The Beatdown

Usually, the Morning After is all about regret. This one is filled with optimism.

"And an add-in," he continues, "is when they purchase a CD, they get a T-shirt. At Amoeba, we have T-shirts already set aside to send to them."

Amoeba? You might think that someone starting a label would shoot for bigger national outlets, like Best Buy, Borders or Tower -- but Rutherford is concentrating on smaller, indie retailers like Amoeba in Los Angeles, Waterloo in Austin, Stinkweeds in Tempe and, of course, Twist & Shout, Wax Trax and Independent here at home. He's just as exact with his touring itineraries. For Hot IQs, he's going to create a regional base with stops in Phoenix, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Omaha.

Omaha...of course. Could Rutherford be patterning his label after a certain Nebraska-based indie? Is Morning After our answer to Saddle Creek?

As it turns out, Rutherford has drawn inspiration from an imprint much closer to home. "Virgil Dickerson from Suburban Home is by far one of the people in this town that I respect the most in terms of music," he says. "He is the template for how to run an indie label. He really is someone to aspire to want to be like."

He's off to a good start.

Upbeats and beatdowns: This Friday, October 1, Scene 1, Amadeo, Felisa, Julox, THC, Mr. Noze and L.O.C. & Midas set things off at the Soiled Dove; 3 Litre, Freddi Henchi and Buckner Funken Jazz get down at Herman's Hideaway; Tequila Mockingbird drops its latest disc, Alien-American, with Orbiting Nubs and Deadbeat Radio at Cricket on the Hill; Tard, Hypersense and Hate Kate hit the Lion's Lair; and Demon Funkies get diabolical with the groove at Bender's Tavern. Then on Saturday, October 2, Dr. Neptune celebrates the release of its new disc, Prelude to Fire and Rain, at the Bluebird, with King Rat, Misunderstood, Boldtype and Death Do Us Part.

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