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Interview w/The Deli's Philly Record Label of the Year: Ian Records

- by Q.D. Tran

After interviewing Ian Galloway, owner of Ian Records, you can’t help but realize how passionate the guy is about music and the vinyl format. In a world where vinyl sales are on the rise but album sales keep hitting record lows, the hardcore/punk kid inside him continues to fight a valiant fight while still finding beauty in the process of creating and releasing a new album. That is why it is an honor for us to be able to award Ian Records the honor of being The Deli’s Philly Record Label of the Year 2010. The fledgling local label is dedicated to releasing only Philly artists on vinyl, and we look forward to hearing more from Ian Records for years to come. Please check out our interview below with Ian Galloway, and hopefully you’ll discover that you feel the same way too. Great local bands that rock get in contact with him.

The Deli: What made you want to start your own record label?

Ian Galloway: The short version of the story is that my wife’s band, Party Photographers, wanted [to] do a 7”, and I was into the idea of putting out a record and possibly starting a label so it was kind of perfect for both of us. The long version involves me trying to figure out what “hardcore” was by buying every band with the word “death” in it from a record store that was phasing out vinyl when I was 11, digging through crates of records at flea markets for more years then I care to remember, and being far too horrible a musician to ever have my own band. It's basically that records and music have had a huge influence on me throughout my entire life, and I've always wanted to be involved in the world even if I couldn’t really play or create music. I guess that’s why I run a record store and release vinyl records with bands.

TD: What is the most challenging thing about running your own label?

IG: Honestly, it’s selling the records. We live in a culture where music is thought of as something that should [be] free to own and records are collector’s items for the most part. I actually agree with the public’s embracing of downloading. Record companies were screwing them for years with high priced CDs that only cost change to make. And even though vinyl is more popular than it’s been in years compared to CDs, it seems like buying music is just way down in general. It probably doesn't help that all the bands I've put out are fairly unknown and that Ian Records is even more under the radar than them.

TD: What is the most rewarding thing?

IG: Well just talking music with the bands I put out. Listening to demos and getting excited about new songs. I really love getting rough versions of songs from bands and just listening to them over and over. I remember getting some demos from Creepoid and listening to them while driving down to LBI last summer and just getting really excited about doing a record with them. 6 months later when test presses get back from the pressing plant the songs have evolved and they sound so different from that original CDR, and that's a really cool thing to see how music evolves and changes and becomes a record. With Party Photographers, I get to experience even more of the process as they practice in my living room.

TD: What advice would you give someone who was interested in starting their own label?

IG: Be a master of the internet.

TD: What was the first album that you ever bought?

IG: Well, the first album I ever requested was Thriller. The first one I can remember buying was Motley Crue’s Smoking In The Boys Room 45 at Kmart. But I really consider the first album I bought to be when I heard about punk and hardcore, and went out to try and find these kind of records. It was at a long defunct record store in Baltimore that was selling off all its vinyl when most record stores were swearing off this format. So I went in and bought the two records out of the punk box that had “dead” in the title. It was Dead Milkmen’s Big Lizard… and Dead Kennedys’ In God We Trust. I had actually heard the Dead Milkmen from a friend’s sister’s mix tape she had let him borrow. And yes, I still have both these records.

TD: You manage the record store Beautiful World Syndicate so you probably get your pick of the litter that comes in. What album don’t you have that you wish someone would bring in and sell?

IG: Wow, this is such a hard question. I totally believe in positive record thinking, where you concentrate on a record, and it comes to you that is as long as you keep it realistic and not too crazy obscure. For a while, it was Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack, but I actually found it at a flea market recently. I would really love to own a copy of Wendy Rene After the Laughter (Comes the Tears). It’s on Stax, and it’s one of the harder 45s on that level to find and too expensive on the web. It’s a really hauntingly beautiful tune.

TD: What album are you most proud of in your collection?

IG: Proud is a weird way to describe owning a record for me. I guess I’m most proud that I own all of the Ramones’ studio albums cause there are kinda a lot of those fuckers and Adios Amigos was a serious pain to find.

TD: What album are you most embarrassed about owning?

IG: None at all. I love the music that I love, and I don’t care what other people think about it. A more embarrassing question to me would be what was the most I ever paid for a record and that would be 100 GBP for a reggae 45 Harry and Radcliff covering “History”. But it is a great upbeat song and totally worth every penny.

TD: What national/international acts are you currently listening to now?

IG: Everything on Ian Records, of course. But beyond that, here stateside, I really love Future Islands. They are the most intense live band I’ve seen since I was going to crazy hardcore shows when I was a kid. I also love Zola Jesus, and I thought that Glasser record that came out this year was great. Beach Fossils is another band that I feel in love recently. I have to admit I’m pretty out of the loop when it comes to current international bands, which is strange because I lived in Europe for 6 years or so. But I like a lot of the desert rock from Niger coming out on Sublime Frequencies that’s called tuareg music or something like that. It’s folk-oriented at points and then moves to crazy psychedelic rock.

TD: You obviously love Philly. What’s your favorite thing about Philly?

IG: Block parties, the abandoned docks, and the Eagles.

TD: What annoys you the most about Philly?

IG: The winter, the people, and the Eagles.

TD: We loved your response when you found out that you won The Deli’s Philly Record Label of the Year 2010! “Fuck yeah that’s amazing!!! I haven’t won shit in years. I’m so stoked!” What was the last thing that you won?

IG: An award for the best non-fiction prose essay in college. It was about squatting houses. That netted me a sweet $100.

TD: What should we expect from Ian Records in 2011?

IG: Well, there is still a lot of promotion to be done with the Creepoid LP. I’m still waiting on the bulk of the LPs so I can send out review copies and really hype it up. I’ve been talking to Fangtooth about doing their LP. Anything Party Photographers want to do is always sort of in the works. And I have lots of other projects that I’ve only started hashing out with bands, the infamous Tough Shits being one of them.

TD: What local bands are you into that are not on Ian Records?

IG: Well, to me, one of the best bands anywhere right now is the Tough Shits, and though I might do something with them, I haven’t yet. I heard their new record that should be out soon, and it’s seriously one of the best rock n roll records I’ve heard in years. They also are the most fun live band from Philly. I also really love the last Reading Rainbow record. The song “Wasting Time” is so epically beautiful. But there are really tons of great original undiscovered bands here. I’m shocked how often I go to shows and get blown away by an opening band I’ve never heard of before.

TD: What’s your favorite thing to get at the deli?

IG: Well, I don’t know if it counts as a deli, but the Cubano from Black Bird is seriously one of my new favorite hoagies.

 

 

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New Asteroid #4 Album Drops Today & Available for Streaming This Week via Spinner

The Asteroid #4 released their sixth album Hail To The Clear Figurines today via The Committee to Keep Music Evil, the record label owned by the infamous Anton Newcombe (The Brian Jonestown Massacre). You can stream the whole record this week via Spinner. Below is a video for the album’s opening track “Wicked Wire” (which also appeared on Clean Air Clear Stars 2009 Compilation). You can purchase the record Hail To The Clear Figurines here. Enjoy! - The Deli Staff
 

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Invictus Picks -- Goddard -- N/S

 ip

Goddard is a three piece band that's named after a rocket scientist. Not just any rocket scientist, but Robert H. Goddard who happened to grow up in the house across the street from members Jason and Anne in Worcester. How's that for props? Not only do they name their rock band after a local hero, but they also dive in headfirst to cultivate and perpetuate a scene. Jason and Anne met their drummer Dan while they were working on the project DC-FIY the goal being to purchase a warehouse to start an all ages DIY venue in Worcester. Although the warehouse never turned up, these guys threw countless all-ages DIY shows and continue to play great, mostly all-ages shows like the one a few weeks ago at the Flywheel in Easthampton.

Goddard

Here is “N/S,” a track off their EP. They're influences are bands like HUM, The Pixies and Drive like Jehu. They have a lot of plans: first, a mini-tour in the mid-west next week. Then, into the studio to record a full length and then they're off to Brazil to play some festivals. Wow. Don't waste any time guys!



Goddard - N/S

-- Danielle Freudenthal





Erik Hokannen @ Flipnotics

As he does every Tuesday night, Erik Hokannen will take over at Flipnotic's tonight at 9. The fiddle and guitar master has been a mainstay of the Austin scene for over twenty years, and has been described more than once as "the greatest Austin musician you've never heard." Jazz Mills (of Cowboy + Indian) gave her enthusiastic recommendation. Erik has skipped back and forth between Austin and Helsinki - he's a third-generation Finn - throughout his musical career, and enjoys a devoted following in both cities. 

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Overall Winners of The Deli Nashville's Band of the Year Poll 2010:

Dear Deli Nashville Readers,

The results are finally here (see list below) from fans, jurors, and writers, and we are pleased to announce that PUJOL is the overall winner of the 2010 Nashville Band of the Year poll. Congratulations to him, and to the second and third place winners, Evan P. Donohue, and Kopecky Family Band.

1) PUJOL

Unless you've been living under a rock this past year, it's been pretty difficult to avoid hearing at least something about Nashville garage/punk rock outfit, Pujol. From regular touring, releasing like a dozen singles/7" splits, to having a single produced by Jack White and forming Turbo Time Records with Jonas Stein (lead singer of the Turbo Fruits), Daniel Pujol and his band members have worked their asses off to create their local and national following. Even with a little taste of success, they still play the same up-beat garage rock that, when heard reverberating off the walls of some kid's shitty basement, still manages to remind me of a sludgy rainbow. And it's hard to get that without drugs. So I guess PUJOL is like my drug of 2010? 

2) Evan P. Donohue

Some have referred to Nashville's charming poindexter as an Elvis Costello, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. The obvious jazz/standard influences, the constant catchiness, the trenchant lyrics.. *sigh* His 2010 full-length release, "Rhythm & Amplitude," was one of the best albums to come out of Nashville last year, which is surprising because it's alt. pop/rock, and the ol' tastemakers of Nashville often tend to disregard that genre and its representatives. Regardless, Evan P. Donohue is one of those rare individuals who can't seem to write a bad song, or stop churning out hits. Someone get that kid a publishing deal.

3) Kopecky Family Band

This classically-inspired indie pop-folk group never quite seems to disappoint listeners when hearing "the family" for the first time. The tight-knight group of 7 was an even greater sight to behold last year, as they obviously grew into their roles, and became--quite clearly--more of a family onstage. They successfully released their second album, "The Disaster,"  and the resulting sound carried them throughout the country, allowing them to make great strides to SXSW, CMJ, NPR, etc. Aside from a pretty constant touring schedule, I'm not sure what their upcoming plans are, but I suspect that they'll be as big as the band itself ;) --Erin Manning

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