23 June 2010

The Past & Future of th' Label That Doesn't Exist

On this, our second post, I'd like to recap what we've done so far, and what's coming in the near future:

Rule No. 6 Records was formed on June 28 2009 as the result of a conversation with Amber Marsh. Right away, we started looking for artists or projects to feature, and ways to deliver the results to people. At the time, we decided we would disseminate at live shows & gigs of the bands/artists we serve. So far, so good. Our first attempt to offer services to a band began with a improv-rock band called RATSNAKETURBORAT {Full Disclosure: I play bass in this band.} The guys agreed to an EP release, & we started working on cover art & song selection. Before we could release that album, another local group {Full Disclosure: ... that I'm also in}, Schwinntonation, needed a number of CDs for a short Illinois/Kentucky/Indiana tour. SO, our first actual release was Schwinntonations' 1st album, sequenced/programmed by Charlie Universe & Rustel Weiss. Charlie gave me the cover art. I cut, folded, glued, and screened 40 copies. {We still have roughly 25.} Schwinntonation plays a mini-tour of the Midwest, I tell everyone I have a label, we sell some copies. Gratification. Another month goes by, and RATSNAKETURBORAT has a cover and 10 CDs in the first run. We play a gig at the Mopery in Chicago and sell a few. {I believe we still have 6.} Then winter of 09-10, revelry, festivus, and family, blah blah blah.... Still telling everyone about my 'label'.

Now its 2010. The Year We Make Contact. Year of Crazy Ideas & Unlikely Chances. I considered trying to have a "10 Releases in '10" concept, but I'll be honest with you, I'd have to cut a LOT of goddam cardboard; I'm in many bands, pick up recording work whenever posssible, and part-time it as well. There just isn't enough time. So, I'm currently soldiering ahead, telling everyone I have a label, and slowly working to flesh out what that means.


11 June 2010

The First Blog

My name is Christopher. I have never written a blog before. (Myspace doesn't count, let's face it. Myspace is like potty training for the internet: most of the same stuff, but in an antiseptic environment so you can't really do it wrong.) I'm not entirely sure what I'll be writing about from week to week. (or day to day, ideally.) It feels like a negative start is not really appropriate for this blog, so I'll try to start over:

I know that this page is about a record label focusing on local Chicago music, and networks of friends that I meet thru Chicago folks. You see, I'm almost 30, I've lived here my ENTIRE life, and I've been a (fairly) productive semi-professional musician for 15 years. (Now, if that doesn't seem particularly impressive, you probably don't realize that just about EVERY musician in Chicago (pretty much... of the ones I've met) only qualifies as semi-professional. You know that joke..."Oh, you're an actor? What restaurant?". Same thing. Even the MOST talented, MOST artistically active, MOST creative players I know have to find jobs. Chicago can be a relatively cheap place to live, but no artist I know makes enough for rent, groceries, commuting, pets, or any kind of social life. At least, not without being a part-timer.) So, based on the musical experiences I've had in my first decade of professionalism, and the music I've heard my friends/acquaintances make, Amber Marsh & I started this label as a means to disseminate some of this music; to create a distribution channel for good work. That's all.

Ok, I guess we have some other goals: Microlabel status lets us concentrate on manufacturing only 25-100 copies of any one release at a time. We're pursuing handmade packaging, made of post-consumer materials (mostly cardboard, some plastic). We're looking at ways to make all our music available for FREE download, and you can buy our packaging either mail-order, or pick them up at shows (which we will advertise here). RIGHT NOW, you can visit our FaceBook page (link at the top of the page) to sample some of our past & planned releases. (While you're there, "Like" us to receive updates on our future works.)

And the BEST part is, we're only about 2 releases behind our best plans, so if you'd like to discuss a release for your work, just drop us a line. We'll discuss it. I guarantee it. We're not in this as elitists, trying to push our own music as though nothing else in the city has merit; we're trying to DIY ourselves into a position of cultural newscasting (as it were), to let people know what's developing in Chi-rock. Kinda like Dischord Records, we're committed only to documenting the quality stuff in our region, regardless of the genre/style. (if you don't know who Dischord is, don't come back to this blog without Wiki'ing them.)

FYI: I AM rather opinionated at times. I'll try to keep my thoughts on politics out of the blog. (I recommend The Rude Pundit's blog here on Blogspot; I've rarely read anything by dude that I DON'T agree with.) As egalitarian as I'd like to be in releasing music on this label, my thoughts are gonna be presented as honestly as I can verbalize them. I apologize in advance for any offense.

LASTLY: Check out my best friend, hetero-lifemate & frequent musical collaborator JON KANNER's unique and indelible blog following his stop-motion animation pursuits. It will snap your mind around a bit: Jon's Stopmo Blog.

Till next time: good night & good luck.