Some labels celebrate a regional scene, others concentrate on specific genres, but when I asked Rebekah Why of Gifted Children Records exactly what the tie that binds the bands on her label were, she told me:
All the artists on the label [are] a bunch of punks. Although they might not all make traditionally “punk music,” they live and breathe the punk ethic, whether they realize it or not. They're blatant, apologize for nothing, and they live and create outside the common world. They're different, and not on purpose.
This seems like a reasonable, albeit forgotten reason to pour energy, time, and of course lots of money into starting a business like an independent record label, but Why has seen her venture yield some successful results as GC has put together an impressive and eclectic discography that has featured new releases from underground legends like Silver Apples and bizzarro folk fuzz like Women and Children in a short period of time.
In the early days of the 00s, I had the good fortune of checking out a show in which I witnessed one of the most insane, visceral, and intense performances I can remember, from Oakland's Phantom Limbs. They were sort of like the unloved bastard child of LA punk bands like The Screamers or The Germs. It was at that show that for one of the only times in my entire show-going life, I was physically scared of the band playing in front of me. A few years later, the band would break up, and lead singer Loto Ball would resurface in Chicago with a new band that sounded like some sick version of James Chance and The Contortions fucking around to covers off the Nuggets box set.
Adam Payne's Residual Echoes
I was under the impression that Residual Echos were some Comets on Fire rip off or something, but after listening to the Gifted Children CD/EP a bunch of times I've deduced that this stuff might actually be the perfect soundtrack to a short film documenting The Minutemen sitting around ripping the shit out of a bong. While the Comets on Fire comparison was adequate for their earlier stuff, now with Adam Payne in full control of the wheel, the band finds themselves adding Zappa-esque weirdness, and bits and pieces of classic rock filtered through a hand radio with a bad reciever.
Sort of like the superest of indie supergroups, Intl' Shades boast a lineup of former members of Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Boredoms, and Pussy Galore. And yeah, that does mean that they sound like everything good from the 1990s. Look out for a record coming out on Gifted Children this summer.
Remember when Mazzy Star covered Gun Club (I do, but I was like fourteen)? Lily Marlene actually sounds like Mazzy Star joining forces with Gun Club to try out some new material. This LA chanteuse even gets former members of The Germs, and relative newbies like Jeremy Jay to contribute. A 7″ is on the way on Gifted Children.