Numero Group: By The Numbers


Record Store Day 2017: Numero Style

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.

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NUM710 White Zombie: Gods on Voodoo Moon 7”

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.

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NUM207 Noise Addict: 10,000 Kids With Guitars 2LP

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.

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NBR008 Southwest Side Story Volume 19

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.

Numero Group Chicago Pop-Up Extravaganza

Saturday, April 22nd 2017
10AM-5PM
Comfort Station
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.

Numero Group Atlanta Pop-Up Extravaganza w/ Dunk Tank

Saturday, April 22nd 2017
12PM-5PM
529
529 Flat Shoals Ave, SE
Atlanta, GA 30316



Tokyo > Seoul: The Numero Group Returns to Asia
March 14, 2017, 9:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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This week, Numero Group collectors/selectors Rob Sevier and Jon Kirby head to Japan (like we did last year) for a string of dusk-till-dawn dates in the Land Of The Rising Sun (Jon Kirby will proceed alone to Seoul, South Korea for a bonus soiree). Since our dear friend and travel companion Daisuke Kuroda is essentially the Bill Graham Godzilla of Japanese Soul Parties, we assume everyone in Asia already knows about this. But maybe you’re new to town? Or have a friend who will be traveling the J-Rails, looking for an approachable dance party to immerse themselves in? Click HERE for a comprehensive Facebook link with ALL of the details and event pages. Below are the individual dates and cities we’ll be visiting. We hope to see you!

March 17 (Fri) Tokyo – The Room (Event Page)
March 18 (Sat) Osaka – Circus (Event Page)
March 19 (Sun) Hiroshima – Ondo (Event Page)
March 20 (Mon) Kyoto – West Harlem (Event Page
March 24 (Fri) Nagano, Ina – Momentum (Event Page)
March 25 (Sat) Sendai – Club Shaft (Event Page)
March 26 (Sun) Saitama, Omiya – 444Quad (Event Page | Ends at Midnight)
April 1 (Fri) Seoul, South Korea – Pistil (Event Page | Jon Kirby Solo)

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How a New Age Hustler Sold the Sound of the World (Pitchfork)
November 7, 2016, 11:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
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“Now, Teibel’s concept—the soothing sounds of nature, or at least a synthesized facsimile of it—is quaint, the wallpaper of therapy waiting rooms and spa foyers. At the time, it was entirely new. Here was something you could hear but weren’t necessarily supposed to listen to. It wasn’t a sound effect, but it wasn’t music, either. And while it professed to contain the ocean, it had none of the purity or taxonomic specificity you’d expect from a field recording (never mind Teibel’s contention that the ocean could use a little work). Here was nature not as it is, but as we hope it’ll be, the lullaby of waves without the sand in our trunks.

The album’s novelty proved to be both an opportunity and a burden. Steve Gerstman, one of Syntonic’s first and shortest-lived employees, remembers traveling across the country by train, making his lonely pitch to stores. “The first obstacle is that it’s not music,” he said. “So if it’s not music, why would they carry it, and why would people buy it?”

—From How a New Age Hustler Sold the Sound of the World by Mike Powell

We have enjoyed immensely this meticulously researched longread from Pitchfork on Environments creator Irv Teibel. Which is good, because—as author Mike Powell mentions at the end of this brilliant piece—“the Chicago label Numero Group has been working on retrofitting Environments for a contemporary context.”
We’ll have more details soon, but in the meantime, please check out this fantastic piece for an overview on the incredible story of the life of the ad agency man who started a (mostly) one man empire, selling the sounds of the natural world like no other before or since.

 



Radio Radio: Sitting in the Park on WBEZ
July 6, 2016, 10:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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On Tuesday July 5th, our own Rob Sevier appeared on WBEZ’s The Morning Shift with Tony Sarabia. The occasion: to discuss revered record collector and Chicago music historian Bob Abrahamian and the Numero Group compilation he inspired, Eccentric Soul: Sitting in The Park. Tony and Rob’s conversation, which includes stories about Bob and clips from the album, can be streamed by clicking here.



The Numero Group Cassette Show (NTS Radio)
June 30, 2016, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Methodology, Playlists, Uncategorized

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For this month’s NTS broadcast, we broke out the boom box and unleashed a whole shoebox of cassette obscurities from our personal collections. Reasoning that cassettes—more than any other singular format—embody a particular aesthetic, we’ve included a gallery of covers to help contextualize the material featured in this set. Rap and new age both experienced booms in the ’80s and therefore represent a large share of the program. However, the cassette allowed weirdos of all persuasions and abilities to circulate their output affordably (see above). Here’s a few favorites:

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Split Image – S/T (1990) ℅ Technical Difficulty Productions, Houston, TX

 

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Semply Fressh Posse – The Adventures of the… (1994) Jah International, Jamestown, NC

 

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V/A – Mountain Valley Music (1990) John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC

 

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Sounds Of Papa New Guinea (unknown) Swinging Axe Productions, Northridge, CA

 

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Stephan Micus – Ocean (1986) Self-Released, Ludwigsburg, Germany

 

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Spring – Funkin’ With The Rhythm and Blues (1995) Sounds of Spring Music, Clemmons, NC

 

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Hill Tribe Music (1992) Disco Cassette Chiangmai, Thailand

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Honey Dipp – Honey Dipp Style (1995) Kam-Rod Records, Fayetteville, NC



A Numero Guide To Japan
April 4, 2016, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A week ago, we returned from an incredible tour of Japan, where we met many amazing people, ate much great food, and visited many fine record shops. For those of you in attendance, DOMO ARIGATO. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s some highlights.

IMG_2518.JPGFriday March 18th – Wah Wah, The Room, Shibuya (Tokyo) 

The Room, like most venues we played at, is underground (literally and figuratively). If you weren’t looking for the Room, you wouldn’t find the Room. But this is not uncommon in Japan. Some of the best record stores we visited and restaurants we dined at were several floors above street level, with little more than a small placard to indicate what await. And like most venues we played at, the Room was the perfect size. Compact, cozy, but not crowded.

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Saturday March 19th ONDO – Hiroshima

ONDO is a great little organic restaurant with a robust sound system and lively nightlife after hours. Entering through a laundromat, ONDO had the comfortable feel of your favorite neighborhood bar. A wall full of LPs, booths full of co-eds, and a bar full of trouble.

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I should introduce to you Daisuke Kuroda (left), who organized our tour. Daisuke is a fantastic DJ, a respected collector, and quite literally the sweetest dude ever. Daisuke does not like to fly, and has only left Japan once for a rare-soul weekender in Germany. It was a privilege not only to meet Daisuke, but get to observe his technical proficiency, incredible selection, and stunning collection. Oh the bottle? That’s Lento; Shoju. Drink it in a high-ball glass with club soda and lemon. What do they eat in Hiroshima after guzzling a few bottles of this? This (Okonomiyaki):

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Sunday March 20th Keith Flack – Fukuoka 

We DJ’d in this freaky nightclub for the 6th anniversary of a party called Black Water Gold, which is a sensational cloister of English words. We shared the bill with Philadelphia disc jockey Skeme Richards, who, despite never smiling in photos, is a super nice guy! He’s been traveling to Japan to DJ once a year since 2008, which is a fantastic idea—we would like to do this also. Fukuoka is the birthplace of ramen, and also futuristic police stations and mad scientist lairs like the ones below.

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Monday, March 21st West Harlem – Kyoto

We’d heard many globetrotters say that Kyoto was their favorite city in Japan, and so we were eager to see what the hype was about. Kyoto is very walkable, easy to navigate, has an abundance of temples and shrines to marvel at, and a laid back vibe that reminds us of… Vancouver, maybe? While enjoying some fresh air outside of the venue, I heard Don Cornelius’s voice declare, “Out of Durham, North Carolina, the Modulations. I traced the source to a neighboring bar called “Soul Bar – I Gotcha.”

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Once I got inside, I discovered the owner and proprietor, alone, watching Soul Train re-runs. I spot a few boxes of 45s behind the counter and come to find out this fellow is one of the OG soul collectors in Japan. Go figure.

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Mata ne, Kyoto.

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Friday, March 25th Deep Enough Annex – Club Cactus, Tokyo

We come to find out that Daisuke had organized this event as a collector’s summit, featuring some of Japan’s most particular collectors. There is a term in Japan, “Otaku,” which refers to people who harbor obsessive interests and this was essentially an Otaku Invitational. People danced, and cheered, but they also observed, exhibiting intense interest and immense respect for each impossibly obscure record being played by each skilled selector. Once a record had finished spinning, folks would gather by the turntable to take a photo of the label for further research. Surely you saw this on our Instagram?

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Saturday, March 26th Soul Renaissance – Soul Blood, Kobe

I’m going to have to give it up to Kobe for the most disastrous and chaotic record kiosks.

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Soul Blood was kind of this magical little cantina on the 3rd floor of an office building, above a 7-11. Where else do the elevator doors open to reveal Daisuke Kuroda playing “You’re A Melody” by Aged In Harmony?

The next day, as we lugged our raggedy bones to the airport, we were overcome with emotion as a handful of new friends magically appeared at the airport to bid us farewell. Who does that? The warm and genuine citizens of Japan, that’s who.

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We could never thank everyone, but we’ll start by sending a HUGE Kon’nichiwa to our hosts Seiji Shimizu, Takehira “Shimanzel” Shima, Masahiko Ono, Mr. Narukawa, and naturally, Daisuke Kuroda. A BIG Kon’banwa to our new friends Naoki Ienaga, Yusuke Ogawa, Genki Arai, Ryuhei “The Man” Teshirogi, Satoshi Moriwaki, Erika Kosaka, Makoto “Makatron” Nagatomo, Matt Jungblut, Skeme Richards, Yukari Baba, Takanori Hirano, Yoshihiko Imaru, and Ruminz. Otsukaresama to Yuki Doheny for sharing with us some of her and husband Ned’s favorite tourist attractions, and to Asaf Siegel for teaching us the word “Osusume” (“recommendation”) which indeed took us far at food spots. Finally, a MAJOR Domo Arigato to EVERYONE who came to the shows, pitched in, and showed love for the things we do here in Chicago. See you NEXT SPRING you crazy kids! If you see THIS MAN, buy him a drink (see below)!

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Pre-Japan Freak Out at the Owl (Chicago)
March 11, 2016, 10:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Some of the records we’re taking to Japan are not part of our normal repertoire. Some of the records we’re taking to Japan have never left the house. We have to come to respect and identify with Otaku culture, and so we want to bring our very, very best the the nation’s discotheques. However, we also feel an obligation to test drive these odd, obscure, only-known-copy 45s on a functional sound system in front of semi-functional human beings. So where do we go? Where else but the Owl, where our impulsive nature, request intolerance, and irregular sleep schedules make us regulars on both sides of the booth. So join us Monday, March 14th from 8pm until Midnight, where we attempt a test run of all the danceable/demented stuff that we hope will be, as they say, “Big in Japan.”

The Owl + 2521 North Milwaukee + Chicago + Steps from the Logan Square Blue Line Stop

Should you find it easier to just catch one of our Japan dates, we’ll see you there!

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