Richie Records: Beer ads, singles, and the NFL

I still remember the day Richie Charles, owner of RICHIE RECORDS//TESTOSTERTUNES sent me one of his first releases ever. Having never heard or seen the HOMOSTUPIDS before, all I was told was that they were the greatest band in Cleveland. Pretty much once I dropped the needle I had to admit Richie and the few others that told me that were 100% correct. Later Richie releases records from such critical darlings like  KURT VILE (“Overnite KV!!!” CD-R, “Hunchback” 12″) and the awesome HOME BLITZ  (“Out of Phase” LP) to this day though, I still always have my copy of FACTORYMEN “Shitman” LP in my play pile. The consistency of Richie’s releases has been flooring to say the least, he can release something like the High Rise meets GG Allin rawness of the PURLING HISS “Hissteria” LP then go right to the complete full on retardation of the BRAINWASHED YOUTH 7″. Every release is different from the one before, and that’s what makes every record he releases worth checking out. In a music climate where people jump from blog trend to blog trend, Richie is putting out records that he would want for himself. If you like it, that’s cool, if you don’t who cares, Richie is putting it out so he can have it in his record collection. It’s been awesome to watch this record label grow from day 1, so I have decided to forego the long interview (you can read that one here), and ask him stuff we normally talk about when having a beer (ok I do dork it up a bit with the singles, but really check out the great choices).

1.) One of the best records you have ever done is the FACTORYMEN – SHITMAN LP. What were your first impressions when steve sent it to you? The depth of that record is pretty amazing, is it something you still throw on to this day? You do realize no other record you’ve put out comes close to how awesome this lp is.

Yeah, Shitman is a hell of an album. I still think that the b-side is one of the hardest 15 or so minutes made in my time. Blank Dream is a modern classic. All I know for sure is that when Steve sent me the cd for Shitman, I didn’t take it out of my car’s cd player for weeks. Jammed it real loud & proud.

2.)  Man that Purling Hiss record rips. It’s good to listen to with a nice cold beer. Speaking of beer Sharkey tells me you were in a TV ad?

Yeah, that Purling Hiss one is something else. And yes, I am in a television ad for Kenzinger Beer. It’s been airing during Sportscenter in Philadelphia.

3.) What is your take on the NFL lockout? Eagles still look to be in prime position in NFC east, their D-line needs work though, thoughts?

Listen, I’m hopeful for an NFL season. Especially for the sake of thousands of regular people whose livelihood depends on the NFL. Camera crews, stadium vendors, bartenders, t-shirt bootleggers, etc. But as for the mechanics of the Eagles, I’m going to wait until at least August before I start occupying my mind with those types of concerns.

4.) I’m stoked that you put out that Brainwashed Youth 7″. Is there another release of theirs on the way?

I haven’t heard too much from those guys since the record came out. I notice that they’ve played once or twice in Cleveland. I’ll have to check back in with those guys. It was a privilege to put out that one. I’d be proud to do another.

5.) Grateful Dead’s Anthem of The Sun or Saccharine Trust Pagnicons or YDI Place In The Sun?

Realistically, Anthem of the Sun gets more time around my apartment. It’s a pleasant record. YDI’s Place in the Sun is the greatest record to come from Philadelphia. By far. I can’t even think of another pure punk or hardcore band from Philadelphia from any time that wasn’t pretty shitty. That YDI single is up there with Six Pack, Void demos, and Cows & Beer. I don’t have a copy of the single, just the compact disc on Parts Unknown. As for Paganicons… I hardly ever put that one on. All that down stroking, single note guitar stuff and those understated and sneering vocals hurt my head.

6.) Thought’s on the heat blowing it?

Well, I haven’t thought about it in a few weeks. I’m not any type of NBA fan, but it’s nice to see the smug fail. I’ve got some pals who probably agree. They hang out at a bar called Now That’s Class!

Richie: So, I was asked to come up with a list of some favorite singles. Here’s that list. These are some titles that never stray far from the turntable. The exception is Pick Your King. That one stays in the compact disc player or on the iPod.

POISON IDEA — Pick Your King
I don’t even have this one on vinyl. Don’t think I’ll ever open my wallet that wide. I’d be thrilled just to find a bootleg copy of the thing. I have it on a compact disc that I bought at a Rock N’ Roll Record & Memorabilia show at the Valley Forge Convention Center. It’s a super vicious American HC rager and it only relents for a few second to mock an entire genre and lifestyle in the song “(I Hate) Reggae”. Just about the greatest cover art you’ll ever find. Years later, I was astounded to learn that Pick Your King was packed onto a 7” and not an LP.

A friend of mine told me about a record made by a young guy who worked at the Princeton Record Exchange. He heard it was pretty good. So I looked on the internet and learned that I could buy ten copies of the thing for fifteen dollars. Six years later, I still have seven copies. I became buds with the guy who made the record. Turns out he’s one of the brightest skulls of our time.

HUSKER DU — 8 Miles High
This, along with The Punchline by the Minutemen, is one of the very first records I ever bought. And both of ‘em have survived every single record purge I’ve ever ordered. The b-side is a loud, gnarled & thick live version of Masochism World. It was years and years before I ever bothered to hear the Byrds do the song. They do a respectable job with it, but Husker Du does it better.

JOHNNY & THE JUMPER CABLES — Death Camp of the Mind

Every so often a radio DJ or an events planner at a bar will invite me over to play records. This one comes with me every time. It’s just about the only time I ever put it on, but I should really listen to it more. It’s a muscular psychedelic hard rock record that may or may not have been made by veterans of a foreign war. **And I recently learned that this record was in fact made by a veteran: Ken Highland of Gizmos fame.

JUDGE — New York Crew
Totally bitchin’ NYHC. Macho & outraged with some threats of violence. Favorite line: Smokin’ that butt, it makes you mature. A slave to sex and you tell me you’re pure. Slammin’ that beer, it makes you a man. I’ll try to keep my cool, but you better understand…. UNDERSTAND!
Be warned: If you’re more than fifteen years old, it’s too late for you to hear this one for the first time.

KILLDOZER — The Pig Was Cool
A timeless, plodding story about almost getting busted. It’s got everything you want from Killdozer tune: heavy winding bass, metronome-like drums, squealing guitar, and Michael Gerard’s growling about rural partying and cheap thrills. The b-side, however, is something I hope to never hear again. It’s a cover of a song called “Unbelievable.” I didn’t like hearing it on the way to little league practice, and I still don’t like hearing it from Killdozer. Check their take on Cinnamon Girl if you want a real gnarly cover tune.

SEX PISTOLS — Anarchy in the U.K.
The most rabid Pistols fan has heard enough of Anarchy in the U.K. Even Megadeth and Green Jello fans have heard more than enough of that tune. But the b-side is a great one. It’s called I Wanna Be Me and it’s sharper than a lot of the stuff on Nevermind The Bullocks. The lyrics might have something to do about being hounded by the media. Choice line: A second of your life, ruined for life.

This is a pretty great single from a recently departed loose cannon about town. It’s a blues punk rock jam about hating New York and everything about that town, including the Rockettes. The flip is another winner and it’s all about revenge and putting you on ice. A few years back, I had entertained the idea of releasing a record by Mikey. He had been doing acoustic versions of his classic tunes and he had a great cover of Helter Skelter. Ultimately I ditched the idea, as he could be a difficult personality to deal with. He will be missed.

Six Pack isn’t exactly my favorite Flag number, but the -side to this one is unmatched. “I’ve Heard it Before” & “American Waste”: a pair of tunes that foam at the mouth. These are two of the meanest tunes Ginn ever put to tape. It’s a bummer that they got left behind when Dez put down the microphone to play guitar.

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