A&R by Velvet Crush drummer, Action Musik founder, Reaction partner Ric Menck. "I guess what I set out to do with the label was rather typical -- find and put out exciting records by contemporary bands who are, for one reason or another, having trouble finding an outlet for their music. In my travels I meet lots of musicians and see lots of bands. Occasionally someone will give me a CD and ask me what I think. A lot of times I'll think it's great and dream about putting it out. With Birdsong there is an outlet for the music to be heard." – Ric Menck, Bird Song Recordings
When Geoff Merritt, owner of the pop-centric Parasol label, wanted to document the post-Nirvana Urbana-Champaign music scene of the early-mid 1990s the Mud Records imprint was created for more rock-oriented titles. Early Mud singles from Hum and Hardvark pre-date those bands' respective major label experiences, and Mud gained even more notoriety during the 90s with releases by touted indie-rock bands Braid, Sarge, and Absinthe Blind.
Urbana, Illinois-based Parasol Records (and Parasol Label Group) was a natural outgrowth of Parasol Mail Order, which opened its mailbox in 1991 and was considered the premier US mail order for independent pop music for over a decade. Owner Geoff Merritt began Parasol Records by releasing his friends’ CDs and 7" singles. The majority of these artists played guitar-driven pop music as evidenced by releases from vanguard artists like Velvet Crush, Three Hour Tour, and Brian Leach. Since those early beginnings Parasol has been home to dozens of artists from all over the world. Guitar pop is alive and well at Parasol Records.