy. (plus a freebie 7" of theirs) Founding Dunebuggy members Jon-Michael Procopio and Keith Renna will be in attendance too, making this the next best thing to a reunion show. 

If the release of their incredible music isn't enough, the party will be held at our favorite East Village bar Hi-Fi (AKA THE Hi-Fi BAR) which to many of us old timers might be better known as the location of NYC's seminal indie rock venue Brownies (RIP). Who could ask for a better, more appropriate location for this record release. 

DJ's Lightning's Girl (Little Black Cloud Records owner - me!) and KJC (the label's art director) will also be Djing their most beloved '90s indie Pop records (vinyl!) in the vein of The Lemonheads, Blake Babies, Helium, Beat Happening, Built To Spill, Pavement, ETC followed by our friend DJ Paulie who will keep the music going for the rest of the night.

We would love to turn this fantastical record release party for Dunebuggy into a reunion of sorts for those of you who grew up in the NJ/NY/CT indie Rock / Pop scene in the '90s who probably also grew up going to shows (and playing shows at Brownies).

A huge thank you to Dunebuggy for letting me put out this album and Mike from Hi-Fi for giving us his bar for a few hours. 


band link - http://littleblackcloudrecords.com/dunebuggy-bio 
hi-hi link - http://www.facebook.com/thehifibar 
label link - http://www.facebook.com/littleblackcloudrecords 
youtube link : http://www.youtube.com/user/LittleBlackCloudRec

March 7, 2012

Dunebuggy Record Release Party : NYC


Hello friends! 
    If you find yourself in NYC on Friday, April 13th please drop by our free Dunebuggy record release party to say hello. In case you forgot, I run a small record label called Little Black Cloud Records and our next release is coming out in April. 
                                                   ****************************
Dunebuggy's LP comes out via Little Black Cloud Records on 4/17 and you are cordially invited to their listening party that is taking place 4 days sooner than their official street date. You will not only be among the first people on the planet to hear all of these these songs ,you will also have the opportunity to buy their record, hob nob with the band, and hear a DJ set including some of our favorite '90s indie bands. 

Come celebrate the long awaited release (like 17 years!) from Dunebuggy, a posthumous collection in LP form that marks the first time many of these songs have ever been heard. Those that have been previously released feature alternate recordings or mixes and all tracks have been freshly re-mastered. Not only will we be playing the record for all to hear for the first time, but we will also have it available for purchase for $20. For those who buy this record at the event they will also be given an extra special bonus prize. The records are limited to just 100 copies and come on white vinyl so needless to say they are VERY LIMITED. Attending this party will give you the best chances of actually getting your hands on a copy. Founding Dunebuggy members Jon-Michael Procopio and Keith Renna will be in attendance too, making this the next best thing to a reunion show. 

If the release of their incredible music isn't enough, the party will be held at our favorite East Village bar Hi-Fi (AKA THE Hi-Fi BAR) which to many of us old timers might be better known as the location of NYC's seminal indie rock venue Brownies (RIP). Who could ask for a better, more appropriate location for this record release. 

And the icing on the cake? DJ's Lightning's Girls (Little Black Cloud Records owner) and KJC (the label's art director) will also be Djing their most beloved '90s indie Pop records (vinyl!) in the vein of The Lemonheads, Blake Babies, Helium, Beat Happening, Built To Spill, Pavement, ETC.

We would love to turn this fantastical record release party for Dunebuggy into a reunion of sorts for those of you who grew up in the NJ/NY/CT indie Rock / Pop scene in the '90s who probably also grew up going to shows (and playing shows at Brownies).



band link 
hi-hi link
label link  
youtube link 

February 10, 2012

Pleasure in Pain : The Return to Making Music

Remember that time I was struck by a car while crossing the street?

That was nearly six months ago and my journey (polite code for hell and back) to return to my old self has been a long and arduous one. I don't care about the scars I have on my body or that I spent months learning to walk again without the support of a cane. I have gotten used to my utter fear of walking outside and I remind myself often that it is a miracle I can walk at all so feeling safe when I cross streets or parking lots doesn't take priority. So what if living a few doors down from the accident site has made living the apartment I have lived in for a decade unbearable. These are all things I am still trying to make peace with but what has been the toughest part of these months has been a terrifying experience that I haven't discussed openly until now.

A brain injury was something I initially thought I had escaped.  Because I never hit my head during the accident, I never spoke to doctors about the possibility of a serious concussion. In the hours and first few days after something as traumatic as your body being stuck by a car, you feel a strange combination of being out of your body (because it is so incredibly surreal to have something like this happen) and very much trapped in your body because every little movement that used to be easy is so longer possible and your body feels like a burden. Adrenalin takes over your very being for the first day (fight or flight feeling times a million). You are put on all sorts of pain drugs (not to mention the weirdness of tubes and drips stuck in your body). And the final strangeness? Being in a hospital at all. I found it nearly impossible to rest there as it is a scary, strange environment where people were coming and going from my room at all hours. It isn't until you return to the normalcy of your home, the comfort and safety of your own bed, that you can begin to really assess what has happened to you and how you feel compared to the last time time you were home and your old unbroken self. 

It was lying in my own bed many days later that I realized how fuzzy my head felt. Without pain pills and in the peace of my bedroom it was my head that suddenly radiated the most pain. And so began my battle with a variety of symptoms relating to a brain injury that was later decided by experts in the field came from my head being rattled severely when my body was tossed on and off of the car. (much like the kind of injury football players suffer from). For 4 months I lived with torturous migraines, memory failures, and intense fogginess that made the general act of thinking straight a difficult task. It was during this time period that I was mysteriously and surprisingly let go from my full time job so to add to the nightmare of my recovery process, I was in constant chronic pain and suddenly unemployed. (and living without health insurance so my insane medical bills are just a footnote to this personal hell) I have to be honest here, while I revel in the fact that I am still alive and truly appreciate this gift, when I was stripped of the power to think straight and living with the debilitating side effects from a concussion like headaches every day, it felt like my life was over. 

With migraines comes a sensitivity to light and sound. For those of you who know me, sound is my life. Music isn't just a part of my life, it defines me. Imagine waking up one day and your head hurts so much that that even gentle soothing tones resonate inside you like pin pricks. The pain was often so severe that whatever I was hearing couldn't register with me properly at all. And what aspects of my life did this change affect? Everything. My work. (music industry = all day sounds) My weekly radio show (more music). My home life. (where my record collection of thousands of records live). My social life. (loud live bands, noisy crowds, and DJs felt like a grenade had gone off between my ears). My record label. (more music!). Alone time. (I hated being in my own body)

And the most frustrating? Me as a recording artist silenced. The freedom to express myself creatively in a way that I have dedicated my entire adult life to was erased on August 30th. I have been trying to rebuild this missing person in me ever since. I began making music in the early '90s and the thought of this part of me going away forever feels worse than being hit by a car. 

Even as recently as a month ago, recording and making music was not something I could do with ease. While the migraines and confusion associated with a major concussion are behind me (although I still battle headaches occasionally) I am still dealing with the inability to handle certain kinds of tones, sounds, and loud volumes. This makes the act of placing headphones on my head to record and work on music for extended period of times extremely difficult. This makes playing songs back to really listen to my pitch, attack, and timing often agony. There is also no denying that being extra sensitive to sounds not only changed how often I can work on music but the kind of music I can work on. Now that certain frequencies and tones literally pain me, I find myself working on music that reflects the tones that appeal to my head. Remarkably I have found ways around these endless hurdles but on some days it has been enough of a heartbreaking struggle that I have wanted to give up. What I have learned about myself since is that I am not quitter. I am determined to push through this and not let the negligence of reckless driver strip me of my passion in life. 

It took me a half a year to get back to this point but I am proud to have finished not one but two new songs; one under my solo moniker and one under Positive No, a home recording project I do with my boyfriend Kenny. (also the man behind the incredible love, care and support that helped me heal post accident). Writing and recording music has played an interesting and important role in my healing process. It helps test and use my memory while forcing me to sharpen my problem solving skills. Best of all it is a return to something that brings me deep satisfaction and joy. I have no idea if I will be able to handle playing live and loud again, no less if my memory will allow me to recall the lyrics to a whole set list of songs but the fear of this unknown won't stop me from at least trying. If the end result means I just record music at home in a controlled setting that is kind to my ears and head, so be it. 

The good news is 2012 is the year I became an artist again.

September 17, 2011

Final Notes on the Bob Schick Show Are Now Posted!

I added them to my last post so everything (download links, set list link, and additional song info) would be all in one place. Go here to read them.

July 1, 2011

Runhild Gammelsæter Featured on NPR

I don't talk much about my small record label Little Black Cloud often here nor do I talk up the releases much on this blog but every once in a while something so huge happens that I feel it is important to write about it here too.

I recently released Runhild's solo album Amplicon on LP in two forms (complex packaging / simple packaging) and NPR has been kind enough to giver her a feature on the main page of their music site. You can download one of her songs and read an interview with her here.

I would also like to take a minute to thank Runhild for making tremendously brave music and Talia Miller for doing one hell of a PR job. I feel so inspired by the women in my life!

May 20, 2011

Richmond's Style Weekly 10th Annual Music Issue

Richmond's Style Weekly's annual music issue is out now and a few highlights are a cliff notes look at all the record stores in town (including the one I work at once a week - Deep Groove), the labels in our area (including mine), local bands, and a whole lot more. 

May 2, 2011

Runhild Gammelsæter Amplicon LP First Press : ORDER NOW


I am happy to announce that Runhild Gammelsæter's Amplicon LP first press will be shipping out over the next few weeks. You can pre-order the LP here from my label. There will only be 80 out of the 100 from the first pressing available for purchase and I expect them to go fast so if you want all the bells and whistles of the 1st run, ORDER NOW ! ! !

There is only one place in the world to get them from right now and this is at my label web store. Second press will be available in more places but for these first few copies, Little Black Cloud is it. 

April 18, 2011

How to Fix an Oversized Center Hole of a 12" Record

I recently had the unfortunate experience of dealing with finding a fix for 100 clear LPs that a pressing plant messed up and wasn't offering to repress for me. (Don't get me started - its a long and frustrating story based around my need for a clear LP with no center label)

Every single record in this first press has a center hole that is absurdly large and when it is placed on a turntable, it won't play correctly. There are DJ quick fixes like using notebook paper circle reinforcement tabs or tape but since this was an LP I am releasing on my label for an artist - I needed this fix to be attractive and something I would be proud to sell.

We headed to the hardware store and a few office supply type places for a remedy to our disastrous situation but nothing was acceptable or handsome enough to pass off as a cool addition to a limited record pressing. Aquarium type clear tubing almost worked but in the end we discovered that cutting tiny 1/4 inch bits did in fact fit in the hole but when you placed it on the spindle, it got stuck. Not just sort of stuck, it practically acted like glue. FAIL.

As a last ditch effort we looked up clear blank labels from on line label companies. I should add here that they needed to be clear because the LP I had pressed was clear and has no center label so you can see through the whole record to view the cover art. We have elaborate packaging planned for this LP so paper labels on the record won't do and to keep with the integrity of the all clear vinyl, we needed to find a clear label. Anyhow, we found a site that offered a promising product and we sent away for samples. After weeks of failed trials, we had finally found our perfect fix. The 4" clear labels fit exactly where a paper center label goes and when you apply one on each side of the LP and then pop your spindle through the hole, it creates the perfect, proper sized hole. Even after several plays, the hole maintains its shape and doesn't stretch.
The labels are fairly thick so we found placing a small pin prick hole in the center as a starter hole made popping it over the spindle a lot easier but the huge relief for us was that it worked and was a simple fix. All it requires is peeling a label off of the paper it came on and placing it on the LP. Sure, we had to order them from the label place but hell, it saved the first pressing of a record I really didn't want to toss out. As annoying as it was to deal with a pressing plant flaw, I hate being wasteful so this was the ultimate happy ending for my me and my label.

Thank you onlinelabels.com for saving the day. Here is a link to labels we found to work best.I wouldn't wish this problem on any record label but if for some reason you are faced with this same disaster, at least you know there is hope.

August 10, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion : Honor Role / Coral Fans Take Note ! ! !


Years in the making, the Dynamic Truths LPs are finally done and for sale at this very instant here. For those of you who have been living in the dark, I run a record label called Little Black Cloud and this is the first time I have pressed an LP on the label. My other releases, Ringfinger and Cinemasophia, were on CD only so this is an exciting first for me.

Don't know who the Dynamic Truths are? Check out this review.

Here is a tasty little sample of what Jordan from Dusted has to say:

"Categorizing Dynamic Truths as a simplistic update of Thatcher-era British angularities is also fairly misleading. Despite its deliberately stiff rhythms and gloomy minor-key melodies, the band touches equally on jangling, New Zealand-style pop and on unmistakably American tension inherited from ‘80s and ‘90s post-hardcore bigwigs Honor Role (fronted by Schick), Fudge (featuring guitarist David Jones) and Coral (with Schick and drummer Bill Walker). From 1996 through their split in 2000, these three indie veterans, along with a series of bassists (including Honor Role alum Chip Jones) and second guitarists, created music that went unnoticed by all but the sharpest area scenesters"

For a more complete back story on the band go here.