Filed under: Unwound
As of not that many hours ago, Kid Is Gone streams gratis over at Pitchfork Advance. Our own Adam Luksetich culled out the grotty vid loops—”Justin drinks coffee” plus “Justin screams and writhes” plus others—which you get to scrutinize while you listen to Unwound. Skip to Track #29, “Antifreeze,” to get the music to sound like most of what you’re looking at.
Unstreamed, and still available to vinyl buyers only, is the very limited bonus live Unwound LP, about which you gotta admit we’ve told you before.
After a year of tearing out our hair and losing our hearing, the first Unwound box arrives at finer retailers today. We’ve detailed the track list elsewhere, but as you might be able to tell from the above, there’s more to Kid Is Gone than 35 brutal post-hardcore songs and a few black and white photos. Here’s what you get for $40:
A 24-page booklet
3 replica covers
1 download card
A shit ton of chip board.
We’ve still got copies of the limited deluxe edition, which includes a bonus fourth LP, only available on our website.
Kid has arrived. Feel the chipboard majesty of rugged slipcase, inner sleeves, and Henry Owings’ stunning box-sized booklet coursing through our YouTube. Or don’t. Give it a try. Late ’80s VHS fidelity does different things to different people, we have to admit.
We’ve left the bonus live LP un-unboxed, for that joy is yours alone, pre-orderers.
One of the awesome parts about working with somewhat contemporary artists is the fastidious self-archiving. Unwound’s Justin Trosper and Sara Lund saved thousands of photos, flyers, clippings, and ‘zines over their ten year run, but nothing is more impressive then the VHS collection that Lund had stored in a Trader Joes-brand brown bag. We recently had the entire caboodle transferred and are slowly going through the footage in an attempt to catalog for a possible Blu-Ray in 2015.
To hold you over until then, we cut together the scant amount of footage featuring original Unwound drummer Brandt Sandeno into this mini video—which does double duty as a reminder to pre-order Kid Is Gone, the first of four box sets we’re issuing by these unsung heroes from Olympia, Washington, over the next two years. Check it out:
The 3LP box is running in a limited edition of 4000 copies worldwide, but we’re also selling a deluxe edition on our website only, that includes an extremely limited bonus 4th LP, a live Sandeno-drummed set recorded in July of 2001. We’re more than halfway sold out, so if you want a copy, don’t just sit on your hands and hope one magically appears in your mail slot.
We just got photos of our upcoming Unwound: Kid Is Gone 3LP box and they sure are pretty. Chipboard, high density black ink, kraft-wrapped jackets… it’s too much. Check it out:
Oh, you didn’t know that Unwound reunited in July of 2001 with their original drummer Brandt Sandeno for a quick run through their old songs at Olympia’s Phoenix Street House? Neither did we. A decade removed from their post-hardcore roots, with heaps of technical proficiency to go around, the trio blazed through their debut album and a few Giant Henry cuts for a select number of Olympians just prior to the release of their final album, Leaves Turn Inside You.
We’re only pressing 1000 of these LPs, and they are only available when you buy Kid Is Gone from our site. We’ll be shipping the box and bonus around 9/15, which means you’ll get KIG a full two weeks prior to the release date and be the envy of your apartment complex.
Kid Is Gone is the unquiet portrait of primal Unwound. Before 1993’s Fake Train ripped through, they’d been Giant Henry, Supertanker, and Cygnus X-1, short-lived black holes gathering dark material into something built to explode. From Justin Trosper, Vern Rumsey, and Brandt Sandeno’s first restive years, “Crab Nebula” might’ve best prepared the indie-sphere for what Unwound became, had Sandeno’s split not stalled their planned debut. Part 1 in Numero’s 4-part reissue project, Kid Is Gone documents signal chaos in Olympia’s fertile scene before Unwound’s turbulent noise hit stride, in unrevealed period photos, 34 tracks, and three LPs—cassette-only demos, early 7”s, a KAOS radio broadcast, material tracked live in a local basement, and all of what became 1994’s Unwound, on which the band’s prehistory plays out in a feral maelstrom of screaming, distortion, feedback, and abrasive promise.
When Justin Trosper and Ken shipley were going through a grip of Unwound cassettes on the path to sequencing the first Unwound box (there’s a total of four coming), they came across a number of curious anomalies. An X-Ray Cafe show from 1992 where Sara Lund was mysteriously missing for the first 25 minutes of the set is perhaps the best find (Bass and guitar-only Flipper covers ensue), but a KAOS live set from May of 1992 is just behind it.
After Trosper, Vern Rumsey, and original drummer Brandt Sandeno finished their feral set, a set of prescient voices follow. The first is that of semi-legendary producer Steve Fisk, who would go on to produce six of the band’s seven albums. After Steve’s Station ID/warning comes and goes, a stuffy-headed 19 year old Sara Lund breaks in. Unwound was in the KAOS studio at the behest of Lund and spoken word artist Sue Fox, whose radio show they invaded for what Fox described as a “uh, uh, uh…very…interesting” set. Lund would replace Sandeno before the year was out and change the trajectory of the band entirely.
One little radio show that foreshadowed so much. Only in Olympia.
Our third entry into the RSD2013 madness is an LP’s worth of recordings from the band that would ultimately give way to Unwound: Giant Henry. Our original plan with Unwound and RSD was an elaborate box of all their singles, but the packaging just couldn’t come together quick enough. Justin Trosper had the idea of including much of Giant Henry’s 1991 recordings in the first of the four Unwound box sets, but we collectively felt that Big Baby made a nice prequel. The 13 song LP was cut from the original tape (plus a single live cut), and captures the band in their Bleach-ed out halcyon days on a single slab of marbled grey vinyl in an edition of 1050. Taking a cue from the scene they came kicking and screaming out of, we’ve hand screened and stamped the jackets. Stoughton Printing fabricated an all black tip on jacket that has been slathered in silver ink in three variations: The childhood photos of Brandt Sandeno, Vern Rumsey, and Justin Trosper. The accompanying insert was printed on 80lb black paper in silver ink, with one side taken up by a photo of the band shot by a young Kathleen Hanna and the other filled with reflections for singer/guitarist Justin Trosper.
Not feeling the white-hot pro to-grunge moves of these Tumwater teens? Try picking up this triple cassette of the first Kill Rock Stars compilations:
For the third year in a row, the Numero Group will “pop up” on Record Store Day as a retail store. Much vitriol and hate has been spewed at us in the past for our circumvention of “the rules,” and since we’re gluttons for punishment (but really because we’re slaves to our fans) we’re loading up our cars and renting tables in hopes of breaking last year’s record of 1062 entrants.
While last year’s bonanza found us occupying the Empty Bottle’s 3000 square feet, we’ve opted for a smaller and more low key space this year. Meet the Comfort Station:
Located triangularly at the intersections of Kedzie/Milwaukee/Logan Blvd, this turn of the century park district way station has been hosting left field artists for the last half decade. We’ve been drawn to the building for years, marveling at its odd size and multiple points of entry on our way to $3 movies at the Logan Theater. Last year’s event was a massive success, but also a massive headache. We’re hoping this cozier space leads to a more enjoyable experience for both Numero and our customers. We’ll have every Numero record that is currently in print, plus the following “exclusive” Record Store Day items:
NUM704 Hüsker Dü: Amusement 2×7″
NUM202.1 Giant Henry: Big Baby LP
NUM201.5 Codeine: What About The Lonely? CD/LP
Additionally, we’ll be manufacturing several items you can only buy at Comfort Station that day:
NUM025.5 24-Carat Black: Acetate picture disc 10″
This “acetate” features four songs from our 24-Carat Black tape archive that were scorched beyond use on 2009′s Gone: The Promises of Yesterday LP/CD. But given the quality of the songs, we’ve always felt that the material should be available for the sake of posterity alone. Now, in an edition of 500 copies, you too can experience the sorrow we felt as the source tape disintegrated in front of our eyes. All the drop-outs, hiss, warble, and degradation can be yours by attending our pop-up store on April 20th 2013. It looks like this:
We’re also making a series of mix tapes by the working staff of the Numero Group. Ken, Tom, Rob, Zach, Jon, Nate, Dustin, Leland, Michael, and Haley have created 40-minute, themed mixes of their favorite released and unreleased Numero songs. Each tape is limited to 20 copies and will be sold for $5. All proceeds go to the Numero RSD lunch fund.
In addition to our own junk, we’ll have a handful of tables filled with rare, weird, and cheap LPs, 45s, tapes. For the third year in a row, we are not recommending that you only attend our store on Record Store Day. You should definitely visit Reckless (3 locations), Dusty Groove, Permanent, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, Dave’s, Jazz Record Mart, and Saki, which will have all of our non-pop up store RSD goods.
So, where are you going to start queuing up at 7AM on April 20th 2013?
The Numero Store
2579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
April 20th 2013
Filed under: Unwound
On Monday we received three large boxes full of Unwound ephemera. “Treasure trove” doesn’t begin to describe: