Last November, Slumberland Records celebrated twenty years of releasing amazing records with a pair of sold-out shows in DC and Brooklyn that combined the current Slumberland roster with selected bands from the label’s storied past. These nights were such a roaring success that the label immediately set to planning shows for the fans on the west coast. Now we’re very pleased to announce two shows for the last weekend of March that combine some of our current favorite bands from the roster with incredible, amazingly unexpected reunion sets from Boyracer, The How, Go Sailor and Henry’s Dress. These shows will mark the first live appearances from Henry’s Dress in 13 years and from Go Sailor in 14 years!!!!
The Rickshaw Stop
The Echo / Part Time Punks
http://www.attheecho.com / http://www.parttimepunks.com
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? seven inch 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 seven inch 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 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.