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this was a fun jog down memory lane.   I'm one of the suckers that really enjoyed the Under The Influence 7"s and took the bait and bought the package for "every one of these we do" or whatever it was.   Wish he would kind of....Just own up to his bullshit, but whatever.   Sincerely hope Virgil, Ronniethebear, and RJ all ultimately felt shitty for what they did and have learned and grown from it and are attempting to be better people.

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Talking shit is why the internet exists. It's good.       He ran Suburban Home Records, a low-to-mid-tier punk label. Circa 2006 he founded Vinyl Collective, which consist

Now we just need that gif of that one girl pulling her pants up and this will officially be a OG VC thread.

He's why this place exists. It's not a good thing.

Talking shit is why the internet exists. It's good.

 

3 hours ago, natenomm said:

Anybody have a quick summary of this Virgil thing? 

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He ran Suburban Home Records, a low-to-mid-tier punk label. Circa 2006 he founded Vinyl Collective, which consisted of:

  • A Proboards forum, which through an arcane series of events eventually became this website here
  • A vinyl-only distro – pretty novel at the time as the vinyl revival was just starting to take off. At that point the main punk/hardcore options were basically No Idea and Interpunk and some smaller players, and they had their pluses and minuses but mostly they just carried punk records. Virgil carried all that, plus like, rap reissues and other random stuff, and he'd try to get stuff people asked for, so he was like a one-stop shop.
  • and finally, a vinyl-only label – again, very novel at the time. He pressed vinyl for labels that didn't want to deal with it, including a ton of stuff from Ferret & Red Scare, and big bands like Minus the Bear, Norma Jean, & Portugal the Man.

People loved this guy, and the stuff he licensed sold big for the most part. He used his newfound clout to continually expand his operation, growing his distro and putting out a ton of music via Suburban Home. A lot of it was like alt-country/raspy-punk-guy-goes-acoustic type stuff, and I can't imagine any of it holds up at all (I do like the LaGrecia album he put out and I wanna say Stereotyperider was good?) Every release came out on multiple colors, there were limited preorder packages with bottle openers and posters and shit, all the collector gimmicks you can imagine. He started a (frankly pretty great) split 7" series called Under the Influence where bands covered artists who influenced them, and somehow roped in like every artist that was big on Punknews in 2008 to contribute. Some of those singles came out on 3 colors. 

 

In retrospect, the first warning sign that he was stretching himself too thin was probably the Cooperative. He hatched this scheme to get 200 people to chip in 60 bucks as an investment, and that money would be used to license, manufacture, and distribute an album that didn't exist on vinyl. Everyone in the Co-op got a copy of the rare color of the record, and the money from selling the remainder of the pressing would go towards the next release. In theory, a never-ending stream of records for 60 bucks! People were gaga over this idea. Shares in the VC Co-Op sold out in minutes. At least one person had a full-blown meltdown on the message board over the fact that they had missed out on buying a share. Personally I had set an alarm but overslept and missed it by minutes. I was so pissed!

 

There was all sorts of stuff around the voting process and making teams and narrowing down the list that I was not there for, but in the end, the first Co-Op release was The Falcon – God Don't Make No Trash, on a 10". As I recall, it did okay. There were some concerned murmurs as Virgil revealed that the record had cost slightly more than anticipated as 10"s cost more to manufacture, but they were reassured that it wouldn't affect the master plan and everything would be fine. The next release was The Jealous Sound – Kill Them with Kindness, on a double LP. A double LP, surprisingly, also cost more than anticipated, and sales were soft. Next up was A Wilhelm Scream – Mute Print, and a sort of complete discography for Gaslight Anthem side project This Charming Man, both relatively straightforward single LP releases. It should be noted that this all took fffooorrreeevvveeerrr. According to Discogs, the first (and only) 4 releases came out in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In between each release, 200 people are milling about the message board waiting impatiently for any kind of update on what should theoretically not take 3 years.

 

While this is happening, Virgil's operation is continuing to expand. He's hiring people and moving into bigger spaces, Suburban Home is putting out tons of music, and at some point there are too many plates spinning and things start taking a turn. He sells "VC for Life" memberships where for $1000 you get everything they release, forever. He takes preorders for Volume 2 of Under The Influence, with promised artists including The Gaslight Anthem and Minus the Bear, which never materializes. For most of VC's run, all his releases were pressed through Pirates Press as they were the only place that was doing all the splatters, hazes & splits that he utilized extensively, but at a certain point he switches to a domestic plant. Later the word from the rumor mill is that he was so in debt with Pirates Press that they wouldn't take new orders from him. Virgil starts blowing out inventory under the guise of clearing out space, doing big bundles of LPs and 7"s for dirt cheap.  Labels who were distro-ing with VC start posting threads on the message boards that they've not been getting paid for months. Some of them get deleted, including a legendary one where Tre from Deathwish tells Virgil to answer his email and give him his money, in so many words. People start asking to sell back their shares in the co-op as it becomes clear that it's a sinking ship.

 

While this is all happening, Virgil announces a mother freakin' craft beer tour.

 

In early 2011, the bottom finally falls out and Virgil shutters Vinyl Collective, leaving tons of labels, bands and customers in the lurch. He liquidates everything through eBay and his own store, and disappears for a good while, although according to Discogs, Suburban Home put out a handful of releases between 2011 and 2015. The most valuable asset at that point was the message board, and he sold it(?!?) to ShopRadioCast and Academy Fight Song Records, another label that flamed out spectacularly pretty soon after. And now here we are! Virgil basically lost everything, but he pops up again every few years with an interview in some Colorado alt-weekly about his new business doing promotion for craft distilleries or whatever. He's an ideas guy!

 

It's wild to think that there are people who are regulars here who have no idea about Virgil or Suburban Home. Personally, it was one of the first online communities I was a part of, and although I don't post as regularly anymore, it is comforting to have at least one familiar place that hasn't been swallowed whole by Facebook or Reddit. Long live VC!

 

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Incredibly detailed response.   Spot-on.   I would have to echo the sentiment about the online community aspect of it.   I don't post here often anymore either (was without a computer for years...it's still spotty if I'm being honest) but enjoy coming back in every once in a while to see if there is anything I have missed coming out.   I still buy and listen to records, but I find myself purchasing more used than anything else these days.   I have made a decent handful of friends off of this board that I keep in touch with in some degree or another outside of here.   Some of the SXSW meetups were really fun.

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2 hours ago, jhulud said:

Oh, man...the Tre DW vs. Virgil thing was epic. At that time, if I recall correctly, Virgil was essentially hands-off from the boards so all those posts/threads didn't get deleted. 

The only reason I say that is because I looked back at his posting history and couldn't find anything other than this:

 

And I know he made his own thread, because it's referenced in this thread:

 

But yeah, I remember it being a pretty amazing thread, mostly on the strength of Tre's initial post, something to the effect of "Virgil Dickerson, you owe me several thousand dollars and all the records of mine that you haven't sold. Pick up your fucking phone or I will drive to Colorado and beat your ass". and then everybody just going oh SHIT

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What a write up. Still owed records from VC and MTS.  Definitely brought back a ton of memories. 
 

profile says I have been her since 2008. But was a long time lurker before that. I remember finding this place and thinking it was awesome. Then not being able to remember the name. 2006 was the release of the  Every Time I Die Boxset and when I remember starting to come to the site daily. 

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15 hours ago, AlexH. said:

Never 4get

 

 

I remember this clearly. I know someone hit him up and was like nice seats at the Avs game. How'd you afford those? And got a refund for whatever he was waiting for.

12 hours ago, tokimedo said:

It’s this kind of mentality that allows/justifies morally inept people like RJ of Mighter than sword to do what they do, and steal tons of peoples money with no real repercussions. 

This. Never forget. People like them don't deserve to be around the scene. RJ still shows up to shows in NYC. Such Gold actually shouted him out and I was so pissed, like do they have no idea how much money dude stole?

11 hours ago, AlexH. said:

It's wild to think that there are people who are regulars here who have no idea about Virgil or Suburban Home. Personally, it was one of the first online communities I was a part of, and although I don't post as regularly anymore, it is comforting to have at least one familiar place that hasn't been swallowed whole by Facebook or Reddit. Long live VC!

 

 

 

Dude, this writeup was amazing. Thanks for all of that. This was definitely the place to smash refresh all day long waiting for preorders to launch. It's crazy how many of those records are worth 100s of $$s now because it was pre-vinyl explosion. Now the only POs that get posted are like WB radio bands.

10 hours ago, mitchard said:

Oh, RJ.

 

I'm still pretty butthurt about that MTS TOYPAJ train wreck. Mainly because I am still out $100+. 

Find him at a Such Gold show in NYC when shows happen again. Remember shows?

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I came here just at the end of the Virgil VC drama and right in the middle of the RJ drama. Crazy. I used to see RJ all the time before the TOYPAJ drama and then afterwards only saw him around a handful of times over a span of years.

 

The Vinyl Collective distro was awesome and had a bunch of varied great releases with great prices and eventually the blowout sale was cool in the sense you got a bunch of records for cheap but seeing that craft beer tour option in the distro was LOLworthy.

 

Good on @AlexH. to give the history and man if I bought the Co-op share I’d be pissed too, especially since money was tight for me back then.


Simpler times. Now the world is on fire....

Edited by GradedOnACurve
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