File Thirteen Records

File Thirteen Records has been a communal and musician-run independent record label since 1989. File Thirteen was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas by David Burns and Jason McCloud and was more utilitarian than a business. It provided a medium for musicians that found time and money in their usually fleeting careers to put together hand-screened 7-inch singles, albums, and then finally compact discs. The first record released by File Thirteen was a 7-inch EP by Little Rock band Hatful Day. In 1992, File Thirteen released a compilation album called Towncraft, which included ten different Little Rock, DIY punk bands. File Thirteen was introduced to a national audience and somewhat legitimate distribution with bands like Chino Horde and Thumbnail touring and self-releasing records through the label. Other early key contributors to File Thirteen's formation John Pugh, Chris Wilson and Jason White went on to play in bands !!!, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and Green Day, respectively.

After being run by various Arkansas scene supporters, Matt Werth became the manager of File Thirteen and moved to Philadelphia for college. File Thirteen became a centerpiece of Philly's independent music scene. Matt Werth of the band Aspera partnered with fellow musicians Adam Goren of Atom and His Package and Brian Sokel of AM/FM and Franklin to release albums from groups like Lenola, Matt Pond PA, National Skyline, Antartica Burning Brides, Bent Leg Fatima, and Lilys.

Matt, Brian, and Atom all decided to retire label ownership in 2002 after releasing the debut from Need New Body and an Atom and his Package EP. Longtime contributors Stephen Schmidt ( Chino Horde and Thumbnail member) and Justin Sinkovich (Thumbnail, Sterling, The Poison Arrows, and Atombombpocketknife member, co founder of and resurrected File Thirteen in their home city of Chicago, Illinois that year. By 2005’s end, Stephen and Justin released music by the Chicago, Illinois groups Red Eyed Legends, Sterling, The Dishes, Atombombpocketknife, The Poison Arrows and TRS-80; plus albums by New York City's Martin Rev (of Suicide), Odiorne The Silent League and Philadelphia's Need New Body. 2005 also found File Thirteen releasing albums by bands from abroad for the first time -- Tokyo’s My Way My Love and Bologna Italy’s Franklin Delano.

In 2007, Matson Films, owned by Little Rock native Richard Matson, released a full length documentary film about the music scene of Little Rock called Towncraft.

Its name is derived from the slang file 13.


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