Mike Schulman is the owner of the Oakland-based label Slumberland Records, which has hosted a select indie pop roster for over two decades, including now-legends like Black Tambourine and current indie pop darlings like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. This Saturday at the Rickshaw Stop (5pm, $15), the label’s throwing a showcase as part of this year’s SF Popfest, featuring a variety of great Slumberland bands. We spoke with Schulman about what’s going down at the showcase, and have come up with five great reasons to add it to your weekend itinerary.
1. You’ll get a chance to witness an international sampling of UK, Bay Area, and LA indie pop.
Saturday’s bill features a mix of local bands, including the fuzzy drum machine charm of The Art Museums, noise pop bands like Brilliant Colors, and the harder, punk sound of Terry Malts, alongside representatives of the UK and C86 movement, 14 Iced Bears and Phil Wilson of The June Brides, as well as SoCal’s Devon Williams, Neverever, and Sea Lions.
Geographically speaking, the label has maintained heavy concentrations in California and the UK. When asked about this connection, Schulman cited his adoration of late-70s UK punk as the origin. “Once we started working on the label it made sense to approach some of the UK bands we liked since it seemed like they were really under-appreciated in America,” he explained. “That led to working with Jane Pow and Stereolab, and then Boyracer, Hood, et cetera.”
2. This will be showcase headliners 14 Iced Bears’ first time playing on the West Coast.
It’s pretty incredible that this band, formed in the mid-80s and often associated with the C86 thing, is playing the West Coast for the first time as part of Popfest. For followers of Slumberland’s discography after 2001, this might not sound as significant, so Schulman explained his patronage of 14 Iced Bears: