In 2002 I was introduced to Ismist Records label founder Dan Schlissel, who had recently begun producing comedy albums under the name Stand Up! Records in Minneapolis.
At the time he had just a few acts on his roster, but Doug Stanhope and the hilariously funny Lewis Black were among them so he was off to a flying start. Shortly thereafter, Morphius Records signed a distribution contract with Schlissel and Stand Up! Records – the goal was to help get these comedians into big box stores across the country, including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Tower Records (which was at that time still going strong), as well as Best Buy.
Soon after, Black’s legendary first two albums, The White Album and The End of the Universe were available on CD and vinyl nation-wide. Universe was released as a limited edition vinyl picture disk release of only 500 LPs, all of which were signed by Black. I bet you wish you had your hands on one of those right now, don’t you?
Once Black had records for sale in Barnes and Noble and was selling out venues across the country, we knew Schlissel was on to something special. And it didn’t hurt that he managed to work out deals to release limited edition vinyl for the likes of David Cross & Patton Oswalt, which we also began to distribute.
In 2004 Schlissel co-produced The Rules of Enragement, a Lewis Black album that came out on Comedy Central Records and went on to win a Grammy.
Stand Up! Records now boasts nearly a hundred artists on their bill and has helped launch the career of dozens of comedians including Maria Bamford, Hannibal Burress, Marc Maron, the Sklar Brothers, Ryan Dalton, Dylan Brody and many, many more. Although Schlissel and Stand Up! are hundreds of miles away in the great state of Minnesota, we feel a deep connection to their work and are happy to be spreading the word.
Last year for Record Store Day, we partnered with Stand Up! to release a limited edition, re-mastered version of Joan River’s The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album (link), which came out in the late 1960s when the acclaimed talkshow host was still an upstart standup comic.
We had the chance to hang out with Schlissel on a few occasions, including a recent Hannibal Burress festival appearance. Dan possesses a biting wit and an endearing sarcasm that we’ve all grown to love. Head over to mvdshop.com to check out the full Stand Up! Catalog, or check out more info on some of our faves at morphiusrecords.com as well.