Photo of "Summer Body" 7" courtesy of Porch Party Records
When the weather is right and the perfect tune is blaring from the stereo, there is no better place to be than sitting on a front porch with some friends.
And in Long Beach, so-called “porch parties” are so ubiquitous—especially in the summertime—that they inspired one group of friends to create a record label based on the dreamy indie sounds made for stoop sessions.
“This is what Porch Party Records is all about—hanging out on the porch and listening to good records,” says co-founder Casey Terrazas from the front yard of the house he shares near Retro Row with several other local musicians.
The house, informally known as “The Porch,” has been hosting living-room shows since Terrazas moved in back in 2008 and today it serves as headquarters for the new label, which will celebrate its first release this Saturday with a show at nearby 4th Street Vine.
Porch Party Records’ "Summer Body" 7” is a two-song solo effort from Terrazas’ roomate Joel Jasper that showcases the Gorgeous frontman’s take on heavenly pop songs, complete with floating guitars and reverbed vocals that cry out wistful lines like “I saw you and I couldn’t stop staring/I knew but stood in frozen shoes.”
But the new label is meant to be more than just a showcase for Long Beach artists.
Terrazas’ work as a freelance production manager often finds him in the Bay Area for extended periods of time, where he has become equally as entrenched in Oakland and San Francisco’s music scene as he is in Long Beach's.
Many of the bands that he has met up north have played shows in his living room and he has sent an equal number of Long Beach bands to play warehouse shows with his friends in Oakland, creating a synergy between the cities not yet seen in this generation. Future label releases will be split between local and Bay Area acts.
“Because I’m involved in San Francisco, Oakland and Long Beach and I’m seeing all these bands everywhere, I’m also seeing the connections between them,” Terrazas says. “I want to connect everyone and capture all of it with Porch Party Records.”
Terrazas and his 20-something friends are part of a growing but still-underground indie rock music scene in Long Beach, one that he and many others feel is being relegated to house shows because of the lack of appropriate local venues, and lack of support from the City.
Issues over entertainment permits have ensured that their legitimate venue-of-choice, 4th St. Vine, can only have a certain number of shows per year and even still, music fans under 21 are left out.
“The music scene in Long Beach is about to explode, but the city won’t let it,” says Terrazas. “But we’re not stopping. We’re just going into our houses…I love putting on shows. I love putting on house parties. And I just want to support the scene that is already here.”
On Saturday, September 14, Porch Party Records presents: Full length album release of R A I N M A N, EP release of Joel Jasper, art exhibit and book release of Dave Van Patten, art exhibit from children of Little Owl Preschool and additional music performances from Alyssandra Nighswonger and Dennis Robicheau at 4th Street Vine, 2142 E. 4th St.
For more information on Porch Party Records, visit facebook.com/PorchPartyRecords