Posts Tagged ‘Records’

Lookout Records LogoOh no! Say it isn’t so!! It seems that Lookout! Records is no more.

Definitely a seminal part of my musical upbringing, Lookout! guided the way through my introduction to the punk scene. Starting off with the early days of Operation Ivy, I was hooked with the focused fervor of teenage angst. I listened to a lot of Lookout!’s catalog including Green Day, Operation Ivy, Crimpshrine, Rancid, American Steel, CommuniqueThe DonnasSamiam, Tilt, and more. Sadly though, Lookout! has had to totally close its doors and even cease its digital catalog due to financial issues. News of the closure was confirmed on Ted Leo and the Pharmacists‘ webite recently. Even more recently, owner/president Chris Appelgren released the following statement on the Lookout! website:

“Hard to say goodbye

I’m not sure exactly where exactly to start but I guess it’s best to get the hard part out of the way. To put it simply, what was mentioned recently on Ted Leo’s website (and reported in by a number of other outlets online) is true. Lookout Records will be closing its doors over the next few months. Most people that are reading this know that the label stopped releasing material towards the end of 2005. It was then that Lookout ended its long relationships with Green Day, Operation Ivy and a few other artists. That development meant significantly scaling down the business, which included letting the staff go and moving from the label’s Berkeley headquarters and warehouse into a small office. It was a challenging time for everyone involved – bands, staff, and business partners. For myself and the other two owners at the time, Cathy and Molly, we resolved to put our limited resources into rectifying some of the issues and problems that had been Lookout’s undoing, return to a modest operation, with the hopes of first, getting things back on track, and hopefully doing more in the future.

To many, that would have been the perfect time to wind things up with Lookout Records, but we decided not to. Sure, sales were down across the board and Lookout no longer had many of its long-standing top sellers in its catalog. There were artists that were committed to sticking with the label and shared our hope of fixing the problems and being able to find our way through a difficult period and create new successes. This was the inspiration we needed and over the next few years, with hard work we were able to simplify label operations to a large extent. With the help of folks like Ali, Andy, and later, Spenser pitching in, we focused on playing catch-up and on top of new developments.It wasn’t easy to keep catalog items in print and that became especially challenging when our primary compact disc manufacturer and our distribution partner Lumberjack-Mordam went out of business unexpectedly. Having our physical distributor and a manufacturer go belly up disrupted our sales, meant a significant loss of income, and caused inventory and accounting problems. The next year when our mail order partner, Little Type, went out of business, Lookout was also dealt another significant blow. We did our best to resolve the issued caused by these developments but both ultimately amounted to a lot more work and severely impacted income.By this time, it was primarily Cathy and myself overseeing Lookout’s business. This was done in whatever spare time we could find, as both of us had other jobs. Molly had minimized her involvement with the label, remaining a valued and trusted adviser. The label’s sole employee was Spenser, who came in to our small office space in Oakland to handle day to day stuff a couple times a week.Last summer, we began tentatively discussing what it might mean to let Lookout end. It was a strange and scary to talk about at first and hard for either of us to imagine what it would be like. Lookout Records had been part of my life for over 20 years and Cathy is a label veteran with over 15 years of experience at Lookout. We considered all options but kept coming back to realization that the best use of our energies would be to shut the doors once and for all – for the legacy of the label, for the bands, and for benefit of the relationships and friendships with artists, partners, and stakeholders. After some soul searching, hat’s what we decided to do.Right now, we are in the process of going through years and years of archives and figuring out what to do with things that have no obvious home.  Inventory, masters, artwork – that’s all going back to the artists. We’ve talked to some bands but not all of them. If you were in a band and haven’t heard from Cathy or myself, definitely get in touch. Our efforts to close out Lookout’s remaining business reflect the same intentions we’ve had for the past few years – to do the best we can by the bands. It’s our hope that this could be an opportunity for the artists themselves to revisit their Lookout releases, with interesting and cool results. It’s time to let Lookout Records really and truly become history.Thank you. Thanks for listening to the music, going to shows, coming in our store, forming bands, sending us demos, buying records from our mail order, signing to our label, wearing a t-shirt, playing our records on your radio show, putting us up on your living room floor, writing fan mail, interviewing us for your zine, putting on a show, for inspiring us, for being inspired by Lookout, for your hard work, for just being there, and for ALL of the memories (there are so many). Thank you. Here’s to you, and to whatever comes next…

Thanks, Chris

P.S. We’ll continue to update this site from time to time, with stories, information or anything cool that we come across that seems worth sharing. You’re welcome to come back and visit.”

Lookout! co-founder Larry Livermore also Tweeted on Friday,

“Requiem for a dream? Or just time to say goodbye to something that really ended a long time ago?”

Sad days, but we’ll keep checking back on their website for any more updates.

Love you guys, Lookout!!

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John K. Samson

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, John K. Samson of The Weakerthans, will be releasing a new album very soon. His first full length solo album, entitled Provincial, is set to debut this January 24th via Epitaph-Anti Records. The release will contain re-recorded tracks from Samson’s pair of solo EPs (City Route 85 and Provincial Road 222) as well as brand new songs. A preview video for the release as well as Samson’s upcoming tour dates can be seen below.

3/10 – Boston, MA at Brighton Music Hall
3/11 – Philadelphia, PA at Union Transfer
3/13 – Washington DC at Black Cat
3/15 – New York, NY at Bowery Ballroom
3/16 – Pittsburgh, PA at Club Cafe
3/17 – Buffalo, NY at Mohawk
4/1 – Seattle,WA at Tractor Tavern
4/2 – Portland, OR at Doug Fir
4/5 – San Diego, CA at The Casbah
4/6 – Los Angeles, CA at The Troubadour
4/7 – San Francisco, CA at Bottom of the Hill

For the totally geeky, like me, the liner notes can be found, here. I really do like John K. Samson’s music and can’t wait to see him in San Francisco. Hope to see some of you there!

Backseat Nation

UPDATE: A Day To Remember’s lawsuit against Victory Records confirmed

Late tonight, the internet was abuzz with rumors that A Day To Remember were going to be filing a lawsuit against their label, Victory Records, alleging breach of contract. While it’s unclear if any new lawsuit exists, AP did uncover a PDF of a May 31, 2011, lawsuit filed by the members of ADTR in U.S. District Court in Tennessee. This particular lawsuit, which names Victory Records as a defendant, does allege breach of contract, while also stating that the band feel they have fulfilled their contractual obligations; in addition, ADTR is seeking “an accounting of the Defendants to disclose fully and accurately monies earned and amounts due and owing to” them. You can view the entire document below; however, it’s also unclear whether any judgment has been rendered in this particular lawsuit.

AP is reaching out to the label and the band for comment; we’ll update this post with information as…

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Die Antwoord  will tour the United States in 2012.

Die Antwoord, the South African rap group who recorded a viral hit with their video for “Enter the Ninja” and played their first international show at Coachella 2010, now bring a series of tour dates to US soil. After a recent split from Interscope Records (in which the group rejected Interscope’s suggestion to introduce more pop elements into their sound), Die Antwoord will release their next album, TEN$ION, on their own terms through Zef Recordz.

Die Antwoord’s 2012 tour dates:

02-09 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theatre
02-10 Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
02-11 New York, NY – Irving Plaza
02-14 Toronto, Ontario – The Phoenix Concert Theatre
02-19 Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
02-22 San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
02-24 Los Angeles, CA – Club Nokia
02-25 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues

Grab your tickets for the spectacle early, and check out…

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