Welcome to 2015: Flanuary and Beyond

It’s a new year, and we’re coming out swinging.  2014 was great and all, we got to celebrate being a label for a solid year, and putting out lots of great stuff that we’re super proud of.  But we’re not going to rest on our laurels.

We’re not entirely sure what laurels even are, so the last thing we’re going to do is go napping on them, right?

On Tuesday, January 20th, we’re going to release our first comedy album, “The Wind Has Been Blowing For Years,” by the incomparable Joey Ficken.  This is his show that was recorded straight up live at DG’s Taphouse just a few short months ago.  No overdubs, this is just Joey doing his thing for about 45 minutes, no breaks, it’s the whole show.

We’re so excited about it, and about all the great comedians in our area, that we’ve decided to introduce this as a sub-label called Nova Laffs.  Joey’s album will be the first release under this category, and we’ll be looking into doing some more in the near future!

At the end of the month, we have two release shows for you, January 30th at the Iowa Music Store and the 31st at DG’s Taphouse.  We decided to get back to our noise and underground roots a little bit for this wave, so the first night will be dedicated to noise only.  Moultrigger is performing, and we’re doing a deluxe Archives release of his classic album “Birds.”  This is the first time this music has been available on CD, and there’s a whole extra bonus disc of unreleased stuff, music that was intended to be the follow-up to the album.  To top things off, Moultrigger is performing a whole new set of bird-themed improvisations at the show.

The Cryogenic Strawberries and Stratum are also both performing and releasing box set retrospectives, and we’ll be joined by BBJr., the noise legend from Eastern Iowa.

Here’s the Facebook event for this epic-in-the-making show right the hell HERE.

The next evening at DG’s we’ll open with a superjam of the noise acts from the previous evening, along with some special guests, and we’re calling that Microzeit, after the Zeitgeist festivals of the past.  And we’ve got releases and performances from Jose Quervo and Grandchamp, along with a return throwdown from Secret Freedom (who just submitted a new song to NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, wish them luck getting there!), and our friends in Peace, Love, and Stuff, who have just released an album of their own.

You can find info and the Facebook event for that right goddam HERE.

After that, we’ll take a short break, but we’ve already got a good chunk of April’s releases mapped out, and in March we’re going to host a Nova Labs Unplugged show at Bluestem here in Ames.

There’s also a lot of our artists back in the studio, creating follow up albums that you can expect later on this year, including Doctor Murdock, Liana, Secret Freedom, Obsidian’s Dream, and The Observer.

And other stuff percolating in the wings as well.  We’ve got about as restless ears as you do.

Be seeing you.

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Novrember Goings-Ons

Our October Halloweiner release show is now in the rear view mirror, and it was a blast.  There were wieners, of course, and performances by Bleujack (who we sure hope to work with more in the future), Nate Logsdon, Pink Kodiak, 11 Clouds, and Instants.  Pink Kodiak and 11 Clouds had never released anything before at a show, and 11 Clouds had never played a live show before, so, DEBUTS!

And we’re super proud to have released the new Nate Logsdon album, which he recorded in Iowa City with Brooks Strause and an all-star Iowa City band line-up.  Nate, Brooks, and Lesbian Poetry are doing a tour this week, and we wish Nate the best as he roams around Iowa promoting “Bathtub Against The Sea.”

So now we’re taking a quick breather, but we’re also sort of working on new stuff in the background, because we frankly can’t seem to help ourselves.  We have a holiday sampler coming up we’re juiced to tell you about, a publishing venture that will soon see the light of day, a couple of our artists are playing this year’s Little Big Fest, and we’re already putting some things together for a January showcase.

And on November 13th, we’ll be at DG’s Taphouse, recording Joey Ficken’s comedy show, for our first comedy album!

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October, Fest

So what’s new with you?  We’ve been keeping the bunsens burning down here in the Labs, and have some new experiments we’re sharing, and about to share, and some things which will unfortunately just remain hypotheses for the moment.

We had a really great time during the Maximum Ames Music Festival.  So much fun.  A lot of our artists played the Fest, which was great, and we were even given a Saturday night of the festival to curate, our very own Nova Labs Showcase!

During the fest, Trigger-Fish launched their new EP, “True/False,” upon the public, and we are already sold out of it (not to worry, more will be made this week).

They launched their EP at the launch of the Iowa Music Store, a joint venture (as the bizness folks say) between Nova Labs and the fine folks at Maximum Ames Records.  This store, down on Main Street in Ames, is a very cool thing.  You can buy releases from both labels, along with any Iowa music and art we can manage to get our hands on and cram in there.  There’s shirts, posters, zines, and records all over the place.

It also serves as an all ages, DIY venue, which is how Trigger-Fish ended up playing there.  Doctor Murdock played a show there as well during the fest (and sold out THEIR CD TOO, maaaaaaaaaan…but, again, more made soon).  And many more in the upcoming months as well.  The Store is getting its sea legs right now, but is off to a helluva bang.

Thanks for all the support.  It means the world to us.  It’s why we do what we do.

So what’s coming up?  Well, we just moved to expand the label by getting a dedicated CD printer.  This thing is amazing.  It prints super fast, and has a robot inside of it, pitching discs like crazy.  And we’re gearing up for our next release show at the end of October, which will feature some pretty sweet releases…more on those soon.  And other things as well.  Like…our first publishing venture?  Huh?

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One Year of Nova Labs

It’s crazy how time flies, like some slow-moving bird with a wounded wing, skittering across the sky, and then, all of a sudden, it’s a year later…

In our first year of existence, Nova Labs put out 36 releases.  Some of them were singles, but there were a couple of double-disc sets, a 3-disc anthology, a 7 inch, and a full-length vinyl, too, so just quit it with the nit-pickery already, okay?

This last weekend, we had a huge Friday blow-out show at DG’s Taphouse in Ames, with 7 acts playing, 10 releases, and a taco-shaped cake:

taco cake“Muchas gracias, senors y senoritas.”

Then on Saturday we had another huge show at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines.  Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun, and discs were picked up and drinks were spilled and Secret Freedom fired their bass player onstage.

So, what can you expect from Year Two of Nova Labs?  Probably more of the same.  Here it is, not even a week later, and we’re already releasing the single from Des Moines band SP3, to tease their Nova Labs debut album coming out in the next month or two.

Mighty Shady is planning another album release show at the Gas Lamp in Des Moines, with Tires and Dylan Sires and The Neighbors along for support (that’s a helluva line-up, for the home audience).

For more on Mighty Shady, check out their brand-smackin new video HERE.

And, speaking of videos, Secret Freedom made one as well, check that out HERE.

So, yeah, way more stuff to come.  The Iowa Music Store launches in September, so we’ll have a store presence with our friends at Maximum Ames Records, we’ll be curating a night of the Max Ames Music Festival, and we’ll be back for another showcase in October.

Hope to see you around.



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Shagstock, Maximum Ames Music Festival, and more

Last Friday night’s release party at DG’s was another success.  We’re super proud of the newest additions to our catalog: Loretta, Holly And The Night Owls, and Mighty Shady.  And thanks to everyone who made the show possible – if people don’t come out, we don’t get to keep making stuff, so we’re grateful as hell to everyone who takes the time to come to our shows and support our artists.

This Saturday (June 28th), we’ll have a booth at Shagstock, which is a semi-annual-ish event in the wilderness of Boone.  Shaggy, who throws the soiree, is also a member of Obsidian’s Dream, one of our artists, and they kindly invited a number of their Nova Labs labelmates to join in the festivities.  There’ll be performances by Obsidian’s Dream (of course), Liana, Doctor Murdock, Rockets of Desire, Strong Like Bear, and many more, from noon till midnight.

Then everyone collapses and camps in tents.

We’re also very proud to be curating a Saturday night stage for this year’s Maximum Ames Music Festival, check it out here:  http://www.maximumames.com/event/nova-labs-showcase/

We plan to have Deano’s packed and hopping.

Our brothers in arms at Maximum Ames Records have also kindly invited us to create a new store/venue with them, which will have it’s grand opening at the festival.  We’re stupidly excited for this – you’ll not only be able to pick up Nova Labs discs and Max Ames records whenever you like, you’ll be able to browse wares from artists across the whole fine state of Iowa.  We intend to make this place memorable, and a bastion for Iowa music and art, and a testament to the state’s beauty – and we’re also gonna rock some goddam asses along the way.

We have some more announcements coming real soon, but, rest assured, we’re not just sitting on our asses down in the Labs.

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Anniversary. Part One.

This July, we’ll have been a label for a year.  Hard to believe, isn’t it?  To celebrate, we’ve planned two epic shows, July 25th and 26th, the first at our birthspawning grounds, DG’s Taphouse, the second at the most rockingest local band supporting venue in Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews.

Check out these releases and this lineup.  Feel free to swoon a bit if you like.




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News From the Lab: June and Beyond

The April release show at DG’s was another rousing success, with the sellout of the Moonrabbit album, and the total consumption of all the sandwiches (shoutout again to West Street Deli, who worked with us there, and especially to Ryan, who sacrificed part of his thumb while slicing tomatoes for the occasion).  We’ve gone back to the Labs TWICE now to keep up with demand for the Moonrabbit disc, which is exactly the sort of problem we like to have.

We’ve been gearing up for July, wherein Your Humble Narrators have concocted a mega-event at DG’s Taphouse again, featuring a large number of bands, and our largest number of releases in one sitting yet, to celebrate our first anniversary.  Hard to believe it’s been almost a year, and by the time the dust has settled, we will have had well over 30 releases under our metaphorical, scientific belts…

BUT, before that, we are excited to announce that we’ll be releasing some albums in June, to help stem the loneliness in the meantime, and also because we are proud to be putting out a steady stream of Iowa’s greatest artists.

On June 7th, we’ll be releasing the debut album from Rockets Of Desire, along with the Tom Russell From Ames album (Tom found out there’s other Tom Russells in the world, so wanted to distinguish himself, hence the moniker).  Both these records were recorded at the same time, in multiple studios over the last two years, and feature a lot of local musicians, playing an eclectic blend of folk, blues, classical, and about any other genre you wanna toss into the stew.

Tom’s having a house concert for the release at he and his wife’s house, with Bleujack and Arise, Devilfish! supporting.

And on June 20th we are proud to announce the release of the long-awaited debut album from Holly And The Night Owls, during a show at the afore-and-oft-mentioned DG’s Taphouse!  That VERY SAME NIGHT we’ll also be releasing a single from Mighty Shady (whose full length album will be out with the Labs in July), and our very first hip-hop release, Loretta.

Even when we take time off, apparently we feel the need to put out new Iowa music.

And you can look for much more from us very, very soon…

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April Sandwiches and Releases

Our January release party at DG’s Taphouse was a rousing success, our biggest party yet!  A huge thank you to DG’s, and to everyone who came out to support it.  We sold out of all three of our CD releases, and had to hit the Labs to make more to fulfill pre-orders.  Which made us completely giddy – it’s nice to see these great artists getting love like that!

We’re happy to announce our next party, on Friday, April 18th, also at DG’s Taphouse.  Our friends at Maximum Ames Records have a new album coming out from their newest artist, Twins, and Gloom Balloon will be returning again on the bill to launch their tour at this show.

There will also be sandwiches.

And we’re proud to be releasing some new albums, too.  You’ll be able to pick up the debut EP from Fiszt, “Twisted Fiszter,” the avant-jazz collaboration between Erin Radach and Matthew As More.  Morning Sex & The Good Weed will be performing at the show and releasing their debut album, appropriately titled, “Morning Sex & The Good Weed:  The Album.”  Moonrabbit will play in support of their own debut album, “Water Damage.”  And Strong Like Bear will be releasing their debut full-length, “Over and Under,” and playing a set as well.

And sandwiches.

We have some other news in the not-too-distant future as well, with more releases on the horizon and our first birthday party – hard to believe it’ll be a year in July already!

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Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators Video, January Preorders

-Congratulations to Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators – the single “I Can Control You” from the album “I Wrote It All Down” has had a video produced for it by the fine folks at DEFT, and the video debuted today on Huffington Post!

You can watch the video here.

-We’ve also added our newest releases to the Store page, and  you can pre-order them!  Check out the new albums by Doctor Murdock, People With Heads, and Beach Toys, and the new split 7″ vinyl from People With Heads and Strong Like Bear, all only 5 bucks each!

-The sold out Flavor Basket Anthology has just had a second pressing and is available once more in the Store!  Get ‘em before they’re gone again!

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Winter Releases and Shows

We’re super excited to announce some more epic releases, and some new additions to the Nova Labs family.

This New Year’s Eve we’re proud to release the all-new Jordan Mayland & The Thermal Detonators full length disc, “I Wrote It All Down.”  Jordan worked hard on this eclectic album, recorded by Phil Young of Wabi Sound, and it will be available for the first time at DG’s Taphouse when 2014 is officially rung in.  It’s been a great year for Jordan and the Detonators, opening for The Zombies during the Maximum Ames Music Festival, and having the single “I Can Control You” hitting the airwaves on KURE and IPR.  A video for that single will be debuting very soon, and you can read more about it in this week’s cover story in Des Moines Juice right here.  Check out the release show at DG’s, when the band plays alongside Mumford’s, Trouble Lights, Mark Mallman, and Doctor Murdock.

Wait, what, Doctor Murdock?  Did someone say Doctor Murdock?

Well, on January 25th, also at DG’s Taphouse, you’ll find Doctor Murdock there, playing alongside some other great bands, because that’s our next release show – they’ll be supporting their new Nova Labs disc, “A Man From Earth.”

That very same day, we’ll also be releasing the long-awaited People With Heads disc, “Head Or Tales,” and our very first piece of vinyl, a 7″ punk-ass split with one side being People With Heads covering Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation” and the flip side being Strong Like Bear covering Sonic Youth’s “Dirty Boots.”

Also on January 25th is the Beach Toys debut album, “Endless Hummer.”  Punk covers of Beach Boys songs?  Hell yes.

That’s a helluva start to 2014.  We hope you’ll join us for these shows.

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