|Distributor(s)||Red Eye Distribution|
|Genre||Various (rock and roll, punk rock, garage rock, power pop)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||645 S. State College Blvd. #A
Fullerton, California 92831
|Official website||Burger Records|
Burger Records is an independent record label and record store based out of Fullerton, California. The label was founded in 2007 by Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, members of the power pop band Thee Makeout Party. The record/video store co-owned by Sean Bohrman and Brian Flores was opened in 2009.
The label is notable for releasing most of its material on cassette, and among the hundreds of artists released on the label are Brian Jonestown Massacre, Devon Williams, Hunx and His Punx, and The Go. According to OC Weekly, the label is known for "its growing catalog of sugary, eccentric power pop and audacious garage rock, extolling a carefree message of love, music and DIY attitude."
The label holds the annual Burgerama music festival in California, featuring dozens of Burger bands.
Avid rock and pop fans, they began collaborating on zines and newsletters before starting to play in bands together. Dubbed "punk pranksters via a song-less, almost-music-less band called The Noise," they afterwards started the power pop band Thee Makout Party.
At some point they began putting the Burger logo, which Rickard had drawn while bored at work, on all their artistic endeavors. They soon befriended the young lo-fi Fullerton punk band Audacity, joining them on a cross-country tour. Bohrman also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Humboldt State in 2004.
Bohrman and Rickard self-released several 7 inch vinyls for Thee Makeout Party in 2006, using the name Burger Productions. The label itself was started in 2007, releasing both material from Thee Makeout Party and an LP for Audacity.
While in a parking lot in Kansas, Bohrman and Rickard emailed bands they'd befriended and asked if they'd like to release old or new material on the label. Bands such as The Go and Nobunny agreed, while labels like vice and Sub Pop also were supportive, as cassette was a format they had no interest in. The label began to primarily release $6 cassettes, occasionally pressing vinyl and on rare occasions releasing CDs. Burger doesn't sign bands, instead allowing artists to keep control of their music.
Use of cassettes
Beyond Audacity and Thee Makeout Party, releases by The Go, Traditional Fools, and Apache helped cement the label. The cassette trend first spiked when they released NoBunny's Raw Romance, which sold 500 in a week and a half. A later Ryan Adams tape sold out all 400 copies in three hours. By August 2012, the label had sold over 100,000 cassettes.
In 2009, Bohrman was working as an art director for a boating magazine, only to quit when his job wouldn't allow him to go on tour with Thee Makout Party. When he returned, he cashed his 401K from his old job and opened a record store. Helping him was Brian Flores, owner of the now defunct record store Third Eye Records. Flores had helped put out the first Burger release.
They chose an emporium on an industrial edge of Fullerton, one that the LA Times has since called "kind of a post-apocalyptic Apple Store: on-point in its branding message and a hoarder's paradise of music-fan ephemera." Beyond cassettes and vinyl, the store periodically sells the work of comic artists, animators, and other artists.
Since late 2011, they've also released weekly video episodes chronicling events in the record store. Called Burger TV (BRGRTV), the videos are hosted on YouTube, and the LA Times has called them "charming nonsensical teen-noir.
By August 2012, the label had well over 300 releases in its discography, which has since grown to over 500. By March 2013, the label had signed a distribution deal with Red Eye Distribution, and that May announced that they were also releasing material digitally, on both iTunes and eMusic.
Style and influence
According to the LA Times, the label has focused on "trashy punk with a bubble gum streak," and their business model involves both releasing numerous bands at a low cost and building "an audience that wants to live in your universe. They took '90s DIY culture and gave it a '60s teen-pop makeover."
OC Weekly states, "The label has developed a reputation in discriminating music circles for its growing catalog of sugary, eccentric power pop and audacious garage rock, extolling a carefree message of love, music and DIY attitude."
Get Bent in 2011 went on to say, "Burger’s played a crucial role in the revival of the cassette tape, as well as in the promotion of the thriving Orange County garage scene." In an interview, band The Cosmonauts concurred that "Burger’s been responsible for the local tape craze. All Orange County bands either have tapes released by Burger, or have released cassettes themselves."
In 2012 the label held the first Burgerama, an all-age annual festival for rock, punk, and pop musicians, most of whom have released music on Burger. Burger shows are often done in tandem with Gnar Tapes.
In early 2013 the label began an international promotion campaign for its bands called the Burger Revolution. In the US, dozens of bands joined the Burger caravan tour, which led to over fifty of those bands playing at SXSW.
In March 2013, simultaneous Burger-themed shows were held in Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Melbourne and Tel Aviv, and the campaign culminated with the second Burgerama. The two-day festival included artists such as Ariel Pink, Pharcyde, Black Lips, and The Spits. It sold out both nights, selling more than 1,000 tickets at the Orange County rock club at the Santa Ana Observatory. Also that weekend was Burger Boogaloo in San Francisco.
By November 2012, over 350 bands had released music through Burger in various formats. These included Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters) and Thurston Moore’s (of Sonic Youth) latest collaboration with Beck. The following is a partial list of artists that have been released on the label.
|001||Thee Makeout Party!||2EZ2LUVU||7"||2007|
|003||Thee Makeout Party!||Play Pretend||CASS||2007|
|004||Audacity||The Anne Frank Tape||CASS||2007|
|006||The Resonars||That Evil Drone||LP/CD||2007|
|008||The Go||Howl on The Haunted Beat||CASS||2007|
|010||Stan McMahon||The Stan McMahon Band||CASS||2007|
|234||Early Dolphin||Return To Whale Island||CASS||2012|
|394||Various (Mark Sultan, The Dirtbombs, etc.)||Daddy Rockin Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos||CASS||2010|
|555||Gap Dream||Shine Your Light||LP/CASS||2013|
|Parent company||Burger Records|
|Official website||Wiener Records|
By late 2011, the label had created a subsidiary called Wiener Records. Wiener allows any band to have their tape mastered, pressed, packaged, and promoted through Burger, but without the Burger label.
|WINR001||The NOiSE!||Worst Of...||CASS|
|WINR002||Wax Witches||From Hell||CASS|
|WINR003||V.A.||The Wiener Dog Comp||2 CASS|
|WINR004||Gangbang Gordon||I'm Not A Musician||CASS|
|WINR005||The Bingers||Rhymes With Fingers||CASS|
|WINR006||My People Pray By Starlight/Yusuke Tsutsumi||S/T Split Release||CASS|
|WINR007||The Jigsaw Seen||Gifted||CASS|
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- "The Burger Records Guys Are Opening a Store Full of Vinyl and Cassettes. In This Economy?". OC Weekly. October 1, 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Brown, August (March 22, 2013). "Building a bigger Burger Records at the Burgerama festival". LA Times. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Abu, Mike (April 2013). "The Dudes Behind Burger Records Feel Like Suge Knight Right Now". Vice. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Timony, Mariana (December 6, 2011). "Interview: Labelled with Love from Burger Records". Get Bent. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
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- Boughter, Grant (November 13, 2012). "Spotlight on Burger Records". Riverside Highlander (University of California, Riverside). Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- James, Zachary (March 2013). "Sean Bohrman of Burger Records: The TVD Interview". The Vinyl District. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "Interview with Sean of Burger Records". One Chord Progressions. February 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Thomas, Fred (August 23, 2012). "All Tape Guide, August 2012". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "Burger Records May Happenin’s". New Noise Magazine. May 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Timony, Mariana (August 12, 2011). "the Cosmonauts". PsychKicks. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Guerrero, Ryan (April 29, 2013). "Recap: 4/20 at Burger Records". Lo-Pie. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- "Your New Favorite Band: The Audacity". The Dumbing of America. April 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Kornhaber, Spencer (September 17, 2010). "Burger Records' Sean Bohrman Knows He Will Put Out a Lady Gaga Tape Someday". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Bevan, David (15 January 2013). "Hear Three Burger Records jams: New Music From the Go, Peach Kelli Pop, and the Resonars". Spin Magazine. Retrieved 16 May 2013.