Today is the birthday for the label. Nine years ago today, was the day we went from possible idea to actually creating albums and setting out on a journey, literally.
On December 26th, 2003 I left for tour with Haunted Life, a great Chicago hardcore band, that took us from Indiana, to Tennessee, to Georgia, to Florida, to Alabama, back to Florida, to Arkansas and back home to Chicago (in a horrible snowstorm!). In-tow we had a box of 200 copies of the tour edition of Haunted Life’s “the Dust has Settled” CDEP (UCR002) with pretty sweet letterpressed and silk screened covers, and hand glued info on the inside of the CD sleeve. It wasn’t a smashing success, but that was our humble beginning.
By the time I’d returned home on January 4th, the Mexican Cheerleader “Kings and Kings Hoots” CD was just arriving… and from there we were off and running. We haven’t really looked back (too much) ever since.
Thanks for all the support over the past 9 years. I’ve gotten to work with so many friends and made 10 times as many in the process. We have released more records than I’d have ever expected, from bands I never thought was possible, and had so many great adventures along the way because of it. I’ve never compromised the original vision of the label, and I never will. I’m intensely proud that I’ve been able to genre jump as much as we have and I think there’s still a cohesion to it what we’re doing. From the ska records, to the comedy releases to the hardcore and punk rock records, and everything in between, to me it still makes sense. There’s a common theme of independent spirit running through them all. I cannot imagine doing things any other way.
I switch back and forth a lot between “we” and “I” a lot because it’s not really about me. I never do all the work. There’s a long list of friends that have helped with everything from picking me and a bunch of boxes up and driving me around town for things; to helping assemble the records; lent me their computer to design ads and flyers, the friends in other labels that are advice sounding boards; to hosting our website(s), to one special person that puts up with an apartment full of cardboard boxes endlessly cluttering up the place, and last but certainly not least anyone that enjoys/buys records from us, wears our shirts, reps the label on message boards, downloads the podcasts, etc… Your willingness to go on the ride with us is amazing and you’re an equal component in what we do.
I’ve always wanted to do a Ramones logo rip-off shirt with as many names of people that have helped as I could cram in the space and a place for you to write your own name in…maybe I should add that to the to-do list…
I hope your holidays went well, and we’ll see you in the new year!
We have a lot of work to get done.
-Justin / .UCR.
I realize Haunted Life is a somewhat forgotten band at this point. In this day and age the turnover of new music is even more staggering from one day to the next…so I understand how easy it is for bands to slip out of view, but I still think these songs are worth revisiting: