Documenting everything

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP288: Magix King

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1.) Magix King – Restless / Reasonings / Hunger Pains / The Reign/ 400m feat. Frsh Waters / Up In the Sky feat. Avenue / Sea Sick feat M.A.B.

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP287: Negative Scanner

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1.) Negative Scanner – Ambitious People
2.) The Ponys – I Wanna Fuck You
3.) Uh Bones – He’s Got It
4.) DA – Silent Snow
5.) Heavy Times – Electronic Cigarette
6.) Negative Scanner – Pastel Blue
7.) Negative Scanner – Fan vs Wild (Demo)

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP286: Tim Larson

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1.) Tim Larson: Dark Outside
2.) Thanatos: Blisters
3.) Haymarket Riot: Binary Reticulation
4.) Tim Larson: I Follow Death
5.) American Pharaoh: Drill Masters
6.) The Drovers: I Drank Your Tears
7.) American Pharaoh: Dumb As Me

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP285: City States

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1.) City States – False Start
2.) Rome – Rohm
3.) Tortoise – Ten-Day Interval
4.) City States – Willing
5.) Gastr Del Sol – The Seasons Reverse
6.) City States – I’m Always Somewhere Else
7.) City States – Uncharted Waters

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP284: Ragged Claws

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1.) Ragged Claws: Fresh Fly
2.) PK Flyer: Swampsong
3.) Ragged Claws: We Are Ugly
4.) Health and Beauty: Jesus Hits Like Shock and Awe
5.) Ragged Claws: Noir Sou Blan
6.) Ragged Claws: Clumsy Love

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP283: Royal Pines

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1.) Royal Pines – What The Hell Happened Here Last Night?
2.) The Columbines – Mercury
3.) Royal Pines – See That Wall
4.) The Crippled Masters – Antelope & Crow
5.) Nones – MFV
6.) Royal Pines – Who Ya Want Me Ta Kill?
7.) Royal Pines – My Eyes Have Let Me Down

Download on itunes here.

 

Blog

Trust Issues aka Why The You Should Stay in Do It Yourself and Not Someone Else aka Why Notes and Bolts as A Label Is Totally Dead

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I’ve spent five months trying to figure out how to write this letter.

In June 2012, I received test pressings for Notes and Bolts’ first release – a 7″ of posthumous songs by Plastic Crimewave Sound. I was excited because I’d never pressed a record before, yet I’d spent nearly a decade dreaming about doing just that. To hold it in my hands was surreal and weird and completely boggled my mind. For the next year, I re-lived this feeling of excitement over and over without issue as new cassettes and 7″s began to accumulate in our catalog.

In April 2013, I discovered lathe cut records – short run recordings cut onto polycarbonate plastics that could be pressed in numbers as low as 20. I immediately began a weekly series corresponding to bands guesting on the Notes and Bolts show. At first it was fine, but due to private issues the person cutting the records became unable to cut them. He handed the jobs off, with my consent, to a protégé of his, who ended up taking nearly the entire summer cutting them. This set things with the series back substantially, and seeing this grow out of hand, I immediately stopped new installments and tried as best as I could to get pre-existing ones and their corresponding orders out.

By this point, I knew if I wanted the label version of Notes and Bolts to continue I had to bring on more people to help. Micha Ward of CHIRP Radio volunteered himself so I could focus on the interview series, as well as my visual art, which was beginning to pick up around that time. Given Micha’s assurances, his experience as a higher-up at CHIRP and his age (a good decade and a half older than myself), I assumed the label was in good hands.

Micha agreed to take on the lathe orders once the product finally arrived, while litigating with bands, and also handling all mail order and label business from there on out. I agreed to essentially become one of the public; beyond approving what we’d release, I was removed from the behind-the-scenes business of the label. For the first three months, I assumed Micha was lining things up and getting things ready and I was passing inquiries from artists directly to him.

By the end of the fall, several releases we’d committed to – including an Ono 7″ that had gone on pre-order already, a Bil Vermette cassette, and a Videobug cassette – Micha wanted to cancel completely. This was an action I protested and flat out rejected. He begrudgingly agreed to keep them on the schedule while promising full funding behind a small wave of LP’s in 2014 including releases by Swimsuit Addition, MTV Ghosts, She Speaks In Tongues, and The Peekaboos.

In December, a female member of one of the bands we were working with came to me with complaints about Micha’s behavior, in particular, predatory actions he took both online via social media, and in real life at shows. I immediately looked into these accusations, trying to figure out what was going on, and as I leaned in on him more, he suddenly pulled out and quit Notes and Bolts altogether. Micha cut off all contact.

This brings us to now. For the last five months, I’ve been viewed as having ripped off both bands and their fans who ordered records through Notes and Bolts. It can’t be denied that the personal and professional entanglements of Micha’s actions have made things extremely messy. On the one hand, I wanted to continue looking into his unprofessional behavior, but at the same time, this person still has thousands of dollars of my label’s back-stock. To this day, despite numerous attempts at trying to get it back, he still has not returned anything. There are releases I don’t even own copies of (Panda Riot’s LP) and releases I’ve never held with my own hands (Brett Naucke’s 7″).

When I went public with allegations against him three weeks ago, I was immediately met with push back from CHIRP, whose higher-ups insisted they had no idea of his actions. I was wrong in the public methods I used to call them out, but still feel that had I known of the nonsense he’d been notorious for before, I’d have known better than to bring him on in the first place. Some individuals inside their organization told me things I felt cemented my suspicions all along.

I also received push back from folks who’d earlier complained about his actions, saying I waited too long and was a hypocrite because I didn’t speak up six months ago due to Micha’s status as part of Notes and Bolts. The truth is I simply didn’t want to take this individual to task without having solid proof to back myself up. To this day, I question why I’m the only one that held the responsibility of saying anything at all when as a community, we all have equal say in the complicity of what we see around us. It’s been said that I brought up his sexual deviances because of him messing me over with the label, but it should be pointed out that him leaving so abruptly, I suspect, is because he knew I was onto what he was doing and didn’t approve. As a genderqueer individual, I want ALL of my projects to be inclusive to everyone – so if there’s a wolf in the ranks, I don’t stand for it. It amazes me that folks would confuse the two things as one driving the other when it’s the opposite.

Two weeks ago – one week after I brought my case to the public – Micha resigned from his role as VP of CHIRP. I realize I’ve likely made enemies within CHIRP from how I brought these accusations about, but I don’t believe a person would step down from such a role due to just speculation and rumors.

The bottom line: I thought I was decent at running a small press record label. After a year, I came to find I was not, so I brought on somebody who I thought could handle the task. That was unfortunately not true. As the founder of Notes and Bolts, I know all actions done in the name of my project reflect back on me, and in the last ten months I lost the trust of easily a dozen+ bands and more friendships than I can count due to these issues. I do not take this lightly. Whatever bad you may think of me, I assure you, very little of it can stand up to how badly I’ve viewed myself in letting these things go on under my name.

When Micha came on and promised significant funding, the release schedule was amped up. When he left, half a dozen of those releases fell through the cracks – thankfully, several of them, including ONO and Swimsuit’s releases, were picked up by other labels. Some bands complained about being left in the dark and they’re totally right – in my attempt to work quietly to bring light to Micha’s actions, I lost sight of those people I called friends, and didn’t let them in on what I was doing. This was wrong of me. Some have already forgiven me, while others refuse to say anything at all – if I were in their place, I may not be talking much either.

I learned I was wrong to trust my project into the hands of someone else. I was wrong in not communicating more frequently. I was wrong in not handling things quicker.

It’s been no small secret for the last several months, but at this point, Notes and Bolts is no longer an operating label. It took me months before I was willing to even walk into a record store and add anything to my personal collection, I’d become so bitter to it. It’s also no small secret that I like doing and creating lots and lots and lots of things at a really fast pace – by the time I handed the label over to Micha, it was because I wanted to focus on other things. I’ll be the first to admit that my ambition and desire to be prolific is my greatest strength and, alternately, my biggest weakness.

I’m sorry that these things have affected you on any level, whether as a band whose release fell through, or a customer who got short-changed. Ultimately, I want Notes and Bolts to be what it’s always meant to have been, a tool in the community to bring people together while documenting the cool things that everyone is doing – I, obviously, can’t do my part in that, if segments of that community have no trust in me. I hope that, in time, I can regain your trust, as I love the music of our city and I love the creativity it plays host to – all I’ve ever wanted to do was participate in that. I’m sorry that things got cloudy for a while there.

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP282: Natalie Grace Alford

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1.) Natalie Grace Alford – I Can’t Help But Wonder
2.) Bring Your Ray Gun – Locked Out
3.) Natalie Grace Alford – Gasoline 1225
4.) Oshwa – Tigers
5.) Natalie Grace Alford – Rachel

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP281: Chicago Singles Club

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1.) Geronimo! – 1,000 Realities
2.) My Dad – Hybrasil
3.) Oshwa – Chamomile Crush
4.) Sexy Fights – Cloud
5.) My Gold Mask – Lost In My Head
6.) Absolutely Not – Invention
7.) K.Serra – Eng Bunker

Download on itunes here.

 

The Notes + Bolts Interview Series

S3EP280: Shiloh

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1.) Shiloh – It’s Not Me
2.) Le Tour – Leave Me Alone
3.) Shiloh – It’s Good Then It’s Gone
4.) Slurp’s Up – The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane
5.) Flesh Panthers – Bleed Black Leather
6.) Shiloh – An Mmaculate Man
7.) Shiloh – Winking Buick

Download on itunes here.