Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Tracy Shedd Red (on Red Vinyl) Limited LP Pressing

[Repost from Teen-Beat; by Mark Robinson, October 25, 2023]

One of our favorite songwriters and singers of all time, Tracy Shedd! Red is her 2004 follow-up album to her smash debut album, Blue. A stunningly beautiful collection of 14 songs fleshed out with a full guitar/bass/drums line up of Cash Carter and Richard Dudley. Tracy plays not only the guitar, but piano and Taro Hanaka guests on violin. Mixed by Trevor Kampmann from hollAnd/Party Milk and produced by Mark Robinson.

On vinyl for the first time every, this 20th anniversary edition will be pressed on transparent red vinyl and will be limited to only 100 copies. Pre-order now and records will ship to you at some point early next year— or whenever they're ready. Whichever comes first.

Monday, October 30, 2023

Summer Set - "Center of Attention"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, October 24, 2023]

Last month we gushed all over "Favorite Places," the latest single from Summer Set. They're back with a new single, and it's going to appeal to a lot of our readers. I compared the previous single to Pavement, The Dandy Warhols, and Wilco, and "Center of Attention" will also fit that sound. However, this new single sounds a bit more like Built to Spill playing around with alt-country. It still has that chilled out sound with country twang with some 90's slacker vibes, and who doesn't want those sounds mixed together, especially when it's done as well as Summer Set are?

You can listen to "Center of Attention" below. Summer Set's self-titled album is due out November 3 on Fort Lowell Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Summer Set, check out the band's Bandcamp.

Friday, October 27, 2023

OUT NOW: Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long "Nothing Lasts Forever" [Digital Single]

The second single from their new album One Day Will Never Come Back is out today on all digital music platforms.  Check out Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long "Nothing Lasts Forever" now!

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Common Thread - "Lydia Elle"

Common Thread; photo by Jody McFarland, circa early 1990s

We don't cover a ton of reissues here, but sometimes an artist being reissued is new to us and absolutely thrilling to discover. That's the case with Common Thread. Based out of Jacksonville, FL, their second album, Fountain, was released in 1993 only on cassette, and to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary it's being released on vinyl and streaming services for the first time. Right now we can hear "Lydia Elle" from the reissue, and holy hell... this would have been life changing for me in 1993. "Lydia Elle" is a beast of a song that combines the noise and coolness of indie rockers like Sonic Youth, the sheer power and near metal side of The Jesus Lizard, the wave of shoegaze noise of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and the dark post-punk groove of Joy Division. Hearing Common Thread in 2023 is nearly life changing, so I can't imagine hearing this as a teenager. 

You can listen to "Lydia Elle" below. The reissue of Fountain is due out December 8 on Fort Lowell Records, and is available for pre-order here. For more on Common Thread, check out Fort Lowell Records' website.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

“Lydia Elle” by Common Thread: A Glimmer Through the Looking Glass of Nostalgia

Common Thread; photo by Jody McFarland, circa early 1990s

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; by Taylor John Salvetti, October 13, 2023]

Who doesn’t want a thrashy, fuzzed-out bass, sixty-two-second intro? I’ll never know. Neither did Common Thread. With their 30th Anniversary release of Fountain, and lead single, “Lydia Elle,” listeners can come to expect this mentality of pre-Y2K angst, raw crunch, desperate pleas for a brighter future.

“Lydia Elle” is youth on display, not only sonically, but an earnestness of adolescence that is yearning to be seen, heard, validated. Thirty years is a long time, and Common Thread has shared stages with some formidable acts like Agent Orange, The Smithereens, and The Veldt, but I’d say this release can hold its own against the new names of the genre.

When asked about the resurfacing of this sound trend and the changed DIY landscape, frontman Joe Parker said, “It’s tempting to think we were on the cutting edge…more of a result of having similar musical exposure…We would regularly perform with 8-10 effects pedals apiece and be the only band I saw doing this.”

Indie labels have been moving forward with more archival work and releasing somewhat forgotten music to a new audience. Regarding Fort Lowell’s re-release of Fountain, Parker said, “In a way, these are modern field recordings. It gives the music another chance to be discovered and audiences get a richer picture of a bygone scene.”

This moment feels like a direct response to the day and age we find ourselves, when things are easily accessible, full albums made with a single microphone and stock DAWs. But Common Thread recorded Fountain and “Lydia Elle” on a cassette tape back in 1993, a time when music production was accessible but still a considerable effort. The nuances are not lost in this re-release thirty years later. The fuzz and near disintegration, the warble, the echo: all of it feels sincere, even until the last few seconds of soaring vocals and phased distortion. This music has come from a  deep moment in these young people’s lives and brought to light so many years later, and it shows that some things might still be timeless.

Friday, October 20, 2023

OUT NOW: Summer Set "Center of Attention" [Digital Single]

The second single from the long awaited self-titled first official release from Wilmington, North Carolina indie rock celebs Summer Set is out now on all music platforms.  Titled "Center of Attention", click the link below to listen now -- and click here to pre-order the album on vinyl record!

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

‘Fountain,’ Beloved Album By Duval Indie Rockers Common Thread Gets 30th Anniversary Reissue

Common Thread performing in Five Points [Jacksonville FL], circa early '90s; photo by Jody McFarland

[Repost from Jacksonville Music Experience; by Daniel A. Brown, October 6, 2023]

Thirty years ago, the Northeast Florida independent music community was many things and, even devoid of nostalgia from any surviving participants, boasted its own kind of low magick.

Like much of America, Jacksonville and the surrounding environs benefited from the 1970s punk rock scene that tore down the walls of popular music. Most crucially, in the 1980s, underground musicians made short work of digging through that very same rubble and musicians forged scenes across the country, brick by brick.

Locally, and specifically from 1985-1995, Northeast Florida had a fairly diverse underground music scene. Hardcore punk, ‘77-style punk, jangly R.E.M.-style rock, death-thrash metal and emerging glimmers of area hip-hop provided a decent and even at-times supportive environment for a diverse scene of local musicians. These artists found support through clubs like Einstein A Go-Go, Metropolis and scads of self-booked gigs at any rental meeting halls willing to allow wild punk rockers into their Elks’ Lodges or wedding-reception spaces.

In 1993, Common Thread self-released their sophomore record: Fountain. The band (vocalist-guitarists Joe Parker and Travis Taylor, Joey Zimmerman on bass, and Craig Parlet on drums) was indicative of the shared elements and principles that seemed to coalesce a Jacksonville-locals mentality: no-nonsense vibes, a tenacity to play any gig that would come their way and a desire to also document their music. The nine songs of Fountain were the sound of the band’s admitted influences like Sonic Youth and Flaming Lips but more in a style of shoegaze not afraid to stomp through the local sand and cryptic marshlands.

In December, Fort Lowell Records is releasing the 30th-anniversary reissue of Fountain as both a download and vinyl version. Fort Lowell provided the Jacksonville Music Experience an exclusive preview of the record’s first single, “Lydia Elle,” which will be officially released on October 13. Listen above.

JME tracked down Common Thread vocalist-guitarist Joe Parker, from his longtime home in Oregon, where he’s enjoying a parallel life as a guitar luthier. Parker gave us the history of Common Thread and his thoughts on the anniversary edition of Fountains.

What year did Common Thread actually begin? 

Common Thread began officially in the fall of 1989. The first show we played was opening for Schrödinger’s Cat at the Metropolis in downtown Jacksonville. We were tuning up with pitch pipes. Halfway through our fifteen-minute set, Henry Wagner of Wag’s Record Hound approached the stage and told us to check our tuning. We were wholly incapable of complying and just plowed on. I remember seeing Arvid Smith play there with a semi-circle of pedals surrounding him. I definitely liked that. Our first drummer was Donald Kilpatrick, who played with us until the summer of 1992, when we played in New York City for the first time. We had a show scheduled at CBGB’s but ran out of cash. We stayed in a parking lot in Hoboken overnight and woke up suffocating and sweating to death in the van. Don and I got in an argument about staying or heading home. We had a couple days to kill before the show. Don was threatening to leave so we split since we couldn’t play without a drummer. I was so pissed. I had actually called Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth to invite him to the show — got his number out of the phone book. So cringy.

The mid-to-late ‘80s-early ‘90s of Northeast Florida were pretty vibrant as far as the actually ability to see live shows by then-underground bands—most famously at Einstein A Go-Go. What were some memorable shows that you saw at EAGG?

Coming up in Jacksonville, there was an assumption that we lived in a cultural backwater: “Surely every city has an Einstein A Go-Go, if not several bigger, better, cooler places.” It turned out that was not the case at all which gives EAGG an added luster. There was nothing like it anywhere but thank god it was where we were. I saw Fetchin’ Bones, Robyn Hitchcock, They Might Be Giants, the Feelies, Flaming Lips, Nirvana, Luna, th’ Faith Healers, Jane Siberry, Soundgarden, Primus, etc. These are just some shows that bubble to the surface.

Could you describe some of your memories and takeaways on that era of Jacksonville’s music scene before the grunge explosion hit?

I was not really a part of the music scene prior to the explosion. It all occurred right as Common Thread came online. That said, I began to know some older musicians (Thommy Berlin, Greg Wright, Ed Cotton, Stevie Stiletto, Arvid Smith) and became aware of the continuum of underground music in Jacksonville. It was good to feel part of that lineage even if we ran counter to most of it. There were bands that were further along, like Beggar Weeds and Rein Sanction, who we admired. We were in a cohort with bands like Crowsdell, Lysergic Garage Party, Fin Fang Foom and Gizzard among many others. In the period after Fountain (mid-‘90s,) we would rent out the Orange Park Lion’s Club and other suburban community centers to hold rock shows. We were amazed at the turnouts. We played at the Milk Bar and the Moto Lounge. When both of those venues were alive, downtown was electric. Club 5 in Riverside (now Sun-Ray Cinema,) was a great stage to play. We got the attention of a producer, Dave Hauser, at that time. He got us recording at the Warehouse Studio where we did an album plus worth of material (circa 1995-96.) It all felt purposeful and possible.

How many shows do you think Common Thread played in total; what are some memorable gigs?

We played hundreds of shows to tens of people. Not really but close. We would play anywhere we could. We had no merch and would go out of town to play a handful of shows in North Carolina. We once drove to Cleveland to play a festival that turned out to be all local bands. They were aghast that we drove that far for this?! We did a string of shows with the Veldt, culminating in a show at the Cat’s Cradle. They had a direct connection to the English bands we loved and it was eye opening to see what they did live. It was the first time we saw a drummer using a trigger to set off backing tracks and it sounded amazing. In the summer of ‘96 we hosted and opened for Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 for a few shows. He was touring as E.A.R. I think we got the gig from Jason Lewis because we were the only band in town that knew who Spacemen 3 were. Even still, we were not on his level of cool. He did introduce us to spliffs, which we smoked until we got tired of mixing our weed with tobacco. We were in it for the adventure as much as anything else. Our gang mentality was in full effect. We were running strong for a good seven years (thirteen if you count the stragglers,) so I would say we did a couple hundred shows in that time.

How has this experience been of Fountain finding a second life of sorts? Have you considered any sort of reunion shows to promote the rerelease of the album?

When [Fort Lowell Records owner James Tritten] brought up the idea of releasing Fountain on vinyl I was immediately on board. It had been a small regret to have never pressed it even though it had never been a viable option. As an album, I feel it was our most cohesive. The music and art all came together. We were hitting our stride and loving it. If I still lived in Jacksonville, I think Travis and I would be able to pull something together and play some shows for the release, maybe even lure Craig out. As it is, it would be a pretty heavy lift.

Friday, October 13, 2023

OUT NOW: Common Thread "Lydia Elle" [Digital Single]

Common Thread’s sophomore album Fountain is a holy grail of northeastern Florida indie rock. Originally released in 1993 on cassette tape, Fountain breaks sonic barriers. Melding influences from Echo & The Bunnymen to The Flaming Lips to Ride to Sonic Youth, Common Thread delivers a wall of dazzling dissonance unto their own. “Lydia Elle” and “Smoldering Black” convey astute lyrical poetry backed by extraordinary melodic hooks that set in deep. Fountain is a time capsule that has preserved nine incredible audible gifts, commemorating Common Thread’s ability and authority.

Today "Lydia Elle" has been made available as the first Digital Single from Fountain on all music platforms. Check it out now, and be sure to reserve your copy of Common Thread Fountain on vinyl record before they are sold out!

Thursday, October 12, 2023

La Cerca | October Tour Dates

  • Wednesday October 18 - Albuquerque NM - Sister - with infinitikiss
  • Thursday October 19 - Denver CO - Skylark Lounge
  • Friday October 20 - Kansas City MO - miniBar
  • Saturday October 21 - Tulsa OK - The Soundpony

Friday, October 6, 2023

OUT NOW: Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long "Hey Babe" [Digital Single]

The first single from their new album One Day Will Never Come Back is out today on all digital music platforms.  Check out Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long "Hey Babe" now!

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Summer Set - "Favorite Places"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, September 27, 2023]

Summer Set have one of the most familiar and most unique sounds in all of indie rock. Their new single, "Favorite Places," has this laid back mix of 90's indie rock meets 00's indie sleaze. It's almost impossibly groovy and noisy, but totally chill. There's also a nearly shocking amount of twang for an indie rock song. It's kind of like the laid back slacker indie rock of Pavement, the psychedelic groove of The Dandy Warhols, and the period just as Wilco was moving from alt-country to a more indie rock sound. "Favorite Places" is cool as hell, and you're going to want to jump right on the Summer Set bandwagon with us.

You can listen to "Favorite Places" below. Summer Set's self-titled album is due out November 3 on Fort Lowell Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp. For more on Summer Set, check out the band on Bandcamp.