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!
We just dropped a new video for “2017 Golden Cypress” by TLVS. If you’re in our hometown this week, you should stop by the Ellington Thursday evening. They are playing with Sound Of Ceres & Ian Chang. Doors at 8P & tickets are still available…
In case you missed it, Good Dog Nigel through a killer party this past weekend in celebration of their debut 12″. New Boss & TLVS stirred up the anxious crowd before Nigel took the stage & tore through a sixty-minute revue that focused on the band’s current output. Highlights included a brand new tune featuring New Boss’ Devon Sproule on vocal harmonies as well as the perennial set closer “I Don’t Want It“.
Due to some press issues, the intended full color jackets were not quite ready for the February 22nd release. Lost Woods Print (run by Thomas Dean, who also runs Infinite Repeats & plays in Nigel) partnered with Parker to create some limited edition jackets for the show. All orders shipped with these jackets will receive the actual jackets via USPS once they are in hand.
If you happen to score one of these limited edition jackets, we’d love to see how you would spruce it up. Break out the crayons & really make it your own copy! As we see your handiwork, we’ll get ’em posted on our Instagram feed.
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 Joe Morgan, guitar player (TLVS, asentimentalsong), turned in:
These guys released an album in 2018 called “Arbiter” and it was their first release in over 10 years. This was a comeback/reunion album from a band I really enjoyed in the early 2000’s. They are a melodic hardcore band with a big emphasis on spacey guitars and atmospheres. I thought this was a very well done record with some great riffs and some catchy vocal hooks. Really feel like they captured their old sound but also put together something new and fresh.
Kyle Bobby Dunn is one of my favorite ambient/drone artists. He has come out with several albums that make sad sound so good. He put out a split LP with Wayne Robert Thomas in 2018 called “KBD/WRT”. This split introduced me to Thomas who is also a very talented ambient/drone guitar player. In fact, his whole discography, besides this split, is available for “pay what you want” on his bandcamp page. I spent a lot of time listening to his releases this last year and grew to really enjoy his sound. It is great to be able to listen to his work and lose yourself in the calming tones and textures of the soundscapes he creates. #
This is another band that I enjoyed in the early 2000’s that I have followed on and off ever since. I hadn’t listened to them very much until their previous album “Pale Horses” that was released in 2015. They started off their career with a pretty aggressive post hardcore sound that had a unique screaming/spoken word type approach to their vocal delivery. I felt they were getting back to this sound on this album. In 2018 they released the “untitled” LP and the “untitled” EP. They continued this more throwback sound specifically on the LP while the EP contained more calm vocals and tamer songs. The full-length album definitely has some great lyrical content and gets pretty heavy at spots with big drums and great guitar riffs. They throw in some pretty aggressive vocals at the right moments and even have a great reinterpretation of an old hymn. It was nice to spend some time with this album the last year and take in this unique band’s sound.
This guy is a very prolific Japanese ambient/drone artist. I have found myself listening to him more and more the past couple years. I got a copy of his album “Scene” on tape in 2018. It is 4 pieces of music and it is some of the prettiest and saddest music you will hear. Lovely quiet drones and textures with so much melancholy seeping through. I feel that everything he puts out is great and I’ve spent a lot of time digging into his large discography this last year. Whether you are looking to dive into the deep drones he creates or to be swept away by the spacious sounds, there is something very special and rewarding about listening to his work.
A special vinyl reissue of The Mercury Program’s 2002 album called “A Date Learn the Language” was released in 2018. They also did a small east coast tour that I was able to attend that was in support this reissue. I had seen these guys once before many years ago and it was really neat to see them again. Being older and more learned in my musical knowledge let me appreciate this experience even more. The mix of electric piano, delayed guitars, vibraphone, and a great rhythm section makes these guys a solid act. Their music is instrumental and contains a post rock feel with some jazzy elements as well. Really pretty music that also grooves very nicely. It was really nice to get to not only get this album on vinyl after it being out of print but also to see some really great musicians perform it extremely well.
…a few more thoughts…
2018 was also a great year to spend writing and performing music with TLVS. We created and recorded some great ideas and were able to develop a solid live presentation of our art. I’m looking forward to big things in 2019 with them and also with my solo musical endeavors. I spent a lot of time in 2018 with my family as well. I am very thankful for my lovely wife Amanda and our amazing daughter Hannah. Family is so important and I’ve learned to appreciate the time I spend with them so much more this last year. They inspire me to create new sounds and enjoy the beauty God puts in front of us each and every day. I’m looking forward to a great 2019 with many new and exciting things 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…
October’s been GREAT! Lynchstock turned out to be everything we could have hoped for. Thanks to all the people who caught our acts, bought our records, took RAD photos/videos & shared them across social media. We should have a festival recap up soon (waiting on imagery from our staff photographers…).
The month capped off with the release of HSAL #46, which is the latest EP from Norfolk’s You’re Jovian. A quick east coast tour to support the record ended with a celebration down in their hometown. local support Berries, labelmates TLVS & HSAL alums Long Division filled out the bill for a wonderful evening. We were able to capture a moment from the show…
Up next, honeybrandy is doing a couple of shows this weekend with Philly space music vets Soporus:
This past weekend, we took three Lynchburg based acts (Good Dog Nigel, Overlook Hotel, & TLVS) up to the Ward in Richmond, VA for a two-day session. We captured half of the songs for our Lynchstock compilation (HSAL #44). Each band laid down an original tune that will be exclusive to this release, as well as a cover from the Hill City’s past. Allen Bergendahl manned the boards, providing guidance & space for each group to operate (he’s a class act like that). Once mixes are right, we will knock out the other half of the comp with three more bands from the 2450_.
In quasi-related news, we have FINALLY shipped out all orders for HSAL #43 (Opin’s “Drifters” EP). We still have a handful of copies left. You may want to score one before the band ramps up their live presence in a few weeks. We will no doubt sell out once they hit the road!
Our latest signing, You’re Jovian, just submitted tracks for their upcoming 12″ (HSAL #46). This go around, Elliott took his new jams up to Philadelphia to capture them with Jeff Zeigler (War On Drugs, Nothing, Kurt Vile) at Uniform Recording. If all goes well, this follow-up to last year’s “They Were Selected & Divided” will be out on clear wax before the clocks roll back an hour.
Our resident visual artist, Joanna McGlothlin, has been commissioned to create artwork for an upcoming CD release for the music group at Grace Church.
TLVS has just been announced as part of the lineup for the sixth annual Lynchstock Music Festival! 2018 will make the band’s fourth appearance on one of our town’s most exciting stages.
Good Dog Nigel, June 2018
Next weekend, HSAL is taking a few local acts up Richmond way to begin tracking tunes for HSAL #44! For the last few years, we have released a compilation at Lynchstock. This year, we are upping our game. Twelve tracks comprised of six Lynchburg based bands. Each band (Great Health, Overlook Hotel, Good Dog Nigel, TLVS, Quick On My Feet, & Trouvere) will present a new, unreleased original & a cover of a project from the Hill City’s past (Herschel, Snake Forcefield/Brian Hall, Order Of The Dying Orchid, A New Dawn Fades, Vroom, & Hi Ho Six Shooter!). If the demos that have been turned in to date are any indication, this will be a very special release. The sessions will be engineered & co-produced by long-time HSAL bud Allen Bergendahl, who has manned boards for a truckload of VA bands over the years.
The artist known as “Stilyagi” first appeared in HSAL circles back in 2016 when he submitted a track for HSAL #28 (Lynchstock compilation). That piece was a trance-inducing mix of work that Joe Morgan (TLVS, asentimentalsong) & Andrew Weathers had captured during a home recording session earlier in the decade. On occasion, new tracks would surface on various platforms including youtube & soundcloud. It was after hearing what he did to TLVS‘ “Golden Cypress” that we decided to work out a digital release.
Much of what comprises this EP has only been heard in specific contexts, be they previous compilations (“Saturday“) or religious gatherings (“He Must Be Let Loose Briefly“). Taken as a whole, this EP branches out from tasteful drones to manufacture a soundtrack of moments between waking & sleeping. Places where memories may or may not be explained.
AVAILABILITY: DIG ARTWORK: courtesy of Harding Street Assembly Lab DOWNLOAD: HSAL bandcamp