Filed under: Epstein Recording Co., Newsworthy, Record Store Day, Uncategorized, White Zombie
It’s that time of the year again. Wait, that’s exactly how we started this off last year. We’ve run out of ideas, folks. From here on out it’s going to be one rehash after another, as we trot out both tired tropes and borderline product in a vein attempt at maintaining RSD cred. We’ve tried to do interesting things in the past, be it WTNG or Los Alamos Grind! Our hope was that the average RSD chud-thumber might need a break from flipping past 311 triple 11” box sets, Feldman & Haim rap 12”s, and Mac Demarco reading fan tweets EPs. But it turns out that most people just want the same reheated garbage every year. You’ve been burned before with long lines and punishing prices, and if we get our way it’ll be more of the same, with hopefully longer lines and even higher prices. Who are we to argue with your terrible life choices?
But this is Numero, after all, and if we’re going to go big, we’re going to do it in a way that surely frustrates record buyers. In the past when we trotted out Hüsker Dü and Dinosaur Jr. sets, we pressed them in quantities that insured against the flipper economy. We wanted to make enough so that average fans who didn’t set up tents on the street the night before RSD would have a chance to buy our wares at an affordable price. Not this year. This year we’re pressing just enough copies to make you wonder if we actually pressed anything at all. The only way you’ll know for sure is if you come to one of our pop up stores (details below), pop a tent, or get a bowl of Pop Secret in your lap for the long, dark night of eBay refreshing for the soul.
Recorded in two hours as the cheapest studio in the phone book, White Zombie’s sophomore single Gods On Voodoo Moon is back in print on 45 for the first time since bassist Sean Yseult hand-photocopied 300 copies at the Parsons campus print shop in 1985. Limited to 2000 copies on Zombie Blood, Zombie Puss, or Zombie Black colored vinyl.
What does teen spirit smell like, anyway? It might smell something like Noise Addict. Like the real life stars of some sort of choose-your-own-adventure book about pursuing rock stardom, few bands ever led a more charmed existence, springing from the Sydney suburb of Bondi into seemingly overnight international fame as friends and collaborators of Sonic Youth, Fugazi, and the Beastie Boys. Through a combination of relentless drive, luck, and an admirable lack of self-doubt, Noise Addict spanned puberty to surpass the haters and join Radio Birdman and Nick Cave as a strange but permanent piece of Australian punk history.
Compiled here are 25 tracks, including their Evan Dando-worshipping satire “I Wish I Was Him,” the Thurston Moore produced demo, choice cuts from their Grand Royal-issued EP and LP, and covers of “Let’s Lynch The Landlord” and “Back In Your Life.” The entire sordid adolescent tale is covered in incredible detail inside the black and white 16 page zine. And finally, for the first time in the history of record pressing, and for no good reason at all, the cover for 10,000 Kids With Guitars doubles as a working chalkboard. Limited to 2000 copies on black vinyl.
There are hundreds of bootlegs out there to sate the ravenous soulero set, and so often they incorporate songs in the vast Numero catalog. Rather than beat them, Numero joins them with our answer to the iconic East Side Story series. Eschewing our classic look and standard-bearing copious notes for sardonic artwork and impeccable selections, Numbero is proud to present a ‘bootleg’ you can be proud of (because it’s all licensed). This time we’ve set our sights on the most unique of soul cultures: the irreplicable melting pot of San Antonio. Included here are all songs never before issued other than in minuscule pressings on 45, never distributed outside of Bexar County limits.
The Southwest Side Story rolas are obscure everywhere in the United States while eliciting intense nostalgia on the South and West Sides of San Antonio to this day. This could be a greatest hits of DJs like Henry Pena, who began his rein in the ’60s and continues it today with many of these same selections. Including such local luminaries as the Royal Jesters, Sonny Ace, the Dreamliners, Al Castana, Dino Bazan & the Dell Tones, George Jay & the Rockin’ Ravens, the Eptones, the Volumes, and Henry Pena, who never fully disappeared from view in the Alamo City. This nicely supplements our other San Antonio collections without redundancy. Limited to 2000 copies on black vinyl.
Numero Group Pop Up Stores: Chicago & Atlanta
With the Factory Outlet tour and Record Store Day overlapping, we decided to set up not one, but two stores on April 22nd 2017. As has been our habit for the last four years in Chicago, we’re setting up in Logan Square’s Comfort Station from 10-5PM. In addition to an assortment of trusted dealers shucking used 45s and LPs, we’ll have every in-print Numero LP, CD, 45, and whatever other miscellaneous debris we can find on hand at the lowest prices we can afford to sell them at. And, as has been a staple of our sales, we’ll be unloading hundreds of LPs with dinged corners at prices just barely above cost. Condition freaks need not browse these bins, but those looking to round out their Numero collection on the cheap should be sure to bring ample time and cash.
Saturday, April 22nd 2017
2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
In Atlanta we’ll be doing something much more absurd. Sure, we’ll have all the exclusive items, the dinged stock, and yeah, even a limited-to-200 replica of Sonia Ross’s brilliant Tragar 45 “Every Now And Then” b/w “Let Me Be Free.” But when our art director Henry Owings got involved, we all wanted to crank it up a notch. With the help of our pals at Pabst, we’ve rented a 350 gallon dunk tank. Yes, for the low cost of $1 you will have the chance to dunk a wide array of Atlanta’s most reviled sociopaths, plus Numero founders Ken Shipley and Rob Sevier. All to benefit Camp Olio, an East Atlanta nature-based after school program, because we’re such nice people, and also because the world loves to bring a person down a peg by dunking them in a bath of dirty, lukewarm water.
Saturday, April 22nd 2017
529 Flat Shoals Ave, SE
Atlanta, GA 30316
This Saturday June 20th, we mosey on down to San Antonio to celebrate the release of Royal Jesters: English Oldies. There will be era/aura appropriate DJ sets by our own Rob Sevier, Ruben Molina (Southern Soul Spinners, Los Angeles), and Rae D. Cabello (who made the snazzy flyer below). We feel fortunate to be able to mark this occasion with the fine people of San Antonio before we take the music of the Royal Jesters to the global masses next Tuesday.
Hitones + 621 E. Dewey Place, San Antonio, TX
$3 at the Door
Filed under: Royal Jesters | Tags: Lowrider, Lowrider Oldies, Ritmo Chido, Royal Jesters, Soulero
Twenty-eight homespun stunners from the Alamo City’s scrappiest souleros. The Royal Jesters were the kings of San Antonio’s cross-cultural teen scene in the 1960s, soundtracking lovelorn slow dances with their heart-sick harmonies. For the first time, English Oldies gathers the best early doo-wop, R&B, and blazing Latin rock and soul from these Tex-Mex masterminds—a simmering melting pot of diverse regional flavors, best served hot.
Filed under: Dynamic, Good God!, Iasos, Lists, Medusa, Mind & Matter, Unwound
It’s been quiet around these parts the last week, with nearly half our staff in Texas either working on projects or solidifying our position as the greatest reissue label in the world. Rob Sevier nailed down catalogs in Houston and continued to research the follow up to Eccentric Soul: The Dynamic Label (with help from our San Antonio connections, Rae Cabello and Chris Varelas). That project, a triple CD/quintuple LP tentatively titled Epstein Recording Co.: San Antonio, Texas, is slated for a 2014 release, and is something of a dissertation on the “West Side Sound” that cropped up in the Alamo City in the early ’60s. Ken Shipley participated in panel on archiving for the Library of Congress at SXSW. The rest of us got wasted.
While we were gone we missed the release date for Dynamic (which you should really consider purchasing), and returned to find a mid-depth interview on our Texas holdings in the latest issue of Texas Monthly by long time Numero supporter Andy Beta.
Filed under: Dynamic, Eccentric Soul, Eccentric Soul 45s, Epstein Recording Co., The Commands | Tags: no-hitters, The Webs
Eccentric Soul? Can we continue to release records in our flagship series after going so far out into the stratosphere with the ridiculous 045 Eccentric Soul: Omnibus? It’s been a long time since we’ve even done a standard Eccentric Soul release (if there is such a thing), going back to last May’s Red, Black, & Green Productions. It’s going to take something really special to get this series back on track, and without a doubt The Dynamic Label is it. Even label proprietor Abie Epstein knew it was something special, and cordoned it off from the esoteric muddle that filled up his Cobra and Jox labels by the mid-1960s. The Commands were one of those groups that truly seemed destined for national or international greatness, and only a combination of foibles and missteps seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The Webs moved on to New York and quite nearly made it there with a few songs that nibbled at the charts. The usual motley crew of one-offs (half-offs, really) and no-hitters supports as usual. Check out the needledrop here for a taste of the poison:[audio https://numerogroup.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/the-dynamic-label-featuring-commands.mp3]
It doesn’t matter that this was several years in the making, that several other labels (over the decades) tried and failed to get a crack at issuing the Dynamic label’s bounty, this thing is, without hyperbole, a distillation of pure joy into musical form and the same feeling one feels the first time they hear soul music. Just as good listen after listen after listen (so say the folks who have had this stuff on repeat for years.) Buy the Dynamic label, it is on sale now (shipping to arrive close to the release date of March 14th.
Filed under: Dynamic, Eccentric Soul, The Commands, Uncategorized | Tags: Atlantic Records, Jerry Wexler
The year Jerry Wexler helped sign Led Zeppelin to Atlantic Records, he was offered a much less potentially lucrative offer: a license deal for the latest single from The Commands. After Abie Epstein’s failed agreement for The Commands’ first single with Don Robey’s Backbeat label, his correspondence shows he started looking north of the Mason-Dixon for better options. Help from above never came, and the Dynamic label continued it’s downward spiral. Much more on this in the forthcoming Eccentric Soul release The Dynamic Label, coming March 12 (available for pre-order very soon.)