The Beatdown

For your ears only: You can listen to the music, but by God, donít share it.

"With them being our biggest distributor, we've come to expect anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 in checks every month. We didn't see a check from them last month, and we're not going to see one this month. As you can imagine, we have our normal overhead -- which is salaries, rent and UPS and all the million things that add up. So we're operating on a really low amount of funds. It really hurts."

Dickerson sent a missive to everyone on his mailing list advising them of his predicament and encouraging supporters to stop by his Web site (www.suburbanhomerecords.com) and make a purchase. "It's been amazing," he says. "We've gotten a really awesome response so far. In one day, we got $2,500 worth of orders, which is huge. That's more than we've ever gotten in a one-day span, even during the holidays."

If this pace holds, Dickerson is confident Suburban Home will survive. Still, he's not leaving anything to chance, and a benefit show is slated for Saturday, March 13, at the Ogden Theatre. The bill will feature a mix of the label's acts -- the Gamits and Laymen Terms -- as well as a few bands from the wildly popular Monsters of Mock fest. Moreover, Dickerson and company will be selling discs from their personal stash on eBay (www.stores.ebay.com/suburbanhomerecordsanddistro).

"As much as I get frustrated with the music industry, there's a reason that I do this," Dickerson says. "And the support that we're getting right now restores my faith in independent music and all the people out there that support the small guy. Before this world becomes only Wal-Mart, Clear Channel, Blockbuster and McDonald's, I think there's going to be a lot of people putting up a fight."

Damn straight, brother. Check's in the mail.

Upbeats and beatdowns: On Friday, January 30, Nina Storey, Wendy Woo, the Indulgers, the Zen Barons, Rosco and Plastic Parachute will jump into the Gothic for the Rockers for Kids benefit (see page 42 for complete details), a great lineup for a great cause. And heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Aaron Pope from the Dalhart Imperials. The 24-year-old bassist passed away last week, and all upcoming shows have been canceled until further notice. See the band's Web site (www.dalhartimperials.com) for details on a memorial service planned for this Saturday.

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