A fact of life for most bands in 2018 is that their members have a day job. When not on tour, plenty of musicians pick up work in the service industry as waiters, bartenders, or baristas, in order to maintain flexibility with their schedules but still make ends meet. In fact, so many employees of the Portland-originating coffee company Stumptown played music on the side, that the company decided to do something to help support this subset of their workforce, and teamed up with members of bands that work at their shops to release a compilation album.
Since the roster of bands featured on the comp all have members that work at Stumptown shops around the country, they’ve cheekily titled it The Worker’s Comp V. 2. As that title suggests, this is, in fact, the second time Stumptown has put out a band comp — the first volume of Worker’s Comp was recorded over a decade ago, in June 2001, after hours and live at the Stumptown location on Division Street in Portland. For volume two, Stumptown flew employees to Portland, where they recorded their contributions at The Map Room, a recording studio in Southeast Portland.
The compilation was produced by Mike Coykendall, who is a “longtime friend” of the company, and includes eleven bands who all recorded original songs for the release. Bands like Uncle Hornet, Dommengang, Giant Peach, Tamed West, and White Glove contributed to the compilation, which was released this coming Friday, June 29, and is available for streaming on platforms like Soundcloud and Bandcamp.
To help celebrate the release, several shows in key cities where the bands are from — New York, Los Angeles, and Portland — have been scheduled, along with other bands who share the project’s ethos. In early July the shows kick off in New York at Elsewhere’s Zone 1 in Brooklyn, with The Men, Giant Peach, and Little Racer on July 2; the Los Angeles show will be held July 13 with The Coathangers, Dommengang at Resident; in Portland on July 17 Guantanamo Baywatch will perform at Doug Fir.
All that information is synthesized into a show poster, which is below, so come out to one if you’d like to support the barista band member in your favorite indie band.