Posted in industry | music on February 18, 2009

Touch and Go

"It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.

"Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go's operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.

"Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We'll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go's history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings." - Corey Rusk

Right before Chicagoist pointed out that the Chicago Tribune had this official statement, a ton of links to Time Out Chicago's story about the label going completely out of business landed in my inbox simultaneously (thx all). Luckily that turned out to be not completely true.

As Time Out pointed out, "Touch and Go began at the dawn of the '80s in East Lansing, Michigan, before founders Tesco Vee and Dave Stimson handed the biz over to Necros bassist Corey Rusk in 1983." Tesco Vee will be in NYC on April 19th when The Meatmen headline a show at Europa with Chapstick. Tickets are on sale.

Touch & Go celebrated their 25th Anniversary as a label in 2006. Check out pictures from the birthday festival they hads that year HERE, HERE, and HERE, and grab a whole ton of Touch & Go MP3's, HERE.

The complete list of labels with distribution ties to Touch & Go, below...

5, Rue Christine
All Natural
Drag City
Emperor Jones
Jade Tree
In The Fishtank
Kill Rock Stars
Le Tigre Recordings
Merge Records
Overcoat Recordings
Pretty Activity
Post Present Medium
Record Label
Suicide Squeeze
Trance Syndicate
Warm Electronic Recordings



Comments (22)


Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 1:42 PM

damn, that sucks.

Posted by cranky | February 18, 2009 1:46 PM

damn, that's crusty!!!

hope some of those labels can find suitable distribution. flameshovel and pretty activity put out some of my faves.

Posted by Sacred Absolute Hipster Cow | February 18, 2009 2:44 PM

it's all the buttholes fault.

Posted by gibby | February 18, 2009 2:55 PM

man, ted leo just cant catch a break.

Posted by jason | February 18, 2009 2:57 PM


Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 3:22 PM

Only six posts on this news? What the fuck? This is the biggest news to hit this blog in ages and all we have are six posts?

Touch and Go was such an important part of the independent music scene, and the blue prints for the majority of indie labels kicking around today.

Show some mutha fuck'n respect.

Ray Ray

Posted by Ray Lewis | February 18, 2009 4:10 PM

isn't lovepump united distributed by touch and go also????

Posted by blinky | February 18, 2009 4:19 PM

Can't the country spare some bailout money to keep the T&G empire alive?

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 4:20 PM

"Can't the country spare some bailout money to keep the T&G empire alive?"


Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 4:28 PM

oh, ok. just thought i'd ask!

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 4:53 PM

thanks illegal downloading

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 5:31 PM

bailout my ass!

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 5:34 PM

people say bailout money as a joke....but it's pretty shameful how little our gov't supports the arts. if they can give billions to car companies they should support the arts also. do you notice (for those of you who buy albums) that most canadian indie bands have a little logo on it that they received support from the canadian gov't. european countires give a lot of support for the arts also (bbc in england...ect). if we're gonna have socialism for the banks and auto industry why not have it include cultural institutions?

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 6:10 PM

@Ray Lewis

word to that. seriously.

Posted by cranky | February 18, 2009 6:54 PM

Wait so Drag City, Kill Rock Stars, Merge, and Suicide Squeeze may all be out of business now too?


That seriously sucks

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 7:04 PM

Merge and Drag City has since moved on from an exclusive P+D deal with T&G, they will be fine. ADA and Chicago Dist. should be able to geab some of these labels, BUT T&G did a lot more then just p+d for these labels, sales, promo goods, and basically the strength of being associated with T&G. A lot of labels will not be able to release as many projects because they will have to pay the cost of pressing up front instead of re-coup, and T&G had a killer price through their manufacture do to volume. (Kill Rock Stars could have NEVER released all those projects every year without T&G) Labels with a strong back catalog will get through this, younger labels are the ones that should be worried. Maybe SC Distribution will play hero for some of the more safe investments (KRS mainly)

Feel bad for Love Pump, that was just announced as was a ton of other new additions, they grew real fast last year, more then ever. I wish employees and labels were given more of a heads up, but that would have leaked the news, but who cares when its people life's. In the end, T&G is a million dollar business, the best record label in the world, but still a business. If it don't make dollars it don't make sense.


Posted by Mike Moller | February 18, 2009 7:18 PM

Just fyi, in terms of heads up for employees, they're not being shuffled out the door today. Word is, most of them have six weeks or so before things actually wind down and there's no more work to do.

Posted by Anonymous | February 18, 2009 7:37 PM

You mean to tell me that IQ32, the comprehensive Necros discography, has been cancelled? What about that unreleased VOID lp?


Posted by Jimmy Crackcorn | February 18, 2009 11:25 PM

"if we're gonna have socialism for the banks and auto industry why not have it include cultural institutions?"

because the majority of americans don't care about the arts. like hetfield says, SAD BUT TRUUUUUE!

Posted by Anonymous | February 19, 2009 11:14 AM

"it's all the buttholes fault."

Yeah, Corey Rusk wanted to control their back catalog and pocket the profits to the absolute max limit of copyright laws and somehow the band is "bad" for not liking that.

Kill Yer Idols! Stop looking at indie labels as not being greedy.

Posted by Anonymous | February 19, 2009 11:59 PM

I haven't bought (or downloaded) anything that Touch and Go has backed in ten years plus and even then that was a reissue. If it wasn't for the distro and a monumental foundation, I'd say touch and go bye bye.

Posted by Anonymous | February 22, 2009 4:00 PM

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