14 May, 2016

Susan - "I've Been Known" video & Flat Worms "Sovereignty" video

We're incredibly to have just released the debut LP by LA all-female power-punk-pop trio Susan, Never Enough, and the nice folks over at Bitch Media and Buzzbands LA were nice enough to premiere their first video off of the album for "I've Been Known." Watch the video below and read what those outlets had to say, and order limited color vinyl.

Via Bitch Media:

We highlight new music from female-fronted bands every Monday. This week, we're excited to feature the first music video off Susan's debut record.

Guitarist Jessica Owen, bassist Beth Borwell, and drummer Katie Fern make up the trio that is Susan. Their fuzzed-out power pop vibes are all over their first album, Never Enough, which came out April 30 on Volar Records. The Los Angeles-based band got together in 2012 and get into their feelings with songs about making their lives their own—on their own terms. Full of layered harmonies, jangly guitar and mellow hooks buzzing with reverb, Susan feels like a soundtrack for a long scenic drive with all of the windows down.

We're excited to premiere the video for the track "I've Been Known." The song is all about "figuring out how to be true to yourself despite tendencies to fall in line with the expectations others place on you," said Jessica Owen. Artist Abby Banks, the photographer behind the book Punk House: Interiors, directed the fun and bold video that's full of slo-mo and hair-flying head shakes that make the band look like they're saying "no" over and over again.

Via Buzzbands LA:

Hair shaking, mirror smashing, and self-reflection come together in Susan’s “I’ve Been Known” video, directed by Abby Banks, the photographer behind the book “Punk House: Interiors.” All the effects were done in-camera, which is neat. As guitarist Jessica Owen, bassist Beth Borwell, and drummer Katie Fern demonstrate their power-pop motions in a room surrounded by plants, a strong sense of their friendship comes across, like they exist in a perpetual slumber party. “I’ve Been Known” can be found on their new album, “Never Enough,” released by Volar Records on April 30, following 2014’s “Just Call It” EP. In addition to fuzz, pop hooks, harmonies, and excitable rhythms, the album explores personal conviction, starting over as many times as necessary, getting emotional and getting through it.

What Youth was also kind enough to premiere the video for "Sovereignty" by Flat Worms, whose debut 7" EP, "Red Hot Sands," is available now digitally and next week on limited color vinyl. Watch the video and read they had to say below. 

“I was listening to Swell Maps one day and realized I wanted to play rock and roll again,” says Will Ivy, guitarist/singer for his new band Flat Worms. Ivy’s been playing in bands for years, most recently under his new solo effort, and as the bassist for Dream Boys, a personal favorite. But Flat Worms is unlike anything I’ve heard him play. It’s raw. Loud. Real. Dare I say, punk. With the help of Justin Sullivan on drums (formerly the Babies, currently Kevin Morby) and Tim Hellman on bass (currently Thee Oh Sees, formerly Ty Segall, Sic Alps, Wet Illustrated), Flat Worms is about to rule the LA scene. And what better way to segue into that subversive spotlight than with their first ever video for the single “Sovereignty”.

The video, compiled footage of Ivy’s 5th birthday party, is an homage to his uncle, Bradley Burlingame (starring as Batman) who recently passed away. “I’ll let you guess which one is me,” Ivy told me.

“Sovereignty” is part of a three-song 7″ recorded by Andrew Schubert at Golden Beat Recording Studio in LA and Wayne Faler (Dream Boys, Devon Williams) at his home. Check out “Petulance” below, one of the other songs on the 7″.

Having now seen Ivy as a five year old and experienced the magic of an early affinity for Batman, I can’t help but feel Flat Worms will be his greatest success yet. –Maya Eslami

25 April, 2016

Stream the full Susan - Never Enough debut LP and Flat Worms debut 7" EP "Red Hot Sand" (members of Thee Oh Sees/Kevin Morby/Dream Boys) + show

After months of working on these records, they're both finally just about to ready to drop, so we've got full streams of both as well as some shows to look forward to.
Stream and order limited color vinyl of Susan - Never Enough LP.
The debut album by Los Angeles trio Susan, ‘Never Enough’ follows up their ‘Just Call It’ EP released in Sept. 2014 (also on Volar Records). Produced and recorded by Scott Cornish and Drew Fischer, ‘Never Enough’ covers themes of personal independence and emotional confusion. Layered vocal harmonies, reverb-washed pop hooks, and a touch of apathy convey hesitation and personal conviction while making the point that even though they don't know where they are going, they are sure they will figure it out. Even if they have to rip it up and start all over again.

"Red Hot Sand," the debut 7" EP by Flat Worms, ft. Will Ivy on guit/vox (Dream Boys/Wet Illustrated), Tim Hellman (currently Thee Oh Sees, formerly Ty Segall and Sic Alps), and Justin Sullivan (Kevin Morby, the Babies), is also available to stream and preorder limited color vinyl below. Unfortunately the wax is running a little behind and is about 3-4 away.

Susan Flat Worms SD
You can catch both bands this Thursday in San Diego at the Hideout w/ Vyper Skwad (members of Teenage Burritos, Christmas Island, Plateaus).
Susan Flat Worms LA
You can also catch both bands together in LA on Friday at
356 Mission.

05 June, 2015

Destruction Unit, The Hussy, Growwing Pains tour news, Susan residency at Little Joy, Strange Mutations Vol. 3 7" set, Shannon and the Clams on MTV

HI. HELLO. I've been hoping to get one of these fired off for the last couple of months but find myself routinely buried under my real job and other projects. Suddenly there's a million (or a healthy handful, at least) things to tell you all about.

Hussy side BobbyFirst up, we'd like to announce our third volume in the Strange Mutations 7" series, This batch groups together new releases by The Hussy, Cave Curse (Bobby Hussy's   electronic side-project), Detroit's Growwing Pains, and San Diego's Keepers. The set can be preordered for $20 at www.volarrecords.bigcartel.com, and limited colored vinyl individually will be $6 per title. This sets follows Vol. 1 that included 7"s by Audacity/Big Eyes (split), Eat Skull, Beaters, Stalins of Sound, and Far Corners, and Vol. 2 that included Teenage Burritos, Cosmonauts, Lenz, and Fine Steps. We still have a few color copies for all of those titles. The first 100 copies of Vol. 3 will be on colored vinyl limited only to the set.

Hussy side Heather
Bobby Hussy hit me up last year and we got to talking all kinds of stuff. Eventually he teamed up with Shawn/Digital Leather and they banged out the great TIT 12" that we co-released with FDH Records. (We've still got a handful of limited yellow copies.) Bobby was also plugging away at his electronic side-project Cave Curse, and so we figured that if Volar was going to release that, might as well put out a Hussy 7". We've got tour test presses for both of those in the works (the pressing plants are overloaded), fingers crossed they're ready in time before the end of this jaunt that starts tomorrow. Check below for tour dates, which you can also keep up with on Facebook if that's a thing you do.
The set will also include Growwing Pains' "I Always Know" 4-song 7" EP. A buddy of mine turned me on to these Detroit weirdo rippers recently, I dropped them a line, and here you have it, four great tunes, one small piece of wax. They're also heading out on tour soon, check out dates below, and keep your eyes peeled for an LP on Volar in the near future. Check out some of their stuff at their Soundcloud.
Along with those three, the set includes the debut 7" by San Diego's Keepers, a new noise-rock trio made up of some old friends of mine. They're great. You can check out a demo of b-side "Postcard" below.

Did you catch Susan on NPR back in March? Because a couple of their music folks caught the band at SXSW and declared them one of the best new acts at the fest. Pretty cool. You can check that out here, and also go see them this at Little Joy in LA, where they have a Tuesday residency all of June. Dates below!
Every Tuesday in June! 6/2 Moaning, 6/9 Vial, 6/16 GAL PALS, 6/23 Flatworms, 6/30 Secret Guest!
The almighty Destruction Unit are heading back out on the road next week, and just in time for it, we've re-pressed the Sonoran LP we released back in 2011 on solid gold vinyl. The band will have a few copies of these as well as the standard black vinyl copies, but you can grab them for $10 at our store before they're gone. We've also got a handful of copies of frontman Ryan Rousseau's solo LP Discover as well.
Maybe you saw Shannon and the Clams interview over at MTV? (Also, happy birthday Shannon!) We've got copies of their "Gremlins Crawl"/"White Rabbit" 7" on limited green as well as grey vinyl. And if you're near LA, we really recommend checking them out at the Getty Museum on Sat. June 20th.
Oh yeah, speaking of the Hussy, we've still got copies of the great debut 12" by tIt, the collaboration between Bobby Hussy and Shawn/Digital Leather. I cut together a video recently for "Leaves on Fire" using footage from Mario Bava's great 'Black Sunday' aka 'The Mask of Satan'.
Here are the Hussy's tour dates that being tonight in Chicago in support their new LP 'Galore' out now on Southpaw Records.
Fri May 22nd - Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
w/ Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons, Proud Parents, Modern Mod + DJs Real Jaguar and BMFK's 45 Freakout
Thurs June 4th - Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle w/ The Lemons
Fri June 5th - Indianpaolis, IN @ White Rabbit w/ Digital Leather, We Are Hex
Sat June 6th - Cleveland OH @ The Happy Dog
w/ Muamine Collective, Juju Shrine, Midwives
Sun June 7th - Buffalo, NY - DAY OFF
Mon June 8th - Boston, MA @ Zuzu w/ Gangbang Gordon, Nice Guys
Tues June 9th - NYC (Manhattan) @ Elvis Guesthouse
Weds June 10th - NYC (Brooklyn) @ Baby's All Right
Thurs June 11th - Baltimore, MD @ Windup w/ Guantanamo Baywatch
Fri June 12th - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ Institute, Lost Tribe, Nervous Ticks
Sat June 13th - Wilmington, NC @ Reggies w/ Deadly Lo-Fi - PORT CITY FEST!
Sun June 14th - Savannah, GA @ Cathaus
Mon June 15th - Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/ Lowbanks
Tues June 16th - Birmingham, AL @ Spring Street Firehouse
Weds June 17th - Jackson, MS @ CS's w/ No Ma'am, Que Pasa
Thurs June 18th - New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar w/ Planchettes, Fez, Que Pasa
Fri June 19th - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlies w/ A Giant Dog, Xetas, Lochness Mobsters, Party Girl
Sat June 20th (DAY) - Austin, TX @ Yellow Jacket
Sat June 20th (NIGHT) - Dallas, TX @ The Foundry w/ Beth Israel
Sun June 21st - Little Rock, AR @ Sticky'z w/ Bombay Harambee
Mon June 22nd - Memphis, TN @ Murphy's w/ Liquid Teens, DJ Vomitor
Tues June 23rd - DAY OFF
Weds June 24th - Fayetteville, AR @ JRs w/ Pagiins
Thurs June 25th - Springfield, MO @ The Outland w/ Chris Gnarly
Fri June 26th - Kansas City, MO @ Minibar w/ Wet Ones https://www.facebook.com/events/359909417539664/
Sat June 27th - Omaha, NE @ O'Leaver's w/ Digital Leather
Weds July 15th - Spring Green, WI @ The Shitty Barn w/ Tree Blood
And here are Growwing Pains upcoming tour dates in support of the 7" on Volar:
Listen here:
July 14-Detroit-UFO Factory w. Milk Dick and Flower Girl
July 16-Chicago-Wally World
July 17-Madison-Crystal Corner Bar w. Digital Leather
July 18-Minneapolis-Hexagon
July 21-Seattle-Funhouse
July 22-Portland-The Know
July 24-San Francisco-The Knockout
July 25-Los Angeles-TBA
July 26-San Diego-Whistle Stop
July 28-Phoenix-Lost Leaf
July 29-El Paso-Monarch
July 31-Austin-Hotel Vegas w. John Wesley Coleman
August 2-Nashville-Betty's
August 3-Cincinnati-TBA
August 4-Columbus-Ace of Cups w. Yuze Boys

18 March, 2015

Volar SXSW w/ Susan, Lazy, Destruction Unit, Viet Cong, Growwing Pains

So, uh, it’s Wednesday, a few days into this year’s SXSW chaos, and I’m late. Not because I’m there (third year in a row I haven’t made it out) but just because. No big reason. However, a few Volar bands are out there, and they have a few shows there and some tour dates after, so, you know, here you go. Susan, Lazy, Growwing Pains (we’re in talks to release something soon), Viet Cong (same), Destruction Unit, they’re all playing this week (and, in some cases, upcoming weeks as well). Info below!

Susan, whose “Just Call It” 7” we released back in the fall and which is still garnering some great reviews (see below), are a few days into their SXSW tour. Read and listen and keep an eye out for these dates. Just out some good recent reviews here and here.


Lazy are also under the big black Texas sun this week, with plenty of copies of the “Soft Sheets”/”Don’t Die” 7” we just released on hand. (We’ve got limited blue & red copies on our bandcamp page and at our other webstore) Listen to the 7” and check out their dates below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.07.48 PM.jpg

Since we released Destruction Unit’s Sonoran LP (Bandcamp / Soundcloud / Webstore) back in 2011, they’ve been truckin’ along and destroyin’ eardrums ever since. SXSW and beyond below.

Sun March 08th Las Vegas, NV
Mon March 09th Albuquerque, NM
Tue March 10th Dallas, TX
Wed March 11th Memphis, TN
Thu March 12th Nashville, TN
Fri March 13th Chicago, IL
Sat March 14th Columbia, OH
Sun March 15th Austin, TX
Mon March 16th Austin, TX
Tue March 17th Austin, TX
Thu March 19th Phoenix, AZ
Fri March 20th Los Angeles, CA

Viet Cong. You’ve probably heard about ‘em lately. They rule. They’re going in to record their next LP next month and are hoping to have a couple of songs for me to release as a 7”. I’ll keep you posted on that. Here’s some of their dates below.


And lastly, Growwing Pains are great new-ish band out of Detroit. My buddy Aaron Skufcka in Milwaukee sent me their stuff to check out (as he does a lot), and I really dug it out and reached and said so, so we’ll be doing something soon. Not totally sure what yet, but they’re also playing SXSW and some shows around it. HERE THEY ARE. Jam a bunch of their tunes here.
3/17-KANSAS CITY-PR's Place
3/18-OKLAHOMA CITY-Bad Granny’s Bazaar
3/19-Monofonus Press show at Beerland 8pm
3/20-TMR showcase at Home Slice 1415 S Congress Ave-3:50pm
3/20-The Grand "Dressed to Kill Fest" 6pm
3/21-Escapes Festival—4:20pm Set. New Orleans PoBoys, 1806 E 12th Street
3/26-Detroit-Lager House w. Sharkmuffin+more

29 August, 2014

Five years of Volar Records! New + upcoming releases by Susan, Tiger High, Lazy, T.I.T. (Digital Leather/the Hussy)!

Holy shit! This weekend marks five years since our (again, proverbial we, this has been a one-man operation for the most part since the beginning) first release, and it's also my birthday. I'm gonna watch Beehive and the Barracudas at my place of employment tonight, and then on Sunday watch one of my all-time absolute favorite bands, Drive Like Jehu, reunite for five songs, and then watch my best friends and old bandmates in Teenage Burritos play at my work. There'll be lots of beer and tacos somewhere in there.

So Volar has a new release next week and then four later next month, and I'll put those links here, but before talking about those, I was hoping to take a chance to talk about the birth of the label.

In early 2009, I was less than a year out of college, working at an independent video store in my neighborhood, and broke as shit. I was playing in two bands with my best friend Brian Carver: Christmas Island, his band with his girlfriend (now wife) that I started playing live with when In the Red suddenly asked to put out an LP after Brian and his now-wife had yet to even play a show; and Spirit Photography, in which Brian and I wrote all the music together on two guitars over his bass and drum machine and I sang/wrote the words I sang. Spirit Photography had just put out a 7" on Sacred Bones when that label was somewhat in its infancy, and we were looking to put out a split with Sharp Ends, a band out of Canada we really dug and with whom we had become internet-friends. (Years later, a few months back from the writing of this here post, I'd discovered my buddy Danny Christiansen, guitarist for Sharp Ends, was in a new band called Viet Cong, with a couple of the dudes from Women, who I've obsessed over the last few years, and was lucky enough to have them agree to put out a 7" in the near future.) Finding somebody to put out the split was proving difficult, until it was suggested that I just start my own label, and so I did. Within a couple of days there was the name Volar, fusing the Latin medical term that refers to the palmal region of the hand and the slang Spanish use that means to "explode" or "set fire to," something like that. We had that split in mind, which morphed over time into the 6x2x12" USA/Canada comp. with the Defektors, O Voids, Sharp Ends, Beaters, Ale Mania, and Spirit Photography. My favorite band in town, the Sess, had just broken up shortly before after five years, and just by chance, within a week the label idea, Beaters and Ale Mania both rose from the ashes of that band, and their first (AMAZING!) recordings would go on to become their first 7"s, bookending 7"s by Ratas del Vaticano out of Monterrey, MX and my new buds the Fresh and Onlys, whom I met down here at their third-ever show.

It took a bit longer to get things going than I'd thought, but eventually, thanks to Single Screen Records here in town agreeing to co-release the Beaters 7", the label was off and running, with Beaters playing a packed show with the Muslims (later Soft Pack) at the Tower Bar here in town on the night of my 29th birthday.

Things were a little stop-start from there. That split 12" eventually came out along with a 7" by Black Orphan (Lance from the Spits), and then I met my good buddy Jon/Matzah, who'd just started I Hate Rock n Roll, and we began working on getting together the Nerves tribute LP as well as the Audacity "Ears and Eyes" 7". Both those did pretty well, and then I got a job at the bar I still work at, and started planning out releases that I'd put out with the decent tip money I was making at the time. Over the last four years, this whole thing's been fun and nerve-wracking all at once, but I'd like to think I've finally got a pretty decent hold on it all.

So next week I'll have the debut 7" by Susan in my hands. Susan is an all-female power-pop trio from LA that consists of Jessica Owen on guitar/vox, my old friend Beth Orwell, who used to play in Cowabunga Babes, on bass/vox, and my other old friend Katie Fern on drums/vox. Check out the video below, stream all three tracks via Soundcloud, and order limited, mailorder-only green and gold vinyl. Burger Records will include these three tracks with two more on a cassette version soon.

Later next month I'll have four releases ready. Shit's expensive!

First up is the brand new LP from Memphis garage/psych act Tiger High, Inside the Acid Coven, as well as the 7" for "Christine" from the LP b/w two additional exclusive tracks, "More" and "Shakey Legs." Tiger High began when drummer Greg Roberson, founding and longtime drummer for Reigning Sound, among other credits, met the other three fellows that make up TH and they decided to venture forth together. These are both co-releases with Greg's label Trashy Creatures and are due out late September. Burger Records will be doing the cassette version of this soon before issuing the band's first two LPs on vinyl for the first time.

Inside the Acid Coven limited yellow LP for $15

"Christine" b/w "More"/"Shakey Legs" 7" on limited color for $6

The long-gestating Lazy - "Soft Sheets" 7" is finally ready, and it's a doozy. The Kansas City weirdo rippers are hitting the road in October, and you can check out "Soft Sheets" and their tour dates below.

Limited mailorder-only blue and red vinyl for $6 here

We're happy to finally be working with FDH, in which we're co-releasing the debut TIT 12", a collaboration between Shawn Foree of Digital Leather (whose Infinite Sun 12" we put out in 2011) and Bobby Hussy of the Hussy. We're crossing our fingers this thing's ready early October, and you can stream the opening track "Leaves on Fire" below.

TIT 12" on limited yellow vinyl for $11

Digital Leather limited clear "Infinite Sun" 12" for $9