Louisville is for lovers is an all inclusive music collective working with Louisville based musicians. Best known for our decade long Valentine’s day music compilation, we specialize in bringing local artists together in compilation albums and showcases to promote solidarity and quality music.
as well as compilations, Louisville is for Lovers also releases full length albums from local artists, in several different media formats including Vinyl, CD, and digital Downloads.
We are also a full service music and event promotion company, working with local, national, and international groups in many different venues, from small stages to large amphitheaters, and specializing in unique showcases. click here for more information.
From The 2010 “ANNIVERSARY” collector’s box:
10 YEARS OF LOVE IN LOUISVILLE
if someone had told me when i first started louisville is for lovers vol.1 that there would be a second i wouldn’t have believed it. but a decade later, i am having a hard time realizing this would be the last in the series.
a few year years ago when i decided to end at 10, it was tough commitment to keep, but now that it has arrived it seems too soon and unnatural to end a successful series. but in the end it’s better to go out on a good note, than to think i could keep it alive indefinitely. it has been the best time of my life, and there is some comfort in knowing i had the some say in the end rather than an outside force that i have no control over. which is not to say there won’t be future projects, i couldn’t live without them, but for this series it has been my biggest obligation for 1/3 of my life, and the track record has been so great i figure it’s better to quit while i’m ahead and hold the integrity.
when i first started LOUISVILLE IS FOR LOVERS, i was just so amazed at the amount of talent in town and also amazed in the lack of attention it was getting. so i asked the groups that my band, TEAM TOTORO, played out with if they would be into recording a love song for a Valentine’s day album, without actually knowing how to release an album. and it probably wouldn’t have even made it much further than that if i hadn’t run into an old high school friend, Jeremy Devine, in Ear X-tacy Records. he recently started Temporary Residence records, and patiently stood in the Indie section for over an hour giving me an oral tutorial on every step of releasing an album; everything from a guy at kinko’s that will print album covers under the table to a duplication house in Bloomington Ind that will print small run CDs. i took notes on the back of a bumper sticker and followed it to the letter. in fact in the last decade it has barely changed.
in that first year i had so little response from bands that i had to ask several of them to record a second song just to get 10 tracks. and now the yearly submission average is 65 bands/musicians. i sold the first album at Ear X-tacy and out of my satchel at shows and along Bardstown RD, and My Morning Jacket talked their label into picking up 10 copies for their catalogue. i don’t know what i was expecting, i guess i was hoping it would just be a quick tool to catapult our bands into record deals on other labels and we’d become someone elses’ problem. but after a couple months and a few rejection letters later i realized what ever chance we got, we would have to find it ourselves.
shortly after that i moved with my girlfriend to France, and soon after that i was single again and back in louisville. i moved in into the 953 warehouse on Clay st with Kevin Ratterman and the band Elliott. it was a great time in my life, with lots of incredible bands recording with Kevin in our living room and it just seemed like the right thing to make a second comp.
i didn’t have any money so my good friend jeremy Irvin helped me release it. his band, Second Story man and i drove to Cincinnati one weekend and we broke into guitarist Carrie Neumeyer’s college and hand silkscreened the covers in the art dept.
we had so many bands interested in being on the CD that we decided to make a hidden disc we called “p.s. i love you” to insert in random packages. we sat around Jeremy’s apt and burned 100 CDRs and Carrie and Kelly painted hearts on every one. it was so amazing how people i hadn’t met before got together and pitched in to make sure our album would see the light of day. and it did! vol.2 got so much attention that there was no way we could stop now, we even made it onto a chart in The Rolling Stone Magazine (my dream as a 12 yr old). we were no.2 in the Buzz Top Ten (i’m still not sure what kind of chart that is) beat out only by Incubus(i’m still embarrassed by that), and placing just above Johnny Cash (i still feel bad about that).
By 2003 i decided to move up from 500 copies to 1000, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but i still have a box of a couple hundred, so the next release i moved back down to just 500 hand numbered copies.
by this time the series had a name for it’s self. i remember that year running into Will Oldham at a christmas party and he mentioned that he was planning to do something for it, and when i said i was mailing the master copy out the printers the following monday, he and his brother Paul jumped up to start working on it. i couldn’t believe that Will Oldham, a hero of mine, made such an effort and went out of his way to get me a track. but, in latter years working with him i realized what a kind and caring person he is. He is one of the many people who have done so much throughout the years to keep this series alive and go so far. every year we get hundreds of orders and letters from all over the world. we have sent LOUISVILLE IS FOR LOVERS to over 20 countries, and to 5 continents including Antarctica.
vol.4 saw some changes, at this time we really pushed for anyone to submit, not just bands we contacted directly. what didn’t change was the model of previously unreleased love songs, in limited edition numbered copies, and it hasn’t changed since. by this time i didn’t want to risk putting out the same style album every year, so i asked Jeff Mueller of The Shipping News to design the packaging. at first he beautifully designed a cut-out of the BlackHeart logo on the cover, but the plate alone would have cost $500, which was our budget for the entire package. the end result was a fantastic matchbook style silver embossed package that must have cost twice what we could pay him, but he never complained, and to this day it is one of my favorite covers of all time. i also decided to include intro and outro tracks, a louisville is for lovers theme song, and unlisted tracks. the idea was to make a compilation album that was more epic and cohesive; but the end result was more of a conceptual album. Vol.4 has some of my favorite tracks, but for vol.5 i decided to stay the original corse and leave the experimental work to the musicians.
Vol.5 was named “forever” as i said it would be the last, since then i think i might have said that after each one. imagine all the great music that might have been lost if the series ended 5 years back. the reasoning behind all the scheduled endings were purely personal. stress and self inflicted pressure to make the perfect release became harder to maintain. and despite my personal issues, and sporadic depression, i never much saw myself as a business man capable of financing and keeping such a venture afloat, but with a lot of help from many passionate friends and strangers, i pushed aside my issues and carried on. of corse some of these issues defiantly influenced aspects of the series, especially the titles, such as Fracture/Fever (vol.6) When Love Is Not Enough (vol.7) Black And Blue (vol.8) and Lies/Loss (vol.9).
we are now at vol.10; a miracle, a celebration, and a bit of regret that i may never shake. but it’s truly an honor to have been given the opportunity to work with so many talented and giving people. and it’s comforting in knowing the Louisville music scene has no sign in slowing, nor do it’s musicians.
out of the original group from vol.1, Kevin of Elliott is still co-producing the series as well as creating great music in Wax Fang and Boundless and Starstruck. Starkiller became The Phantom Song which became The Phantom Family Halo, and are producing some of the best work of their carrier. Team Totoro turned into The Gallery Singers, although a complete opposite in sound and style, are still contributing to the series. and Of corse My Morning Jacket being the only remaining band from that first year has exceeded all expectations has constantly contributed work for our series.
There have been many many people who have worked hard to keep LOUISVILLE IS FOR LOVERS alive, hardly the work of a select few. it has been the greatest gift i have ever received, and i can say with certainty that i wouldn’t be here today without the support of the people of Louisville who have stood behind us every step of the way.