First thing I want to mention, Matt Rubin released this record before he could drive. He has recently released records and such, but currently works on online projects out in New York and Paper Brigade is no longer a fully functioning label. I can't remember if he put this out or the 5 Song Reflector CD first, but the point I'm trying to make is that he was living with his parents when he started a record label. Just a bit more on Matt Rubin, he's a cool guy and we used to hang with the .emo kids in Lawrence, KS. He put this record out, Reflector, and the Casket Lottery locally. The most tragic thing, he wasn't old enough to drive to shows, further, he wasn't old enough to get into shows to see these bands perform. He obtained the money to create his label by hopping on the dot.com boom when he was like 12 or 13 years old. He designed and ran a Neo-Ska website that became the biggest of its kind. He then sold the website for a large amount of money as a teenager because he discovered he liked punk rock and wanted to start a label instead of continuing on a website. Cool, right?
Now, this 7". Let's not kid ourselves, this is Lawrence rock via Blue Valley/Shawnee Mission. Both these bands have ties to burbs of Kansas City. However, you can't tell from the tunes. Proudentall was a great band. I'm about 99% positive this is the only release they ever did on vinyl. Matt Dunahoo, who I believe was the undisputed leader of this band, was a KJHK Music Director and an all around active Lawrence musician. For whatever reason though, this band never caught on locally (never mind nationally) the way they should have. I would have to credit the lack of success to Lawernce Hipsters and bad luck. Matt is a passionate dude and wears things on his sleeves. I think that rubbed people the wrong way. This song for example, owes heavily to Slint. Matt, who can sing well, speak-sings over the entire thing. That trick is employed by bands like Slint, Seam, Codeine because the singers weren't singers at all. I think that aspect of band came off as disingenuous. Fact is, Proudentall was just paying respect and utilizing great influences. Proudentall also suffered from horrible luck. Their 2001 CD only release, 'What's Happening Here' was put out by Caulfield who prior to 2001 was a leader in the Emo Scene. The label had released KC's Giants Chair, and the extremely popular Denver band, Christie Front Drive. However, by 2001, Caulfield had lost Christie Front Drive to a break up and was struggling to keep it's niche among Polyvinyl, Jade Tree and a kajillion smaller labels. 'What's Happening Here' was well reviewed, those that got their hands on a copy loved it, and the band attempted to support it on tour. However, Caulfield didn't get the album out there to college radio or offer much in the way of promotion. Proudentall called it quits shortly after.
The Anniversary side is a good bridge between high school and college rock. Prior to this release the members of the Anniversary tooled around in Blue Valley high school bands, playing places like Gee Coffee in Olathe. Most notably, The Nuclear Family, who featured Justin Roelofs, got local radio play with a track called, and I'm not kidding, "Gerdy, Gerdy, Wow, Wow." They even toured in their later days with Goldfinger who was a moderately successful alt rock band. Later, Roelofs would start the Broadcast with Adrianne Verhoven & Josh Berwanger. They would add members and change the name to the Anniversary because the never realized there was a very popular indie band from England called the Broadcast (yeah, you see what I'm saying here, this band wasn't hip at all yet). The song 'All Right For Now' on this 7" represents the transition from young local rockers to ultra-chic local hipsters. It's very much an obvious nod to the Rentals, but hey, we're not ripping off Weezer or Green Day. It was getting there and discovering themselves as a band. Of course, they would later completely reinvent themselves as a band before calling it quits.
Proudentall's Swan Song
Anniversary All Right For Now