Father/Daughter

From now until the start of Noise Pop, we'll be profiling some of our favorite artists playing the festival this year.

This time we're profiling Father/Daughter, the now-legendary SF label gathering some of the Bay and beyond's best and brightest.

Jessi Frick and her father, Ken, live 3,000 miles away from each other. But in 2010, the two came up with a plan to make that long distance feel a little shorter: they founded Father/Daughter Records, and started releasing music out of their respective living rooms.

In the years since, Father/Daughter has grown in both size and notoriety. The label now houses 50 artists, and regularly makes headlines with their expansive roster. “I don't want Father/Daughter to get boxed into any one specific genre, mostly because that isn't how I consume music,” Frick explains. “I have always listened to all kinds of music on any given day and I aimed for that to be reflected through what we release.” Beyond the breadth of genres represented, Frick tells me, Father/Daughter takes “into consideration that the world is comprised of people of different backgrounds, races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic classes, and we'd be doing a disservice to not use our little platform to elevate those voices.”

“The person who is making the music is equally important as the music itself,” she tells me, “so I do think about it a lot.”

Speaking to Frick, it’s clear that the care and growth reflected in Father/Daughter requires an immense amount of dedication. “There tends to be a mystique over record labels, and I think it’s important for music consumers to know how fucking hard it is to run an independent label,” she says. “For a label like ours, we fully fund it ourselves, which means having to set aside money from our day jobs on top of rent and expenses to press vinyl, make CD’s and cassettes...everything.” That work is clear to the artists that Father/Daughter represents. “Largely due to her working her ass off, having an ear for great/interesting talent, and generally being a savvy publicist, the label's presence has grown significantly,”says Patrick Clos of Father/Daughter band Cocktails. “We’re proud to be associated with it for sure.”

Shannon Bodrogi of SOAR agrees. “Jessi, Andrew [Lopez], and everyone who works closely with them are so genuine, and I think just really want to see everyone succeed,” she says. “Jessi works non-stop.”

This year, both SOAR and Cocktails will be representing Father/Daughter at Noise Pop, as well as Pardoner, another local favorite, and Shamir — a Las Vegas breakout who signed to Father/Daughter last year. “It feels great to have so many bands playing Noise Pop since it champions local music more than most festivals do,” says Frick. “There's a real joy in seeing our bands open for bigger, touring artists and in this year's case, having an artist [Shamir] of our own headline their own show!” At Shamir's Noise Pop show on the 24th, Shamir will be supported entirely by other acts on the label — Pardoner and SOAR will join him at Rickshaw Stop. “I’m really happy to come back to Rickshaw,” Shamir tells me. “I really loved playing that venue last time.”

As the Bay Area becomes more inundated with wealth and tech, claims that the music scene has disappeared have grown louder. But, Frick says, working with young musicians through Father/Daughter has been inspiring. “Watching the Bay’s music scene constantly evolve is exciting in itself,” she tells me. “Also, it’s pretty rad to see those same artists disprove all the ‘Bay Area music scene is dead’ chumps.” The bands that Father/Daughter represent, too, expressed excitement about the community they live and work in. “Our practice space in the TL always has some great bands making cool stuff — we’ve got Seablite, Neutrals, Circuits, Sob Stories, and a few other projects going on in there,” Clos says. Bodrogi was quick to add to the list of shout-outs, saying that she feels “really lucky to know so many people that are doing such cool things.” She continues: “Unity Press and Take Care Tapes are probably my favorites right now because one of their main goals is to create and provide more inclusive spaces and platforms for artists. WAM (Womens Audio Mission) is also an amazing organization that we’ve worked with a couple of times and I think are doing a lot for the production side of music for the Bay Area.”

What becomes tangible, talking to the artists of Father/Daughter, is the true sense of pride and care that the label instills in its collaborators; care which is echoed in the thriving art scenes of the Bay Area. “It’s always tough when people ask us to sum up the music scene in the Bay Area in a couple [of] sentences,” Jenna Marx of SOAR tells me. “I always feel uncomfortable when I feel like I’m supposed to speak as some type of authority on such a big and diverse area, both in terms on the Bay Area as a whole and the different punk/DIY/indie music scenes we have out here.” Echoing Frick’s earlier joy, Bodrogi describes the hope she sees in Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. “They are definitely harboring and inspiring new generations of talented and brilliant folks, so there will never be a ‘death’ in the Bay Area music scene as far as I’m concerned,” she says.

As for Frick, there is always more work to be done. She tells me about the first ever Father/Daughter SXSW showcase in March, which she finds exciting and stressful. The label is also releasing eight records in the first half of the year — an incredible feat for an organization which is still, after all, run out of two living rooms. “I view Father/Daughter as more of a living, breathing thing than a company, so just like with my friends and family, I appreciate their nuances,” she tells me. “I want to be their cheerleader for their achievements but I also want to be the shoulder for them to cry on when they’re feeling down.”

She continues: “It’s important to me that people know we as a label aren’t perfect, and that we struggle — but we also are damn lucky and have had some amazing things happen.”

Meet Father/Daughter's 2018 Noise Pop Players

Cocktails (San Francisco) – on F/D since 2013

Latest release:

Noise Pop show:
Superchunk, Bat Fangs, Cocktails, Love Jerks
Great American Music Hall
Saturday, February 24
7pm, SOLD OUT

Favorite F/D memory:
Patrick Clos: One that stands out was going to SXSW a few years back! We hadn’t been before and so I emailed [Jessi] to see if she could help us get shows in TX. She was slammed putting together shows for all these bands, hosting a show, putting bands up, etc. We got there and were all exhausted and/or sick, but still ended up having a great time. The Father/Daughter showcase ruled and we played with some great bands, and it was really fun to link up with Jessi and David in Austin and help rep the label. I met people at those shows that later helped us tour Europe. It wound up being a great experience.

Anticipated Noise Pop event:
Playing GAMH with Superchunk! Favorite venue. One of my favorite bands. Can't wait.

Pardoner (San Francisco) – on F/D since 2017

Latest release:

Noise Pop show:
Shamir, Pardoner, Soar
Rickshaw Stop
Saturday, February 24

8pm, $20 (21+)

Favorite F/D memory:
Jessi took us out to dinner when we signed the contract for F/D and bought us all dinner and margaritas. And when we went to SXSW last year she gave us unlimited drink tickets at their showcase and my soul split into a million pieces.

Anticipated Noise Pop event:

I'm looking forward to seeing Shamir, Pardoner, and Soar at the Rickshaw Stop on Feb. 24. I heard that's gonna be a good one!

What do you wish you were asked about during interviews?
I wish I got to talk more about my beautiful wife and children.

Shamir (Las Vegas) –  on F/D since 2017

Latest release:

Noise Pop show:
Shamir, Pardoner, Soar
Rickshaw Stop
Saturday, February 24
8pm, $20 (21+)

Favorite F/D memory:
My experience with Father/Daughter has been amazing. Everyone is so supportive and trusting and they believe in all of their artist in a way I've never seen. They're like no other [...] I love how jessi puts up with me texting her crazy ideas in the middle of the night like a mad man.

Anticipated collaboration:
I’m really [excited] to have a 7" come out thats produced by Big Taste. He's an amazing producer and just a great human and creating with him is always fun!

What do you wish you were asked about during interviews?
I wish people would ask me about the composition side to a lot of my songs — I like to track in very specific ways that a lot of people find unique.

SOAR (San Francisco) – on F/D since 2017

Latest release:

Noise Pop show:
Shamir, Pardoner, Soar
Rickshaw Stop
Saturday, February 24
8pm, $20 (21+)

Favorite F/D memory:
Mai Oseto: I kinda have a long story. Andrew [Lopez] and I were friends before I even knew he worked at Father/Daughter.  I had been a fan of F/D for a long time and I always ordered music from them. I ran into Andrew at a show and he told me that he packed one of my F/D orders! He told me that, since I live so close, I could pick up tapes/records instead of paying for shipping. I was stoked! Pretty soon after that, SOAR played a show with Slingshot Dakota at 924 Gilman and I noticed Jessi there. I was too starstruck to introduce myself but I was really excited that Jessi was gonna see us play. I waited till after our set to tell Shannon that Jessi of F/D was there. I remember she told me that she was glad that I waited to tell her, or she would be too nervous to play. I don’t think either of us actually talked to Jessi that night. I eventually took Andrew up on that offer to pick up tapes/records. I had been emailing with Jessi for a bit making the order and I wasn’t sure if she would actually be there when I picked it up. I showed up at F/D HQ’s doorstep and was pleasantly surprised to meet Jessi (IRL) at the door. Andrew was there too and we all had a nice chat. I pet a couple of the cats. I got to see where all the records live. It felt really special. When I got home, I opened my F/D order and there was a note in it that said, “Hey Mai, Thx for the order! I saw SOAR last wknd at Gilman, you were great! <3 Jessi” I still have that note.

Anticipated Noise Pop event:
Shannon Bodrogi: I want to see the Bully, Melkbelly, Club Night, and Boy Scouts show the most, I think. I would’ve loved to have seen Jay Som and Japanese Breakfast, but I snoozed on buying tickets and now it’s sold out! Also looking forward to our show! lol

Mai Oseto: Yeah I’m also really excited for the Japanese Breakfast, Jay Som, Hand Habits, and Screaming show!

What do you wish you were asked about during interviews?
Rebecca Redman: Yeah, our butts. We all have super great butts, but nobody has ever asked about our individual workout styles or lack thereof. One time all four of us planked for 60 seconds at our practice space.

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