|Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin|
|In early 2005, on a long sort through Google Search Results for "Mommyheads," I came across a review on a small Missouri web-board. It was a review of a disc by a small Missouri band, the very strangely-named "Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin," who had covered the Mommyheads' "Accident." Intrigued, I ordered the disc from the band, as well as their (then) new full-length, Broom. I became such an instant fan that I almost immediately found myself contacting them again, offering to put out their next record. "Sure," they said, "we've already starting planning a new release, it's a split with Michael Holt..."
|Michael Holt was a member of seminal 90s indie band The Mommyheads. I had been a big fan of the band for a long time, so I was always on the lookout for a.) Mommyheads news and b.) Mommyheads material. The same week I discovered Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin during a "Mommyheads" Google Search, I also discovered a very rare Mommyheads-related cassette on eBay. Turns out it was being sold by Michael himself. I started to talking to Michael and we soon discovered that we had some new friends in common, namely, a small, Springfield, Missouri band called Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin...
|I first came across Pet Politics, aka Magnus Larsson of Gothenburg, Sweden, through this posting at Popsheep in August of 2005. The folks at Popsheep had asked 2 questions in their post: 1.) Is Pet Politics a one man outfit? and 2.) Is there an album available? The answer to the first question was 'yes' and the answer to the second question was 'no.' So I immediately did what I could to help reverse the answer to that 2nd question.
Magnus returned with a second EP for us in September 2006.
|On August 19, 2005, I got an email that simply said:
I listened. And Hemstad's twee, instrumental zonks, falling somewhere between the Go-Team and the Pavement, hooked me. Suddenly, fully half of Catbird's roster was Swedish.
|Get Him Eat Him|
|I first met Get Him Eat Him in 2004, when they were called "Grumble Grumble," and had just been signed to Absolutely Kosher. I was a big fan of their full-length debut, Geography Cones, so when they approached me at the tail end of 2005 about working with them on a new EP, I jumped at the chance.
|The guys in Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin introduced me to an English band called Pete & The Pirates (SSLYBY's bass player, Jonathan, had a cousin in Pete & The Pirates). While rooting around P & The P's Myspace, I came across a band called Tap Tap, which was the side-project of P & The P's frontman, Thomas Sanders. I was quite taken with the fractured lo-fi pop of Tap Tap, and so it was that we arranged to release Tap Tap's full-length debut, Lanzafame in late 2006.
|I first met Andrew Spencer Goldman, the man behind Maestro Echoplex, many, many years ago in Washington DC. At the time, he wasn't a musician, as far as I know, so it came as quite a shock when, in 2001, I heard his debut album as Maestro Echoplex, and was totally blown away. The album drew rave reviews when it was first released, but since there was little distribution, Andrew sat on a cache of discs for many years. Being that I had always been such a huge fan of the disc, I was delighted when Andrew approached me with the idea of re-releasing the album under the Catbird banner, in a lovely new letterpressed case.
|Mathew Sawyer & The Ghosts|
|One day, following trails outward in many directions from Tap Tap's Myspace, I came across the bittersweet swoons of another London-based artist, Mathew Sawyer, and his band The Ghosts. As fortune would have it, when I contacted him, Mathew was just putting the finishing touches on his first full-length, Blue Birds Blood, and thus it became Catbird's first release (and one of my favorites) of 2007.
|One day, I randomly downloaded a 5-song bundle, from a band I'd never heard of, from a torrent-trading website. After a few listens, I decided to look the band up, and after a few more listens, I decided to contact the band to see if they'd like to put out a disc for Catbird. The band was, duh, Forest Fire, and that 5-song bundle was what eventually became the Psychic Love Star EP. Just a mere 12 months later came the full-length, Survival.
|Following the 2001 album by Maestro Echoplex, Andrew Goldman went on writing music, including doing a few releases with the late, great band John Guilt. Starting in 2005, though, Goldman began recording an elaborate, intricate solo album, inspired in large part by his life in The City. This album was christened with Goldman's new "Fulton Lights" moniker, and while the album proper was released on the Android Eats Records label, Catbird put together a special 2-disc limited-edition version of the album.
|I heard the unmastered version of Moviola's Dead Knowledge, and I really dug it. I told 'em as much. I also told 'em that if they needed a label for it, I'd be happy to put it out. The only issue, I said, was that if they put the record out on Catbird, they wouldn't be able to get the "full label treatment." Because, thing is, at Catbird, there's no marketing campaign, no magazine ads, no one pummelling bloggers for review requests... we just simply don't like to play the "industry game" here.
"Perfect," they replied. "Neither do we."
|Some years ago, I met this fellow Brian Michael Roff (well, if you consider exchanging some e-mails "meeting," then I "met" him). As we remained in contact over the next few years, I bore witness to Brian releasing a number of discs on a number of labels, and I learned that his label experiences had been a real hit-or-miss undertaking thus far. That's when I decided, heck man, Catbird may not be able to dole out a "Hit," (as in "Hit"), but we sure as hell can deliver a "Non-Miss." So we signed on to make up a nice, hand-screened, limited-edition version of BMR's newly-christened project, "The Underpainting."
|I'm sure you all know Jason from his work with Zumpano, Destroyer, and (most recently) Sparrow. Jason dropped me an email to tell me about a collaborative project he was working on with artist Jason McLean. He thought doing it up as a Catbird release might be a good thing to do. I was in full agreement.
|Practically the same day I got email from Jason Zumpano, I also got email from Mr. Cary Pratt ("Prairie Cat"), who, coincidentally, not only lives in Vancouver like Jason, but also played in Jason's band Sparrow. The weird thing is that both guys contacted me independently, but at almost exactly the same time. It was a sign from the universe trying to tell me either A.) I needed to move to Vancouver or B.) I needed to put out both of these guys' albums. Luckily for you, I went with "B."
|I logged into Myspace one day, and I had a friend request from this band, Clear Tigers. I clicked on their link. I listened to their songs. Then, without pause, I immediately contacted them and asked if they wanted to put something out.
|I've long been a fan of Manishevitz. One day not long ago, I swung by their site and noticed new songs (I hadn't heard anything from them since 2003's brilliant City Life). I got in touch, found out there was actually a whole new album in the can, and on top of that, Adam graciously sent me a copy of it. It was great. I gave Adam the lowdown on Catbird; explained to him "how we roll," and let him know that we'd be thrilled to put the record out.
And here we are.
|I first heard about Seattle's Kaz Nomura, aka PWRFL Power, in July 2007 via The Stranger. I'm pretty sure I contacted him shortly thereafter about putting something out, but I didn't hear back from him. But 6 months later, he wrote back (from New York). We had coffee and 5 days later we had his CBR release.
|I was introduced to Nicole Schneit, and her band Air Waves, by Forest Fire. Actually, technically, I was introduced AFTER Forest Fire had already pointed me to her Myspace, and AFTER I had already heard "Shine On", and AFTER I already decided I'd like to put out an Air Waves release. Trivia: Air Waves' cracked quasi-folk sound may be miles from the spazzed-out synth of Dan Deacon, but that didn't stop him from declaring Air Waves his favorite new band. In a Pitchfork interview, no less!
|George Washington Brown|
|Now, how exactly did I meet Pete, the man known as George Washington Brown? Can't say that I recall exactly, but I do know it was a few years back, and I do know it involved me seeing this fantastic video for his song, "It Still Rains." Whatever the circumstances, the fact is that we spoke then about working on something together one day, and though it took quite awhile, we finally did. GWB's EP for Catbird is a small slice of perfect English indiepop-- and one that was well worth the wait.
|I became smitten with Apollo Ghosts' Hastings Sunrise the first time I heard it in early 2009-- so when the band approached me about releasing their follow-up EP, obviously, I had to jump at the chance. When the opportunity to repress Hastings Sunrise popped up; well, that was just the cherry on top. And I swear, it's pure coincidence that Catbird now has THREE Vancouver bands in the flock! Bejar, you're next.