Pictured here is our new shipping space, or as it has come to be known, ‘The Dead Zone.’ That is because our trusty shipping duo, Drew Davis and Stephen Arndt, has been playing literally NOTHING but Grateful Dead bootlegs since we arrived. And while the commune still has sufficient musical rations to last through the Winter, it got us to thinking: perhaps YOU have some Grateful Dead tapes we could have? So this is a call to arms, Code Name: BRING OUT YOUR DEAD. Have your Dead tapes become clutter in the digital age? BRING OUT YOUR DEAD! Trying to obscure your transient past from your new family? BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!
-ALL Pigpen Era shows (1966-1972), ESPECIALLY examples of the Phil Lesh tune “Cardboard Cowboy.”
-Soundboard tapes are preferred but not mandatory.
-Stephen calls it quits in 1989, while Drew enjoys the Spring Tour of 1990.
-Overall, “sick-ass J-cards” meaning cassettes that have custom Grateful Dead/fan templates (examples below)
But really anything is fair game. For questions (or to arrange shipping for larger collections) please contact email@example.com. Your good vibes help promote a positive shipping environment for our staff Dead Heads. And for that, we are grateful (pardon pun). Our mailing address: The Dead Zone c/o The Numero Group: 2533 S. Troy St. Chicago, IL 60642
P.S. “Tell them we know about archive.org” -Stephen Arndt
Filed under: Newsworthy
Behold—the former site of the Success Bottling Works, the future site of the Numero Group.
We, like you, hate moving. There’s never enough boxes, renting a truck is miserable (89 cents a mile?!?), and waiting for the cable guy is a Samuel Beckett play come to life. Since the end of the July we’ve been operating out of two buildings, our new digs on Troy Street (an old bottling factory turned into a body shop turned into a record company) and our beloved brick two flat on Marshall Blvd. And while our computers are humming and record players turning at Troy (seven for the office at last count), we’ve got tens of thousands of 45s, LPs, and CDs on the shelves at Marshall that cannot be moved because we physically don’t have boxes to move them in (We do have thousands of mailers, however). This is where you come in.
As our lease expires August 31st, we are having a once in a decade sale on our website. Every single item released prior to 2015 will be on sale at wholesale prices. That means that the price we sell these to record stores at is now your price. Let’s dumb it down even further: The price you pay at a record store? Cut that in half. That’s about as much math as we’re going to do here, but feel free to correct us on the exact discount percentage in the comments section when you place you order. Ridicule encouraged!
Let us be extremely clear: Almost every one of the nearly 300 records we’ve made will be on sale for seven days at wholesale prices. Here’s a few examples of the savings you could experience:
Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound 4XLP. Normally $85, now $55!
Codeine: When I See The Sun 6XLP+3CD. Normally $75, now $52!
Dinosaur Jr: Visitors 5×7”. Normally $35, now $22!
Sandy Denny & the Strawbs: All Our Own Work 2LP. Normally $20, now $13.50!
The list goes on and on. If you know anything about us, you know we subscribe to the Elaine Benes school of exclamation usage. But look at all those excited punctuation marks up there. That’s how serious about moving these records we are. Are you in Chicago and want to come down here and dig through the detritus? Get in touch and we’ll let you rummage around. Just bring cash and your own box! Already panicking about Xmas gifts? Let us help you remove that burdensome money from your account now!
Filed under: The Scientists | Tags: Australia, Australian Punk, Punk, The Scientists
The Scientists went through many incarnations in their nine-year history but are remembered mostly for the lineup that existed from 1981 to 1985. Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Brett Rixon together had the peculiar chemistry that produced the classics, Swampland, Happy Hour, Blood Red River and We Had Love. With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once—as much in the tradition of rock and roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists’ formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. They were about what it was like to be young and living in modern times in an Australian urban/suburban environment. The themes of getting wasted on alcohol and drugs, driving round in hotted-up cars, being trapped in crap jobs and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car-wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures along with other peoples modes of embellishment. They rejected the contemporary sound and look and so consequently were never able to carry around baggage that would allow them to date.
“The Scientist proved to me that rock n roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real.”—Thurston Moore
The Scientists’ 1981 wild debut bewildered Perth, Australia’s punters with its charging anthems centered on themes of young love and alienation. Obvious in its rebellion yet more pop than punk, the self-titled “Pink Album” deftly embodied the tough-yet-danceable outsider aura of The Ramones, and its unheard of, feverish clip shook the shores of the geographically confined Swan Coastal Plain of down under. Recorded just as the lineup of guitarist-vocalist Kim Salmon (The Cheap Nasties), drummer James Baker (The Victims) and bassist Ian Sharples were breaking up, the album stands as a testament to the contagious chops of Perth’s swelling pool of musical talent, and to the promise of Salmon’s unwavering vision that would become one of the most celebrated acts of the Aussie underground.
“They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?”—Warren Ellis
After trekking east from the suburbs of Perth to take new root in Sydney, in 1983 the Scientists hooked up with producer Chris Logan, who’s credited Blood Red River’s imposing sonic girth and rumbling low end, and premier Aussie punk label Au Go Go for an album that would define their unmistakably swampy, psychotic aura. These six songs revisited band leader Kim Salmon’s interest in the Cramps and the Stooges, while adding in the repetitive dementia of Suicide and elements of cow punk twang, with Salmon’s distinctly unrefined Australian accent snarling tales of lust, confusion, and angst.
“The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!”—Jon Spencer
Purchase Blood Red River here.
Peel Sessions are special. They are invitation-only recording engagements, hosted by the British Broadcasting Corporation, curated by radio personality John Peel. It was a broadcast tradition that endured nearly four decades, until Peel’s passing in 2004. In 1998, Unwound was invited to join the prestigious society of recording artists.
There’s nothing better than hearing a band you love talk in detail about the songs you love. For NPR’s “All Songs Considered” series, Unwound guitarist Justin Trosper provides a guided tour through the three tunes that comprise their Peel Session. Unwound: Peel Sessions will be available for the first time via bonus LP, accompanying the exciting conclusion to our Unwound reissue campaign, Empire.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Who is Dante Carfagna? To us, he’s a pal and consummate collector who’s provided records, photos, ephemera, and expertise to make possible several major Numero Group releases. To local night owls, he co-pilots Sheer Magic, Chicago’s longest running monthly soul function (18 years and counting at Danny’s, first Wednesday of every month). Yet to many, he comprises the central nervous system of Express Rising, a recording project that has issued a half-dozen beloved full lengths and singles during this century. Two years is pretty quick turnaround for Express Rising, yet it seems like only yesterday we were Google translating all manners of panicked emails from foreigns customers intent on gripping the last release. Vice made a point via their Noisey blog to announce the new new Express Rising record, which is perhaps Carfagna’s most ambitious yet. Preorder Fixed Rope here and stream the entirety of “Spirit Darts” over at Noisey.
Pursuant of information related to The Edge Of Daybreak’s prison masterpiece, Eyes Of Love, we spent a lot of time on hold with the Virginia Department of Corrections. Surely a coincidence, the VDOC phone system has on tap what has surely become the most notorious piece of modern hold music, “Opus Number One” by Darrick Deel and Tim Carelton. Distributed by Cisco Systems, this simple song was featured prominently in the This American Life episode “Stuck In the Middle” wherein producer Sara Corbertt’s father-in-law becomes obsessed with the enchanting ditty utilized by his healthcare network. Many of us, if not all of us, can relate to the experience of hearing an unShazam’able melody and NEEDING to get to the bottom of it. And while it would be much more romantic to think every reissue project involves some kind of passionate decade-long quest to find Sixto Rodriguez living in Detroit, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” much more accurately portrays what we do here at Numero, every single day.
Preorder The Edge Of Daybreak’s Eyes Of Love here. Listen to “Do You Hear What I Hear?” (℅ This American Life) on their website or just Youtube it below.
As you may have read over at RollingStone.com, our next mainline release will honor a historical recording session that occurred at Virginia’s Powhatan Correctional Facility on September 14th, 1979. Only half of the incarcerated members of Edge Of Daybreak were even aware it was nearly showtime when faculty from Alpha Audio in Richmond arrived at the prison gates for the Eyes Of Love recording session. In just five hurried hours, the band set up and knocked down each of their eight original compositions in one, miraculous take. The resulting LP, Eyes Of Love, is a touching collection of earnest R&B, recorded under the most unfortunate of circumstances.
In its original incarnation (rare as hen’s teeth, FYI), very few concrete facts are conveyed regarding the group’s circumstances. “Our bodies are in prison,” the jacket reads, “but we want our hearts and minds to be with the free world. As you might expect,” Numero’s expansive liner notes touch on each of Edge Of Daybreak’s five principal contributors, detailing their journey from the hollows and metropolises of Virginia to the big house. Never-before-seen photographs (like the one above) accompany this fascinating story of the Virginia Correctional System’s most unlikely breakouts. You can preorder by clicking the album jacket below. Eyes Of Love will be available everywhere October 16th, 2015.