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