Matt Sullivan speaks!

We’ve been meaning to update the blog more often with news on what we’re working on, listening to, loving, hating, and all that. Raise your glasses, here’s to round number one…

Working on the release schedule for 2010, which is coming together very nicely. Not sure we’ll ever top Cold Fact but we’ll try in ’10. What’s in store? Well, we can’t spill the beans just yet though. Sit down, sit down, more news coming soon. Small hints… gems from Memphis and Nashvile; another glimpse into the world of all things Gainsbourg and once again a glorious re-mastering by Dave Cooley at Bionic in Los Angeles. I only wish Dave could have re-mastered Serge’s entire catalog. Serge certainly deserves it. Oh, and a project that’s been in the works for five lonnnnng years – close to the life of the label – will FINALLY see the light in 2010. Thank the heavens b/c I don’t know how much longer we could have kept quiet.

We’re deep in the midst of a major site redesign. One day soon you won’t have to experience our ancient, clunky site. A friend said it best – your site looks like the nineties. The new site will give us the freedom to quickly update the site with news of what’s going on, video, exclusive mix tapes, limited edition goodies. Thanks for sticking with us.

It’s been a wonderful week – the mailman delivered the goods and our arms got weak carrying it all in… Sometimes we forget the significance of exercise. Must pull away from the office more often or invest in an elliptical machine and Light In The Attic headbands. Anyways, outside our office door we discovered boxes and boxes piled high. Tucked inside were finished copies of our upcoming releases:  Wheedle’s Groove – Kearney Barton (LITA 043), along with the long overdue reprint of our seminal 2004 comp Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75 (LITA 009).  A few years back local DJ and collector Mr. Supreme opened our eyes to a long forgotten Seattle soul scene of the 60s and 70s. Yes, Seattle had an incredibly vibrant funk and soul scene, which birthed notables like Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, and Quincy Jones, but loads of others who sadly went forgotten. Soon after we spent a solid year tracking down the bands, musicians, engineers, and labels who brilliantly produced these wicked and rare 45s back in the day. Licenses ensued, then a deluxe compilation, followed by much acclaim around the globe and a handful of sold-out shows. The times were too good to disappear once again so we put the musicians back in the studio. Not just any ordinary studio though. We shot for the stars and came close… recording for three solid days at Kearney Barton’s legendary Audio Recording Studios in Seattle. Kearney Barton is the Pacific Northwest sound engineer who recorded many of the original tracks on the 2004 release, including songs by Black On White Affair and the Soul Swingers. Well, the man – nearing 80 – was still hard at it – with his studio doors still open, still using the same archaic analog gear as he had with the aforementioned bands and other Northwest staples that he recorded since his sound design days launched in the late ‘50s – The Sonics, Ventures, Wailers, Don & The Good Times, The Frantics. And loads of national acts from Cal Tjader to Les McCann. You could say he’s the George Martin of the NW sound.  Kearney kindly opened his doors to our Seattle soul supergroup who cut one hell of a record, all straight to analog. We’re completely honored to be releasing this record. Album producer Dynomite D. and music director Johnny Horn were the glue that made this one happen. The album art was the genius of Jamaica to Toronto series photographer Chris Gergley, who kindly took the bus down from Vancouver on a number of occasions, snapping pics at Kearney’s studio. I may have drove him to the brink but fortunately he still picks up the phone. Expect deluxe hand-numbered vinyl on new album – LITA 043. We’ll also be reprinting wax for LITA 009. CDs will drop on September 8th. Vinyl soon after. We’ve gone through 4 test pressings and I think the bastards may have finally got it right. IT MUST SOUND PERFECT!  Too much love has gone into the project to have anything less than absolutely mind-numbingly magical.

WOW! As I’m sitting here writing this on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Seattle, the phone rings – it’s Rodriguez and his daughter Regan calling from half away around the globe. The man is in Cardiff, Wales having just walked off stage at the Green Man Festival. Things went very well – fantastic new back-up band, enthusiastic reception, and what sounded like his favorite UK performance to date. He was sad to have missed reconnecting with Animal Collective, but caught Wilco. Seeing the man finally get his due is such a high. I can’t think of anything we’re more proud of over the last six plus years. All of us here feel so lucky to have met the man and his music. Good people don’t come around too often, at least not often enough. Next up… in September he’ll be touring South Africa for the first time in a few years, followed by an early October date at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
Recent office favorites –

The return of free summer concerts at the Mural Amphitheater at the Seattle Center. Does anyone remember the glory of Pain In The Grass?

Fruit Bats – Ruminant (2009, Sub Pop) – none of us expected this to be so damn good.

Madmen, Madmen, Madmen – Joan Holloway, please be our intern.

Ernie Hines – Electrified (1972, We Produce)

The bar in the Moondoggies’ garage. Watch out for the homemade Moonshine.

Blogs like Waxidermy and Aquarium Drunkard. Thank the heavens for these two sites delivering the goods day in and day out. Consistency is a beautiful thing.

Beck – One Foot In The Grave 2xLP reissue (2009, Iliad/K) – Miss the old Beck like One Foot, Midnite Vultures, and Mellow Gold. Why’d he have to start taking himself all serious? Must hand it to him for his site though – digging the web features Record Club and Irrelevant Topics.

Pacific Standard – designers of our upcoming Betty Davis reissues (more info TBA). Best design firm on the planet.  We are lucky bastards to be graced by their presence.

Soundcarriers – Harmonium (2009, Melodic)

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant – it never gets old. Best sandwiches on the planet hands down. Two blocks away from our office and the scent percolates through our walls.

Duane Eddy – Does Bob Dylan (1965, Colpix)