It’s a pretty impressive feat when a local indie label can more than double their roster in one day. It’s even more impressive when the acts they garner are an impressive lot with mindblowing potential and a track record of success without a label. Yesterday it was announced that 80/20 Records have now signed three new bands to their label and it’s an impressive lineup to say the least: Future Loves Past, PALMS and Captain Squeegee are all now labelmates alongside the inimitable Dry River Yacht Club and 42 Eternal. With this one swift move, it would be easy to foresee other artists quickly flocking to this little indie label that is founded on keeping the artists interests in mind. The very name for 80/20 Records is drawn from the fact that the artists that join their label get 80 percent of the royalties and profits, while the label only keeps 20 percent. A brilliant concept and an edeavor that is worthy of support, now this “little label that can” has some serious steam behind it.
First of all, adding the legendary psychedelic mult-media pioneers Captain Squeegee to the roster is a brilliant move, especially with their increased activity lately. Captain Squeegee serves as something of a connective tissue between the time when the rising wave of brilliance first began in this town and where it is literally flooding the dam gates now. The were amidst the band that got the ball rolling, a time when What Laura Says commanded the crowds with sharp attention and packed venues–now, they seem to have returned from something of a hibernation with recent scattered gigs and appearances. Perhaps they were consumed with their Lucidity Web Saga, but now it seems they are returning to our planet and ready to make more music. This is an exciting prospect in and of itself and I simply cannot wait for what the future holds in store for Captain Squeegee as well as what the fans will inevitably reap from this new chapter in the Capatain’s interstellar travels.
It was only a matter of time until someone signed Future Loves Past or simply built an entire label around them. I’m not sure any other local band has progressed so much in so little time as Future Loves Past and I make no bones about them being one of my top five favorite local bands. Additionally, this seems to be the perfect time to sign FLP–here is a band that already had an albums worth of groovy infectious songs, seemingly ready to record and release, only to do a complete 180 degree turn to announce that they were doing a concept album entitled Our Solar System (which only includes one of their heretofore familiar songs, the anthemic “Earth”). Before that album has even been released, chief architect and general madman has already leaked a demo for a proposed “Spirit Animal” concept album. With FLP having had a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund Our Solar System, one can only hope that the ambitious train they are on does not come to a stop anytime soon. And still I wonder about the other songs that filled their set for most of the first two years of their existence? Will that album that I imagined in my head ever see release or will each song, like “Earth”, become the foundation for another concept album? Pay close attention to 80/20 Records because they will be the ones letting us know.
Finally, PALMS, the relative newcomer of the bunch is an amazing decision as well–here we have all three stages of our little music scene, from seasoned veterans to tried and true champions to the new children spun from bands that have all but faded away. PALMS has also just spent some quality time with none other than Bob Hoag, the genius producer behind Flying Blanket (What Laura Says, Black Carl, Mergence, The Format, and far too many more to list). Needless to say I as excited to see that PALMS spent a greater portion of their weekend at Flying Blanket, but on top of that to see that they’ve got a label deal with 80/20 puts me that much closer to holding their new album in my hands. While they have only been around a comparitively short while PALMS has brought me nearly incalculable joy, whether it’s been through their live performances or by simply listening to their online double A-Side single of “Oasis”/”Coyotes” over and over again.
Long story short, this announcement should be exciting news for everyone–for the bands, the fans, the label and all of us who watch or referee on the sidelines. 80/20 Records has just signed up three of the most exciting bands in town and I really can’t imagine they won’t be signing up more. I have a ton of suggestions of who to grab, but honestly, from this first draft expansion selection I’m pretty sure they don’t need my advice. 80/20 Records clearly knows what they are doing and though it may be early to tell, it appears they are doing it well.