15th Street Tavern

Suburban Home Records

Continuing our look at independent record labels in the great state of Colorado, let us introduce you to Denver-based Suburban Home Records. Founded in 1995 by Virgil Dickerson, the label’s music generally falls into the punk and/or alt-country genres. Dickerson formed the label while he was an undergraduate at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His major? Molecular biology. Suburban Home was originally a fanzine about the local sceneits success allowed Dickerson to begin booking shows around the state and eventually start a label to release an album by some of his friends.In the fifteen years since its launch, Suburban Home has definitely grown, but is still a relatively underground phenomenon. However, several of the label’s releases have made it to college and alternative radio stations, and some have even appeared on the Billboard Independent charts. Dickerson has also been invited to speak at panels like SXSW (South by Southwest) and CMJ (College Music Journal).The Suburban Home website offers a bunch of cool stuff for fans. The “Drunk Dial Hotline” is available for musicians and fans to call after imbibing a certain amountthe best calls are posted as MP3s. The “Listening Station” lets you preview full tracks from almost ever release on the labeland then pay to download them if you’re so inclined. There are also informative behind-the-scenes looks at the activities of some of the bands.Of course, it’s the bands themselves that really define the label. These are a few of our favorites that we found just by a quick listening tour:

  • Austin Lucas: Lucas has performed in a number of groups, including Twenty Third Chapter, Rune, K10 Prospect, and currently Guided Cradle. Since 2006, though, he’s released six full-lengths of his special brand of folk punk. His latest, “Collection,” is a compilation of songs originally found only on vinyl.
  • The Gamits: This recently-reformed Denver pop punk group released its first EP, Come Get Some, in 1996. After breaking up in 2005 (and releasing a 4-disc box set, Golden Sometimes, in 2006), the band reformed in 2009 and released Parts a year later.
  • Look Mexico: Experimental rock group Look Mexico is hard to pin down in terms of genre, but one thing’s for sureeven with only two full-lengths, they’ve established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Check out their latest album, To Bed To Battle, especially the epic “Until the Lights Burn Out?,” which starts slow and builds to a magnificent crescendo of melody and power.