Raleigh-based Demonbeach Records started with purist ideals. A like-minded clutch of rock-lovers branched off from the support network and Web community Demonbeach, "to start a label owned and run by musicians," as co-owner Jennifer Love put it recently to The Indy. Three years and more than a dozen releases later, they're celebrating with a live-filmed showcase at Cat's Cradle on Saturday, Aug. 30. The roster represents both veteran gut-punch outfits like the Bad Checks, and newer blood like Richmond, Va.'s rabble-rousing Dragstrip Syndicate, soul-strutters Transportation and the Chapel Hill trash-rock trio the Spinns.
Friends for years via the various bands they played in or hung out with, Clif and Robin Mann, Rock Forbes, and Jenn Love came to a decision quite casually. "One night, hanging out at the Humble Pie, Clif, Robin, Rock and myself decided to take the plunge and start the label," says Love. Inspired by great punk-ethic labels of the '80s, Demonbeach set about reissuing on CD the Bad Checks' first album "Graveyard Tramp," from 1985. This was followed by a full-length CD by Adult Film Makers, and an aesthetic change of heart. "We wanted to do something special, something different, and thought vinyl was the answer. This was the time everyone was burning CDRs," Love says. They released a compilation 12-inch slab reflecting bands in the Demonbeach stable and Triangle locals. Then the 7-inchers started to roll out: a series of handcrafted screen-print jobs, one of them Jenn Love's band J Love and the Janitors; the others from the crowd playing the upcoming showcase at the Cradle. The evening is co-sponsored by WXYC 89.3, so it's a great way to catch some of these bands if you've missed them.
With a true blue ethic (they claim Merge Records as their local inspiration) that keeps them on a 50/50 relationship with bands, Demonbeach is a musician's business model to be proud of. And with a handful of bands that just want to rock as much as they do, it doesn't look like they're slowing down.