Numero Group: By The Numbers

New Numero 45s for your jukebox
November 29, 2012, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Eccentric Soul 45s, Subscription, Twinight

We just got samples in of the next three additions to our ever-expanding line of 45s. We announced both ES-030 and 031 earlier this week, but that guy on the right? That’s Chuck & Mac’s “Powerful Love” b/w “The Bear.” We’ve been inundated with requests for this title since the A-side’s placement in Rian Johnson’s Looper. TWI-135 marks our eleventh entry in the Twinight 45 series. Astute readers will notice our change to Twinight’s second label design, a move we’ve been considering for the last four years of not issuing any Twinight singles.

Signs Of The Time is pulled from the archives of Mel Turnage, the man behind the Elements of Peace—as featured in Eccentric Soul: Omnibus. We’ve got a few dozen tapes on our shelves from Turnage’s turn as a producer in 1970s St. Louis, hopefully this is the first of many releases from his archive.

Finally, we’re thrilled to issue the first two offerings from what will be a massive overview of Cash Recordings. Both of these Notations songs were sitting on a mouldering tape in a dilapidated barn on the outskirts of Nashville when we found them in November of 2011. “Saving” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Here’s a few more photos from that excavation:

A. This drawer was a rats nest.

B. Most of the tapes were unfortunately not stored in plastic tubs.

C. Inside the barn where these tapes were rescued. That’s a Neve console under that blue tarp.

Two of the above 45s are available via our 45 club now. Chuck & Mac will be available on our website soon, and from finer retailers around the first of  the new year.

Numero’s Class of 2013 (subscribe or die)
November 26, 2012, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Dynamic, Eccentric Soul 45s, Medusa, Newsworthy, Subscription

(Seasons) Greetings Numerophiles!

Another year in the books and we are no wiser, wealthier, or healthier. Such is the life of running “the world’s greatest reissue label” (Spin Magazine said it, but who can disagree?)—a title we aim to hold onto in 2013 by upping the ante from custom 45 boxes and gold embossed velvet to four alternate LP covers and a playable board game. 2013 marks our tenth year in business, a headboard notch we’ll scratch in elaborate fashion over the coming year. We hope you can join us on this journey.

We’re very aware that the last two titles of 2012 Vinyl Subscriptions have yet to ship. If we had it our way, both Medusa: First Step Beyond LP and Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label 3LP would be in our warehouse and awaiting placement in a custom mailer. But alas, delays at the manufacturer have made these impossible to ship before the 10th of January. Oddly enough, however, the first three subscription items for 2013 are already in house and will be on your doorstep before the menorah is stowed for 2014. Part One is a mixed bag of soul, garage, hard rock, funk, and gospel, split across ten LPs and six 45s. As always we’ll be offering a bonus 45 and a 15% discount on our entire catalog. On deck:

NUM701 Pretty: Mustache In Your Face+3 2×7″

Recorded in an actual cave in western Missouri, the quartet formerly known as the Fabulous Four emerged from the depths in 1969 with an album’s worth of wasted psychedelia. Helmed by the Electric Prunes’ Michael Quint, the session produced one promo-only 45, bearing the truly un-pretty Squeakie label—a madman’s face in red-on-white, howling out of the spindle hole. The songs blend backwards guitar lines, Flamenco runs, triple tracked  vocals, heavy distortion, handclaps, key vamps, a Stones rip, and extremely absurd lyrical content. “Mustache In Your Face” and its flip have been paired with two other magical numbers, their five business card story, and stuffed into a cherry gatefold sleeve.

NUM702 Wicked Lester: You Are Doomed+3 2×7″

No, not the first incarnation of Kiss, just three wasted kids from Cleveland, Ohio, infatuated with the new wave of british heavy metal. Kick-started in Cleveland in 1979, girls, drugs, sports, and jock rivalry fueled Wicked Lester’s aggressive “fuck the draft” sound. Minted at Boddie in 1981, Wicked Lester’s lone single paired “Here Comes My Girlfriend” with the lovesick, late-Pink Floyd moves of “Say Your Prayers,” recorded on the same ominous day that John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan. We’ve added two unreleased tracks, thrown all four sides into a beautiful gatefold 7” sleeve, and added a couple thousand words about their near-meaningless existence.

NUM703 Cave Dwellers: Run Around+3 2×7″

Recorded in 1967 at Chicago’s Universal Studios and laboriously laden with Buckinghams-style horns and strings, the Cave Dwellers thought they’d locked their first hit down. Given just a few minutes to produce a b-side, the quintet unleashed their primitive and theretofore-unheard power. “Run Around” ended up a punk precursor that took contemporary rock to its tough, angry, and logical conclusions, scorching past anything the radio ran in its day. Intending only to tear off something fast and easy, the Dwellers had achieved one of Chicago garage rock’s most ferocious moments. That original Jim-Ko single has been reproduced alongside two previously unissued rockers and housed in a glorious gatefold sleeve with copious notes and quotes from a confused newsman about the “longhair” invasion.

NUM043 Eccentric Soul: The Dynamic Label 2LP

Born out of the largesse created from Rene & Rene’s Hot 100 Tejano tornado “Angelito,” Dynamic Records was but one of half a dozen labels run by San Antonio music and real estate mogul Abe Epstein. His flag ship group, the Commands, took their AFB circuit-honed chops up to the middle of the charts in 1966 with “No Time For You,” paving the way for 20 other soulful singles over Dynamic’s impressive two and a half year run. Epstein’s open door policy led to a diverse cross section of the population converging inside his studio on General McMullan Drive, as whites, blacks, and Latinos were swapped in and out of groups as needed. That melting pot mentality is well represented by the Tonettes, Little Jr. Jesse & the Tear Drops, Don & the Doves, Willie Cooper & the Webs, Bobby Blackmon & his Soul Express, and Doc & Sal. Compiled here are 28 of Dynamic’s most intriguing sides, representing the first layer of a treasure trove of San Antonio soul we’ll be unleashing over the coming year.<p>

CT-102 Mickey & the Soul Generation: Complete Recordings 3LP

For the tenth anniversary of DJ Shadow’s Cali-Tex records’ reissue of Mickey & the Soul Generation’s complete works, Numero has gone back to the scene of the crime and re-canvased for new leads. Expanded liner notes, a previously unissued ballad, and the first ever vinyl issue of the second CD’s contents are included here, alongside half a dozen previously unpublished photographs of this multi-ethnic funk combo from San Antonio, Texas.

NUM040 Good God! Apocryphal Hymns 2LP

The third entry into our Good God! series abandons funk altogether, instead focusing on the esoteric moments found buried deep on private-issue LPs from the the Me Decade. Featuring four unique album covers pulled straight from the pages of the Century stock jacket catalog, Apocryphal Hymns examines a world buried deep on side 2, those lost moments of experimental praise and devotion recorded as an after thought for a listener who needed no turntable.

N44004 King Bullard Version LP

The fourth release in our trad LP-only Numerophon line gathers highlights from James Bullard’s  BOS label. BOS got its start inside Lester Johnson and Bill Branch’s Way Out concern, running the gospel wing of Cleveland’s largest black-owned record company, and picking up a ton of Way Out’s soulful flavor in the process. This single LP features 14 songs, with liner notes by noted gospel historian John Glassburner.

NUM047 Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label 2LP

A king’s ransom of soul and funk from the City of Fountains (Kansas City for the uninformed), all produced under the watchful eye of TV producer Ellis Taylor. Though the label’s star was James Brown Revue castaway Marva Whitney, Taylor’s 15-year yield included singles by the likes of the Fantastiks, Gene Williams, Lee Harris, the Rayons, the Four Darlings, Everyday People, Sharon Revoal, Louis Chachere, Tony Ashley, the Fabulous Rhythm Makers, and Marva’s brother James Whitney.

The compact disc edition of our 2013 subscription surfs the above edges, but is a bit… well… more compact, and cheaper. Our plan is to issue only six titles in our main line next year, though to be fair, one of them is an elaborate double disc. We’re not quite sure what the final disc of 2013 is going to be, but it will be either an entry into our Buttons or Local Customs series. Of course all six will meet or exceed our standard for packaging, notes, research, and over all quality, plus you get the 15% discount and the bonus 45.

NUM043 Eccentric Soul: The Dynamic Label CD

NUM040 Good God! Apocryphal Hymns CD

NUM047 Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label CD

NUM048 Title TBA CD

Hair, Hobbits, and Hard Rock. Let these 15 hard rock blasterpieces from the private ’70s soundtrack to your next D&D or Magic the Gathering night. Dungeon map and 20 sided die included.<p>

NUM050 Title TBA 2CD+Book

In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound was bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Not known for its abundance of soul nor a sizable African American population, Minneapolis still harbored a tight-knit community of musicians who, between 1976 and 1984, manipulated the dance music of their coastal contemporaries into a brightly lit, multicolored, energetic fusion, taking R&B’s innate danceability and giving it a glam-rock sheen. The most shakeable moments have been compiled onto two discs, with a hardback book packed with photos and stories from this vibrant scene. Lesser royalty? Perhaps. But the blood here runs purple.

Finally, we’re officially launching our 45 subscription. The Eccentric Soul 45 subscription guarantees two 45s every other month, delivered directly to your door. Content will be a mix of previously unissued material and straight-up rare-as-all-get-out 45s from the soul diaspora. All singles are housed in a glorious duotone sleeve and slide perfectly into the Numero 45 box for easy storage. We’re even tossing in the subscriber-only bonus 45 from the CD and LP subscriptions. The first three singles are as follows:

ES-030 Signs Of The Time “Hurts So Bad” b/w “I Think Of You”
ES-031 Notations “That Girl” b/w “I’m For Real”
ES-032 James Dockery “My Faith In You Is All Gone” b/w “Giving You The Love You Need”

Let’s recap:

2013 Vinyl Subscription (Part 1): $150
2013 CD Subscription: $120
2013 Eccentric Soul 45 Subscription: $75

International subscriptions will ship in blocks of two to keep prices low.

Your patronage, as always, is appreciated. We couldn’t do this without you.

Numero 2012 LP Subscription Part 2
June 5, 2012, 7:47 am
Filed under: Alfonso Lovo, Cult Cargo, Eccentric Soul, Newsworthy, Subscription

Attention, sonically adventurous LP subscribers! Put that Pisces record aside, tuck Belize City Boil Up back in its sleeve and try to live without Johnny Lunchbreak for a moment; the second half of the Numero LP Subscription is about to take up camp in your earhole and we are genre-rich this time around. This isn’t just something for everyone, it’s something for you. That’s right, we know who you are. As the series unfolds, you’ll be looking for five new ways to say, “holy shit.” And that’s without having to remind you you get 15% off catalog in any format.

Enough already, this is happening soon to a turntable near you:

NUM004 Buttons: Starter Kit 2LP

Our entry-level power pop compilation features 22 songs from the original, long out-of-print Numero 004, plus two bonus cuts, new liners, 22 separate sleeve repros with rare photos and ephemera tucked into a 7″ vinyl bag and housed in a spot varnished, thick-as-a-brick gatefold sleeve.

NUM044 Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago 2LP

A sugar-coated tribute to the state Numero calls home, From Champaign To Chicago is a 19-track survey of Illinois’ cheapest tricks, beginning in 1973 with Peoria outliers the Jets and ending in 1987 with Romeoville’s Julian Leal and his Dick Clark-approved “Get Away.” From Champaign to Chicago connects the various micro power-pop scenes that once pockmarked the now wrinkled face of the Land of Lincoln.

NUM046 Cult Cargo: La Gigantona LP

The son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician, Alfonso Noel Lovo was a choice target for the Sandinista rebels who hijacked his homeward flight from Miami in December of 1971, ultimately putting several rounds through the talented musician’s torso and hand. After several years, and as many surgeries, he would break new ground on this psychedelic swirl of Latin jazz and pan-American funk with his musical partner, percussionist Jose “Chepito” Areas of Santana fame. Long unavailable, La Gigantona has lived its forty years lost in the grooves of a single acetate. Imagine a Nicaraguan take on Herbie Hancock’s Afro-jazz masterpiece Mwandishi with some of the most penetrating, left-field guitar you’ve never heard.

NUM003 Eccentric Soul: The Bandit Label 3LP

Our post-nascent number two in the Eccentric Soul series, Bandit gets epic as we further dissect the improbable world of Chicago’s Arrow Brown and his near-cult of musicians, singers, pimps, prostitutes and would-be child stars. Since its original issue nearly 8 years ago, we’ve unearthed more story, more photographs and yes, more music. An extra lp’s worth of music, in fact, accompanied by a 12″ by 12″ 40 page bound book containing a 20,000 word essay and dozens of unseen photographs and ephemera. A final, definitive edition of one of Chicago’s most eccentric soul producers.

Medusa S/T LP

While it teetered from the cliff of Sabbath to the canyon of prog, Medusa’s self-titled debut LP never saw the inside of a record bin. Regulars on Chicago’s ’75 to ’78 rock club scene, this multi-gendered, semi-coven brought their dark vision on weeknights to dirt-bag pleasure palaces like Tuts and The Hanger. Housed in a black velour LP jacket with the truly amazing Medusa logo embossed in red and gold, Medusa finally gets a proper debut, bringing back acid-tinged, classic-rock riffs to Numero fans in search of blood.

Tease yourself by listening to the below:

If there is $120 in your bank account, you can sign up here.

Subscription Bonus Item En Route
May 24, 2012, 2:47 pm
Filed under: Subscription

The subscriber bonus 45 is finally hitting the mail, shipped alongside the stellar new Eccentric Soul series entry, A Red Black & Green Production. This compilation assembles the underheard and in some cases unreleased production work of master engineer and producer R. Jose Williams. The pairing of these two is not accidental: the bonus 45 features an early, lo-fi production of Hosea’s. Although the title scrawled on the tape box (“If I Had A Magic Wand”) wasn’t exactly accurate, there’s no doubt the source: it’s a tune called “Nothing from Nothing”, originally recorded (we believe) in Los Angeles for Bobby Sanders’ Pick-A-Hit label. There are no clues left as to how it made the trek across the country to the District of Columbia and wound up in the capable hands of Renee Acker. It’s a gem of a  song and, while it didn’t quite fit alongside other productions that Mr. Williams helmed, we want to share this heretofore unreleased material with our subscribers, dressed up with the distinctive label that acetates from Edgewood Studios bore. [CD subscribers will get it with 044 Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago in early July. Sorry to tantalize you early.]

Los Nombres: Asterisk’s Cosa Nuestra
December 19, 2011, 5:51 pm
Filed under: Asterisk, Boddie, Subscription

One part War, two parts Santana, a dash of Motown, immersed in a rich Puerto Rican stock, Los Nombres were the undisputed kings of Northern Ohio’s rust-belt barrios. Following successive explosions of brown-eyed and Latin soul in Los Angeles and New York in the mid and late ’60s, Lorain, Ohio’s Boricua underdogs went on a recording tear in nearby Cleveland, going all-in on a series of no-budget recordings at Boddie and Way Out. With a voice that rivaled any on the Fania roster, Willie Marquez led the rotating cast of Latino teens through numerous underfunded recording sessions for the Day-Wood, Beth, and Lorain Sounds imprints, the lo-fi fruits of which are compiled here.

Sign up for a 2012 Vinyl or CD subscription, should you wish to ring in the new year with this fantastic collection of Latin funk and lowrider soul. Should you wish to buy it a la carte, check back January 2nd.

Numero March Update and Press Round Up
November 17, 2011, 11:33 am
Filed under: Eccentric Soul Revue, Numero Press, Subscription, Syl Johnson, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

As the Numero van traverses east into the Carolinas today before stopping for an eventful night at Horizon Records in Greenville S.C., we have been holding down the fort over here shipping out the last of the 2011 Vinyl Subscriptions and pre-orders. 2012 Subscriptions are now available at our web store and will remain up for the next few months while the 2011.5 Part 2 Vinyl Subscription will be up until the end of the day tomorrow. In preparation of Numero’s march into Durham there has been a tidal-wave of pro-numero propaganda that has swept through the Triangle, check it out below.

Independent Weekly Cover Feature

Duke Performances Syl Interview

Yes Weekly

Durham Magazine

The Daily Tar-Heel

Also if you’re not convinced to buy the Boddie box set make sure to check out today’s NPR Morning Edition with Tony Cox  at 1:30 EST today with Louise Boddie and Numero Archivist Dante Carfagna, who are going be chatting about the history and music of the Boddie Recording Company. Don’t Sleep.

Speaking about public radio, check out this clip from two nights ago on WFMU’s The Best Show with Tom Scharpling where he gets an unexpected caller.  Note – this is not some kid with a Syl Johnson Soundboard, it’s the man himself. Listen below.

Syl Johnson on the Best Show

2012 Numero Subscription
November 16, 2011, 1:58 pm
Filed under: Subscription, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

As 2012 rears its ugly, apocalyptic head we will be busy in our bustling two-flat on Marshall Blvd keeping busy to give you some new sonic fodder in preparation of an inevitable global cataclysm. So while your gathering diced peaches and ordering that disaster kit from Sky-Mall you’ve  always wanted, we will be upping the ante by putting out a new Numero or Numero-related good each month the whole year.

The 2012 release schedule will move the mainline catalog into the 40’s by offering six new releases and two new vinyl issues of previously CD-only titles. These releas will make up a majority of the content in the 2012 subscriptions, but there will be a number of releases peppered in for good measure for subscribers to use their discount. Boddie has truly been a gift that keeps on giving with four releases this next year that have ties to Cleveland and Boddie, all crammed between several new Eccentric Soul titles and two helpings of power pop (old and new).

Like in 2011, the 2012 subscription includes free shipping, priority (first in line, not USPS) shipping, guaranteed bonus subscriber only and pre-order items and extras, 15% off all numero online purchases (excluding new subscriptions) and anything else we have in mind. The 2011 CD subscription runs all year while the 2012 vinyl subscription will be again broken down into two digestible parts (and yes there will be discount on the 2nd part 2012 vinyl subscription for customers who pick up both). Here they are:

2012 CD Subscription (8 CD’s Total) $100.00

AST-09 Los Nombres: S/T CD

NUM042 Lou Ragland: I Travel Alone 3CD

NUM041 Eccentric Soul: A Red Green Black Production CD

NUM044 TBT IL Power Pop Comp  CD

NUM040 Good God! Title TBA CD

NUM043 Eccentric Soul: Cash Recordings CD

2012 LP Subscription (14 LP’s Total) $150.00

NUM039 Eccentric Soul: The Nickel and Penny Labels 2LP

AST-09 Los Nombres: S/T LP

NUM042 Lou Ragland: I Travel Alone 4LP

NUM042.5 Love Apple: S/T LP

NUM041 Eccentric Soul: A Red Green Black Production 2LP

NUM044 TBT IL Power Pop Comp 2LP

NUM004 Yellow Pills: Pre-fill 2LP

Get’em here while their hot!

LP Subscriptions will be shipped immediately with NUM039 vinyl while CD subscriptions will be shipped around the first of the new year with AST-09.

Listen to the Needle Drop

Also if you are not a subscriber-

NUM039 Eccentric Soul: The Nickel and Penny Labels LP available here

NUM035 Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, OH CD available here

NUM2011.5 Numero Vinyl Subscription still available until Friday here