In a recent chat with Lauren LoPrete, founder of Loglady Records, she confesses to me that the biggest motivating force behind the artists she signs is being, “Basically, people we’re interested in being friends with.” The San-Francisco-based independent label houses Dead Angle, Grandma’s Boyfriend, Moonbell, Part Time, Terry Malts, and Permanent Collection, whose mainman, Jason Hendardy, is actually LoPrete’s partner, both in life and the label. “He does the A&R stuff and I do the graphics and stuff,” she tells me. Although the label is still quite young (“Well, we only started about a year and a half ago.”), the couple have admirably lofty goals: “I’m really interested in creating something like Factory Records and creating a culture behind the label… just being able to create this movement and this brand.” And, in their eyes, it’s been going pretty well so far: “It’s kind of just been a snowball effect. It started with just two cassette tapes but, as our catalogue builds, it gets so much more exciting, getting our work around the globe.” She tells me that some of her artists are, “Very big in Europe, especially the northern countries… but also Italy.” She assumes that the excitement stems from the same sentiments we cherish when, “Getting excited about finding weird, foreign releases.”
LoPrete is also quick to dismiss popular assumptions about the SF music scene: “People think it’s this whole garage rock thing, but it’s not and we’re not into artists like that.” She tells me that Loglady is most interested in people with backgrounds similar to hers and Hendardy (She is a graphic designer by day and presides over all of the visuals associated with the label’s releases, while each of them went to art school.): “I would say a lot of them like to express themselves in a variety of mediums. A lot of our musicians consider themselves to be more than just musicians, but artists themselves.”
In terms of what she enjoys about running a label, LePrete tells me, “The most fun thing is probably a combination of meeting new people all the time and working with artists to create covers and create the experience of the album… The least fun is writing checks,” of which she says, “It’s kind of like playing the stock market. To invest this money in them is kind of terrifying and you just have to hope that you’ll break even.”
Like myself, LoPrete doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of the digital age of music: “Digital music is definitely for a different time and place. It’s really mindless and there’s not really much thought put into it. I listen to digital music all day, every day at work.” Loglady prides itself on having physical, vinyl releases that are all limited edition. “I consider physical records to be such a different experience. I think that’s what’s so exciting,” LoPrete tells me, “To have so few copies and have this exclusive thing in your hands.” LoPrete has quite an affinity for the record: “It’s a full-sensory experience. You listen to it for twenty minutes and then you’re obligated to flip it over.”
Although Loglady generally limits pressings of their records to 250, the upcoming Permanent Vacation LP, Assets (due August 7th), will have 500 vinyl pressings. After chatting with Lauren LoPrete, I got to chat with her partner, Jason Hendardy (formerly of Young Prisms), about Permanent Collection, his take on music in general, and just what inspires him, much of what seems to be the golden age of MTV (at least what is considered “the golden age” in the eyes of us “indie” aficionados):
“We gravitate toward the 90s sound. It’s a little nostalgia but, also, music was different then… There were bands that were somewhat successful, like Swervedrive, who still had some credibility. Stuff like that was on MTV, like 120 Minutes… Pitchfork isn’t even at the level that MTV was. Some kids in the Midwest may not even know what Pitchfork is, but everyone had MTV.”
In addition to the 90s, Hendardy also has a taste for post-punk, stating that the band has many influences from, “The Wipers to Wire to My Bloody Valentine and The Cure. I first got into Disintigration but I’m a huge fan of the first three Cure albums.” These influences are fairly transparent when it comes to the sound of Permanent Collection’s latest (not that that’s a bad thing). If I hadn’t just told you otherwise, you’d swear it was 90s indie pop that soundtracked the latest darling of Sundance. It’s confrontationally fuzzy, but also hypnotically infectious. It is certainly a bit of a droner, but they have imbued their sounds with something quite a bit more playful… even if only for record snobs.
In addition to the new album, Hendardy also considers his new peers to be a highlight of the year: “Finishing the record is definitely a highlight and getting this full live lineup as well. It’s nice having a full band.” Permanent Collection has, in fact, officially, become more than a solo project as of recently, but those who round out the lineup aren’t exactly new to Hendardy: “I’ve known Mike [Stillman… any relation to Whit?], the drummer, since highschool and I worked with the bassist, Megan Dabkowski, at a hot dog stand together five years ago and found we had really similar taste in music.” Hendardy plans on writing more in 2012 but, he also has plans for Permanent Collection to do some touring. However, he’s quite particular when it comes to live music: “When it comes to live shows, I’m really picky. The longest I’d ever want to see a band for is 25 minutes.”