Local yodel

It’s much too easy these days to sit in the confines of your living room basking in Sex and the City reruns or Super Bowl halftime outtakes. Why would you go out to see a local band when you can accomplish next to nothing while absorbing and retaining even less? How about supporting the local scene at home by buying, and then listening to, a locally produced recording?

In the last two years alone, we’ve been treated to a veritable onslaught of new musical talent that has, for the most part, gone unnoticed. Although much attention has been directed to artists such as Jackie Greene, Cake, Deftones and Tesla, the real talent pool lies far below the A&R reps’ radar.

Clairecords, an upstart label distributed by local music store and distributor Tonevendor, is one such label. The current amalgam of artists on its roster—from the electro-dance of Airiel to the subtleties of Sciflyer’s shoegazer opus to the quandary of St. Avalanche—should please at least one out every five audiophiles. Dan and Heather Sostrom, using the Clairecords umbrella, local acts as well as bands from abroad. If you’re tired of visiting Insound for new releases, www.clairecords.com should be a welcome respite.

Another label, although much different in scope and focus, is the under-appreciated and grossly overlooked 720 Records run by Eric Rushing, who also handles the booking for Orangevale’s only happening club, The Boardwalk. Since the mid-1990s, Rushing has served up a healthy platter of emo, hard rock, nu-metal and now hardcore, with the late-February release of thug-core legends Hoods. Although the label hadn’t secured national distribution as of press time, it has made most of its releases readily available in the Sacramento Valley and the greater Bay Area, in addition to distributing them through the Internet. Current and upcoming releases include Five Minute Ride’s Bathroom Walls … Lipstick Secrets; Athena in Hades’ Memories Mascara; Hoods’ The Legend Continues; Fight Paris’ debut, due this summer; and a new album from Five Minute Ride.

Samplistic Records, run by Davis’ own Idiom Creak, a.k.a. Michael, is essentially a one-man tour de force with his hands in nearly everything near and dear to the electronic world. Much to the music community’s chagrin, his releases are few and far between and are hard to find in local record stores. The roster, which includes Nostalgic Progression, Idiom Creak, Scatter-Shot Theory and Mr. Dark Keys, also hasn’t secured distribution and does the bulk of its sales via the Internet at www.samplistic.com.

Whether or not you believe it, we have a rich music scene with people who aren’t out to make a quick buck or to cash in on the “next” alternative bandwagon. These three labels represent just a small portion of our ongoing musical heritage and should be applauded for their efforts. And listened to.