as many of you know, unfortunately, i am not a billionaire. if i were, i'd still run the label for sure. i'd just be married to Beyoncé or something, and i'd actually release a ton more stuff. one of the things i would love to have released is a vinyl version of "At Your Merci" by chicago's The Please & Thank Yous. one of the truly great records to come out of the chicago scene in the past few years, in my humble opinion.
fortunately, though, i am lucky enough to be releasing the solo work of TPATY's front man, Geoff Schott today. his stagename is Sweatertooth, and his debut full length CD entitled "Slowcore Parking Lot" comes out today on Artistic Integrity Records!
11 songs of varying awesomeness, this is the brainchild of many sleepless nights and bedroom recording sessions of Geoff. he wrote, recorded, mixed, and mastered everything you're about to hear on the album. he also took the cover photos and created the album artwork. a dynamo, he is. i'm truly stoked to be working with one of my favorite current songwriters in the city. i've been lucky enough to have done that a lot this year. the release that's lined up for 10/10 follows that trend as well, so keep checking the facebook page for more updates on that (or just come back here every month!).
hopefully you guys love the new Sweatertooth stuff as much as i've been loving it lately. thanks, as always, for your support. it means the world to us.
oh and p.s. happy birthday to the best intern i've ever had. you make me so proud, kendra.
today is yet another double date, which means yet another release, and yet another AIR update. this update and announcement is actually a really special one for me personally, as i am a huge record collector who loves and appreciates the history of the chicago music scene. in the mid-90s, The Vindictives started a 7" series called VMLive where they recorded live sets from bands playing throughout chicago. most of the recordings happened at the legendary Fireside Bowl, but some other venues were included in the series as well. there were 38 different records pressed in the series, and a number of others that came out as CDs only. tons of great bands participated in the series, including (but certainly not limited to) The Queers, J Church, The Parasites, Horace Pinker, No Empathy, Apocalypse Hoboken, Lynyrd's Innards, and even Avail.
with the old VMLive series serving as a huge inspiration, today at AIR we introduce the start of the "A.I.R. Presents..." series, which will all be available for download on the site. we're going to try our best to make these recordings a true indication of what the room sounded like on that specific night, and hopefully introduce you to some rad new bands, or give you a glimpse into the live show of a band you already love.
our first band is a great young 3-piece from beaumont, texas called Purple. i had never heard of them until they rolled through town the last week of june, but i flipped my recorders on anyway. i couldn't be more thankful that i did, because i captured one of the best live performances i've seen in a long time. i go to a lot of shows every year. a whole lot. and i see an obscene amount of bands perform. at this point, it's pretty rare for a band to completely blow me away. Purple did that. i'm honored to have them kick off such a fun project and this new chapter in AIR's history. i'm positive you're going to love them as much as i turned out to. head over to the DOWNLOADS tab and grab their set for free, along with the digital CD booklet that explains in greater detail what this new series of live recordings is trying to accomplish.
tons of great stuff is in the works over at AIR headquarters, and we have solidified releases that will be coming out 9/9 and 10/10, with more in the pipeline for 11/11 and 12/12. then we start all over again in 2014. but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. check out Issue #1 of the "A.I.R. Presents..." series, and have yourself a day.
today is another double date, so i guess that means it's time for the monthly AIR update. if you know me on any sort of personal level, you most likely know the following: i love michael jordan. i love seinfeld. i love alkaline trio. and i'm an absolute weirdo (in many respects, but) especially when it comes to numbers. numbers have always been very important to me. i can't name you 3 books i read in high school, but i can tell you how many points per game michael jordan averaged in 1986-87, which was the year i was born. there's no reason i should know it, but i do. numbers mean something to me, and my brain works in a weird way where i just remember them. by the way, he averaged 37.1 ppg, for those of you who thought i was going to slide right past that without answering it for you.
one number in particular has always been very important to me: the number seven. when i was born, i was 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and born in birthing room 7. from there, the legend just continued to grow. as a child, i started learning about baseball, and the history of the game. i took a liking to a certain centerfielder for the new york yankees, who happened to wear number 7. it was from then on that i knew it would be the only number i would ever wear if i had a choice. that number has become so important to me that i even have it tattooed over my heart. a lot of people call a number like that their "lucky number," but i don't much believe in that. i think you make your own luck.
it's very fitting that on this day, the supposed luckiest of this supposed unlucky year (7/7/13), we put out our 7th release here at Artistic Integrity Records. it's an idea i've had for a very long time, and i've been fortunate enough to have a couple friends help it come to fruition. huge thanks go out to john perrin and rob nelson for the roles they played in recording and mixing these songs. i started a goofy solo project a couple years ago called Big Deal & The Who Cares?, and i've played a couple shows around illinois under that name. mostly solo, but also a couple with a backing band. other than a recent appearance on a suicide prevention comp put out by my friends at All We Got! Records, this is the first properly recorded material to be released. the EP is called "I Haven't Been Completely Honest" and the cover art looks like this:
it's an homage to a band that i've loved for a very long time. a band who helped me through some pretty rough times in my life. a band i'm very lucky to have stumbled across all those years ago. without them, this EP wouldn't exist, and there's a good chance i wouldn't either. i hope these songs are as fun for you to listen to as they were for us to record.
keep your eyes peeled for what we have in store at AIR on 8/8 and beyond. the start of something (kind of) new, and (definitely) awesome.
what an evil day! today is 6/6, and AIR-006 is officially released! my very good friends in Dethwarrant were awesome enough to ask me to help them release their b-sides and rarities album, entitled "My Dad Gets The Best Stuff", and what's even cooler is that we're giving it away for free. all it takes is an e-mail address to be able to download it! that system seemed to work pretty well for AIR-004, which was the free digital covers compilation we put out on new year's day. look for another release in the AIR catalog to follow this format next month.
all of the photos in the digital CD booklet were taken by the awesomely talented Patrick Houdek. he takes photos of bands all over chicago, and to date has shot over 350 bands. if you want to check out some more of his work, you can either go to his facebook page (by clicking here) or his flickr page (by clicking here). i'm sure you'll love what he does.
today is 5/5, and we are thrilled to announce that AIR-005 is officially released! The Fur Coats have released their latest 7" entitled "Goddamn, I'm A Handsome Man!" through Artistic Integrity Records, Seven Dead Arson Records, and Dirt Cult Records.
they'll be recording the rest of the songs for their full length later this summer, as well as heading out on an east coast tour. it'll be the first time they've played anywhere but chicago, and more than likely the last. trust me when i say you guys absolutely have to check them out. as great as these songs are on vinyl, they're 10 times better in person, especially when you add in the banter between Marc, Davey and Devon on stage between songs. or are the songs played between bits of banter? hmm, interesting...
either way, make sure to pick this bad boy up. only $5 in the store or in person, and worth every penny. i promise you this.
i've created this little order form in case you want any AIR merch. you can get it to me any way you want (via e-mail, personal message on facebook, or snail mail) and we can work out the details of how it will get delivered to you then! if you have any questions, or would like a garment that does not currently appear on the form, please don't hesitate to ask. i can get anything and everything made up, and there are no minimum orders!
one of our favorite up-and-coming artists on the label, Big Deal & The Who Cares?, has recorded a cover song especially for your listening pleasure this valentine's day. head on over to their facebook page to give them a "Like" and stay tuned for their upcoming 4-song debut EP, which will be released by Artistic Integrity Records very soon!
sometimes when an opportunity comes along, you just have to jump at it. this afternoon, one of my favorite local bands asked me to help them put out their latest 7" which has already been recorded. if you were at Ian's Party in chicago this past sunday night, you saw them play. and, like always, they were great.
i'm incredibly proud to announce that AIR-005 is going to be a co-release of The Fur Coats' "Goddamn, I'm A Handsome Man!" 7", with Artistic Integrity Records, Seven Dead Arson Records, and Dirt Cult Records all being involved in the pressing of the vinyl.
The Fur Coats are made up of Marc Ruvolo, Davey Houle, and Devon Kay (are you guys sick of Devon being part of my releases yet? no? good, because there will be more in the future that he'll be a part of). their songs are short, fast, and awesome. don't believe me? well have a listen for yourself: THE FUR COATS BANDCAMP
see? you should probably just believe me from now on, yeah? the vinyl pressing will be limited to 300, and they will go fast.
changing subjects now, thank you so much to those of you who have already downloaded "We've Got You Covered, Vol. 1" from the website. over 200 downloads already, and nothing but positive feedback. if you haven't downloaded it yet, what are you waiting for? tell a friend, too. it's free, after all! 23 incredible tracks in exchange for a couple clicks of your mouse. can't beat that price.
the next covers compilation is already in the works. this one is going to be a Get Up Kids tribute. already have a bunch of great bands lined up, but of course we're still looking for more. if you're in a band and want to be a part of it, please shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to someplace i can hear your band, and a list of your top 5 picks for what songs you would want to do, in case another band has already claimed your top choice.
i think that's it for now. i hope your 2013 is off to as good of a start as mine!
first and foremost, happy new year! i hope all of you had an incredible evening to cap off 2012, and start 2013 off with a bang. i spent last night at Fireside Bowl, and can honestly say it was one of the most fun shows i was at all year. to everyone who was there last night, thank you for making it such a memorable evening.
as you hopefully know, today is the big release date for the covers compilation i've been putting together for the past month or so. because i'm a numbers weirdo who loves michael jordan, there's 23 tracks on this bad boy. lots of bands from chicago who i've had the pleasure of becoming friends with over the past year, but also lots of bands from all over the country, and even one from Canada (that's right, baby, AIR is going international in 2013!).
to actually download this bad boy, click on the tab labeled "Downloads." it will be the very first thing available for download on the page, so just click the "Download Album" button, enter your e-mail address, and you should have a link waiting for you in your inbox faster than you can say "blueberry pie." maybe not that fast. but pretty fast, okay? if it's not in your inbox, check your spam folder. the e-mail will have a link to download a zip folder. once that downloads, you'll have 23 new tracks to sing along with, as well as a digital CD booklet detailing which bands are covering which songs.
i'm so honored to have worked with everybody on this release. at the start of last year, i didn't envision doing any digital-only releases, but there have been so many amazing bands i've wanted to work with and help promote, and i figured since i don't have the money to press everything to vinyl, this would be a fun way to bring them all together and bring you guys some new tunes in the process. as we speak, there are already a few more comp ideas on the table, and one already in the works.
this comp is absolutely, positively FREE to download. hopefully there are a few bands on here that you're already familiar with, but i hope even more to expose you to a bunch of new bands you've never heard before. my favorite thing about music is going to shows and seeing a new band and having them blow me away. i know sometimes it's hard for a band's energy and charisma to translate into a recording, but i honestly feel like all of these tracks do the bands who performed them justice. please feel free to share the link with your friends or anybody else you think may enjoy this.
here's the tracklisting for AIR-004, "We've Got You Covered, Vol. 1":
1. Mike Felumlee – Hang On (originally by Teenage Fanclub)
2. Devon Kay & The Solutions – Ours (originally by Taylor Swift)
3. Invasion – Warsaw (originally by Joy Division)
4. Dead End Days – Do You Still Hate Me? (originally by Jawbreaker)
5. Swim Lessons – Untitled 01 (originally by Brand New)
6. Das Kapital – It’s Not Funny Anymore (originally by Hüsker Dü)
7. Wide Angles – This Year (originally by the Mountain Goats)
8. Deth Warrant – Heartbreaker (originally by Pat Benetar)
9. This Obsession – Armageddon (originally by Alkaline Trio)
10. John Perrin – Not Your Pet (originally by Tuesday)
11. Fuck Yeah, Dinosaurs! – Kittens (originally by Dogjaw)
12. The Ambulance Review – Ugly Fat Troll (originally by Atomic Raygun Attack)
13. Sweatertooth – My Drug Buddy (originally by The Lemonheads)
14. Costanza – J.A.R. (originally by Green Day)
15. Jason Swearingen – ******* [And the trumpets pounded in my ears] (originally by Jets To Brazil)
16. Big Deal & The Who Cares? - God Deciding (originally by Hot Water Music)
17. The Big Picture – Oh My Sweet Carolina (originally by Ryan Adams)
18. Matt Pless and the Cotterpins – The Gambler (originally by Kenny Rogers)
19. Jaclyn Falk - I Am Disappeared (originally by Frank Turner)
20. Brick Mower – Ride The Darker Wave (originally by Sebadoh)
21. The Bogarts – Living Room (originally by Tegan and Sara)
22. GTI – Commando (originally by The Ramones)
23. Kind Of Like Spitting – Blues Run The Game (originally by Jackson C. Frank)
to me, it's very fitting that mike felumlee is the first AIR track to be released in 2013, since he was the first of 2012. that's a trend that will continue as long as AIR exists. it's also very fitting that Kind Of Like Spitting is the last track, because that will lead in perfectly to AIR-005, which is the KOLS split 7" with Anthony Savino (of Half Hearted Hero). that split will be out some time early this year, hopefully by spring. stay tuned either here or by liking the AIR page on facebook and i'll be sure to update as we get more information on that.
thank you guys, as always, for your support. i've made some incredible friends through music in the past year. i don't expect that to change in 2013. enjoy!