Stand Up! Records cultivates OutStanding Comedy


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 to check out the full Stand Up! Catalog, or check out more info on some of our faves at as well.

Two Days at Paisley Park Changed Everything: Part 1

courtesy of Medium

In Summer 1992 I wrapped up a semester at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood a bit early* and left Los Angeles for Minneapolis, to play drums for the up-and-coming grunge band, Bone Club. Heavily influenced by grunge stalwarts like Soundgarden and Nirvana, as well as Minnesota legends Husker Du & The Replacements, Bone Club was on the verge of signing a deal with Imago and it seemed like a great move. Imago was a major indie label at the time, well funded and falling under the very large BMG distribution umbrella. The label had Aimee Mann, Kyle Minogue, Love Spit Love. They’d also just signed Pere Ubu and had released Henry Rollins breakout End of Silence album.


Robbed at Gunpoint: The 1st 48 Hours of Morphius (starring Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic)

photo courtesy of 

My most vivid memory of the early days of Morphius Records came at around 2AM on December 30th, 1993 after a Nirvana show at the old San Diego Sports Arena. I was driving my old friend Nancy, two ladies whose names escape me, and Krist Novoselic…of Nirvana. Who knows why, but Krist—who stands about 6’5—was sitting in the middle back seat.

Barreling down the highway to a party somewhere near the old Casbah club, I found myself caught between conflicting directions. One of the women in back yells “this exit!”, to which the other responds “No, keep going!”, so I braked hard, coming to a screeching halt between the ramp and the road.

Novoselic’s towering arms lurched forward, and he ripped the rearview mirror clean off. In hindsight, maybe I should have asked him to sign it.


Brett Netson of Built to Spill to drop album as Brett Netson & Snakes


If you made a Mount Rushmore of 90s bands, Pacific Northwest indie rockers Built to Spill would certainly be on it. The intensity of their guitar-driven rock was part of a movement that many contemporary indie bands have to thank. Archers of Loaf, Pavement, Dismemberment Plan, and Built to Spill’s sister band, Caustic Resin would also all be on the list.

Our longtime friend Brett Netson — of Built to Spill and Caustic Resin (as well as a recent member of metal powerhouse Earth)—is set to drop a new record with his band Snakes later this month called Scavenger Cult. Every 90s, Generation X-er should be lining up to snag a copy of this great release.

The opening track, “Play On” is a hard, 70s-style rock song with ominous vocals and that very distinct Brett Netson sounding guitar, that wobbly screech. Certainly less poppy than Built to Spill, it still has that signature grittiness found on most Built to Spill and Caustic Resin releases.

We’re thrilled Brett came to us to press the album for him, which is on 12” 180g vinyl.  The audio was recorded to analog tape and mastered entirely with analog equipment. Sounds pretty sick. Head over to Brett’s Bandcamp to pre-order the record—but don’t delay because it’s a limited run release (and a recent Australian import version of the record sold out very fast).

You can also grab a digital copy of Brett’s solo album from 2011, Simple Work for the Dead, on iTunes.

Scavenger Cult was #madebymorphius