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22 years ago Lookout Records was my favorite label around. The Queers, Screeching Weasel, Crimpshrine, Operation Ivy, Mr. T Experience and Pinhead Gunpowder were all fave bands of mine, and I dug Green Day in their early days, too. The "Can of Pork" and "Thing That Ate Floyd" comps got tons of spins at the Kopp household. Then later, after my tastes started moving into wilder, noisier, and trashier territories, I was reminded of how cool they once were as they put out records by the Donnas, Hi-Fives, Smugglers, Groovie Ghoulies, Go-Nuts and Phantom Surfers. I hadn't really paid much attention to the label over the past several years, so I was unaware that they'd ceased releasing new stuff back in 2005. Cathy Bauer, one of the owners, was from St. Louis, and booked punk shows alongside myself and others at the Bernard Pub and other local venues.
Sad to see them go. RIP.
I read the goodbye post.
It makes me sad a little.
But I understand.
I don't think I ever bought anything on that label , except maybe The Smugglers and The Go - Nuts , maybe a Hi-Fives CD I played twice , but I don't like seeing any independent (As Oppsed to "INDIE!". Indie Rock is neither.) label go down for the count.
There were many reasons , I'm sure , but people not supporting their local record stores , and the bands they claim to like , by not buying their releases , does'nt help.
Labels were struggling before the internet , too. I understand if people can't afford to buy records , CDs ,etc . , but if others can afford every new idiot device under the sun , I THINK they can spend 8 to 10 dollars on an LP once in a while. Or $15 for a CD (OF COURSE , CDs SHOULD HAVE BEEN MARKED DOWN TO $11 OR LESS , years ago. At least on your Majors and larger Indies , who can EAT money at this point. ).
For its time Lookout was great. Being on the other side of country in late 80's listening to Crimpshrine is something I'll always remember. Cant say I listened to anything after 94 and thats pushing it except for some Vindictives 7 "s
Lookout! was like a gateway for me in the 90's. I still have a Screeching Weasel key chain in my pocket but mostly out of laziness. They had a good run.
Gotta say, as much as my tastes have changed, I still consider OpIvy to be one of my favorite bands. They were the gateway to better music for me. Lookout! may have been dormant for a while, but still sad to see them go for good. Unfortunate.
It's sad when independent labels go bust. I always thought the name and logo were a bit silly, but it was a good reflection of the bands and general sound of the day.
Lookout Records was a big influence for me growing up in the Bay Area. I was too young for the Purple Onion Budget Rock scene, but all-ages pop punk shows were abundant thanks to Lookout's support. I became a huge fan of The Groovie Ghoulies. I remember the excitement as World Contact Day came out and I went to the video shoot for Island of Pogo Pogo. Lookout also exposed me to the Hi Fives, which were the first "retro" band I ever saw. Seeing guys spazzing out with suits and vintage guitars certainly left a big impact.
What no one has mentioned so far was the change in management in 1997 and how that ruined Lookout. Larry Livermore created a defined identity for Lookout Records. With new releases, you knew that the band would fit within the style. When Livermore retired and Chris Appelgren from the PeeChees took over, it was the beginning of the end. Chris' taste was more artsy and open to emo, post-punk and more experimental groups. Gradually, the pop-punk bands were cut and different kinds of bands moved in. Part of Lookout's effectiveness was its judge of taste, but under Appelgren, you couldn't count on a band fitting into the Ramones-y pop punk idiom. I know that at the time, I quickly lost interest in Lookout and moved on to other things.
Yeah, I also dug a lot of the LOOKOUT stuff, Smugglers, Donnas, Phantom Surfers... all are the shit.
Thinking of it, Kepi Ghoulie was just in town, playing solo. But I wasn't, so...
What happens when a label like Lookout goes bust? I mean with most independents that are successful they get bought out and then the majors sit on the back catalogue until some kind of cult revival makes it worth re-releasing some album.
Where do all the rights to the records go?