Numero Group: By The Numbers


Yellow Pills O.D.s
March 12, 2010, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Titan, Uncategorized | Tags:

When we started Numero near-on seven years ago, we envisioned keeping every number in print. We had  this romantic idea of someday making a 100 album box set that comes packaged with its own shelving unit. Retail price? Way too much. 

That dream dies today. 

Despite our best efforts to lock down an extension for all of the tracks on Yellow Pills: Prefill, we were unable to get one artist to accept our standard Most Favored Nations deal. As we have less than 40 copies of the double CD in stock , it makes sense to put the record gently to sleep instead of destroying a repress at the eleventh hour. 

While supplies last you can order the album alone for $25, or with Titan: Its All Pop! for $40. If you have any hopes of putting all the Numero compact discs on your shelf at a reasonable price, now is the time to act. In 60 days we’ll be pulling Prefill from our website forever.



One Of The Boys
February 19, 2010, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Methodology, Titan | Tags: ,

Very cool surprise today – a visit from Alan Havlicek of Omaha, Nebraska’s legendary power-pop, proto-glam heroes the Boys. Alan regaled us with tales of rock glory, the down & dirty record “business,” and being fitted with leather codpieces at the state penitentiary. He’s also sitting on hundreds of unreleased Boys tracks we can’t wait to hear. Check out the “then and now,” Alan’s on the far right:

Ken & Alan:



Picked these up at a flea market…
September 30, 2009, 9:09 am
Filed under: Titan | Tags: , , , ,

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Early selects from our proposed Titan 4LP box set. Feedback in the comments section is encouraged!



Brain Lapse Talks Titan
August 27, 2009, 7:50 am
Filed under: Titan | Tags: , ,

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The team of obscuro-pop obsessives over at Brain Lapse Fanzine have recently loosed their thick, glossy, primary-colored first issue upon the grey matter of our nation. The Equals got the cover, Marbles took the centerfold, and The Orbits get several pages awash in baby-blue spot art. Why do you need to know? Because about 1/5 of the issue is dedicated to their super-massive interview with Mark Prellberg and Tom Sorrells, the titans behind Titan—that Kansas City power-pop Olympus brought to you from on high by last year’s Titan: It’s All Pop 2CD compilation.

Tom drops heaps of minute knowledge, while Mark talks mild smack about The Knack…all with the self-deprecating tone we’ve come to expect from these guys:

Tom: On limited-run pressings, we just never made any money. Ever.

Mark: A better way to look at it is, what were the records where we lost the least…?

A trove of classic Titan ephemera—pic sleeves, business cards, iron-ons, etc.—decorates the whole darn thing. You need a copy, don’t you?




Day One: Chicago to Kansas City
December 30, 2008, 10:08 am
Filed under: Methodology, Titan | Tags: , , ,

Apologies if you’ve been frequenting expecting stories from the road, the free wireless internet expectation was a wash and we spent most of the time globbing onto Ben’s iPhone looking for the closest Chili’s. Over the next few days I’m going to transcribe my notes and put them here. Pretend like it’s happening in real time.

Our 4:30AM departure was delayed by an intense ice storm that hit while we were all still in bed. Chicago (and Illinois) is going through something of a budget crisis that has resulted in very few plows and very little salt for the roads. I55, a mere eight blocks south of our office, took ten minutes to reach. The freeway wasn’t any better:

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It took two hours to get to Joliet going an average of 10 MPH in possibly the most dangerous driving conditions I’ve ever experienced. Every 50 yards there was a wreck or someone stuck. By the time we picked up Judson in Dwight, IL we had seen a semi on its side and had helped a family get straightened out and back on the road. We’ll be waiting for our sticker.

And then the sun came up. We reached cities that had a salt budget and got the Uplander to 75. We made good time to St. Louis and stopped for breakfast tacos. The temperature in St. Louis was in the 50s and we lamented not bringing the football. Judson and Rob stripped down to t-shirts. Things were looking up. We hit a shop in Columbia, MO and amidst $7 copies of Foghat and Styx LPs I pulled a nice copy of Leon’s Creation. Judson had the score of the afternoon in the form of an exercise LP that someone’s son loving defaced with hand drawn Exploited, Black Flag and Dead Kennedy’s logos. 

Upon arrival at the home of Titan impresario Mark Prellberg, we immediately preceded to dismantle his record collection. While his collection of freakbeat pic sleeve singles was unreal, it was his absurdly deep Huey Lewis crate that drew the most conversation. I’ve never seen so many copies of “The Heart Of Rock N Roll” in one place. With Ben’s flight being delayed until 130AM we hunkered down in the cat hair for some much needed rest. Unbeknownst to us, Michael’s grandmother had died.



The Japanese are amazing
December 2, 2008, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Titan, Uncategorized


Fricke’n awesome
November 7, 2008, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Titan, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

From the “Never thought I’d see it files” comes this from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke:

I meant to write back sooner, but I have been on deep deadline. I don’t often get to reply or call people about music I get — if I’m not on the road, then I’m writing. It leaves little time for correspondence. But I do appreciate the music you put out and send me and I listen to it all. I don’t get to review everything I get and like — not even close to it — but I DO pay attention to what comes. And I have been listening to the Titan set. I’m not sure what I can do, but I find it fascinating stuff and it is on my radar. I wish I could say more, but I wanted you — and the Titan guys — to know that much.

It’s extremely rare for anyone in the media to return a “listen to our record!” email, even if they’re a friend of yours. I’ve known Brent Dicresenzo at Time Out Chicago for a quarter of my life and even he doesn’t write back. Why? Because email is a flippant and non-effective means of communicating anything meaningful. David Fricke probably gets hundreds of emails a day from publicists and record companies, all trying to shove some bullshit emo-twee sextet down his throat, all completely aware that the likelihood of that promo being in the used bin at Tunes in Hoboken is high. 

Still, it’s nice to know that you’re not sending records into the abyss, or the used shops.



KCMO, finally giving a shit
November 6, 2008, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Titan, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

For the last two months we’ve been pushing the Titan rock up the hills of Kansas City. Promos were sent out in early August, calls were made, emails were sent, and the town’s music press was silent. For awhile it seemed as though Titan’s second go-round would be received the exact same way as their first: universal and total silence. Local press had always eluded the label, as exactly none of their singles were reviewed in the KC Star, but after much arm twisting and several suitcases of cash, The Star and The Pitch have both done longer stories on their hometown label. Couple that with airplay on KJHK in Lawrence, and it’s almost like Titan means something in the Missouri Valley. 

Now, if only the Lincoln and Omaha press would get off its ass (we’re looking at you JD Stanek) and cover the Boys, we’d really be psyched. It’s baffling that their so-called “Alt Weekly” can’t get beyond whatever record Saddle Creek farted on to cover a band who pulled off a mock Nazi invasion in 1975. The Boys were Nebraska’s first punk band, and deserve more than a cursory mention in the states music hall of fame. All the more laughable is how many times Stanek has bugged us for promos from such diverse locals as Phoenix and Florida, and when we deliver him a gift wrapped local story he’s nowhere to be found.



THE TIME IS NIGH… SO BUY BUY BUY…
November 5, 2008, 12:20 am
Filed under: Titan, Uncategorized | Tags:

Typing this, I cannot believe how much energy I still have. I didn’t sleep well at ALL last night. I felt like I was 10 years old again and going to Disneyland or something. I kept imagining all different types of scenarios about the election and the ‘party’ in Grant Park tonight. Should I call into work? Should I take the next day off? Should I purchase a gun? Buy one-way tickets to Germany? I should also state that I am super stoked about our newest release out TODAY [election day], a retrospective of fledgling Titan Records out of Kansas City and a perfect soundtrack to celebrate the end of eight years of repression, damn near totalitarianism, erosion of rights, economic plundering, fear, war-mongering and outright lying. I mean really, who did they think they were fooling anyway? But I digress…

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The term DIY gets thrown around quite a bit these days, but Tom Sorrells, Mark Prellberg and the Titan artists define it. Stuck in fly-over country, these young and aspiring individuals from the metropolitan middle of nowhere literally built a scene of their own, complete with creative hype tactics and grassroots promotion. Favoring the sounds of friendly AM pop wholesomeness, the Titan record label spawned the Eric Carmen sound-a-like Arlis!, Byrd-maniac Gary Charlson, ahead of their time Lincoln, Nebraska glam outfit the Boys, Kim Fowley protegee Bobby Sky, and Lawrence, Kansas’ best kept Secrets* to name a few. This 2-disc, 42 track overview of the label comes with 18 unreleased tracks and liner notes spotlighting the short and brief output of the label, coupled with tons of photos and details on the hard luck stories that caused this never-give-up label to eventually pack it in and call it quits.

So tomorrow, get down to your local record shop, crack open a Sunkist, dig up your old Hang Ten and Munsingwear shirts and harken back to a time when bubblegum ruled the airwaves, people never locked their doors, you could still make love in a large car, cruising in a van was still cool and not creepy, and all was right with the world (at least for the summer). You can thank us later. You should also check out this video two quirky guys made for the Boys’ “You Make Me Shake“: [which incidentally is not on the comp as it was self released by them, previous to recording with Titan, but may be included on a future release so watch this space*!&@$!$!%!!!!]



Come spend a night with these guys
October 17, 2008, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Titan | Tags: ,

In celebration of the upcoming Titan anthology, Tom Sorrells (Titan Records) and Allen Havlicek (The Boys) cordially invite you to attend a record release party in Kansas City. In attendance will be many members of the original Titan scene, including the Boys, the Secrets*, Arlis!, J.P. McClain, and Millionaire At Midnight. Reuniting? Who are we kidding. Instead they’ll be milling around ready to sign autographs and share tales of debauchery from the late 70s. For sale at the merch table will be extremely cheap copies of NUM024 Titan: It’s All Pop! 2CD sets, limited t-shirts, buttons, and perhaps some Titan dead stock if we can convince Tom to drag it out of his basement. The details, should you live in the greater KCMO area:

Saturday, November 8th 2008, 4-6PM at The Record Bar. Skint? No problem, it’s free.

For those unable to attend, we’ve got nothing for you. You’ll have to settle for buying the record at finer retailers worldwide on November 4th.