Here’s a bit of old news: the music industry is a rough business, especially for a local record label.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Marcus Gossi, one half of the team at Texas is Funny Records, founded in 2009 by Scott Andreu with the simple aim of supporting some favorite local acts. “I mean, that’s gotta be the driving force for us.”
“It is a small label, very D.I.Y. in operation,” said Andreu. “We don’t draw our covers or go that far with it. But it does take a lot of networking and energy to do what Texas is Funny does.”
So far, the label has avoided the downward trend gripping the rest of the music industry. With a boatload of new releases coming down the pike, national tours in the works for the majority of their prime artists and a distribution deal with indie giant Frenchkiss Records already inked, it’s gearing up to be a huge 2014 for the little label from SA. To celebrate, they’re throwing two parties.
“[This showcase] is really just a way to [thank] everyone and really kick-start our year rolling into 2014,” said Andreu.
The Texas is Funny Records Fall Showcase brings together the majority of the label’s current roster of 11 bands to perform two shows this Friday and Saturday.
“Because the label has grown so much since the last year, we knew we couldn’t fit everyone into one night,” said Gossi. “We went with a two-night set-up, one [Friday] sort of heavier, punk night, the second [Saturday] being a bit more, shall we say, palatable, softer.”
Perhaps the toughest part of putting together the showcase was just wrangling their roster, which funnily enough now spans far beyond Texas.
”Everyone’s always so wrapped in their own thing, it’s tough to get everybody for something like this,” said Andreu.
Though they couldn’t quite coordinate with Kent, OH’s the Cherry Cola Champions, the rest of the label’s lineup will all take the stage at either Hi-Tones or The Ten Eleven during the two-day fest. Making the longest trek will be New Orleans quartet Glish, one of the label’s most exciting signings from the past year.
“Anytime I listen to them, I get chills,” said Gossi. “Sonically, they just have this warm and powerful ease to them. You just don’t hear kids playing music like this every day.” Sounding like the shoegaze smash-up of Lush and Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins that their name suggests, Glish is currently honing their debut full-length record set for release in the coming year.
Making the considerably shorter drive down from Austin is Young///Savage, a post-punk quartet appropriately set to headline the first, heavier night.
“When I heard Young///Savage, they immediately struck me as this punkier Bear vs. Shark with maybe some Alkaline Trio influence in the vocal melodies,” said Gossi.
Like Glish, Young///Savage has their debut full-length slated for release in early 2014, and an ambitious national tour set to follow.
Also headed down from Austin are emo-punk outfit Diving. A host of San Antonio bands rounds out the showcase lineup, including Gossi’s project the Vetter Kids, post-punk instrumentalists The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, and non-label acts Massiver and Bright Like the Sun. According to Gossi, the local act poised to play the biggest role for the label in the coming year is Deer Vibes, playing on Saturday.
“They are on pace to do something really special, and I think people in general are really going to be surprised when it happens,” says Gossi. “We have some things lined up for them that are pretty big.”
Though planning the Fall Showcase is occupying plenty of Gossi and Andreu’s attention, the pair are already looking ahead to new releases, including a four-way split single this winter, and an even more ambitious presence during SXSW, with shows in both SA and Austin.
“We’ve become so much more solidified in our lineup and, I think, in our identity as a label,” said Gossi. “There have been some growing pains, but the main thing is we are growing.”
Texas is Funny Records Fall Showcase Day 1
9pm Fri, Nov 29
The Ten Eleven
1011 Avenue B
Texas is Funny Records Fall Showcase Day 2
9pm Sat, Nov 30
621 E Dewey