An independent record label, releasing damn good music since 2010
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Wilmington NC * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 
 

CONCERTS + RELEASE DATES

Thursday, June 10, 2010

HELP, PLEASE... SOMEONE!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"SHANE, COME BACK SHANE!" or FORT LOWELL RECORDS DOES LOS ANGELES

When the decision was made for Tracy Shedd and Wet & Reckless to do a split 7inch together, everyone involved in the project pretty much agreed that Tracy could take the lead on deciding what the artwork imagery should look like. "Mudhoney's record (ep) Superfuzz Bigmuff," Tracy said to explain what she had in mind. She met with Alaina Brownell, Fort Lowell Records' resident photographer, and decided to stage an environment of girls dancing and host a party for a photo shoot for Alaina to capture. Being that Wet & Reckless is an all girl band, and the Fort Lowell Records Executive Team is (or seems to be shaping up to be) also made up of girls, a plan was set in place for the the executives from Tucson (Tracy; Alaina; Design Consultant. Loreto Echevarria; and El Patron, James Tritten) to take a road trip out to Los Angeles to meet up with Wet & Reckless for such an event to take place.

Friday, April 30th - James Tritten's sister, Kim Tauch's, birthday
Everyone was extremely anxious to get on the road to Los Angeles. From Tucson, Los Angeles is about an 8-hour ride, with not a great amount of scenery to keep one's level of alertness in check. However, with two of the three girls equipped with iPhones, there would be plenty of excitement generated from online Madlibs and eBay shopping. The plan was for everyone to get off work a little earlier than BEER:30 so we could be on the road in time to arrive by midnight in Los Angeles (Do the math... 4:00 pm).

Successfully, Team Tucson gathered everything together and was on their way across town. While stopping for gas, Loreto asked James if he could take a "mechanic's look" at the tires on her truck before they got on the road. "Everything seems normal, except your back left tire looks like it could be a little low," James said. Loreto stated she wanted to get on the road and perhaps at the next fill up they would add a bit of air. Happy-go-lucky and with snacks in hand, the crew made their way onto to the ol' I-10 corridor and headed west.

No sooner than passing the town of Marana about 20 minutes north of Tucson, Loreto reported her truck to be pulling a bit to the left. Everyone agreed it must be the road and asked Loreto to change lanes to see if it would be more level. Just as she pulled over to the right, getting into the middle lane... "POW!" goes one of the tires! Now, take a good guess at which one you think it was. Loreto screamed for her life, "The breaks aren't working! The breaks aren't working!" As if she had flown MiG fighter-jets shot down in Nam and successfully survived crash landings multiple times, Loreto steered her Volvo SUV (yep, that's how we roll) two more lanes to the right, then to the shoulder of the highway, all while her back left tire disintegrated away. She was able to coast the Volvo to a safe stopping point.

The tread of the tire was completed separated from the side walls and wheel. Alaina pointed out, "Look at all the liquid on the ground from the tire melting away!" Unfortunately, that was not "liquid tire"; it was brake fluid. When the tire broke apart, it crossed the brake line and snapped it completely off the caliper. Fortunately, James grew up with two fathers that instilled a great amount of respect for the importance to "be prepared." Like any good Boy Scout, James had brought his entire tool box from home, packed with nuts and bolts and washers and "manly accessories." Within minutes the spare tire was on the axle and the brake line had been MacGyver'ed tight with manly accessories to stop the bleeding.

Team Fort Lowell knew they had to turn around and head back to Tucson. The spare tire and hose clamp were not going to hold up for the 48 hour adventure that these cadets were about to embark on. In fact, it was questionable whether or not the journey would (or should) continue from this point. They were able to drive to the closest PepBoys to discuss matters further with Hippe (pronounced HIP-pee), a fine young mechanic that was hanging on to every moment he could spend with the young, professional, executive ladies. Hippe wanted to help in any way possible, but was simply unequipped. He did approve of the craftsmanship that James applied to the broken brake line, so the team decide to move the Volvo across town to a repair shop closer to Loreto's home.

Loreto's husband, Captain Kane-Man (aka Mr. Flint), came to the rescue, meeting the ladies and gent on the Westside to escort them across town to the Eastside PepBoys, ensuring their safe arrival. Kane, the true hero in this story, decided to offer his own vehicle to the project for the weekend so that everyone could get back on the road and see to it that these photographs would be taken. It was an extremely noble gesture and greatly appreciated. The team left the Volvo with the new mechanic, made a pit stop by Casa de Echevarria for additional accessories, then delivered Kane to his own temporary replacement vehicle for the weekend (Captain Kane-Man's gotta have wheels to get around town and rescue others, you know).

Loreto (from here forward referred to Lolo) was beat. She had been driving the Volvo up until this point and was simply exhausted from all of the excitement. James had taken the wheel of their new Jeep, and they were now headed west, crossing back through Tucson (hopefully) one last time. The positive energy for the team was being revived. Kane's dedication and support made everyone believe in the purpose of the trip again and find the motivation to carry on.

Driving on Ina Road, past Oracle, there seemed to be a construction zone on the road approaching. Casually following the neon glow of the the directional signs, all of a sudden the Jeep had been re-routed north onto a dark, twisting road that was jammed with traffic due to the 25-mph speed limit and incompetent drivers. The drive had already seemed endless, and none of the West-side cross roads looked familiar to the East-Tucson posse. It was as if Tucson was crying out, "Fort Lowell! Come back, Fort Lowell!" Tucson simply did not want this group to leave.

Pressing on, the Jeep was eventually able to make it past the point the Volvo did not. Excitement was shared between Tracy, Lolo, Alaina, and James in their new 48-hour-home, followed by a moment of silence that was fueled from the shear exhaustion from the past 5 hours. Then, Alaina began to laugh... hysterically, and uncontrollably. She had taken a look at the clock and it read "10:00pm." The young executives had just left Tucson for the second time, and the reality of their departure had just hit Alaina. It became infectious. The entire group began laughing out loud, and subconsciously crying on the inside without tears showing on their faces. Everyone knew that it was a crazy idea, but everyone remained optimistic and felt the sacrifice of sanity for the love of art would be worth it in the end. This is the dedication the executives of Fort Lowell Records give to each project and each other. This is what rock-n-roll is all about.


Saturday, May 1st - "May Day, May Day, May Day!"
For the past 15 years, James had been on many tours around the country, driving many late-night-after-concert-shifts lasting from 6 hours to 14 hours, so the idea of an 8 hour overnight drive from Tucson to Los Angeles seemed very realistic and possibly fun in some ways. Lolo's role with Fort Lowell Records has been to be a supportive energy in any way needed for any projects, and this was clearly demonstrated with this overnight drive. She stayed up the entire time keeping everyone's optimism in check, and James' alertness to the road focused, ...with the assistance of a healthy dose of Cool Ranch Doritos and two Starbucks Double Shots (standard issues for James and overnight driving). The team did have to pass up the Massage Parlor at the one stop they made for gas, and pressed on to arrive in Los Angeles a little after 5:00 am.

Emily and Deanna from Wet & Reckless, and Gimpy and Puppy, Deanna's cute dogs, greeted everyone upon arrival. Whitney, newly appointed lead guitarist for Wet & Reckless, remained asleep on the coach. Team Tucson did everything to be as quiet as possible, but sleeping on the hardwood floors did not seem as inviting as sleeping on blow-up mattresses, despite the Boeing engine-like noise they would make to inflate. Lolo and Alaina did their best to settle in the living room, while James and Tracy attempted to make their mattress inflate between the kitchen sink, oven, refrigerator and garbage cans. No one cared about the arrangement at this point. They simply wanted that bird outside singing beautifully to his mate to die, and the sun to take a detour north, east, or south... any direction but west.

With a few hours of trying to sleep, everyone began to rise around 11:00am. Discussions about taking a walk to get coffee were underway. The idea of starting this day, regardless of the lack of proper rest, just seemed like the right idea (but perhaps should have been re-analyzed). Deanna's house sits on top of one of the steepest streets in the world, Baxter Street in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Driving in at 5:00 am provided a beautiful view of their city. However, not considering this at 11:00am for the walk to go get coffee proved to be an work-out that Team Tucson (a city where most of the residential area resides in the flat area between mountains and hills) was not prepared for.

The local coffee was great, and the company was even better. Everyone took time getting to know each other and take in the beautiful neighborhood of Echo Park. Emily and Whitney headed out to the studio for the day for Wet & Reckless to begin recording what will become their track for the Fort Lowell Records Split 7inch with Tracy Shedd. Deanna took James down to Origami Vinyl in Echo Park to meet with Sean (co-owner) and drop off some records to carry in the store. Lolo unfortunately had to learn a bit more about the damage to her Volvo, something that ended up being not just a simple drop-off-at-the-mechanic-for-the-morning kind of repair. Everyone else embraced the clean water of Los Angeles and took l o n g e r - t h a n - n o r m a l showers to try and re-start their day off on a better (or at least more clean) note.

Team Tucson decided to head out to Santa Monica Pier and stick their dry desert skin in the frigid Pacific Coast water. With the recently discovered Hipstamatic iPhone App and Alaina's truly impressive professional cameras, the kids from Tucson enjoyed an afternoon taking photographs of each other, drinking beer with olive juice (trust us, try it!), and already beginning to miss their loved ones they had just left behind nearly 24 hours ago. The original plan, if they had arrived in Los Angeles on time, was for Lolo and Alaina to drop off Tracy and James at Deanna's house and go visit with Kelly Flint, Lolo's sister in-law/Kane's sister. They would have been able to spend some time with Lolo's family on Saturday and then meet up with everyone else later in the day. The trip to the Santa Monica Pier was simply something to make the best of the time now allotted to the project due to the situation, and it proved to be a fun, relaxing afternoon, soaking in the California sun--- possibly the highlight of the trip.

Everyone met back up at Casa de Wet & Reckless around 9:00pm. Team Los Angeles began cleaning the house and getting ready to get their groove on, while Team Tucson, who had never really gotten over the stresses of the Volvo experience, and who were malnourished and exhausted from a lack of sleep, did their best to pull themselves together to try and make something work. Lolo opted to take a nap in the Jeep to try and recharge her batteries. As the party slowly began to get started Alaina looked for any opportunity to document imagery for possible usage, but all creative juices were left behind on the road with the tire tread from the Volvo the night before.

More and more friends began to arrive as the night went on, and everyone did their best to pull together what may still become the cover art to FLR003, the third release for Fort Lowell Records. No one will truly know the outcome until Alaina is able to develop the film from this adventure. There were a few magical moments of group splits on the wood floor and Fred-Astaire-and-Ginger-Rogers-like dancing moves that very well could work out to be what everyone was hoping for.

The party carried on in the neighborhood of Echo Park, as the night progressed. Lolo and Alaina decided they were not going to be able to pull another all-nighter, so they decided to take a trip down to Long Beach, CA, to meet up with Kelly and try to get a decent night's rest before having to make the drive back to Tucson the next day. Kelly was able to give directions to Lolo just before her phone battery died. Unfortunately, James had all of the electronic gadgets with him back at Deanna's house that could have allowed for Lolo to re-charge her phone if needed. The girls followed Kelly's directions to a T, not knowing that her instruction to exit the 710 on Cherry Street was not a possible direction to take.

They circled around the Los Angeles area, trying to figure out how Cherry Street intersected with the 710. Meanwhile, Kelly had been trying to contact Lolo to let her know about her mistake, but was unable to do so because of the dead phone. As minutes turned to hours, the night became an endless whirlwind that seemed to have no end. Lolo and Alaina found themselves in South Central Los Angeles, and every convenience store seemed to know that Cherry Street was in Long Beach but had no clue how to direct them where they needed to go.

Finally, a clerk at one of the stores offered to look up directions for them online. In order for Lolo to give the clerk Kelly's address to look up, she had to get the information off of her phone. Lolo found a power outlet on the outside of the convenience store. As any iPhone owner could tell you, you can't just plug in a dead iPhone and expect to use it immediately; you've got to wait a good couple of minutes for it to breath again before it is able to come back to life. So Lolo stood there, bent over due to the low height of the outlet and short length of the power cable, for a number of minutes before her lil' co-pilot came back to life.

Once Lolo was able to connect, they gave the address to the clerk immediately to pull up directions while Lolo reached out to Kelly to let her know what had been going on. Everything seemed to finally be coming together. As Lolo was about to stand up and step back to ease her body from being cramped over, Alaina shouted, "Don't move!" It was dark this time of the morning, and where the power outlet was located on the building, no illumination was provided. Apparently Lolo had been squatting in a fresh puddle of someone's puke, and was about to take a step back into more of it.

Breaking loose of all possible emotions, the two girls grabbed the directions from the clerk, cleaned themselves off as best as possible, and arrived at Kelly's faster than an ol' 78-rpm record would shatter on a concrete floor. Kelly and her fiance Ron were waiting for Lolo and Alaina with open arms, shots of Vodka, and a nice comfy bed to put an end to their day. Lolo reached out to James to let him know that they were not going to be meeting up for brunch in the morning, and instead they would simply call them in the afternoon when they were ready to wake up and head back to Tucson. The two Tucsonans had had their share of fun in Los Angeles and were more than ready to head back to the desert.

Meanwhile, back at Casa de Wet & Reckless... the party and photo shoot continued on. Everyone had been having so much fun posing for Alaina's camera earlier, other cameras made their way out of pockets and flashes kept going off throughout the party. Everyone danced until the wee hours of the morning, and Lolo and Alaina were certainly missed by all. The favorite pose of the night seemed to be the group "splits," in honor of the "split 7inch" release for Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd. A highlight from the night was when Felix, manager for ...music video? (the second band to release a 7inch with Fort Lowell Records), decided to play a track from ...music video?'s new album coming out later this year, and everyone in the party began asking with excitement, "Who is this?!" Felix turned to James as said, "See! This is what happens every time I play ...music video?!" It was a beautiful gathering for friends of old and new, and something that will always be remembered when the split 7inch is released later in 2010.


Sunday, May 2nd - "Where am I?"
Lolo and Alaina in Long Beach and Tracy and James in Echo Park both managed to get to bed around 5:00am. However, Tracy and James had already made plans to meet up with long time friend Mendy Pound and her fiance, Gabriel Vidauri, at 11:00am for brunch. This left them with only about 5 hours of sleep to re-coup from the previous 36 hours of fun in the California sun. Emily had given Tracy and James her own bed to sleep in so they did not have to try and squeeze their blow-up mattress in the kitchen again. As James began to wake up this Sunday morning, he though to himself, "Ahhhh... it feels so nice to sleep in my own bed!" For a brief moment, he honestly had thought that everything up to this point had been a dream and that he was still in Tucson, AZ.

The morning plans carried out as expected. It was a sad good-bye for such a short trip with Wet & Reckless. Brunch with Mendy and Gabriel was extremely pleasant and a nice way to conclude the adventure in Los Angeles for Tracy and James. Lolo and Alaina had their own enjoyable experience with Lolo's family. They were able to sleep in to gain enough energy to make the hike back to Tucson, and share some quality time catching up with Kelly and her fiance Ron. In the early afternoon, the four executives from Fort Lowell Records met back up and set their compasses for Tucson.

Fortunately, the drive home would prove to be not as exciting as the drive to Los Angeles. Lolo knew that James still had yet to have a complete 8 hours of sleep, so she offer to take the lead on driving home, which she ended up managing the entire drive rather than just the first part. The Jeep continued to hold up to its end of the bargain, and had truly become home for these four explorers. There was a great sense of comfort being back in the Jeep, knowing that when it would conclude its journey in 8 hours, it will have taken them home.

There was also a great sense of success, accomplishment, and pride. The team did not lot let anything stand in their way. They had a mission and gave everything that had to try and complete what they had set out to do. Success is not found in the end result of something, rather during the process of doing something; success is the act of doing. The executives will not be successful when they find a photograph to use for the cover art... rather, they are already successful because they had an idea to do something and never gave up. That is what life is all about, as well as what Fort Lowell Records is all about.

It is too often that ideas are simply left on the table, or perhaps never even make it to the table and are left in one's head. Ideas need to be carried through so that life can be lived. This is how you grow. This is why we exist. Our fearless cast of characters learned a lot about themselves and each other from this experience, and grew in more ways than they could have imagined. But what is most important is that Fort Lowell Records continues to grow as a family, and that art, expression, and creativity is given the opportunity to exist.

We truly appreciate all of the time and energy that was given toward this project, and look forward to many more exciting adventures for many more years to come!

- Fort Lowell Records
 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

YOUNG MOTHERS TRIVIA or WE LOVE GIVING THINGS AWAY

Yesterday was the official release date for Young Mothers' "Come On, The Cross" 7inch record. In honor of its release, we hosted a little trivia game via our Fort Lowell Records email list to give away a signed test press record. Here are the two questions that were sent out to everyone to answer:

Referring to the cover art for the Young Mothers' 7inch Record...
- What flavor ice cream is Patricia eating?
- What is the name of the ice cream shop where Patricia got her ice cream?

Twelve hours later, Jennifer Alzua emailed back with the two correct answers: Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream from Thrifty's! You can almost guess what flavor ice cream she was eating, just by looking at the photo. If you keep up with Fort Lowell Records' Twitter account, you may have caught the one time someone asked about the sign in the photo behind Patricia and we replied, saying it said "Thrifty's." Also, our cover stars are always listed on the inside, so in case you were wondering which girl was Patricia, it is noted in the credits.

The point of this post is... as you all are getting to learn what Fort Lowell Records is all about, one thing you should quickly pick up on is that we like to give stuff away and do fun little things like trivia games. We can also tell you that it is pretty much going to be a standard practice to give away one signed copy of the test pressing for each release. We love test pressings and we want to share them with at least one special person in the world each time we put a record out. So, we would recommend you connect with us in every way possible (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, and our email list via FanBridge). You never know what trivia game we are going to play next.

Speaking of giving things away... something you may not have known or thought about before is, we also gave away a lot of extras with the pre-orders we had for Young Mothers' release. Just ask anyone that ordered the record before the release date. They all received a Young Mothers promotional poster, an extra Fort Lowell Records sticker, a CDR with additional unreleased songs from Young Mothers, and a signed copy of the "Come On, The Cross" artwork by all of Young Mothers band members. This is something to consider when we post up the pre-order link for ...music video? and the Wet & Reckless / Tracy Shedd split 7inch. Anticipate some fun extra freebies for those of you that opt in for the pre-order.

Thanks again for all of the support everyone!
We truly appreciate all of your help!

- Fort Lowell Records

Monday, April 19, 2010

THANK YOU TUCSON... YOU ROCK!

This past Saturday, April 17th, while the world celebrated Record Store Day, the city of Tucson welcomed in the birth of our record label, Fort Lowell Records. The launch party was held at the Zia Records on Speedway Blvd., and it could not have been a more perfect setting. Tucsonans drove in from all over the city to show their support, while Tracy Shedd, ...music video?, and Young Mothers played their hearts out. It was better than we ever expected, and a memory we will always cherish.

During the development of what has become Fort Lowell Records, there was a long standing debate (with myself) on whether or not to make this a label focused on nationally known bands or on local bands from Tucson. After living here for the past three years, I have fallen in love with the beauty of this city: the support Tucson has for itself. Fort Lowell Records needed to be something to give back to this. It is a community that thrives on the passion for creativity, and a culture than believes in supporting the arts.

Everyone here at Fort Lowell Records is very excited about what is ahead of us for 2010. Young Mothers are an amazing group of musicians, and we are very excited to have them help us launch this record label. ...music video? will be following them shortly after with a sexy release, due out July 13th. Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd will be splitting some wax together later in the year, and if all goes as planned... we will be presenting one more release before the end of 2010. In order to do that, we need the support from all of you. All of the money made from our releases goes back into our label to put out more records for more Tucson bands. So, thank you to all of you that have already purchased our first release for Young Mothers, and thank you to those of you about to do so. This label would not exist without you.

Sincerely,
- The Fort Lowell Records Family

Sunday, April 18, 2010

THE VINYL BARON + FORT LOWELL RECORDS



This coming Friday, April 23rd, come join Tucson's favorite DJ, The Vinyl Baron, with Fort Lowell Records and Young Mothers, to celebrate Fort Lowell Records' first release for Young Mothers "Come On, The Cross" 7inch record! Band members from Young Mothers will be spinning their favorite vinyl for the first hour. Then a special guest DJ from Fort Lowell Records' Executive Team will join The Vinyl Baron to keep the turntables spinning through the night. Come listen to Young Mothers' "Come On, The Cross" while you enjoy a beverage of your choice, and then pick up a copy of the 7inch from Fort Lowell Records to take home and spin yourself!

DRINK SPECIAL - $7.00
Includes: Young Mothers 7inch Record + Any Well Drink
(Purchase at Fort Lowell Records merchandise table)


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


The Vinyl Baron presents
Fort Lowell Records + Young Mothers

Friday, April 23rd | 7:00-10:00pm
Hotel Congress Patio | 311 E. Congress Street, Tucson, AZ

7:00-8:00pm - DJ set by Young Mothers
8:00-10:00pm - DJ set by The Vinyl Baron + FLR Executive Team

Saturday, April 17, 2010

RECORD STORE DAY + ZIA RECORDS host Fort Lowell Records very first Showcase!



Fort Lowell Records is proud to announce that on Saturday, April 17th, Young Mothers' 7inch Record will be officially available for the city of Tucson AZ only! To help celebrate our very first release, Zia Records is hosting a special Fort Lowell Records Showcase, in conjunction with Record Store Day at their Speedway location in Tucson AZ. There will be live performances from Young Mothers, ...music video?, and Tracy Shedd; all three artists to be released by Fort Lowell Records in 2010. Young Mothers' 7inch Record for "Come On, The Cross" will be available for the first time to the public at Zia Records on April 17th, and there will lots of other give-aways for those that show up to the Fort Lowell Records Showcase! Please help spread the word for this historical event and invite others via this Facebook Event Page. We look forward to seeing you at Zia Records!

Saturday, April 17th
4:00pm-6:00pm
Free Event | All Ages

4:00pm - 4:30pm: Tracy Shedd
4:45pm - 5:15pm: ...music video?
5:30pm - 6:00pm: Young Mothers

Zia Records | Speedway
3370 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
(520) 327-3340
http://www.ziarecords.com

Record Store Day
http://recordstoreday.com

Fort Lowell Records
http://fortlowell.blogspot.com

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Q1.FY10 UPDATE {1st Quarter of the 2010 Fiscal Year Update} - LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO THE FAMILY

There has certainly been a lot going on since the last update in January.  The was right about the time I was getting strapped in on what I knew was going to be the roller-coaster of a ride to starting up a Record Label, and it has been nothing short of that!  If you have not been doing so, you can follow along via our Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter pages for day-by-day updates of the steps we are taking to getting our first release out to you!  The day has been set... Tuesday, April 20th, 2010!  This will be when Young Mothers' 7inch will be available for all to enjoy!  We are actually going to make it available for all of the city of Tucson on Saturday, April 17th.  This is Record Store Day, and the fine folks at Zia Records are partnering up with us to see that Fort Lowell Records and Young Mothers are able to offer this debut to Tucson on Record Store Day!

Early in the process of developing Fort Lowell Records and what I wanted it to represent, I felt this sense of 'community' (as Zach from Young Mothers put it) being developed.  Two months later, after going through all of the creative design work that it takes to put a record together, I am really proud of what Fort Lowell Records has shaped up to be.  For some, the idea of putting out a record may be all about the band.  They provide the music (obviously), and sometimes may also provide the artwork, the liner notes, they may even design everything, etc., etc.  For a full album release, I can understand this.  It is literally "as if you gave birth to a kid," as put by Tracy Shedd, so having the band manage all aspects of a full album makes sense.  One reason we have chosen to work with 7inch Records only for Fort Lowell Records is how much 'fun' they can be to release.  Bands don't have to take things so serious with 7inch Records, and often they don't.  Sometimes bands will release music they would not normally want associated with a full album, or they may do silly things with artwork that they normally would not do for an album.  So, I decided to use Fort Lowell Records as a way to have a lot of 'fun' with a lot of people... not just the band.  I wanted to give other artists an outlet for their work, in addition for the band to have an outlet for their music.

clamdiggin was the first group of artists I reached out to, to partner with me on this project.  When we first moved to Tucson AZ, my wife and I stumbled across an Art Exhibit of their work, and fell in love at first sight.  This POSTER entitled "Patsy" was what got us hooked.  Then, I received this shirt called "Observatory" for Valentine's Day a year or so later.  There was tag on the shirt that said, "A portion of the proceeds from this shirt is contributed to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)."  From that point, we knew that clamdiggin was a great group of people, and represent a good purpose for their work.  Through the grape vine, we realized the various connections we had with clamdiggin with close friends, and reached out to them directly.  We basically offered clamdiggin complete control over the artwork that would be generated for the B-Side Label on the Vinyl Records themselves.  So, the A-Side will have a fixed Fort Lowell Records designed label with all of the necessary information about the music.  But then, clamdiggin will present their work on the flip side.  For our first release with Young Mothers, they have decided to use the artwork from their "Removal of plant life if prohibited" campaign.  I love the way it laid out with the circular format!  We all can't wait to see what other beauties clamdiggin present to Fort Lowell Records.  The offer was made for clamdiggin to have this outlet for their work on all future releases with Fort Lowell Records, so stay tuned!

At 10:40am on February 2nd, I posted on my personal Twitter Account, "Need help finding a Tucson Photographer to partner with for Cover Art for @FortLowellRecs 7inch Records. Know someone? Have them contact me!"  I had an idea that I wanted to find a local Photographer to work with on all of the artwork designs for each release.  One of my favorite Record Labels of all time is 4AD.  I love the fact that you can pick up a 4AD Record and know it is a 4AD Record simply by the artwork.  The same is true for Blue Note, Sarah Records, and Teenbeat; other Record Labels I am very fond of.  I think a good part of this is because of the imagery their designers work with.  The other major part of it is that they are working with the same Graphic Designers, and that is where I personally come into play with Fort Lowell Records.  Other than simply being the guy to get all of these great artists together for a common purpose, my artistic contribution is going to be to manage the Graphic Design of each release, something that I am very passionate about (other than Vinyl Records).

Within minutes of posting my Tweet, a very close friend of ours, Loreto Echevarria, contact me saying, "I've got your Photographer!"  Two days later, she arranged a scheduled meeting with local Tucson Photographer, Alaina Brownell.  Before even looking at her work, I knew that Alaina was the right Photographer to bring on board.  A major factor in developing this 'community' and choosing who we want to work with is the energy that each person brings to the project.  This goes for the bands as well.  I remember learning this from Mark Robinson with Teenbeat.  A Record Label can truly end up becoming a family, which is a beautiful thing, so you have to be aware of this in the beginning, choosing carefully who you partner up with.  Being that Alaina was trusted and respected by a friend of ours presented a comfort that she was going to have the right energy we were looking for.  Then, when we dove into looking at her photos, I all of sudden felt like I had wasted so much time in the past looking for various images to work with on previous work that I had been doing for so many years.  Alaina's photography has exactly what I am always looking for when searching for photos to design posters or album artwork.  They are very personal and tell a story.  You can see there is a clear connection between her, as the Photographer, and her subjects.  On top of all that, she takes her photographs on film... the equivalent of records in the Photography World... they are analog!  Alaina gave me one of her World Famous I'm-Gonna-Hit-You-So-Hard-You're-Not-Gonna-Know-What-Hit-Ya'!-High-Fives when we had that discovery!  I think that is what sealed the deal!  So like clamdiggin, Fort Lowell Records will be featuring the photographic images of Alaina Brownell's work with each release.


During this entire process of finding a Photographer, and beginning to discuss artwork and design with Young Mothers [FLR001] and ...music video? [FLR002], we could not help by recognize the energy that Ms. Loreto Echevarria was also bringing to the table.  Loreto is a Fashion Stylist in Tucson AZ and works under the name Lolo Chic.  Her and Alaina have been working on a project to promote Lolo Chic, so it was very natural for Loreto to be around during many of our initial meetings.  But what was unexpected was Loreto's natural ability to have a positive guidance with groups of creative people.  I think it goes without saying: heads can butt together when many creative people are involved on the same project... and that starts with my big melon!  HA!  There, I said it.  That is why I purposely wanted to build this community of artists to come together; to force others (including and mainly myself) to accept and respect the contributions of what others have to offer.  Loreto provided a neutral perspective, but yet helped each of us, as artists, understand each other.  So, we have decided to include Loreto in the family here at Fort Lowell Records, to assist in connecting the music to the photographs to the design.  I am confident in saying that this process would not have been as much fun without her!  We look forward to working on more future projects with our newly appointed Design Consultant.


Another major element of a Record Label is having distribution.  Why, isn't that the point... to get the music out to listeners across the world?  We are ever so happy and excited that we were able to rekindle an old friendship with finding a partner for managing the distribution of Fort Lowell Records.  24 Hour Service Station has been around since 1994, and began as a Record Label out of the Tampa FL area.  Their first release was for a great band called Rosewater Elizabeth.  Being kids from Jacksonville FL ourselves, we grew up in the Florida Scene with Rosewater Elizabeth and 24 Hour Service Station.  We used to work with 24 Hour Service Station quite a bit, booking various shows with their bands and what not.  When we started doing research for Distributors for Fort Lowell Records, we learned through our friend Pocket, whom Tracy Shedd sang vocals for on Pocket's contribution to 24 Hour Service Station's New Order tribute CD called Ceremony, that 24 Hour Service Station was now not only a Record Label, but also managing distribution for others now.  Going back to that whole 'energy' thing I keep talking about... We knew immediately that we wanted them to manage distribution for Fort Lowell Records.  24 Hour Service Station has always been very professional and yet personal.  We have always had a lot of respect for what they have done, and feel very privileged to be able to work with them again.  And the best part is... their Distribution Outlets are amazing!  Fort Lowell Records will be available for anyone to order in at their local Record Stores.  And a great addition... they are able to make each release available to nearly every Online Outlet, such as iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, Lala, etc.


So stay tuned... Fort Lowell Records is comin' at cha'!  April 20th is the official launch of our first release for Young Mothers, and we will have two more great records coming in the summer... one from ...music video?, and the other will be a split release for Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd!  Please try and help us sell these records so we can continue to fund future releases.  We've got more exciting and great music from other Tucson bands lined up... but will need your support to get started, so 'Thank You' in advance!

Oh yeah... back to 'energy' and 'family' and all of that great stuff that makes up Fort Lowell Records... Here is a Fun Fact I like to point out: Emily Wilder, the singer / guitarist from Wet & Reckless is actually the Cover Star for Tracy Shedd's last full length album Cigarettes & Smoke Machines [Teenbeat 2008], plus she is the Director (AKA: "Stop Motion Kid") of Tracy Shedd's world famous video for the song "City At Night" from her latest release EP88 [Eskimo Kiss Records 2010].  Deanna DeVries, drummer for Wet & Reckless, is the one who (literally) built the Set Pieces for the same video!  These girls rule!  We can't wait to here what they have for us here at Fort Lowell Records!  More to come on that, when both Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd hit the studios soon!


PS: I am sure there are a lot of grammatical errors with my usage of "I" and "we" when talking about Fort Lowell Records.  Sure, this project started from me having any idea to start a Record Label and selling my 1976 CJ5 Jeep with 35" Tires and a 4" Lift Kit (I miss you Bumble Bee!), as seen in Tracy Shedd's video for "Whatever It Takes" from Cigarettes & Smoke Machines... but this is very much a "we" effort!  There is no way this would all be possible without all of the help and support from my friends, and most importantly... Fort Lowell Records' own Vice President of Corporate Affairs... Mrs. Tritten.   "We" appreciate all of the support so far, and can't wait to start populating the world with more Vinyl Records!


Support Local!
Support Vinyl!



~ James

Sunday, January 10, 2010

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS 'Fort Lowell Records' I KEEP HEARING ABOUT?

Okay.  I think it is finally time I explain what the hell is going on here.  My name is James Tritten.  Most of you may know me from my wife, Tracy Shedd, or perhaps some of my previous musical adventures: either of my previous bands, Audio Explorations or Sella, or from when I ran my own Booking Agency called Candy Gram Booking (bands including +/-, The Aluminum Group, Charlene, Crime In Choir, Denison Whitmer, Edison Woods, eE, Electro Group, Fin Fang Foom, Helms, Inspection 12, The Mercury Program, Tiara, Track Star, Tracy Shedd, Trembling Blue Stars, The Trouble With Sweeney, True Love Always, Victory At Sea, and Whippersnapper).  Or perhaps you know me simply on a personal level.  Either way, if you know me, you know I am extremely passionate about Vinyl Records. 

Recently, over a weekend while staying home sick, I dove back into an old love for 7inch Vinyl Records.  I reminisced about the early 90's when it seemed that every Indie Rock band started releasing music on 7inch Records; thinking of bands like Common Thread, Poem Rocket, Damnbuilders, Charlene (having by far the best 7inches ever made!), or facinating over specific Record Catalogs like Sarah Records, Decorder Ring Records, Kill Rock Stars, Figurehead, and Omnibus.  It immediately became evident to me that there really is not a strong scene for the 7inch Records anymore.  With CD's being so easy and inexpensive to produce, new bands these days are simply jumping right into putting out full length albums, and not paying enough respect to 'the song.'  7inch Records are a great way to truly showcase a band's song writing capabilities.  I made a decision to start up a Record Label specifically for 7inch Vinyl Records, and focused on bands from Tucson, AZ.

By the end of that weekend, I had already developed the name, logo, and blog site for Fort Lowell Records.  I had also begun research on deciding who would be the first band to be released in 2010.  And most importantly, I had already posted my 1976 CJ5 Jeep for sale on Craig's List, which would be the investment needed to start Fort Lowell Records.

"Why Fort Lowell?", some may ask.  One thing I knew for sure was I wanted this record label to be for Tucson Bands.  There are simply too many great bands in this town, and not enough people know about them.  Heck, I don't even think the people in Tucson know about all of the great bands in this town.  The actual 'Fort Lowell' itself is a very historical landmark for Tucson, and I felt it was a nice way to 'literally' pay respect to the city.

"Why Tucson?"  The city owned television station, Tucson 12, and in particular, Dan Sheffer, and the local radio station, KXCI, with some of it's leaders such as Ginger Kahealani Doran, Dan Twelker, Don Jennings, and Duncan Hudson, show a tremendous amount of support to Tucson, unlike anything I have ever seen in any other city.  Both of these organizations were instrumental in the decision to be a 'Tucson Label.'  I want to help them show the world what greatness we have in this community.  I want to give that 15-year-old kid that is sitting in Math Class right now down at Tucson High School a reason to go buy that guitar he has been dreaming about.  Being locally focused helps make this a more reachable goal for musicians around town.

"Why Vinyl?", others may ask.  Because I personally believe in it.  Vinyl Records are a work of art.  More and more people in the world are discovering this for the first time, or rekindling an old passion they had years ago with Vinyl.  Vinyl Records are historical.  They are an experience.  Vinyl Records are music.

So here we go!  2010 is the official birth year for Fort Lowell Records.  Our first release is going to be for Young Mothers.  Led by Zach Toporek, Young Mothers are a great band with a great energy; just the sort of thing I wanted to make that first impression to the world!  Just in the short month that I have begun promoting Fort Lowell Records, I have already receive TWO Radio Requests (outside of Tucson) for Young Mothers' 7inch Release!  To keep the energy going, we will follow up Young Mothers with ...music video?, who have been working hard in the studio for their highly anticipated third album (self released).  Fort Lowell Records is looking to assist ...music video? with their launch by releasing the first single for their album coming out.  Last, but certainly not least, Wet & Reckless and Tracy Shedd will be the third release for Fort Lowell.  Emily Wilder, from Wet & Reckless, and Tracy Shedd have been best friends since their teenage years.  What better way to celebrate this friendship than put out a Split 7inch with both bands.  And being that Bass Player for Wet & Reckless, Jessica Gelt, is actually from Tucson, both bands fit the mold that I am looking for.

The beauty of 7inch Records lies in their economics; they are not expensive to produce and it does not cost the bands a lot of money to record music for a 7inch, thus making the cost for the customer between five to six dollars.  I am personally working extremely hard to ensure that our records offer a great value to you.  All records will be released on a limited run of 500 Hand Numbered Colored Vinyl, and will also include an MP3 Download for those customers that don't have a Record Player.  All of the artwork will be a Two Color Offset Print, printed locally in Tucson, and NOT on a Photocopier!  And to protect these amazing works of art, they will include the highest quality of protective sleeves on the market.  There is even more ideas of value in the works, so you will just have to wait to see what we come up with for the first release.  With all of the love, creativity, and amazing music being put into each release, these 7inch Records are going to be hard to resist!


Another point that is very important to me with Fort Lowell Records is... all money made from the label is going to be put right back into the label to help put out more and more releases.  I have a job, a career.  I am not looking to make a profit from this.  I just want more records on my own shelf, and I want more people in the world to know about Tucson, AZ.  So when we are ready to start releasing music (coming soon), help spread the word!  The faster we can sell through Young Mothers and ...music video?, the fast we will be able to start releasing more Tucson Bands! 

I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy the music!  Stay tuned... production on the first two releases is wrapping up soon!  Remember, spread the word!  Invited your friends to follow Fort Lowell Records on Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.  Support Local!  Support Tucson!

Until then...
Enjoy!

- James

Saturday, January 2, 2010

NOW, HOW DID WE DO THAT?

Happy New Year Everyone!

We are very excited about all of the plans to get Fort Lowell Records started in 2010!  Our first release with Young Mothers is in the works, and we should be announcing a release date soon.  We are not exactly sure how this happened... but we have actually already lined up artist for our 3RD release, not 2nd... but (skip one) the one after that!  FLR003 is going to be a Split 7inch with Tracy Shedd (Teenbeat / Eskimo Kiss Records) and Wet And Reckless!

Tracy Shedd is just about to release her 'piano debut' with Eskimo Kiss Records, called EP88.  It is scheduled to come out in February, and contains five tracks that Shedd wrote on piano, not guitar!  However, Fort Lowell Records is happy to report that Shedd wants back on the guitar for her split with Wet And Reckless!  Expect greatness from Camp Shedd for her Fort Lowell debut!

Wet And Reckless is a brand new trio from Los Angeles, CA; currently traveling the US on tour!  You may be asking yourself... "I thought Fort Lowell Records was going to focus on bands from Tucson, AZ?"  Well, don't fret (pun intended music fans)!  Bassist Jessica Gelt is home grown right here in the Old Pueblo!  As soon as they return home, these three ladies are going to hit the studio to prepare for their vinyl debut!  Fort Lowell Records is honored to be able to help Wet And Reckless out!  You can check out their own Websites to listen to some of their first demo recordings.

So, meetings are taking place to discuss FLR002 to follow up Young Mothers immediately.  Our overall goal is to get four records out for 2010, so stay tuned to learn about who we will be partnering up with in the near future!

Thank you all for the amazing support we have received without even having a release out!
Soon!  We'll we deliver soon!
- FLR

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays / Happy Recording

Zach Toporek & Co. from Young Mothers are hitting the studio this Holiday Season! First project to go is with Fort Lowell Records, but then they will be following up with a new EP in addition to our 7inch Release... so there is a lot to come from Team YM in 2010! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is it Happy Birthday or Welcome Young Mothers to Fort Lowell Records?


I guess today's the day you 'could' call Fort Lowell Records' Birthday!  Zach Toporek from the band Young Mothers met with Fort Lowell to discuss what will become FLR001, the first 7inch Release from FLR!  More to come!