Happy 2014 “Mix Tape”

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything for this blog.  Although Growler Record Store closed in 2012, I still think about the project often.  In fact, I still have quite a bit of stock sitting in boxes at my house.  I hope that someday soon I’ll be able to revive Growler and reinvent Growler.

What have I been doing in the meantime?

- Teaching music lessons to children and adults (http://mollysings.blogspot.com)

- Singing with a jazz-punk band (http://sybilvanemusic.blogspot.com)

- Raising a child!

If you still like being connected to Growler Records, check out this YouTube playlist I made that covers some of my favorite jams of 2013.  It’s pretty good if I do say so myself.

Take care of yourselves.  Maybe I’ll see you at a show!

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Vinyl O’ Vinyl Record Swap @ The Deerpile

When: Sunday, September 30, from noon through 3pm

Where: The Deerpile (above City O City, 206 E 13th, Denver)

What: Vendors, including Growler Records, Wax Trax and more, will have tables set up with used records, new records, tapes, zines, books, local bands’ merch ++++++!

How: FREE! ALL AGES!

Why: Because there are no free record vending events in downtown that are friendly and carry the kind of stuff you want – until now!

Hope to see you there! xoxo

 

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Pitchfork and their slice of the pie….

Pitchfork just announced the top 200 albums to have come out in the past 15 years, according to it’s readers.  I’m not the first person to point this out, and I’m sure Pitchfork won’t hear the last of it for some time, but the problem with this list is that Pitchfork’s readership represents a limited scope of global music fans.  I consider everyone to be a music fan so we’re talking about, what, 6 billion people altogether?  Something like that.

Pitchfork & Co. would like to say that the survey only reflects those who chose to respond online.  This may explain why a paltry 12% of respondants were women.  Another explanation might be, that Pitchfork’s readership is overwhelming male.  Men have been a tap-into-able market for the music industry for a long time.  Historically men have had the bulk of discretionary income in households, and purchasing music is an “extra”, a “treat.”  Even though the economics of gender have shifted dramatically, with women earning and controlling their own finances more than ever before, purchasing music remains largely the province of men.  Perhaps more importantly, being knowledgable about music remains something of a boy’s club.

Having run a record distro for 7 years, and most recently having operated a record store in Denver, I’ve experienced this firsthand.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy talking about music with men, or that I don’t appreciate their feedback on this or that album; it’s that I notice the absence of women in the store, in the conversations, and online.  I have not met any other record store owners who are women.  I have never tabled a show where there was another woman also carting around a distro.  I have not spoken to any women running record labels.  I have met just a handful of women music journalists.  And more startling, is the frequency I do encounter women at shows and at the store and they do NOT engage me in conversation.

Grant you, sometimes people are just shy, or in a bad mood, but I’m talking about a noticable pattern.  I believe that women have been taught that they have no right to be an authority on topics such as music. In fact I remember well feeling intimidated at record stores before I started selling records myself.  I thought that if I didn’t already know who a band was I couldn’t ask the dude behind the counter.  I thought he would just roll his eyes and think, “God, another dummy wasting my time.”  I just assumed that all those dudes talking about this band or that, somehow knew everything about this band, that band, and all bands that were “cool.”  I’ve since realized that guys aren’t afraid to ask questions.  Often, dudes come into the record store and frankly ask me, “Hey, what do you recommend?”  That usually sparks a great conversation about who’s been listening to what and what they think about it.  I love it; this is how I’ve learned about a lot of bands far outside of Radiohead, Pitchfork People’s darling.

If I am able to, I want to encourage all women to make of themselves authorities on art, music and literature.  Your tastes and preferences are valid.  Furthermore, you are as entitled to ask questions as anyone else, so you really ought to.  Then the next step is talking about it with others – like you know what you are talking about, of course!

Pitchfork neither seeks out a female audience nor female artists.  I think that they are left with the same ol’ voices harping out the same ol’ opines.  But, then, this isn’t really a “people’s list,” now is it?  I feel it’s equally important to point out that there is one African-American in the top ten, and the rest of the list of 200 is dearth of people of color.  Out of 200 albums, 135 are from US based artists. Furthermore, the age group that responded more than any other was ages 21-25.  It’s worth noting, that they would have been between five and nine in 1996, the first year the survey covers.  This may be why Vampire Weekend appears on this list not once, but twice, which is simply a crime of the humanities.

I was a senior in high school in 1996, already a ready consumer of music.  I am just one person who has loved music for a long time, but I am a person whose life was made much, much better by it.  I didn’t respond to the Pitchfork survey myself; possibly like yourself, I had no idea it was going on until the results were announced.  Like most folks, and what I rest my case upon, I don’t read Pitchfork but on rare occasion.  Nonetheless, here are a few of my favorite, personally influential albums, that came out in the past 15 years, all of which, incidentally, were omitted from the people’s list:

Julie Ruin s/t, released in 1997

Le Tigre s/t, released in 1999

Refused“The Shape of Punk to Come”, released in 1998

Deltron 3030 s/t, released in 2000

The Gossip “Music for Men”, released in 2009 (album title ironic, no?)

Ballast “Sound Asleep”, released in 2005

Anti-Product “The Deafening Silence of Grinding Gears”, released in 1999

This is a small number of the albums I could list.  If you are interested in more of my faves go to my youtube channel “Best of ’96-’12, my list.”  More added as I think of them.

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Pictures of the backdoor BBQ at Growler Records


4H Royalty played!

One half of the grill reserved for tofupups, the other half, raw-fucking-beef!

Children loved it!

The adults were enthusiastic!

And happy as fuck!

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Westword Best of Denver 2012 (and i made it in!)


I admit it, I’m stoked to be included.  Not once, but twice by name, and a third time by association.  Of course, free advertising means a lot to a struggling small business and I’m grateful for the help.  Thanks Westword for looking out for the buddies.  I also feel flattered to be recognized by my peers.  It makes me feel like I’m doing something, um, good with my life.  May I be able to do this for the rest of it (please, universe, please!)  So, here’s to tooting my own horn a bit and shouting out some other Denver buddies who were also highlighted in this year’s Best Of.

Best New Independent Record Store: Growler Records

Tucked in the back room of Yellow Feather Coffee is a tiny record store run by Molly Zackary. Some people might remember Zackary for her long-running distro bearing the same moniker, or from running into her at punk and hardcore shows in years past at Double Entendre, Monkey Mania and elsewhere. Her friendly and gracious demeanor and sheer knowledge of the niche she’s cultivating with her inventory is impressive. Growler is also one of the few stores in Denver to carry metal and hardcore vinyl. The record player in the corner is available to sample most, if not all, of what’s in stock, and the small-press books and zines are always pleasantly surprising.

Best Film Festival: Mid-Winter Punk Film Fest

While other punk film festivals feature such predictable fare as The Filth and the Fury and The Clash: Westway to the World, capitalizing on the bands and the stories everyone has already heard, Mid-Winter Punk Film Festival organizers Sarah Slater and Molly Zackary embraced the true DIY nature of punk rock and gave us something completely unexpected yet ultimately delightful. Offering films like Downtown 81, Kill All Redneck Pricksand Born Into Flames, this series presented gems that had slipped through the cracks of history, only to be located by two true believers willing to forgo a commercial audience in favor of attracting those truly interested in discovering something new. Oh, and it all went down at the best little record distro in the city, Growler. [Westword forgot to add that the fest was co-sponsored by Titwrench Fest via Sarah Slater, dig it.]

Best Alternative Venue: Yellow Feather Coffee

When Yellow Feather opened its doors, it was the kind of coffee shop that offered not just solidly great coffee with a choice of milk and milk substitutes, but a community-minded space, as well. While not a traditional music venue, Yellow Feather has hosted touring artists along with local bands looking to have their release shows at an intimate venue where people of all ages could go and feel welcome without the pressure of alcohol or ticket sales. The shop has also hosted classes through Free School Denver, and its relaxed environment on an otherwise busy street is welcoming to crust punks, artists and businesspeople alike.

Other Santa Fe District buddies to make the list:

Best New DIY Venue: Unit E

Best Mural Project: Carlos Fresquez and students

Best Art-For-Kids Boosters: Denver Art Society

Best Addition to Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe: Black Book Gallery

Best Neighborhood Brewery: Renegade

Best Santa Fe Drive Boutique: Rakun

There are many more acknowledgements to make.  I live in and love Denver.  Subscribe to my blog to catch my shout-outs as the come.  Circle your A’s and stay true, dudes.

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Growler Records Videocast #1

Introducing Growler Records Videocasts!  What is that?  I’m not sure myself, but I am somewhat sure that the project will gel as some episodes get under my bloomers.   Please check out what I’m excited about, what’s going on round these parts, and jazzy tunes…. and then let me know what you think.  Oh, and billions of tacos are due to Dustin Adams for helping me out until the sun came up!

 

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A really important benefit show @ Growler

This Sunday is going to be something a little different and certainly special.  The show will be a benefit for a Colombian organization dedicated to nutrition and education, Viracocha.

My friend Devin set this show up because he volunteered here recently.  Here’s what he wants to tell you about it:

Hey this is Devin and we're having a benefit show on Sunday
March 4th for an awesome project down in Colombia called Viracocha.  Viracocha is a farm/ school/ home for a lot of people down in a Colombian mountain town called San Agustin.  Viracocha has a large and ever expanding amount of land dedicated to
agriculture, a number of class rooms and recreation areas for the kids, and a couple of kitchens for feedings, and is in constant need of outside funding to help keep the project running.  The farm uses the food to sell to support itself, and for feeding those involved with the project and all people in the community who need help obtaining food themselves.  The farm also gives work to all parents in the communities who can't find work elsewhere.  and the school is for kids who can't go to local schools, or whose parents want them attending the school with a focus on
organic agriculture, and biodynamics.  I ended up on the
 farm and living in the farm house last year for a while and had an awesome time, everyone involved were incredible people and i saw the farm functioning and helping the community and everyone who came through it.  SO! the exchange rate of the U.S.
dollar and the Colombian peso makes the dollar go really far, so any money that we can raise for Viracocha helps them out in huge ways so we're throwing a benefit show to try to raise some U.S. dollars that'll go five times as far on the farm and
school down there, the show will be in Growler on Sunday, March fourth with:
 Doersovit- long running Denver ladies punk band with a couple of new guitarists.
 Ghosts of Glaciers- epic heavy pretty instrumental post-metal from Englewood.  And
Remedios- Denver raging hard core/ screamo/ math punk rock.  Check out the
Viracocha website (http://www.fundacionviracocha.org/), and we'll see you at 6 PM
on the fourth!
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Hang out with Growler this weekend! Overcasters! Afro-Punk! Sunday In-Store!

Gathering of the Clouds Festival

Denver band The Overcasters have put together the best album release party ever.  Three days of local bands and DJs performing at City Hall.  And, Growler Records will be table-ing.  Kick ass!

Thursday, Feb 23

The ruckus begins Thursday, 8pm with Land Lines (former members of Matson Jones), Varlet, Munly (Jay Munly of Slim Cessna’s Auto), Rowboat Row, DJ Mondo Garage, DJ Julie Lizak, plus more…….

A couple highlights, yes:

Friday, Feb 24

Gathering of the Clouds will be happening again.  As before, 8pm til bar close at City Hall.  Hold your breath now, performers include: Overcasters, Le Divorce, Wire Faces, Glass Homes, Double//Shadow.  Snake Rattle Rattle Snake will be headlining.

I’m pretty stoked for these peops:

Saturday, Feb 25

Sadly, I won’t be table-ing Saturday because I am hosting some super rad stuff at Growler Records (see below.)  But, if you’ve wisely bought your 3-day pass to Gathering of the Clouds for a mere $15, you’ll surely want to check out these bands for yourself: Spindrift, Overcasters, Twin Guns, Hearts in Space, Spires, DJ Tyler Jacobson, DJ Boyhollow, DJ Jake Ryan.

Mid-Winter Punk Film Fest

Saturday, Feb 25 – Afro-Punk

In 2003 James Spooner released his documentary on black kids who’re into punk.  It’s not underground information that the underground punk scene is dominated by white kids .  However, in the early days of punk many people of color and women were involved.  Sadly, white supremacists co-opted the angry rhythms and DIY production of punk whilst hardcore made the scene a veritable boy’s club, replacing pogo-ing with floor punching (ugh).  Thankfully, thank-deities-fully, some thoughtful folks have spoken up in recent years to recreate a punk subculture that embraces a great many faces/identities/rhythms!  The film Afro-Punk addresses just this.  It has become a consolation to black punks that they are not alone.  It is evidence to all punks that punk can be a beautiful and diverse community.  Aren’t we better off that way?

Spooner has an Afro-Punk website with album reviews, a message board, and information on the annual Afro-Punk festival in Brooklyn!

Come to Yellow Feather Coffee/Growler Records, 742 Santa Fe Drive, at 6pm to stock up on coffee and snacks before settling in to watch this excellent film.  Please bring $1 for the movie and a constructive attitude.

If you wanna know what films are coming up in March check out the FB invite.  Also, make sure you check out other events put on by Titwrench Fest, the co-sponsor of the film fest, they’re always puttin’ on the ritz around Denver.  My friend Sarah Slater will be there to host the event and represent Titwrench, the 2011 winner of the Westword Mastermind Awards (booyah!)

The Anti-Dis-Post-Punk Meta Dance Party

Saturday, Feb 25

After the Afro-Punk screening, I’ll be heading over to Old Curtis Street to DJ all things punk.  It will be a little Anti-this-n-that, a little Dis-this-n-that, and certainly a little Post-punk-emo-xHxC.  And to add to the continuity of the weekend so far, I’ll put an emphasis on local bands as well as black-made punk.  Dig it.

If you didn’t know that I was a DJ, well, neither did I.  Here’s how it came together:

Jeremy [my friend who is manager of Old Curtis]: Hey Molly, the band that was supposed to play this Saturday canceled at the last minute.  Can you come and DJ?

Me: Uh, I don’t have turntables or a mixer.

Jeremy: I have them.

Me: Oh.  Well, I’ve never DJed before.  I don’t know how to use them.  I’m just a girl with a record collection.

Jeremy: I’ll set them up and show you what to do.  We’ll call it on the job training.  And, yes, your record collection is exactly what I want in a girl.

We’ll call that a step forward for women in punk.  We can collect records to make boys envious.  So, if you wanna find out about my secret stash come to Old Curtis at 10pm (or follow me there after Afro-Punk), and meta dance till 2am!  No cover.


Growler Records Sunday In-Store

Sunday, Feb 25

Scott McCormick//Lee Avenue and Rob Drabkin

Continuing on in the Sunday In-Store Series at Growler, I’ll be hosting 2 excellent Denver musicians this Sunday.  Musicians who could easily play much larger venues, but who are as excited as I am to make an event out of the evening in an intimate setting sans amplification.

Scott McCormick became known to Denver audiences when he played keys and accordion in Boulder Acoustic Society.  They toured the country regularly and packed local venues.  When the band disbanded McCormick saw it as an opportunity to concentrate on writing songs, something he’d been doing on his own all along.  Now, as he ramps up to release his first solo-album, he’s been testing his chops around town at places like Swallow Hill and a handful of dive bars.  He’ll be playing the wonky-ass piano at Yellow Feather and screaming till his throat bleeds heartbreak.  I’m sure you’ll be sadder than him if you miss it.  I mean, just look at his face:


Rob Drabkin has been plying his wares in Denver for sometime.  He nearly sold out the Bluebird a few weeks ago.  He was voted best singer/songwriter by the Westword in 2011.  You could probably take a long walk around a placid lake while listening to Drabkin, or just sit on the floor and rock, smiling.  I mean, just look at his peaceful disposition:

Sunday shows start at 6pm and are $5 at the door.  Please use the back door as Yellow Feather will be closed.

Molly’s Schedule this weekend:

(you know, just to review, so you can stalk me)

Thursday: Table at Gathering of the Clouds 8pm to 2am

Friday: Table at Gathering of the Clouds 8pm to 2am

Saturday: Afro-Punk screening at Growler Records 6pm to 10pm, then DJ at Old Curtis Street 10pm to 2am

Sunday: Scott McCormick and Rob Drabkin at Growler Records 6pm to 10pm

and then, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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Holy shit n’ piss, Growler Records has Neurosis reissues!

For those of you who are already fans of Neurosis then you know how big of a deal it is that Relapse Records has repressed 2 albums on vinyl.  Original pressings of any Neurosis album is hard to come by and greatly admired by your friends when they see one in your collection.  Hardly any of their albums have ever been repressed, much less in this fine of quality………

“Souls at Zero” was released in 1992.  It was their third full length and they made a definitive statement to the punk scene with this one.  After releasing an album on Lookout! Records (known for blowing up bands like, um, Green Day), they moved to Jello Biafra’s label, Alternative Tentacles, which was putting out more hardlined and edgy bands such as NoMeansNo.

Fan of Neurosis and music critic Sascha Twenty-Nine-Teeth says, “It’s the record where Neurosis began to coalesce into the sonic behemoth we know today.”  They began to move beyond punk, beyond hard-core and metal, and touched on brand new territory: the sound that would eventually become “ambient” or “atmospheric” hardcore.  “While this record alienated many of their initial hardcore punk fans, in my opinion it stands the test of time better than their early material. This record bulldozes over obstacles where the previous material stomps,” continues Sascha.  This reissue comes packaged as a double LP on heavy weight 180 gram in a gatefold package.  Available in colored vinyl or brutal black.  This is what it might look like on your bedroom floor:

One year later Neurosis released “Enemy of the Sun,” also on Alternative Tentacles.  Twenty-Nine-Teeth says about this record, “[It] continued on the dark and crushing path that Neurosis started down with Souls At Zero. Released just a year after Souls, this record is tuned lower, slowed down, filled with more haunting samples and crushing dread. It’s like driving a burning eighteen wheeler through the darkest regions of the human soul.  Listen to this and don’t shiver just a little bit. I dare you.  [It's] crushingly heavy, less of the melody that they would illustrate in later work. ”  Again, this album has been re-released as a 2xLP on 180g with gatefold packaging in either colored red vinyl or brutal black.  The cover art has been redone, but the music is the same.  Here’s what could be in your hands by the end of the day:

Both double LP reissues are $30 at Growler Records (open 12-6 Weds-Sat, and 10-4 Sun, 742 Santa Fe Dr, Denver).  Plus, I have really cool Neurosis t-shirts – in black, obviously.

Lastly, even if you don’t have a record player, you’ll be excited to hear that in 2011 Neurosis themselves remastered their (year) 2000 EP “Sovereign.”  By ’00 the band had formed their own label Neurot Recordings, giving them total control over their product.  Rest assured that the reissue of “Sovereign” is the best sounding version possible.  Get the CD at, obviously, Growler Records.

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What a great weekend coming up at Growler Records!

The Mid-Winter Punk Film Fest has turned out quite well so far.  Somewhere between 20 and 25 folks showed up last week to watch “Downtown ’81.”  We had hot apple cider in a crock pot and fresh popcorn on the side.  It’s been a frigid winter for a normally temperate Denver, and gathering inside to watch kick-ass films is a fun way to wait for spring.

Ah, spring!

(That’s a columbine, the Colorado state flower, by the way.)

This Saturday the documentary “Floor: Sight and Sound” will be screening.

The filmmakers describe it this way: After years of toiling away in obscurity, followed by years of escalating interest during their hiatus, the legendary Florida band Floor reunited for a handful of shows in April 2010. Three different drummers. Three different sets. Over two hours of material spanning their early dirgey/noise singles to their landmark psych/drone/pop self-titled masterpiece. Filmed over two nights at the EARL in Atlanta, Georgia, “Sight & Seen” is truly something that needs to be seen to be believed.

“A multi-camera performance coupled with professionally recorded and mixed audio, “Sight & Seen” is an enveloping, droning wall of guitars. Floor’s two guitarists, Anthony Vialon and Steve Brooks (of TORCHE fame), spend over two hours on stage with their various drummers. Their three drummers, Betty, Jeff and Henry, rotate through the band’s lineup: crashing through their early singles, smoking the viewer with their mid-period haze and ending with the cathartic and anthemic final album.

As per Mid-Winter Punk Film Fest custom, having recently been established, we’ll start at 6pm with a pre-film of related interest.  $1 at the door and $donations$ for snacks, yo!

This Sunday a special In-Store Showcase will occur, also at 6pm.  Please stop by the record store to catch Kyle James Hauser and Mariposa.

They will be setting up in the middle room of Yellow Feather/Growler Records (742 santa fe dr) to play chilled out, intimate sets for us.  Both are Denverites, so come support your favorite mile-high city!  $5 at the door, yo!

Check out the fb invite here.

Again, Saturday 6pm and Sunday 6pm at Growler Records.  You know where the fun is!

Other recommendations for your weekend include:

This Friday is 3rd Friday which means the Spanish Happy Hour meet-up will be happening at El Museo de las Americas, just down the street from Growler Records.  It begins at 6pm and usually runs until 9 or 10.  There are adult beverages available for donations and everyone knows that cocktails ayuda su espanol!  Voy a estar alli, me acompana!  Es solo $5!  (I need a spanish keyboard setting, sorry.)

The Bad Weather California record release show at the Hi-Dive on Saturday.  The show will begin late so you can swing by after watching the Floor documentary and not miss a thing.  Bad Weather is one of my favorite Denver bands for sure!

I hope to see you at one or all of these wonderful events!  Cheers buddies, winter’s almost over!

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