In case the name hasn't tipped you off, Porch Party Records was named after a house with a porch. From 2008 to the summer of 2014, the guys behind Long Beach's infamous indie label lived in a huge house on 4th and Junipero where they threw shows, had dance parties, recorded music, and overall, just made a whole lotta noise. But then bad luck in the form of bed bugs forced the guys to find a new home/club house/work space last year. It took a few months of searching, but eventually they found their current spot on Coronado Avenue.
It's been five months since the Porch Party crew–which includes Casey Terrazas, the guy who started and runs the label; Joel Jasper, an artist on the label; and J.P. Bendzinkski, the label's recording engineer– and two of their friends moved into the late '80s edifice replete with brick, stucco, terra cotta tiles, and iron work.
Unlike the old house, this house lacks a porch, but that hasn't stopped the guys from turning their front yard into a makeshift porch of sorts. The house itself is bigger (5 bedrooms) than the previous locale and Terrazas' has high hopes that the new place will become a legendary "creative arts space" just like the last house. The neighbors haven't complained about the noise (yet) and there've already been a few impromptu dance parties, one music video recorded, and a handful of bands that have crashed in the space. To commemorate their new headquarters, Terrazas gave us a tour of the two-story abode. And you never know: you might find yourself dancing your beer calories off here one night in the future. You never know.
The Porch (above):
"Even though we don't' technically have a porch anymore, it's the exact same thing that we used to do at the old house. We have so many people hanging out here and everyone just puts on different music. Like, this morning, we listened to like five Outkast tracks and our friend, who's making a new record in L.A., that's like ambient electronic stuff. And then we put on this punk soul record and then someone put on Joni Mitchell. It's been changing all day. We've just been sitting on the porch all morning with all of our Oakland homies and San Diego homies. We' re just smoking cigarettes, drinking mimosas and beers, and chilling. And that's what the porch is about. It's about connecting and being together and living this crazy life together. So, outside is for listening to music and hanging. What's great is that when you get creative people together, the ideas just happen. And for us, that happens on our porch." –Casey Terrazas
The Living Room:
"This is where bands sleep or just people come over and stay late at night. There's always someone here crashing out. It seems like around 6 o'clock, when people get off work and bike home, friends will come over and the music turns on and we have beers and people chill here or chill outside. Parties kind of just happen every night. All of the sudden, there's 20, 30 people at the house and it's a party. We haven't had any shows yet at the new place but we will. We've all just been too busy and things have been taking off with the label and all our bands are being booked at venues, so we haven't really needed to do house shows." –Casey Terrazas
The Music Room:
"So this is the music room. This is where bands practice or where
bands perform. We have a little snake right here where the mic is plugged into
and the cable goes back to J.P.'s room so he can record in his bedroom. Bands
and artists like Dustin Lovelis, Rudy De Anda, Rufrano, Joel Jasper, Forest of
Tongues and Bobby Blunders practice here. We just jam out." –Casey Terrazas
"The reason we chose this room specifically to be the music room is because both the neighbors directly to the right of us are also musicians. So we kind of chose this space because we're closer to the other musicians who are going to complain less. And I also kind of secretly chose this room to be the music room because of all the odd angles for recording. With so many odd angles, sound isn't going to reflect too much. Even though it seems crammed, it works out well." –J.P. Bendizinski
"The kitchen always becomes the chill spot. And the kitchen is where we do most of our drinking. If you're in the living room, you're dancing; if you're in here, you're chilling, having a beer, catching up on some shit. The thing with the old house was that the kitchen was a similar thing: you could see the bar and it was open to the front room. We like copy and pasted what we did there and somehow again brought it back to life here.
The kitchen is also where we make the bands breakfast. Like we'll go to Ralph's and get tortillas and eggs and make tortillas con juevos. We put the music on and everyone wakes up and we cook breakfast and chill on the porch listening to funk soul and ringing the morning in and chilling with our homies. And then they'll come back around on tour and come over for breakfast again. So this always became the vibe: have breakfast in the kitchen, hang out with the friends that are crashing, and next weekend some other band is crashing here and we do the same thing again." –Casey Terrazas
The Second Living Room:
"So, you walk into our house and you have the first living room where we have the dance parties. The second living room is kind of the same thing but it's more of a conversation/chill room. When we had the Forest of Tongue music video, that was Joel's work station in that room. So it's kind of used for projects and that's where all the books are. A lot of times that second room is just kind of used for conversation where people will go and meet if there's a dance party or where they're just chilling. That's kind of the vibe-y room." –Casey Terrazas
Next page: More of the Porch Party Pad
"It's not the most ideal place to mix just because it's square and you don't want to mix in a box, but what I did was I treated the room with all these sound blankets that I got from a band. So the way it's set up now is it's comfortable enough to get work done. And even though its not the most ideal sounding room, I have enough reference in here to know how to make something sound good on any playback system. It's a more comfortable situation to work in than the last few places I've lived. I was in a tiny garage where everyone would go to smoke in and before that, I was in a small bedroom without a window. This is super comfortable. As you can see, I have nothing besides music stuff and a bed. I'd rather have a recording studio than a room, so it's perfect." –J.P. Bendzinski
"If you know Joel, this makes sense: all he wants to do is just make music. This is his recording area and it's set up there. There's his first release on the floor. That's the first seven inch that we did. So this is his little recording space. And again all he cares about is music." — Casey Terrazas
"My room is the mega room. This is where I run Porch Party Records and this is where all the records are stored. A lot of times, after the party ends, there's a dance party going on in my room and people are crashing out.
In the old house, I had the master bedroom, too. My bedroom was where J.P. would run the cables to. He would use my master bedroom and we'd set up a studio in there for all the house shows and he'd record the bands. So my room was kind of a studio for the show." — Casey Terrazas
The Master Bathroom:
"We've been wanting to use that tub for several things. This is where we've been doing a lot of photo shoots and short videos. A lot of them are just goofy. So it's actually pretty significant in the sense that we did some photo shoots for peoples' records here. It's just become this goofy thing for Porch Party to use in the new house. I like to stay up late, so for the after after after party, we all come up here. I'll put music on and then we just chill out here and smoke blunts in the bathtub at like 4 am. The shag carpet's kind of fun; we'll just lay down there." — Casey Terrazas
Porch Party Records has three separate showcases as part of the Live After 5 Series in Downtown Long Beach from 5 p.m.-12 a.m. All shows are free. For full details, click here.