Thursday, August 13, 2015

L'Assassins: "Fire of Love" Pre-Order and Tourdates!

Photo by Joe Holland
We're so totally thrilled to be announcing that Minneapolis garage-punk sensations L'Assassins' new seven-inch "Fire of Love" is coming out on September 18th, and pre-orders are now available. Tests have been approved, records are being pressed, jackets printed, e-mails to shrugging music critics sent, and blog posts are being carefully worded (right now, in fact!). And here's the thing: a pre-order gets you a download of both songs immediately.

And here are the details about their release party!

Friday September 18, 2015
Lee’s Liquor Lounge
w/ Krank Daddies
Black Widows
DJ Travis Ramin
9 PM / $8 / 21+

Fall 2015 Tour Dates:

Sept 18, MINNEAPOLIS -  Lee's Liquor Lounge with The Krank Daddies, Black Widows, and DJ Travis Ramin

Sept 22, CHICAGO, IL - Livewire with Curio, The Heeby Jeebies, The Real Gone

Sept 23, CLEVELAND, OH - Venue TBA, with Scoliosis Jones,  Toro Blanco, The Torments

Sept 24, BECKLEY, WV - Fosters Tavern

Sept 25, RALEIGH, NC - Ray Pryce Capital City Bikefest

Sept 26, ASHEVILLE, NC - Hellbilly Hootenanny with Nekromantix, The Koffin Kats, The Loveless, DDC

Sept 27, NASHVILLE, TN - Foo Bar with The Tip and Deadly Low Fi

Sept 29, FORT WAYNE, IN, Brass Rail with TBA

Sept 30, MADISON, WI - The Wisco Bar with The Rotten Tommys and Skizzwhores

Here's the story about L'Assassins and this really great new record...

Minneapolis garage-punk luminaries L'Assassins have more than made their mark on the Twin Cities music scene. They've notched two European tours along with several U.S. sojourns, and they're about to hit the road behind their new seven inch. A-side "Fire of Love" was written specifically for L'Assassins by Twin Cities new-wave king Chan Poling (The Suburbs). Their savage B-side "Liar" sees the band at the snarling top of their punk-rock game. These two songs cement L'Assassins' international reputation as bad-ass ladies making bad-ass music in the vein of Thee Headcoatees, Trashwomen and The Pandoras.

When L'Assassins shared a bill with The Suburbs in the fall of 2014, lead singer Chan Poling had already become familiar with the band's amalgam of garage-surf-punk rooted in trashy B-movie culture. To their surprise, he approached them with a song he'd written with them in mind: "Fire of Love". L’Assassins and Poling quickly worked out an arrangement, and hit the studio with he and his Suburbs bandmate Steve Price producing. They also recorded the band’s own just-finished "Liar", supplemented by an organ part by Poling. The resulting record is an incendiary blast that slips perfectly into the rest of their four-year-strong catalog.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Black Diet release another Good One!

When Mugsy told me that Black Diet's new album was to be titled The Good One, I immediately thought the obvious extension was that their debut, Find Your Tambourine, was now by default The Bad One. This came as a shock! Remember, this was an album, recorded pretty much live in a weekend, that captured the immediacy of their concerts and is infused with all sorts of accidental beauty that can only come from not fussing too much. Well, apparently Black Diet feel it was a rush job, and they were eager to move on. It's a great impulse to look forward and move in new directions. Artists that strive for longevity need to reinvent themselves and find new muses to keep fresh and feel relevant. Though I certainly still adore their debut, I can say with sincerity that The Good One is indeed very good.

The album opens with David Tullis doing that great snare-kick-tom-kick-tom-kick-snare-kick count-off into Jonathan publicly revealing his ambivalence about Minneapolis. "State Line" is a great song; our icy outpost gets so wrapped up in itself that it's surprisingly rare to hear an artist admit that, yes. Sometimes it sucks here. And it's catchy as hell. "Fever" shows us that Black Diet has indeed grown and expanded their bag of tricks since FYT. More than any other of their songs, "Fever" channels CBGB's-era new wave in the same way The Stones did on Some Girls. "Brother" treats us to another thematic departure from songs about sex. We're allowed to eavesdrop on JT's intimate conversation with his brother. Musically, this covers similar ground to FYT's "Cry", but it's given more emotional depth by Jonathan's vulnerable lyrics.

"Do A Little Wrong" is the album's showpiece, with all musicians and voices in beautiful form. "Used to Be In Love" and "Loving Me Still" are perfect pop gems (the latter featuring a very Garth Hudson organ solo from Sean Schultz!). "Find a New Love" brings us the deepest groove, locked into an almost Kraut-rocking rhythm section with scorching dual guitars from Schultz and Mitch Sigurdson. Saved for last, "Calls" with its single voice and electric guitar is the least-produced song on the record. When paired with FYT's "Don't Sleep Alone", it almost acts as a bookend for their first two albums. It shows me that these two albums should not be pitted against one another, but enjoyed as two acts.

Black Diet have been a very ambitious band since we met them (and probably before that, too). They never feel fully satisfied with anything they do, always feeling that at least one thing could have been better executed. That's an important thing in an artist, but I truly hope they take a moment in the near future to reflect on all they've accomplished in the last couple years. They've made two truly great albums that defy simple genre labels, and have pushed both themselves and their peers forward.

If you're in the Twin Cities, come to their Release Party at First Avenue. It'll be fun, for sure.

Friday, July 24
8:00 PM

First Avenue Mainroom
JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound
Red Daughters
Southside Desire

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April musings from the Best Local Record Label in Minneapolis.

We're pretty excited about City Pages naming us to be the best local record label in Minneapolis. This came as a surprise this morning when I grabbed the annual "Best of" issue off the rack outside my paying job on a coffee break. 2014 (and early 2015) was big and busy for us, seeing the release of two Mystery Date records, Narco States' and Black Diet's debut albums, Southside Desire's sophomore LP and 7 inches from Sex Rays and Grolar Bears. We had both the Piñata Records Hit Parade in February, and then Piñata Records Field Day in August. We're all really pleased to be recognized in this way.

This winter has seen us taking some time away from label duties. Trevor and Marvel had their first baby in November, and I've been taking more time to relax after getting my kids in bed, instead of formatting album art, coordinating wav files from mastering engineers, and e-mailing blogs, radio stations and newspapers in a sometimes Quixotic effort to promote these brilliant slabs of music we put our logo on. But rest assured, there are some great new releases coming soon. Black Diet will be releasing their second album in the summer, and it sounds fantastic. They're really stretching out, while maintaining their classic approach to music-making (i.e. being a talented band playing good songs). Wait until you hear the album version of "Fever", "Find a New Love" and "Stateline". They rule. We will also have our first foray into the world of cassettes (so fast and cheap to produce!), but I don't think I can tell you about it yet. Just know that it's one of our most absolute favorite artists, and we're honored to be a part of this sublime album.

We've also opted against some kind of release for Record Store Day. We love records, we love record stores, and thanks to the annual block party at Hymie's Vintage Records, we even love Record Store Day. But, we feel that it's really expensive and time-consuming to clog up the record presses just to put out something on a day when most customers are (I guess?) looking for soon-to-be-eBayed 10 inches from The California Raisins or something. So no RSD gimmicks from us.

But we're feeling so shiny and honored this week, so here's something for y'all...

We want you to get 25% off your entire order from our Bandcamp page for the rest of the week (offer ends April 23rd). This offer is for anything on our site.

Use this discount code when ordering: bestlabel

Thanks so much for paying attention to the bands we work with. They're all incredibly talented, and we're just so happy to be working as a part of such a brilliant community of artists and fans.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A short essay about Mystery Date's New Noir.

Johnny, Grady and Steve. Photo by Katie Riemer
First, the news. Mystery Date have a new album. It's called New Noir and it officially comes out on Tuesday, January 20. It's available on LP, CD, and all the downloadable doo-dads you can shake a log-in/password combination at. It's a really great, ambitiously unified album. Here's what it sounds like:

Secondly, I'll try to explain my love for Mystery Date, via a long story.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mystery Date's debut LP New Noir hits shelves on January 20!

Steve, Johnny and Grady. New Noir. 

We spent last night putting LPs, inserts and download codes into jackets for Mystery Date's incredible new album New Noir. We've released all the preorders, and anyone ordering it from now on will immediately get a full download and the record or CD will ship out within 2 days. Come to the release party!

January 17
Eagles Club (2507 E 25th Street Mpls)
w/ VATS and Teenage Strangler
8:30 PM/ $5 / 21+