Features Music Year End 2013 Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Year End 2013

Music: Pass The Mic: Record Labels on 2013

Jihad M. Rabah (Twelve Gauge Records - owner/ Family Drugs - co-owner)

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2013? (In order 1-5)

  1. Dead In The Dirt - The Blind Hole
  2. Comadre - Self-titled
  3. E-minor & The Dirty Diamonds - Longcuts
  4. Deafheaven - Sunbather
  5. Modern Life Is War - Fever Hunter

2. What band did you discover in 2013 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

Eric from Sabertooth Zombie and members of other awesome Bay Area hardcore bands have a side project, E-minor & The Dirty Diamonds, that plays a mix of bluegrass, country, and folk music. Their full-length, Longcuts, got a ton of play throughout 2013 as it was the perfect break from everything else. Highly recommend you track them down online or see a live show. They're some really talented musicians.

3. How will you remember 2013? (In terms of music)

I’m not sure. I have to admit that 2013 was a really hectic year for me with a lot going on outside running my labels. It was probably the slowest year for Twelve Gauge with only 3 LPs having come out, and one EP on Family Drugs, but I’d much rather do nothing than put out music I don’t feel passionate about. I guess 2013 was the year that passed me by.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2014?

I’m now working with Deathwish’s distribution company to get my releases out in stores and to fans and I’m running my own online store again after about 3 years of it being run by our friends at Hellfish. I’m excited to take things back in to my own hands and plan to collaborate with new people and friends who are doing cool things that I can get behind. Aiming to get at least 4-6 great records out before the end of 2014 but nothing is final and ready to announce.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2014?

I’m a big fan of Loma Prieta and am looking forward to what they’ll put out this year. I also know that the Creative Adult LP is due out sometime in spring and heard that a Dangers EP is in the work as well. Also eager to see what Nervous comes out with next time they hit the studio and hope to see Sabertooth Zombie blast out the long-awaited Human Performance 4 EP.

6. There is a lot of debate over streaming sites and royalties, namely with Spotify. What is your stance on the economic policies behind the current streaming services? Do you have a preferred one?

I think it really depends on who you are. I imagine if you are Beyonce, Spotify is likely a good source of income versus what’s paid out via radio plays. But who knows? I just run a small hardcore label that doesn’t reach a fraction of what the real players do. I know that for me, I see statements that total to pennies and probably cost more to print. It isn’t helping me much. Sites like Bandcamp are far more reliable and effective for me to get my music out there and give fans the option of paying for digital copies of my releases.

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Words by the SPB team on Jan. 11, 2014, 4:46 p.m.

Photo of vinyl records by Dan Machold.

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