YOU GUYS!!! We have made it to TEN YEARS! Across 49 releases (vinyl, CD, cassette & digital), we’ve fostered a community of independent artists that have both participated in & represented our commonwealth’s music scene. Now, it’s time to celebrate! We wanted to make our 50th catalog entry something wild, so we’re staging a huge party. Here’s what we have planned:
DATE: Saturday, September 28th
LOCATION: Warehouse Theater, Academy Center For The Arts
This event is something we dreamed up with help from our friends at the Academy Center. We are still working out arrangements on some extraspecial things for the day, but wanted to get this party on everyone’s radar as soon as possible. Stay tuned for more details as we get them confirmed!
Good Dog Nigel is in hot pursuit of summer vibes. They are scoring shows up & down the east coast. Your next chance to party down with this crew is in Charlottesville on the 5th. They are sharing an evening with RVA garage rock vets the Ar-Kaics! Parker is also in a constant state of writing new ragers. He’s working towards eventual studio time with new touring member Thomas Dean – hopefully that comes sooner than later. Until then, we’re still slinging copies of “The Implied Sunrise“.
We submitted masters for the new L.A. Dies album today! Nine songs. clocking in at around forty minutes in total. We are BEYOND thrilled to share this one with you all. With so, so many special moments across over four dozen releases, it would feel like a bit of revisionist history to say this one is our favorite, but it is really, REALLY good & we are super proud of the vision that Mel, Joey, Myra, & Aaron have for the album. Look for a late September release on this one, with pre-orders launching around Labor Day. We are also working to drum up something rather special as a release party…
We’re not quite ready to reveal any of this record just yet, but the pair of tunes from HSAL #44 are a wonderful precursor to what will probably be the best LP to come out of the Ol’ Dominion in 2019.
A few more HUGE things are being finalized in the coming weeks. Our goal is to finalize the label’s output for the rest of the year & drop some really wild news before the nation’s birthday. STAY TUNED!
Good Dog Nigel‘s debut 12″ is steady rolling off of merch tables as they continue showing up on stage after stage. Word from our partners at Infinite Repeats is that the official (full color) jackets should be shipping out any day now. This also means the deluxe editions that many of you have been waiting for will also be hitting the mailboxes soon. If you haven’t check out this party, what gives?
This digital EP by You’re Jovian drops on the first Friday of April! It’s the rest of the work Elliott did up in Philly during the sessions for “The Sound Of Who We Are” last year. Look for it at all the usual online troughs (Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, & of course, bandcamp).
“autremonde: The Collected Commercials Of Death”
The other digital release from HSAL next month. This full-length (clocking in at nearly 80 minutes) is the result of over a decade’s worth of heart & soul from one of the most reclusive friends of the label. Andres Mementomori stirs up memories of late 70’s Eno, mid-80’s Gabriel, & “The Drift” by Scott Walker. Vocals are scarce but emotions run high throughout this journey. The entire palette will present itself on April 19th. Oh, & you can preview a cut from this album in the soundcloud player on the left-hand side of the screen. ( <——— )
This summer, HSAL has the honor of partnering with Virginia Beach soundsmith Oahu (sonic moniker of cartoonist Todd Webb) for a duel EP release. The 2CD collection will prove to be the stuff of legend. On the first disc, Webb works out soundscapes based on source material provided by Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich! The second disc will contain a highlights set of “daily bleeps” curated by Webb himself! NOTE: Not sure what daily bleeps are? Get educated here…this series is one of the things that first endeared us to Oahu’s output.
Yup, this one’s gonna SLAY! The LP is tracked & the band is in the throes of mixing these nine cuts down. Nothing concrete (at least nothing we can officially announce yet) but it looks like the release party for this one, slated for a weekend just shy of peak color on the trees, should prove to be coolest party of the year. We know – bold prediction. That’s how much we believe in this record.
QUICK UPDATE: This past weekend, L.A. Dies began tracking their debut full-length up in Richmond with long-time label friend Allen Bergendahl. We were able to sneak into the sessions & eavesdrop as they worked together to pour the foundations for what is shaping up to be a super dreamy record. If all goes to plan, tracking will be finished up by month’s end & we’ll get to mixing & mastering. The goal is to drop this one in the fall…
In the more immediate future, the band is has a few swell gigs around the mid-Atlantic:
03/22: The Ellington (Lynchburg VA) w/ Wesley Montgomery, Oceanic
03/29: Roanoke DIY Fest (Roanoke VA) w/ Lung, A Day Without Love
Good Dog Nigel is gearing up for something SPECIAL & it is a mere days away! The 12″ (co-released with Infinite Repeats) is dropping on the 22nd & the party is going down at the Ellington (421 Rivermont Ave, 24504). We got hold of a test press this weekend…it sound very, very choice!
Charlottesville’s New Boss & our own TLVS will be opening the release show. We have it on good authority that the entire evening will be the sort of stuff dreams are made of…
Speaking of TLVS, they are currently writing & demoing new material. The goal is to end up with a new LP’s worth of material & then some by year’s end. No word on when any of this new material (recorded or live) may surface, but we can hope…
L.A.Dies is gearing up to begin recording their debut full-length in Richmond next month. If all goes to plan, we’ll be up there with ’em & (fingers crossed) will be able to share some of the magic as it is captured. In quasi-related news, we have started seeing these stickers pop up:
…and finally, we just began talks with some friends & family about HSAL #53 & #54. Should all our dreams become reality, these catalog entries will be coupled & released together in a special package!
We have reached out to different people within & around the HSAL camp to find out what from the last twelve months inspired them. In the coming days, we’ll post a series of lists. Our hope is that you will get an idea of where we are coming from. Here’s what Melody Ouellette, songwriter/vocalist, & guitar player for L.A.Dies, turned in:
This was the first book I’ve read of Mary Oliver‘s, and it’s still my favorite. The connection she makes between nature, humanity, and spirituality in this collection of poems is something that has really stuck with me throughout this year, keeping me mindful and reverent of the beauty in the world around us.
I was really nervous to play this show. We had just come back from tour with Dover
and I think we were all pretty sad to see it end. It’s easy to get caught up in the anxiety of
showing a crowd of people something you made, but it ended up being one of the
biggest turn outs we’ve had. I remember
looking into the crowd and feeling proud that we had made music that resonated
with people–all the work we had put into L.A. Dies felt worth it. We had shared a connection with people and
made so many friends that regardless of where we would go with the band, we had
made it to that point and I was proud of us.
We recorded in a studio for the first time this
year. Going into it we were all
apprehensive because we had only ever recorded at home. We were nervous to put
ourselves in the vulnerable position of entrusting our idea with people we
barely knew, as well as to put our project, and its production, in someone
else’s hands. But after eight hours and a trip to Chipotle, all those anxieties
subsided, and the music and new friendships we left with that day could not
have been recreated without the collaboration and openness of other creative
Even though I moved in with three my closest friends earlier this year, we’ve all been so caught up with working and keeping up with our families that we’re rarely all home at the same time–when we are, I try to convince everyone to play tennis with me. We’re so busy trying to be productive and accomplish whatever task is next on our list, that the time we have for doing things simply because we enjoy them is (increasingly) limited. When we’re playing tennis, all we can do is play tennis, together, present in the moment.
This was the first year I was really excited to
vote. I felt more informed and connected
to this election than I ever have.
Regardless of the stress in the current political climate, as I’m sure
everyone, no matter how they see things, has been worn out by our seemingly
unending cultural divisions, seeing the voter turn out and the diversity of
candidates inspired a hope that we were headed in the right direction.
(pictured from L to R) Joe Palame: Bass Guitar, BGV; Melody Ouellette: Vocals, Electric Guitar; Aaron Jacks: Electric Guitar, Keys, BGV; Myra Goodman: Drums
What made them attractive to HSAL?
100% their live show. It was only after seeing them grow into their sound on stage after stage around our hometown that we decided to pursue. Additionally, their DIY recordings showed a willingness to drive beyond simple living room demos. Oh, we should also call out that they’re a super fun bunch…we’re into fun bunches!
What will 2019 hold for the band?
The band will be cutting their new album with Allen Bergendahl (Shy Low, Psalmships) this spring. After tracking, look to catch ’em out on the road before the LP drops at the onset of autumn.
So, what DOES the band sound like?
…rather than namedrop a bunch of acts RIYL style, we decided to let their songs tell the tale. Here’s a few cuts from their self-produced album with their two tracks from HSAL #44 mixed in to begin fashioning your ears for what is to come…
The next time it’s Thursday, it will also be Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. of A. It’s got us thinking about all the cool things that have happened in 2018 ’round the HSAL camp…
We sponsored an entire stage & were able to land most of our active roster in one place on one day! Super special thanks to Xenith & Wesley Montgomery for joining in on the party. It was cool to see all the band merch, talk to fans of the different bands, & share in celebrating all the wonderful rock action stirring up in the Commonwealth these days.
Clockwise from top left: L.A.Dies, Good Dog Nigel, Wesley Montgomery, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, TLVS
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All band photos courtesy of Nick Scheetz.
ALL THE NEW RELEASES!
Since January, HSAL has dropped 8 releases, including two 12″ EP’s, two cassettes, three digital releases, & a compilation CD featuring current LYH covering historic LYH.
In addition to these “official” releases, HSAL acts dropped live tracks, partnered with other rad labels on records, expanded their own brand into new parts of the country via touring, blog reviews & a general spirit of comradery.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
With 2018 not quite in the books, we are lining up guests for our yearly “Last Year” series. Over the holidays, we will have a handful of HSAL family share five things that inspired them in 2018. Each time we do this, it proves to be intriguing & eye-opening as bands, engineers, managers, & the like talk about what drove them to all the wonderful work they shared in the past 12 months.
2019? Well, we are still hammering out details, but it looks like we have secured HSAL #48 & #49. Look for details on those records to drop before Groundhog’s Day. next year will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Harding Street Assembly Lab. To celebrate, we are working with some Hill City friends to do something special…