In the mercurial climate of the music industry, Slumberland Records has managed to survive with its independent spirit intact. Now in its 25th year, the Bay Area label has accumulated an impressive catalogue yet continues to wrestle with financial obstacles. Why it’s all the more admirable to learn that Slumberland’s tenacity is due to the devotion of an individual. Since 1989, Mike Schulman has been almost single-handedly keeping Slumberland alive.
Last year, I sat down with Schulman at the Slumberland headquarters in Oakland, CA to learn about the man behind some of my favorite releases over the years. To tell the whole story of Slumberland would require much more than these meager sentences and the 19-minute video. So this is merely an effort to shed a light on Schulman's accomplishment, the challenges of running an independent label, and how the music industry has changed and affected its operation over the years.
Through my brief time with Schulman, one thing is clear, he is a music geek first. You can tell by the enthusiasm in his voice and the twinkle in his eyes when he holds a record in his hand. While my love of music will never fade, he reminded me that once, I was a fanatic who resolutely sought out items linked to my favorite bands. Thus, my appreciation for the man who enables me to live my teenage fantasy vicariously.
Stream the Slumberland's 25-year anniversary and the latest sampler below. From dream pop of The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, post punk of Girls Names, space rock of Black Hearted Brother, and so much more, surely there’s a Slumberland release for the most discriminating ears.
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