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Surf-punk Chuck

Label startup Chuck Records rides a trendy wave

Buenconsejo (center) was inspired by her punk-rocker dad and the Taang! model to start Chuck Records with these musicians.
Buenconsejo (center) was inspired by her punk-rocker dad and the Taang! model to start Chuck Records with these musicians.

Erica Buenconsejo’s father died when she was a baby. But his rock ’n’ roll spirit drives San Diego’s newest record label.

“My dad had a great punk-record collection,” says Erica about her dad, Chuck Petrowsky. “He grew up in Escondido. In his teens he played in a band called the Infected.”

Inspired by the local surf-punk scene, Buenconsejo launched Chuck Records and has so far signed four bands: the Fake Tides, Bad Kids, Pueblo, and Los Shadows.

Video:

"No More"

...off of Fake Tides' self-titled debut

...off of Fake Tides' self-titled debut

Buenconsejo, 20, is focusing on digital broadcasting at Palomar College. She says she was partly inspired by Taang! Records founder Curtis Casella’s entrepreneurial spirit to launch Chuck Records. “He signed the Exploited, the Adicts, and the Lemonheads [to the Taang! label]. He is also really good at photography and videos.”

Chuck Records will cover studio-time costs for its bands. Buenconsejo says her artists make a two-year commitment with Chuck. “It’s an ironclad contract we signed at Kinko’s,” she jokes. “They have complete artistic rights and they own their own songs. As I see it, record labels are there to help bands. They should be stepping stones. We want the bands to be pushed as much as they can. For these bands, I think being on a label gives you credibility in the music industry.”

She says she sees Chuck Records more as a full-service career-boosting enterprise, covering touring, merchandise, imaging, and local showcases. “We’re not just going to send CDs to radio stations.”

A self-titled Fake Tides album is Chuck Records’ first release. The label threw a CD-release party with the four Chuck Records bands and the Shady Francos and the Shizs last Friday at the Irenic.

For last Friday’s show, there were 100 CDs available. “We’re doing a limited release at first. We want to see how things go.”

Singer Fausto Martinez, 20, is the oldest member of Pueblo. “We’re a band that has little to nothing. For us, [Chuck Records] gives us that little push we need to get better quality. Our recordings are super low-fi. Chuck Records gives us that little push to get a better quality in our music.”

“She’s giving us an opportunity, and that pushed us to go further,” says Sal Samano, Fake Tides bassist.

Curtis Casella, who maintains the Taang! records store in Hillcrest, says he would not start a new record label at this time.

“It is very difficult to try and get a record pressed,” says Casella, who specializes in new vinyl releases. “If bands can deal with the six to eight months it takes to get their record pressed, good for them. We have a backlog of, like, 30 titles that we won’t get for months. If people are still buying CDs, good luck. CDs are useless for us. But I’m glad I inspired her. That’s great.”

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Buenconsejo (center) was inspired by her punk-rocker dad and the Taang! model to start Chuck Records with these musicians.
Buenconsejo (center) was inspired by her punk-rocker dad and the Taang! model to start Chuck Records with these musicians.

Erica Buenconsejo’s father died when she was a baby. But his rock ’n’ roll spirit drives San Diego’s newest record label.

“My dad had a great punk-record collection,” says Erica about her dad, Chuck Petrowsky. “He grew up in Escondido. In his teens he played in a band called the Infected.”

Inspired by the local surf-punk scene, Buenconsejo launched Chuck Records and has so far signed four bands: the Fake Tides, Bad Kids, Pueblo, and Los Shadows.

Video:

"No More"

...off of Fake Tides' self-titled debut

...off of Fake Tides' self-titled debut

Buenconsejo, 20, is focusing on digital broadcasting at Palomar College. She says she was partly inspired by Taang! Records founder Curtis Casella’s entrepreneurial spirit to launch Chuck Records. “He signed the Exploited, the Adicts, and the Lemonheads [to the Taang! label]. He is also really good at photography and videos.”

Chuck Records will cover studio-time costs for its bands. Buenconsejo says her artists make a two-year commitment with Chuck. “It’s an ironclad contract we signed at Kinko’s,” she jokes. “They have complete artistic rights and they own their own songs. As I see it, record labels are there to help bands. They should be stepping stones. We want the bands to be pushed as much as they can. For these bands, I think being on a label gives you credibility in the music industry.”

She says she sees Chuck Records more as a full-service career-boosting enterprise, covering touring, merchandise, imaging, and local showcases. “We’re not just going to send CDs to radio stations.”

A self-titled Fake Tides album is Chuck Records’ first release. The label threw a CD-release party with the four Chuck Records bands and the Shady Francos and the Shizs last Friday at the Irenic.

For last Friday’s show, there were 100 CDs available. “We’re doing a limited release at first. We want to see how things go.”

Singer Fausto Martinez, 20, is the oldest member of Pueblo. “We’re a band that has little to nothing. For us, [Chuck Records] gives us that little push we need to get better quality. Our recordings are super low-fi. Chuck Records gives us that little push to get a better quality in our music.”

“She’s giving us an opportunity, and that pushed us to go further,” says Sal Samano, Fake Tides bassist.

Curtis Casella, who maintains the Taang! records store in Hillcrest, says he would not start a new record label at this time.

“It is very difficult to try and get a record pressed,” says Casella, who specializes in new vinyl releases. “If bands can deal with the six to eight months it takes to get their record pressed, good for them. We have a backlog of, like, 30 titles that we won’t get for months. If people are still buying CDs, good luck. CDs are useless for us. But I’m glad I inspired her. That’s great.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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