How Kicks Books and Norton Records Survived Sandy


| 9/25/2013 1:18:00 PM


Tags: Music, Books, Christian Williams,

kicks books

My first contact with the legendary independent music label Norton Records was through a beat up, but still fantastic used LP I picked up in Milwaukee of Appalachian one-man band and psychobilly pioneer Hasil Adkins. I hadn’t heard of Adkins before spinning the record, titled Peanut Butter Rock and Roll, but once I heard the primal howls, stomps, and blues-inspired guitar noodling, I was sold.

Listening to that record opened up a whole new door of music for me, and introduced me to rough-around-the-edges, DIY music that would eventually inspire me to start writing my own. Small labels like Norton have become crucial points of discovery for musicians creating music outside the mainstream, so it was upsetting to find out that Hurricane Sandy had taken quite a toll on the Brooklyn-based storage warehouse of not only Norton Records, but the fantastic small publishing house Kicks Books run by Norton co-founder and musician Miriam Linna.

As this video shot just a few days after the storm illustrates, the incredible mess that Miriam and her staff had to deal with was enormous:

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there as both Norton Records and Kicks Books are bouncing back from the stormy setback. As we get closer to the one-year anniversary of Sandy next month, I thought it would be good to check in with Miriam by email and see how the recovery is going.

CW: The video shot right after the storm shows an incredible amount of water damage, but you say, “We're gonna be all right.” To what do you attribute that resilient attitude?

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