Not sure if you have seen it but Vans have been promoting documented stories of independent musicians, skaters and punks in East LA in their Living Off The Wall campaign. I did a write up on it recently which you can read here and you can subscribe to their videos here. One of the videos caught my eye, which focussed on the independent record label, Burger Records, known for releasing material on cassettes.
“Being able to eat whatever you want is our measure of success,” says founder, Sean Bohrman. While he looks like a crumpled, stoner Linus with a bunk bed surrounded by boxes of his clothes, Bohrman is no slacker. Burger Records, the label and the store, is a culmination of more than seven years of hard work. Bohrman and his business partner, Lee Rickard, started their label in 2007 and opened the record store in 2009, quitting their jobs and actually living in their record store to do what we all want; live the dream only talked about.
Since 2007, the label has put out 600 titles or more (“Who’s counting?”—Rickard) and has signed 500 artists including tenacious surf punks, FIDLAR, Black Lips and avant garde art pop band, The Garden. Stepping into their record store is a veritable treasure trove of musical treats that don’t subscribe to any genre, even offering up gospel, blues, techno, lounge and disco, among other eclectic records. Speaking to the artists in the videos, the love for Burger Records is their ability to be a label that is consistent; getting music to the people who want it.
In 2012, Burgerama was established, a rock, pop and punk festival for all ages and featuring most of the artists from the label. 2013 was big year for Burger Records with dozens of bands joining the Burger caravan tour and over 50 of the bands playing at SXSW. Despite the fact that the store has no shower facility and there is no discernible filing system, these two guys seem to be delighting the public, gaining fans and promoting a great method of making music. To me, that’s a fucking legacy.