The new year begins and we enter a new cycle of White Label Series. January is no exception. This month our curator is Dale Nixon, with his choice of Berry, Everything, Compromised.
"Back in circa 2004, I happened across this mysterious band known as "Berry" performing in a tiny 37-person dive bar in St Louis. In my mind the bar was called "Radio Cherokee", but it might have been called "AM Apache" or "Sioux FM" or something... According to my calculations, I have seen 1,484 shows since that moment. Very few of which I remember. But I was absolutely transfixed that night I was introduced to Berry in that tiny 37-person venue in some terrifying corner of St. Louis.
It's difficult to explain what is so amazing about this band. They're not overly unusual, or outlandish, or any of the other things that usually pique a person's interest on first listen. But they are able to strike an incredibly rare balance of earnestness, inventiveness, and artistic/technical prowess. In my opinion, they are better than 99% of all music in the world. Which means they're better than your favorite band, statistically speaking. So why haven't you heard of them? I don't know. Why is Donald Trump president? The world is a cruel and unjust place.
You know how some bands struggle for years to try to write meaningful songs, and when they finally get something recorded it's just 'Chinese Democracy'? Berry is the opposite of that. You can't stop this band from creating. And everything they record seems to just spill out of them, fully-formed, and effortlessly superb. They have self-recorded and released over 8.33 hours of material since that day I first saw them 14 years ago. Most of these recordings they have self-released for free on their site (something I believe they were doing even before Radiohead's 'In Rainbows' made it common practice). And even now when they all live in different cities and such — they are still more prolific and more creative than most bands will ever be.
My best friends will tell you: if you get me drunk enough, Berry IS coming on the stereo and YOU WILL LISTEN. I feel about Berry how a religious evangelist must feel when they believe they've "discovered the secret" or whatever. I have no religion, but I do have a secret, and it's a band called Berry."
- Dale Nixon
Ahead of this announcement Berry have gone on to grab the attention of Brooklyn Vegan and landed a premiere of the digital tracks. You can check that out here.
We are sold out of our copies of this year's subscription, but you can share Berry's Bandcamp where they are selling 100 of the LPs while supplies last.