Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Urinal Cake Records - "UrineFested" 6/21-6/22

Posted By on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Profile: Urinal Cake Records (on Metro Times Music Blahg - "Urinal Cake Records' First Year + New Gardens (Grows)")


Local Label Showcase -2 day Fest in Detroit

June 21-22nd at P.J.’s Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave),

Friday: The Clone Defects, Terrible Twos, Moonhairy, Obnox, Ritual Howls, Mountains and Rainbows - - Saturday: Johnny Ill Band, Protomartyr, Growwing Pains, Drugs Dragons, K9 Sniffles, Feelings, Guinea Worms, and the Keep On Trash DJs. -- Visual artwork displays by Jeff Arcel, Thelonious Bone, Davin Brainard, Zak Bratto, Joe Casey, Luke Chapelle, Jimbo Easter, Andy Gabrysiak, Ben Lyon, Johnny Lzr, Kara Meister, Nai Sammon, Timmy Vulgar, and Matt 7 – 



There seems to be a lot of local DIY record labels, lately. But Johnny Ill nonchalantly shrugs that into perspective: “Shit, there could be no one to put out your music. I’m not dong it, so I’m glad guys like Eric are doing it


It’s still a rarity, says Ill (a.k.a. John Garcia of The Johnny Ill Band,) for someone (like Eric Love of Urinal Cake Records) willingly financing and spending time resources for local songwriters to produce, package and distribute their works.


“The worst thing that could happen for any music scene,” says Terrible Twos guitarist/bassist/singer Chris Campbell, “whether the scene lasts one year or five years, whether 30 people are hanging out or 3,000 people, the worst would be if things don’t get documented.”


Urinal Cake is here so that in the future, feasibly, 15 years from now, some kid can pick up one of these records randomly in a store somewhere and have a profoundly inspirational freak-out.


Eric Love started Urinal Cake Records two years ago and this weekend he’s hosting a proper showcase: two nights’ worth of live music featuring many of the band’s whose music he’s released so far, (The Johnny Ill Band, Ritual Howls and more) as well as punk-scene stalwarts like The Clone Defects.


“Ha, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done with my life,” Love self-depreciates with a satisfied wink. “Nah. But, I’m past the point of feeling like a ‘newer’ label.” Indeed, this ambitious Philly-raised/current-Royal Oak-resident, who Johnny Ill is quick to note “doesn't play in any bands,” is now almost too busy, rolling right along with a handful of releases ready for the summer.


It’s the morning after X! Fest when MT contacts Johnny Ill, with his band having performed for another showcase propping yet another local label. (X! Records has released works by bands who are also, in essence, on the Urinal Cake “roster” of clientele.)


“Everyone’s friends though, everyone gets along,” says Ill downplaying any rivalry and adding that Zak Frieling, who runs the Gold Tapes label, was working the door at X! Fest and Love was there, too, showing support.


True, the more casual listener might latch onto similar sonic themes amid all three labels: aggressive, energetic, sometimes-atonal yet sometimes-melodic, often fast, fervently rhythmic music, heavy on feedback and baring a sharp-toothed, snarling charm – ya know, what they still sometimes call: punk-rock. Whether it’s Frustrations drummer Scott Dunkerley (X!), or Frieling (GOLD,) or Love, says Ill: “

it’s just three dudes who are passionate and organized enough to put out other people’s music!”


“We celebrate an art-form as much as the music itself,” says Love, who’s inaugural release was 2011’s Ask All The Doctors by the Johnny Ill Band. “I like the bands I put out or I wouldn't put the record(s) out.” Up next: albums from Moonhairy F’ke Blood, Smelly Tongues (and, “hopefully,” says Love, the Terrible Twos’ Horror Vicaui LP which, Campbell explains, loosely translates to a fear of empty space).


This fest doubles as “release show” for the vinyl edition of Ritual Howls’ debut. This trio’s a still new-ish outfit that slams noise-rock, industrial and post-punk characteristics into a hypnotic and haunting brew.


Love again underlines that “art-form” aspect of Urinal, with its roster featuring musicians as well as writers, illustrators and, in Ritual Howls’ case, visual artists like Chris Samuels (on rhythm-fx) and Ben Saginaw (on bass), while drummer Paul Bancell works in film.


“(Love)’s pretty chill,” Samuels says, “and at the same time knows what he wants. We recorded our album ourselves and self released a CD. When (Love) approached us wanting to release it on vinyl, he let us have complete creative control on the packaging.”

Ritual Howls


Ritual Howls defies traditional perceptions of genre labels (just as Urinal aims to defy expectations of a record label). Urinal Cake might not frame “Gold Records” on its office walls (even when, in fact, its “offices” is Love’s home). Still, its enthusiastic ad hoc CEO will keep two copies of his cherished releases. “One for listening to,” Ill says, “and one (Love) will never open from its package.”


“There’s a lot of disposable music,” says Love, from Internet buzz-bands’ streaming MP3s. “And, that’s OK, but I think people still want to hold a record in their hands.” Like, say, last spring’s Protomartyr vinyl packaging. “It’s a work of art as much as the music itself.”


Protomartyr, meanwhile, are playing the Sub Pop Fest in Seattle next month. Campbell, who helped Love organize this ambitious festival, is looking forward to releasing what he considers the Terrible Twos most fully-realized record. TTwos’ keyboardist, Jeff Arcel designs Urinal Cake’s artwork, while Johnny Ill also helps when and where he can. “People like Eric don’t get enough return or recognition, he’s putting up his own money and we’re all broke. It’s hard work, a labor of love, and that’s respectable.”


Preview: Terrible Twos album art -by Jeff Arcel - Horror Vicaui LP - coming out: ...not soon enough!


June 21-22nd at P.J.’s Lager House (1254 Michigan Ave), – 

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