reminiscing about 1994.

I can’t get the Little River Band song out of my head, but still, I will forge ahead with more “reminiscing” posts.

busy work back  This is the back of one of the 7″ sleeves for the busy work e.p. from cuppa joe.  Although the record was released in 1993, this one came back with some of the returns after we had re-pressed the record.  Each record was hand-colored in crayon, and each one was slightly different.  The first 500 were numbered on the back.

I must have saved this one as an example of how the band actually spent time on coloring these.  All those little circles were just tiny circles on the back of one of 1,000 individual sleeves that were all colored by hand, each one differently.





Posies Letter  This is the postcard I got from Ken of The Posies, after I sent him a nice letter asking if he’d be interested in participating in the Schoolhouse Pop compilation.  He sent this back to me in early October of ’94, which was just before the whole idea crashed and burned due to licensing issues.

The front of the postcard is an ad for Sebadoh’s album Bakesale on Sub Pop – great album.




What beautiful, handmade artwork SHOULD look like.

What beautiful, handmade artwork SHOULD look like.

This is the cover of the 7″ of passenger, on inkling records.  Passenger was doug from cuppa joe, releasing his 4-track demos (this 7″ has the demo version of “sitting limit,” which was the lead song on the cuppa joe CD nurture).  inkling records was doug’s 7″ label.

The artwork was done by Steve Spatucci, cuppa joe’s drummer and illustrator.  I believe the color was actually done with watercolor paint.  It’s beautiful, and a great example of how awesome a handmade record sleeve can look when the, umm, busy work is left in the hands of people who know what they’re doing.






Zebu 1  Conversely, this is the cover of our first “real” mailorder catalog, which contained not only our own records but records from other labels.  This is the one that I made when I locked myself in the copy room of my first shitty dayjob just a few weeks before leaving there for good – I came in on a Saturday with some decent paper and literally made thousands of copies, then carried them down four floors and into my waiting car, without even batting an eye.

Pretty ugly, though, and ultimately I didn’t sell that many copies of anything with this.








A page from my notebook, which contained notes on distributor orders.

A page from my notebook, which contained notes on distributor orders.

I did everything by notebook.  Computer databases were still foreign to me, although I was fairly computer literate in 1994.  So I had all these small notebooks – many of which I saved.  I’d write notes in them, to-do lists, all sorts of stuff.  

This is an example of one page, listing out a bunch of record distributors.  My notes are scrawled all over the page – this is when Flying Suit and Nurture came out, and I was making my phone calls, drumming up orders.  

From reading these notes I was reminded that at some point, we must have picked up distribution from TCI again; they dropped us just before we started our relationship with Surefire.  Having a Mommyheads record to sell really helped open a lot of doors for us, distribution-wise.








We loved this label, and it was a pleasure to have met the owners.

We loved this label, and it was a pleasure to have met the owners.

A sticker I saved from Silver Girl Records, the folks from San Diego that were always so nice to us.  Silver Girl put out records by Gapeseed, All About Chad, Holiday Flyer, and a bunch of other really cool bands.  They also put our records in a bunch of stores in San Diego, which was really nice of them (even though I never collected on the consignments – that was my responsibility, not theirs).

~ by Al on July 29, 2009.

3 Responses to “reminiscing about 1994.”

  1. I keep looking at that Busy Work cover and wondering if it’s my work, Doug’s, or someone else’s. The shapes looks like Doug’s hand, but it’s kept to two colors, so that make me feel like it’s my work. We’ll probably never know.

    Yes, we did use watercolor on the Passenger 7″ – I think we did 500 total, in some crazy mass-production style, which yielded (like Nurture did, for you) similar piles of wet artwork, but we set up a fan (the paper was nice and heavy) and things dried pretty quickly. Sorry – no horror story there. It did take many hours, though.

  2. It totally is your work, I would never make circles that consistently round.

  3. Okay. I’ll take credit for it.

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