To celebrate twenty years of amazing records, Slumberland is promoting a series of shows featuring the very best bands from the label’s roster. Current bands like Crystal Stilts, Pants Yell! and Brown Recluse will be involved alongside special reunion sets from old skool SLR posse like The Ropers, Nord Express and Lorelei.
Fri. Nov 13
The Black Cat
Frankie Rose and The Outs
Sat. Nov 14
The Bell House
Frankie Rose and The Outs
Special Surprise Guest
More shows are in the planning stages for early next year.
Early 2010 will also see the release of a series of compilations of rare and in-demand Slumberland albums from Black Tambourine, The Ropers and Henry’s Dress.
A Brief History of Slumberland Records:
Indie record labels aren’t always noted for longevity, and in this as well as many other things Slumberland Records stands apart. Started in 1988/1989 as a collective effort on behalf of members of DC-area bands Velocity Girl, Big Jesus Trash Can/Whorl, Black Tambourine and Powderburns, Slumberland was inspired by such musical happenings as C-86, early Creation, Flying Nun, Postcard Records, K Records, Bus Stop, lower East Side noise, and the renegade art aesthetics of people like Cage, Burroughs and Duchamp. Slumberland’s first release, the What Kind of Heaven Do You Want? 7″ compilation from December 1989, staked out a unique place in the indie underground, marking the label as being equally concerned with noise and pop melodies.
Over the next 18 months, the first fifteen or so 7″ releases spooled out in quick succession, introducing the world to the core DC-area Slumberland posse as well as sonic confederates from the UK and New England such as Jane Pow, Small Factory, HoneyBunch and Swirlies. Adding to the growing roster a series of influential releases by bands like Velocity Girl, Lilys and Black Tambourine, Slumberland was up and running.
Early 1992 saw the move of label principal Mike Schulman to Berkeley, CA and the label with him. Slumberland’s first full-length albums from Lilys, Sleepyhead and Jane Pow quickly followed. During the mid-to-late-1990s Slumberland went from strength-to-strength, with well-received albums from Stereolab, Rocketship, The Ropers, Boyracer, Hood, Lorelei and Henry’s Dress coming to define a crucial segment of the US indie underground. Slumberland wasn’t easily categorized as indie-rock, noise-pop, post-rock or indie-pop; all of these sounds were represented and then some. The watchword was quality, and the reputation of so many Slumberland records from that era as classics is based on the label’s “music first” policy.
As the ’90s turned into the ’00s, Slumberland continued to release classic records from bands like The Aislers Set, The Saturday People and Nord Express, but the dissolution of the core Slumberland bands and the grind of ten years of hard work took their toll and the release schedule slowed. While the label relaxed its pace, the indie world gradually caught up with the Slumberland aesthetic. Throughout the mid-00s bands claimed the Slumberland legacy as inspiration, and in 2006 the label was ready for another run. The last three years has seen an amazing spate of activity, with albums from bands like The Lodger, Sarandon, Bricolage and Liechtenstein leading up to the label’s recent successes with Crystal Stilts, Cause Co-Motion! and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Slumberland is arguably more active than ever, and its knack for nurturing the very finest bands continues to both please old fans and charm a new generation of indie kids.