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AlexH.

Sounds like No Idea is going on hiatus :(

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Just got this update via the No Idea mailing list:

Quote

 

A good friend I hadn’t talked to in a while recently me asked how I was doing. I kinda laughed and said, “I’m doing great, and I’m doing crappy.” The last couple of years have been brutal. Labels and distributors have been adjusting to working with less, then adjusting again. And again. It’s the same story all around. So many labels and distros told us they were moving to smaller spaces, downsizing, and that 2016 was their worst year on record. There are a lot of people in their 40’s (and beyond) pondering the value of what they’ve been doing with their lives. It runs deep. I sincerely worry that we are on the verge of seeing an entire generation of doers, stop doing. That is to say, stop doing THIS and moving on with their lives. I count myself as one of them, but like so many: here I am. I don’t know when I will put out another new record, beyond projects already in the works that I committed to a year or more ago. That’s not something I need to think about right now and, indeed, for the first time in maybe 15 years… the thought does not bother me. 

In tandem, Jennifer had her own epiphany: after 20 years running the Distribution side of things, she was ready to let go of the stress. As she put it, “I did this for 20 years. That was plenty.” Letting all of this sink in, the hard job of bumming everyone out began. She had to start the process of contacting the exclusive labels she worked with and let them know they needed to find another route for wholesale distribution. The process of palleting and shipping thousands of copies of records and CDs began. As well, we had been storing 30,000+ empty LP jackets, along with a vast amount of overstock. Decisions had be made, things destroyed, things recycled. At one point near the end of that process, I rented a U-Haul moving van, filled it, and drove to the recycling center. It was liberating taking out my frustrations on those damn boxes, but bittersweet. It represented all those dreams… all those unfilled record jackets. The unloved, the bad gambles, the success stories that ran their course… and in the end, liberation from clutter. “How can I throw this away? It’s someone’s art.” And then you throw it away.

After months of physically demanding and mentally draining labor and effort on their part, it hit me like a thunderbolt… that when Chad and Tony said goodbye for Thanksgiving break… they were saying goodbye, goodbye. It was just me and Jennifer again. Just like 1995. Just like when, after a part-time mail-order fellow had moved away, we said to Matt, “I don’t know who we should ask to help?” and he said, “ME!” Nearly 20 years later, that led to one of the most painful things I’ve ever had to do… lay off an employee and friend who had been working side-by-side with us through it all. I’m literally tearing up as I type this, still.

No one would ever start something like this as a venture capital strategy. It’s just gambling; straight up gambling, every single time you press a record. Even though that often led to a black hole, I loved it anyway. As a result, I’ll be paying off debts from all this for years to come.

But this is what it is. We do what we must. I have certainly run myself ragged to make ends meet over the last year, working odd jobs, flipping collectibles and ephemera, trading books, selling old records, looking under couch cushions, and essentially whatever else came to mind. Fantastic clutter indeed… and now it’s someone else’s clutter. Just like art, it’s all down to the beholder’s eye.

I digress. I’m not generally an over-sharer. I am a relatively reclusive person most of the time. You can get me on a roll, of course, and I’ll do a little dance and tell you a story. But more often than not, my mind is elsewhere… bending a sheet of metal or wondering how water slowly corrodes copper in such a lovely way. As well, I am my own worst enemy. I’m a brooder. And I really don’t particularly want to engage with anyone at all when I’m in one of those funks. I’m often deep in my own head and do not consider how my furrowed brow is being interpreted by others. I want the work to be the focus, not the face of me. 

It’s hard to believe this all started way back in 1985, when the first issue of our fanzine got folded and stapled by a bunch of high school kids, just coming into things. Along the way, I have seen an enormous amount of people come and go, both geographically, mentally, and also biologically. It’s important to remember that all this effort means a lot. It makes a difference. Together we create an open space where people can learn and grow, eventually spinning their ideas off into their own ventures. That’s amazing! 

I sincerely treasure and appreciate all of the support we have received over the years. This a long road we are on, and we have so much more yet to do.

“Keep on dreamin’.”


Thanks and take care! --Var

 

Feels like the end of an era. This was hard to read.

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God bless No Idea. Quick story: They ran out of something I ordered once and sent me a credit slip for 12 bucks. I quickly lost it, then found it about 7 years later. I emailed them and asked if it was still good. They said yes, then I lost the slip yet again. Got tired of waiting for it to turn up so I emailed them and told them about the situation and they still honored the credit, sans slip. They're good fucking people.

 

Edit: Now it makes sense why The Blacktop Cadence ep disappeared from their coming soon page.

Edited by ThunderPantz
Update

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Yeah, reading that email this afternoon really tugged at the heart-strings. Var's love for all that No Idea encompasses comes though so clearly along with the frustration of watching everything slip through his fingers. Man, that label has been so important to me throughout the years, with so many great albums, so many killers bands, Fest, etc. End of a fucking era.

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They have been doing those huge distro sell offs. Guess that was a way to start this. Im hoping he will do another big one to clear his shelves and make it easier. I have had friends, who ran significantly smaller labels, who closed down and then were burdened with renting storage units or turning their house into hoarder central because they did not just sell a bunch off. The cost of running the label just does not go away. 

 

Would a clear out mean i would get some records? Absolutely.  But i would gladly do my part to help lower the cost burden for a label that has put out some killer music and i have been supporting for many many years. 

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4 minutes ago, lexicondevil said:

Wow. This sucks. I've only had great experiences with No Idea. So strange that in this vinyl resurgence a label like this is a casualty.

Yeah, it's weird how that works. I've noticed the same thing with "craft beer." While all sorts of trendy new breweries are flourishing, some of the ones that have been around since the 90s are closing their doors. 

 

I think when waves of popularity hit, the old guard suffers most. 

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2 hours ago, throughbeingcruel said:

Gonna order some old HWM and Against Me! records next week. Sorry we failed ya, Var. 

That may be a little difficult - Hot Water Music pulled their catalog probably 2 years ago at this point, which in retrospect was probably a pretty good sign that No Idea was winding down. Ryan from Off With Their Heads also recently got back the rights to their No Idea releases, and there's a preorder for his own reissue of All Things Move Toward Their End. I just hope No Idea's epilogue looks more like Dischord than Lookout.

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32 minutes ago, AlexH. said:

That may be a little difficult - Hot Water Music pulled their catalog probably 2 years ago at this point, which in retrospect was probably a pretty good sign that No Idea was winding down. Ryan from Off With Their Heads also recently got back the rights to their No Idea releases, and there's a preorder for his own reissue of All Things Move Toward Their End. I just hope No Idea's epilogue looks more like Dischord than Lookout.

I knew Rise bought the rights to a lot of it but I didn't know it got completely taken off their site.

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