This Wednesday through Saturday, The Bay Bridged is teaming up with 20 Sided Records to present four consecutive nights of shows celebrating the release of the SF-based label’s fourth compilation, These Strange Days, which is officially out today. The record features 21 tracks from bands on 20 Sided’s roster (see the full tracklist here), and the release parties will take place at four separate venues (The Knockout, Bottom of the Hill, Submission, and Amnesia) with four different lineups including headliners One Hundred Percent, Li Xi, Frozen Folk, and Ash Reiter. On the eve of the shows, I caught up with 20 Sided’s founder David Mitchell to discuss his label’s latest release and the planning of this weeks’ celebrations around San Francisco.
The Bay Bridged: These Strange Days is 20 Sided’s fourth compilation. Why do you think it’s important to continue issuing this type of release, instead of just sticking to purely albums by individual acts?
David Mitchell: I like to look at the label more like a collective consisting of mainly friends, where all of the bands support each other as well as themselves. A compilation is a way to help promote that collective and each individual band that is a part of it. There is an eclectic array of bands on this release and that’s the benefit of a compilation – you can hear a band or two that you really like and then check out their sites or releases.
TBB: Why did you choose the songs you did for These Strange Days, and do you have a favorite track on the album?
DM: These songs were all chosen by the bands. Most of the songs are exclusive to this release, which is rad because you will not be able to find those tracks on any of the bands’ other releases. My favorite track on the comp is probably “Solstice” by Li Xi or “Pelican” by Ugly Winner, but all of the tracks are really rad.
Li Xi – “Solstice”:
TBB: What was the thought process for selecting bands for the compilation release parties?
DM: There weren’t really any difficulties in selecting bands for this release. We went with a more direct approach by choosing bands that are more of the core of 20 Sided. A few of the core bands couldn’t be on this release, so we chose some local friends to join. Like I said, the label is more of a collective consisting mainly of friends.
TBB: Why did you choose to do the shows at four separate venues, and how did you arrive at these four particular venues?
DM: We decided to do the release shows at four separate venues because it gives the onlookers/fans a different view for every show. That way, you’re not going to the same venue for four nights in a row, drinking the same beer or listening through the same sound system. We chose these venues because they are all in the Mission/Potrero Hill area, which is where 20 Sided is based, and these venues all take care of local bands, so we wanted to support those that really help out local and touring bands.
TBB: The compilation release parties aren’t all about celebrating the release of These Strange Days. We’ll also be holding a raffle each night that benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What’s your connection to Make-A-Wish, and why did you decide to include this unique element with the shows?
DM: We joined with Make-A-Wish last year because a bunch of the kids had music related wishes, and I thought it would be a good idea to help out some kids who had big dreams to be a rock star. It’s nice to help out those that are less fortunate, especially if they are children. We raised a good amount of money last year and we’re hoping to raise more this year.
TBB: Your band Couches has a 7-inch coming out soon. Are you still planning to release a full-length in the near future?
DM: Couches has its first single coming out on October 1, and our second single is coming out on February 1, 2014. Our debut full length is scheduled to be released sometime in April.
One Hundred Percent, Breathing Patterns, Buzzmutt
September 4, 2013
Li Xi, Wild Pack of Canaries, Cannons and Clouds, Mosshead
Bottom of the Hill
September 5, 2013
Frozen Folk, Chung Antique, Couches, Quiet Americans
September 6, 2013
Ash Reiter, Thralls, Upstairs Downstairs
September 7, 2013