Record Highlight — North Korea (NK)

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

North Korea (NK)- The Basement Tapes vol 1 & 2

NK’s Basement Tapes Vol. 1 and 2 is available on vinyl for the first time ever — available now from Enjoy The Ride Records.  45rpm and completely random colors – very limited, so grab them while they are still available!  Every record contains a free digital download too.


Record Highlight — Ari Herstand

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Brave Enough Album Artwork

Most people now know Ari Herstand as the guy who helped them fly with their instruments. His Carry Your Instrument On The Plane… It’s The LAW blog post went viral and has been viewed over 250,000 with over 40,000 Facebook Likes. In just under two years, Herstand’s music business advice blog, Ari’s Take, has been nominated by the LA Weekly as the best music blog in Los Angeles and has become a go to resource for DIY musicians.

Ari Herstand is a DIY musician who has played over 550 shows around the country, has opened for Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson and Ron Pope, and has had his music featured in countless TV shows.

As an actor, he has co-starred in TV shows including 2 Broke Girls, The Fosters, Sam & Cat and Touch.

Before acting and blogging, Herstand spent a full year working on his newest release, Brave Enough, in his former home of Minnesota. Teaming up with his long-time engineer and close friend, Grammy nominated, Paul Marino, the two organized an all-star band, including Herstand’s “favorite drummer on the planet” Dave King (The Bad Plus), to create his 3rd full-length record.

Known by his fans primarily for his live looping – combining the trumpet, beat boxing, keys, acoustic guitar, percussion and vocals – this record is a clear departure from his solo show. The four interludes scattered throughout the record tease the looping he is known for.

Order the Vinyl release:


Record Highlight — Symbol

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

HD022 Symbol Online Architecture HD022 LLR009

Symbol is the solo effort of producer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Royal King. Best known as a founding member and lead guitarist of the massive orchestral-rock ensemble This Will Destroy You, King has also composed and recorded scores for a host of prominent feature-films and documentaries, established Light Lodge Records, and moonlights in Austin’s amorphous ambient collective AMASA•GANA.

Now, on his first solitary odyssey apart from TWDY King’s masterful ear for signal processing and affinity for corroded elegance takes free reign over a vastly expanded inventory of instrumentation. Throughout Symbol’s debut –  Online Architecture - (out on HOLODECK / LIGHT LODGE April 8th 2014 on LP / CS / DL) organic sound-sources are meticulously transmuted through chains of modules and magnetic tape, each successive stage creating a compounded quantity of detail and decay. After four studio albums with TWDY King has crafted an arresting solo debut that is both gorgeously tranquil and devastatingly heavy, offering a direct-line into his psyche which had not existed until now.


Record Highlight — Labors

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

BLUE FUNK cover art

The Chicago-based musical group, Labors, began as an outlet for the work of Kansas City native, Z. L. Melton. In 2010, Melton moved to Chicago, where the project expanded to include bassist Jacob Hand, drummer Addison Ashbaugh, guitarist Alexis Dionissopoulos, and vocalist Sarah “Rose” Anderson.

Blue Funk is the new album, out just now on vinyl and digital download. It was recorded by Jamie Wagner at Strobe Recording in July, mixed by Jim Becker (Califone, Iron & Wine) and mastered by Bill Alletzhauser (The Hiders, Ass Ponys) and Brian Moeller at The Bat Cave. Each record will be pressed to 150 gram random-colored, recycled vinyl, and packaged in a simple sleeve with artwork by Nicole Jo Melton.



Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

We are proud to be a sponsor again this year of Topshelf Records’ SXSW showcases — as in the past few years, we pressed up some 7 inch goodies you can get your hands on at the showcases…but there are not a ton of them, so grab them while they last!  More info below:

Topshelf Records SXSW Party (unofficial)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
6pm – 2am
21st Street Co-op (707 West 21st Street, Austin, TX 78705)
All ages, free.

6:00 – 6:25 – Foxing
6:40 – 7:05 – Duck. Little Brother, Duck!
7:20 – 7:45 – Caravels
8:00 – 8:30 – Diamond Youth
8:45 – 9:15 – Donovan Wolfington
9:30 – 10:00 – Special Explosion
10:05 – 10:35 – Bob Nanna
10:40 – 11:10 – Joliette
11:15 – 11:45 – No Somos Marineros
12:00 – 12:30 – You Blew It!
12:45 – 1:15 – Prawn
1:30 – end – Empire! Empire!


Topshelf Records SXSW Showcase (unofficial)
Thursday, March 13, 2014
11am – 6pm
Soho Lounge (217 East 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701)
18+, free.

12:00 – 12:30 – Special Explosion
12:45 – 1:15 – Donovan Wolfington
1:30 – 2:00 – Frameworks
2:15 – 2:45 – Wild Ones
3:00 – 3:30 – Diamond Youth
3:45 – 4:15 – Prawn
4:30 – 5:00 – Caravels
5:15 – 5:45 – You Blew It!



Record Highlight — Gordon Ashworth

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

It’s been a long, strange journey for Gordon Ashworth over the past few years. The Portland, Oregon resident has played in over 20 countries and released countless artifacts under his various solo guises: Concern, Oscillating Innards, CAEN, and others. He is also a member of the black/death metal band, Knelt Rote. After retiring Concern, however, a new aural picture has taken shape.S.T.L.A. showcases Ashworth at his absolute best, pressing dense compositions through a unique prism that straddles the line between melodic and abstract. Elemental influences of folk music as well as musique concrete and acousmatic works are audible within the sprawling confines of S.T.L.A. 


Record Highlight — Chunky Turtlenecks

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Kill Your Thrills cover art

What do you get when you mix rock guitars, 60′s song craft, and pop sensibilities?  Chunky Turtlenecks‘ new record, Kill Your Thrills.  The latest effort by the Bay Area 4-piece pulls from various genres (alternative rock, 60′s pop, garage) and blends them together in their own way, all while staying under the indie rock umbrella.  It was mixed at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco, CA, and mastered at Chicago Mastering House in Chicago, IL. With a running time of just over 30 minutes, the self-released 12-song LP contains bursts of electricity with interesting twists and turns along the way.  As upbeat as it is refreshing, Kill Your Thrills provides listeners with a fresh take on rock music.  Check it out!


Record Highlight — Sugar Free Allstars

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Imagine that Deep Purple and Sly and the Family Stone had a love child that grew up in New Orleans listening to Ray Charles, Black Sabbath and Booker T.  That love child would be the Sugar Free Allstars.  With their diverse musical influences and unusual instrumentation, this funky organ/drum duo from Oklahoma City can be hard to classify. The music blends New Orleans funk, Memphis soul and Hammond organ-drenched gospel, wrapped in a colorful rock and roll package.   Add to the mix a touch of pop songwriting sensibilities, humor and a high-energy live show and you’ve got the Sugar Free Allstars.

Chris “Boom!” Wiser (Hammond B-3 organ, lead vocals, saxophone) and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin (drums, backing vocals) make up the dynamic duo of Sugar Free Allstars.  As Wiser multi tasks the outfit covering bass lines on the B-3 and cranking out soulful sax solos, Martin lays down a rock-solid beat that keeps the heads bopping and hips shaking.    The connection and fire between the two musicians is obvious in their live performance. “We try to provide a good mix of humor and a tight performance,” explains Wiser. “Even in our kids’ shows, it’s meant to be a rock and roll party for all ages.”

We are pumped to have pressed SFA’s first-ever vinyl release — the Record Collection 7 inch.  Hit them up at one of their many live shows to grab a copy (they are almost always touring somewhere).


Record Highlight — St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Grit, elemental rhythm, tight-as-a-drumhead playing, and a profound depth of feeling: these are the promises of a great soul band…and St. Paul & The Broken Bones deliver on those promises.
Half The City is the compelling full-length Single Lock/Thirty Tigers debut of the Birmingham, Alabama-based sextet, who have already created a maelstrom of interest with their roof-raising live shows and self-released four-song 2012 EP. Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, and recorded and mixed in the storied R&B mecca of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the album harkens back to the region’s classic soul roots while extending the form with electrifying potency.


Record Highlight — Chuck Mead

Posted in For The Record | by Matt Earley

Nashville’s Plowboy Records is pleased to announce the signing of Chuck Mead and the release of his new record Free State Serenade. A wild ride of hillbilly blues and honky-tonk, Mead, best known for his work as frontman for BR549, wrote the album based on the stories, legends, crimes and lonesome open roads of his childhood and formative years in Kansas. Recorded with his longtime band The Grassy Knoll Boys, Free State Serenade was co-produced with Joe Pisapia (kd Lang, Ben Folds Five) and features special guests BR549’s Don Herron and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Critter Fuqua.

Free State Serenade jumps from jaunty mountain airs like “Neosho Valley Sue,” with BR5-49’s Don Herron lending his fiddle to what Mead calls a “coming of age ditty,” to “Sittin’ On Top Of The Bottom” – a whip-smart ode to “Sittin’ On Top Of The World.” Reaching into the dark lore of Kansas history, “The Devil By Their Side” is a chugging rock n’ roll number about William Quantrill’s murderous 1863 Civil War raid on Lawrence, Kansas.