With less than two months left until Yep Roc 20, Yep Roc co-founder Glenn picked some of his favorite Yep Roc releases that we’ll be auctioning off in test pressing form to benefit four local nonprofits for the latest installment of our 1 of 4 a Cause Test Pressing Auction! Here’s the 20 test pressings being auctioned this month:
- Andre Williams and the Sadies – Night and Day
- Chatham County Line – IV
- Chatham County Line – Speed of the Whippoorwill
- Chatham County Line – Tightrope
- Darren Hanlon – Where Did You Come From?
- Eleni Mandell – Dark Lights Up
- Eleni Mandell – Let’s Fly a Kite
- Eleni Mandell – I Can See the Future
- Fleshtones – Wheel of Talent
- Jeremy & the Harlequins – Into the Night
- Jonah Tolchin – Thousand Mile Night
- Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels
- Liam Finn – The Nihilist
- Los Straitjackets – Jet Set
- Mayflies USA – Summertown
- Nick Lowe – Quality Street
- The Relatives – Electric Word
- The Sadies – Internal Sounds
- The Sadies – Northern Passages
- The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Throw It to the Universe
Glenn also provided us with stories about how he picked these test pressings and his favorite memories of the artists involved:
Fleshtones: “I got turned onto the Fleshtones when I was in college in 1984. There was a kid that lived in the house I was hanging out in that had the Fleshtones haircut, the beatle boots, leather jacket…the whole thing. He loved them. Did a great dance as well, much like Zaremba doing the Jerk on stage. I first saw the band shortly after this in DC at the 930 Club (original location with the big pole in the middle of the room). The band went onstage and blew my mind. I had ever had so much fun at a show before.
On our way to the show (it was about an hour and a half away from school) we stopped at Burger King to load up on some food. For some reason I decided to wear a Burger King crown to the show. Eventually during the show, Zaremba called me up saying “Burger King….Burger King…get up here. Get up on this stage now!” Of course I obliged and became a brief dancing fixture to their set, bumping into the guys and getting drenched in sweat (not my own) by the time I was done. When they were done they were on top of the bar, with the instruments, Bill banging a drum. I think eventually everyone was out on the street walking down the sidewalk from the club banging on trash cans and yelling and screaming (singing?). I was forever hooked.
There are many other great stories I can tell about this band but if you haven’t experienced it for yourself, you must absolutely see them live. You will not be sorry. They are, quite simply, one of the best live bands you will ever see! Super Rock will change your life!!”
Chatham County Line: “The first time I had seen these guys was when they played one of their early gigs at the Brewery. I was immediately sucked in when I saw how well they were doing this sort of old timey-bluegrass hybrid in terms of their instrumental make-up and the way they all crowded around a single microphone. These four young guys could really play and they put on a great and entertaining show. But the thing that really stood out for me was the songs. Dave’s songwriting was the thing that really got me super excited about these guys. All of these elements together brought a new attitude to a very traditional music.
Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to continue to release records by the band. Each has it’s own handful of songs that are just unbelievable. And they continue to expand their fanbase not only nationally, but internationally. North Carolinians that know good music, are very proud that these guys call Raleigh their home.”
Eleni Mandell: “To me, Eleni is one of the greatest songwriters around today. She has a way with doing that old-school kind of thing where when you listen, you immediately feel a magic and timelessness to the tune. Many of her songs have that kind of classic feel to them. Could’ve been written at any time. Listen to “Someone To Love Like You” and “What Love Can Do” from her most recent album, Dark Lights Up and I think you’ll get what I’m talking about.
One of the albums I’m very proud of is the one that she did with Neil Brockbank producing over in London that came out in 2014. Neil and Eleni go to meet each other during some shows that Eleni was opening for Nick Lowe. Neil was Nick’s longtime record producer, ever since I began working with Nick in 1994. Well, the two of them really hit it off and I could see that it was a must to have them work together. And what they all came up with was something really special. The team that was involved making that record put their heart and soul into it and the results are there. Sadly, Neil passed away earlier this year so I have listened to this one quite a bit recently.”
Sadies: “I don’t know where to start with this band. They are just so incredible, one of the greatest bands ever in my opinion. Another one you need to see live as well, but their records are killer. The Sadies may have the most recorded output of any Yep Roc Artist especially considering all of the additional records they did as collaborations including the Andre Williams record and the Country Club record with John Doe.
If you were to look at my record collection, you would find a large variety of music in there. From bluegrass to country and from garage to surf. The Sadies are a band that does all of this and more. They are sick musicians and can play at a blistering pace or a more chill, psychedelic groove. But there’s is no denying that these are in a class all of their own.”
Mayflies USA: “When we first got started putting out records, we really were focused on bands from the southeast; our neck of the woods so to speak. There was a very practical reason for this. We have our own distribution company (Redeye) and at that time, we were primarily only selling to retailers in the southeast direct (indie record shops) along with some of the bigger retail chains of the time (Borders, Blockbuster, Best Buy, etc.) but only put records into the stores that were located in the region. So it made sense for us to work with regional artists who had something going on here and try to build the artists into a more national thing as our distribution also expanded.
We got to know Chris Stamey early on as we were starting to do some records. We were big fans of his and it was really great to get to know him as we were kicking things off as a new record label on the scene. He was very helpful in introducing us to some locals acts that he was working with. One was the Mayflies. We had distributed an EP of their own releasing, but Chris was now working with them to record their debut album in his studio. The band was young and fresh and had a great sense of humor. They were super fun and brought the rock when they played live, maybe more so than what you’d hear on the record. In my opinion, the record is an indie pop masterpiece. I think it remains as great today as it was almost 20 years ago. You should listen to this and see for yourself. We went on to do 3 records with the band, but to me, the first is the gem of the bunch.”
Here’s some info on the non-profits the proceeds will be going to:
- Girls Rock NC – In thirteen years of programming, Girls Rock NC has held nearly 100 music programs for girls in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. Campers have gone on to perform in successful bands and have even take on leadership roles at camp.
- Activate Good – With a goal that all good causes in the Triangle will get the help they need, Activate Good continues to influence the community and work with volunteers who realize and exercise their potential to make a change, facilitating over 360 local causes in 2016 alone.
- WHUP – Broadcasting from Hillsborough, WHUP’s vision is consistent with that of excellent community stations around the country – present a high-quality, eclectic, host-driven mix of music and conversation that collectively reflects the community we serve, with an emphasis on local and regional talent.
- Be Loud! Sophie Foundation – The Be Loud! Sophie Foundation supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals. The foundation funds the only adolescent and young adult program director at a cancer hospital in the United States in honor of Sophie Steiner, a Chapel Hill teenager who died of cancer in 2013.
Visit our eBay store here to check out the auctions! Happy bidding!
Still confused on what a test pressing is? Watch below!