Label spotlight: TRD W/d
I’ve been vaguely familiar with the TRD W/d (aka Turned Word) label for a while but only become fully aware of just how much incredible stuff they’ve been doing when I did a massive trade with one of the guys who runs it, Dan Beckman. Most familiar to me is Beckman’s project, Uke of Spaces Corners, but the thing that’s so great about TRD W/d is the range of stuff they release. C Section 8’s “Urban Music” is one of the best things I’ve heard all year, but it’s totally off another path from Uke. Add in killer stuff like Flak Mask, Impractical Cockpit and Shep & Me, and you’ve got one hell of a line-up with a little taste for everyone. Get on that wagon, folks.
Amy Moon O-S, Andy Neubauer and Dan Beckman started the label as a way to self release the records that the bands we were in were making. For a couple of years previous to officially staring the label we had released several cassettes and a couple of records, as well as several magazines, comics, etc, without a label name.
We were living in New Orleans at the time that we started the label. The neighborhoods are broken up into wards there, like 1st ward, 2nd ward, 3rd ward, etc. One day we spotted some graffiti in the 3rd ward that said “ Trd W/d.” We reinterpreted this as TURD WARD, WORD or even WORLD. It has now morphed into TURNED WORD to continue the play on words.
In part it’s the drive to get better and better at doing this. We love music and we love records,…..but what is it that makes a great record? How do we continue to push the limits of sound……..and what music belongs on which format? We continue to record music and want to share it. Most of the music we release may not have seen the light of day unless we took the initiative to release it. The visual challenge is exciting as well, creating records that communicate ideas through something one can hold in their hands.
In the past, we released records whether or not people bought them. Now that we are selling more copies of our releases, that also encourages us to keep going.
It’s getting harder and harder to keep all this affordable, and one of the most important things to us is to release records that not only sound and look pleasing, but are cheep as well.
The price of audio tape, vinyl, mastering, printing and shipping continues to go up, while our day job wages seem to stay the same.
Also, finding the time to put all the work into creating a release, putting together the art, printing all the jackets, assembling all these parts, while still working a job away from home, and playing music, touring, and keeping up with other projects like chopping firewood, is difficult. But really all in all we feel pretty lucky to be able to continue doing this, after spending 12+ years breaking even.
We are currently working on releasing an LP of material by the artist, muscican’t, and innovator Bern Porter. Sadly, Bern is no longer alive. He was this incredible man, who amongst other things, started the INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED THINKING, a school for dropouts and children of all ages, in Belfast, Maine, where we and our label now reside. What we wouldn’t do to be able to spend an afternoon with him.
Send us a demo and we’ll listen to it. If we love it, maybe we will release it.
A Bern Porter LP in late summer is in the works. A new Uke Of Spaces Corners LP will come out in the fall and another Ancestral Diet LP will follow that up this winter. By fall we will have a newsletter out as well. Something to bring awareness to all the great music we encounter out there that may be under the radar of most folks, as well as a way to promote our releases and share stories about farming, recording techniques, and alternative culture in general.
“Lovely Gold” by Michael Yonkers, or “The Grove,” by Big Blood, or Bo Hanson’s “Lord of the Rings.”
Please buy our records. They are taking up too much space in our house!!!!!!
And if you can’t find anyone to release your record, put it out yourself.
-- Brad Rose (28 July, 2010)