Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Introducing Arrowhawk Records

For some time I thought it would be neat to have a small record label, but I always told myself that was a really dumb idea. My day job is already a music job, so money is tight, leaving little left over for expensive hobbies. (Note: there won't be a part later in this post where I try to convince you it's not a dumb idea. It still might be a dumb idea. I'll find out eventually.) So the idea sat on the back burner of my brain for a few years, postponed for the day when I have free time and spare cash.

Along come my old Athens friends BAMBARA, currently living in Brooklyn, armed with a staggering new record. Through working as their publicist, I've been impressed by and grateful for their positive attitudes. These guys work hard, stay organized, and stay motivated. They do almost everything themselves, and they do it well.

During their set in March in Atlanta, after not seeing them live for a while, I realized:
1. These are the kind of hardworking, positive people I want to be involved with, especially on a project that might never make money, might never break even, but will definitely result in vinyl.
2. This is the record I want to put out.
3. There might never be a time in my life when I have free time and spare cash, so I might as well just go for it.

By the end of the month I was sending a deposit off to United Record Pressing, then there were 250 pearly white LPs in my living room. Soon 100 of those were on tour with the guys. I don't claim to know how to run a label (does anyone anymore?) but from four years of handling publicity for labels, I've got some ideas. If we break even within one year I'll be thrilled, but I'm trying to stay realistic. I'm learning heaps. I don't feel stagnant. I have my gusto back.

So far we've been grateful for positive press from Pitchfork, Ad Hoc, Spin, Vice, and a slew of others. The guys are heading to Europe this fall with A Place To Bury Strangers. Friends and strangers alike are slowly but steadily picking up records. William, Reid, and Blaze (BAMBARA) have been partners every step of the way: encouraging, helpful, and grateful.

I'm not kidding myself into thinking I'm some kind of label hot-shot. It just feels really good to help your friends make a tangible thing out of their music, and I plan to keep it up.

LPs are on sale here now.

We didn't include thank you liner notes, but if I want to thank these folks, for their encouragement, inspiration, help, and/or enthusiasm:
Bill Benson, David Barbe, Brandon Stosuy, Phil Waldorf, Jay Steele, Brad Stabler, Ben Shapiro, Gordon Lamb, Rachel Bailey, Kimberly Drew,  Mason Warner, Sara Padgett Heathcott, Candice Jones, Sibel Yaman, Meredith Melragon, Natasha Murphy, and a bunch of other people I'll be embarrassed to have forgotten. 

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