Our first active year at Punctum Records is certainly one that deserves recounting. A bit more occurred over the past 12 than probably should for a fledging label at the outset, and you, dear reader, are in some part to blame. So we begin our 2014 Review with a thank you — for giving us the trust and support to make this first year possible. Here's our look back:
January: Just a couple weeks after our first release, Shivery Shakes' Sidewalk Talk on 7" flexi disc, and a wild release show at The Owl in East Austin, we started off the new year with our Free Week showcase at The Mohawk. Our first event at a major venue featured Battle Bend, RF Shannon, TAFT, Shivery Shakes, The Mole People, and a completely packed house on a Tuesday night. We followed that up with another showcase at Frank, an early epicenter for Punctum Records, where we produced a few live session videos.
March: SXSW washed over our sweet city and we did our best to ride the wave. With a whole bunch of great friends, we threw You're Here! - a two-day showcase with 32 bands from around the world. You can read our recap of that wonderful event here.
In the same month, Punctum Records released a groovy self-titled EP by Feverbones on the 3rd. And we debuted RF Shannon, with the astonishing record Hunting Songs on 10" vinyl, on the 25th.
April: The family continued to grow, both in size and sound, at an alarming pace. Roger Sellers joined with his avant-folk aesthetics, Major Major Major brought colliding garage rock, and Mother Falcon added their 20+ member indie orchestral behemoth. We now had enough folks to form our own baseball team.
May: Early in the month, we released Mother Falcon's Dirty Summer on 45, their first vinyl release and our fourth publication. We immediately followed that up with Jordan Moser's fable-filled album Mainstream Reservoir. By the end of the month we produced our first two international pieces, the dreamy electronic Microdot from Canadian duo Wormwood and Exploit.zzxjoanw.Gen, a USB audio-zine featuring writing and sound art from a collection of UK and European artists produced in collaboration with the Collective Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In the same month, we pulled off one of our most ambitious group projects of the year by taking a collective sojourn from our tiny Texas home to the Big Apple for three nights of showcases around Manhattan and Brooklyn and a symposium at Parsons The New School for Design. The Punctum Records Lost Weekend fulfilled one of our earliest ambitions, to bring the unique community of Austin, Texas outside to a larger audience. It gave people in New York the opportunity to see how an entire scene functioned in concert (literally and figuratively), an experience unique from the tour of one or two groups. The trip was something of an eye-opener for us as well, the new context underscoring the unique nature of our home in Austin.
June: We take care to make some beautifully designed records, but that was especially evident this month with the release of El Campo's flexi disc and the Jess Williamson / RF Shannon shared 7". Artwork by Jared Morris and Matthew Genitempo, respectively, complimented some earthy and spooky tunes. Jess Williamson received some kind recognition from Pitchfork and El Campo embarked on a Texas tour to support the record. We celebrated these releases under full moons at Cheer Up Charlie's.
July: Switzerland-based academic and artist Andreas Burckhardt released his Triptych through Punctum Records and we celebrated the life of sound artist Minóy in collaboration with Punctum Books by releasing a cassette and CD of his works, along with a special retrospective text and photographs directed by Paris artist Joseph Nechvatal. And all the way from Waco, TX, we welcomed sentimental space rockers Lomelda to the Punctum Records family. We also had a blast as part of the Cinema East film series in Austin.
August: On the 12th of the month, we released our first 12" album, the 100% analog power-pop/punk creation Lost Age by The Mole People. The energy of the record was matched by an ecstatic release show at Spider House Ballroom. This was the month that we also started to dig in on our largest undertaking to date, the establishment of a physical space in Austin.
September: Three solid releases made for a busy month — TAFT and Little Lo's shared 7", Alex Napping's full length album This Is Not A Bedroom, and Roger Seller's trailblazing Primitives. Both the Alex Napping and Roger Sellers full lengths have since found there way on several best-albums-of-the-year lists.
October: After two months of long days and nights building our new home, we soft-opened Studium in East Austin. Along with our partners Byron & Blue, The Brew & Brew, Stowe Provisions, and Attendance Records, we turned an East Austin warehouse into co-disciplinary space for art and objects, hosting music performances, readings, art shows, film screenings, and more.
We also set our sites abroad again, bringing RF Shannon, Feverbones, and Roger Sellers out to Santa Barbara, California to perform at BABEL Meeting 2014.
December: As we did a year ago, we end the year with a Shivery Shakes release, this time the beautifully made full length debut, Three Waves And A Shake, in collaboration with Austin Town Hall Records. We also announced our distribution partnership with MRI / Sony Music, which will bring our records to stores across the country starting in 2015 with the release of TAFT's album Groove Redundant. We welcomed the addition of avant-garde composer Cory Allen to the family and continued to build on Studium with the establishment of a new show series in the shop, setting the stage for a bright new year.
Looking back on such a busy twelves months, it's clear that none of this would have been possible without an overwhelming outpouring of support from scores and scores of generous people. Thank you to everyone who is part of Punctum Records — our artists, board members, the people who came out to shows and bought a record — together we pulled off some turns I wouldn't have dreamed up a year ago and I'm excited to see what we create in 2015.